Alaska Satellite Facility - Distributed Active Archive Center


Artist rendering of RADARSAT-1

The Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) Remote Sensing satellite (RADARSAT-1), which stopped transmitting because of a technical anomaly in March 2013, was equipped with synthetic aperture radar (SAR), a powerful microwave instrument. It transmitted and received signals to capture high-quality images of the Earth night and day and in all weather conditions. RADARSAT-1’s SAR transmitted a microwave energy pulse (C-band at 5.3 GHz frequency) to Earth, and the SAR measured the amount of energy reflected back to the satellite from the Earth’s surface.

The RADARSAT-1 SAR instrument was able to shape and steer its radar beam using C-band. A wide variety of beam widths were available to capture swaths of 45 to 500 kilometers, with a range of 8 to 100 meters in resolution and incidence angles of 10 to 60 degrees.

Data Products

The RADARSAT-1 data archive via the ASF DAAC is now free and open. This is an unrestricted dataset, and users are free to copy, modify, publish, translate, adapt, distribute or otherwise use the RADARSAT-1 information in any medium, mode or format for any lawful purpose. Learn more about the Canada’s Open Government License.

Dataset Description:

  • SAR — synthetic aperture radar
  • 1995-2008
  • Worldwide coverage, with extensive coverage of Arctic Ocean sea ice
  • Datapool contains ASF standard beam odd frames, as well as the first and last frame of each imaged swath
  • Datapool contains all Fine Beam 1 frames
Data Format:
  • CEOS — Level 0 and Level 1 framed

Downloadable Products:

  • Level 0  (raw data)
  • Level 1  (amplitude image)
  • Left-looking
  • Antarctica mosaics — open access

Coverage Maps

RADARSAT-1 Level 1 Standard Beam Data Coverage
RADARSAT-1 Level 1 Fine Beam Data Coverage
RADARSAT-1 Level 1 ScanSAR Wide Beam Data Coverage

Radarsat-1 Technical Specs

Fine Mode Standard Mode ScanSAR Mode
Frequency/wavelength 5.3 GHz/C-band 5.6 cm
Polarization HH HH HH
Range Resolution 8 m 30 m 50-100 m
Swath Width 45 km 100 km 300-500 km
Off-Nadir Angle 37-47° 20-49° 20-49°

How to Cite Data

Cite data in publications such as journal papers, articles, presentations, posters, and websites. Please send copies of, or links to, published works citing data, imagery, or tools accessed through ASF to [email protected] with “New Publication” on subject line.

Format Example
Dataset: RADARSAT-1, CSA [year of data acquisition]. Retrieved from ASF DAAC [day month year of data access]. Dataset: RADARSAT-1, CSA 1999. Retrieved from ASF DAAC 7 December 2014.

How to Cite Imagery

Include credit with each image shown in publications such as journal papers, articles, presentations, posters, and websites. (NASA does not copyright imagery.)

Format Example
© CSA [year of data acquisition] © CSA 2002

RADARSAT-1 Datasets and DOIs

Sample ID Heading 1