Radarsat 1: Canada’s oldest EO Satellite goes dormant

RADARSAT-1: An ailing Remote Sensing Hero

Canada’s first Earth Observation satellite “RadarSat-1”, launched in 1995 has been functioning for the last 18 years.  It was widely recognized for its Synthetic Aperture Radar data.

In a news release late last month, the Canadian Space Agency had reported an anomaly had occurred. Michel Doyon, Manager of Flight operations, had expressed that the satellite may have been hit by space debris and is experiencing problems.

The problem has been identified as a power issue and the satellite had actually stopped communicating. Currently, the satellite has resumed communication and has been put in safe mode to ensure battery life. But looks unlikely that the satellite will be brought back to active service. Officially Dormant!

For 18 years, RadarSat-1 had been a great source of SAR data, helping researchers all over the world study climate change besides being a great source of remote sensing data for cartography and disaster management.

Ironically for a satellite that has been disturbed due to space debris, considering the orbit of RadarSat, it most certainly end up adding its name to the space debris list. Designed with a life expectancy of 5 years, RadarSat has contributed for a long time. Let’s just hope against hope it gets back online!

RADARSAT-1 definitely a remote sensing “SuperStar”.

I am one of those passionate "Geo-geeks" and "Geo-people" who is just too excited about everything Geo and Management. Location information and spatial technologies are just too big to take a back seat and watch them revolutionize the world. Always curious and looking for ways to innovate, I guess that it comes naturally by the gene pool I inherited from an engineer Mom and a researcher Dad.


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