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RCM 1, 2, 3 (Radarsat Constellation 1, 2, 3)


The RCM or Radarsat Constellation Mission is a follow-on project to RADARSAT-2 currently developed by MDA. The constellation will consist of a fleet of three spacecraft, and be both complementary and a follow-on to the upcoming deployment of the RADARSAT-2 mission. The primary purpose of the RCM is to provide C-Band data continuity for RADARSAT-2 users, as well as adding a new series of applications enabled through the constellation approach.

The main uses of RCM are expected to be in the areas of:

  • maritime surveillance (ship detection, ice monitoring, and oil spill detection)
  • disaster management; and
  • ecosystem monitoring.

The primary areas of interest are the landmass of Canada and its surrounding Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic maritime areas. The images and derived information are required to be provided to Canadian government users at frequent area coverage rates. Contrary to the earlier RadarSat missions, the imagery will not be available commercially.

The spacecraft Payload will consist of a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensor integrated with an Automated Identification System (AIS). The SAR Payload concept is a 2-panel deployable SAR antenna of length approximately 7 meters.

MDA's role in the mission is mission and payload prime. The bus will be a modified version of the Canadian SmallSAT bus being developed by Bristol. The satellites will be launched together on the same Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) launch vehicle.

Nation: Canada
Type / Application: Earth observation (Radar)
Operator: CSA
Contractors: MacDonald Dettwiler Aerospace (MDA) (Prime), Bristol Aerospace (Bus)
Equipment: C-Band SAR, AIS-receiver
Configuration: SmallSAT bus
Power: Fixed solar array, batteries
Lifetime: 7 years
Mass: 1430 kg
Orbit: 592 km × 592 kn, 97.7
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
RCM 1 (Radarsat Constellation 1) 2019-033A 12.06.2019 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Radarsat Constellation 2, Radarsat Constellation 3
RCM 2 (Radarsat Constellation 2) 2019-033C 12.06.2019 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Radarsat Constellation 1, Radarsat Constellation 3
RCM 3 (Radarsat Constellation 3) 2019-033B 12.06.2019 Va SLC-4E Falcon-9 v1.2 (Block 5) with Radarsat Constellation 1, Radarsat Constellation 2
Further Radarsat missions:

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