THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
CEOS EO HANDBOOK – INSTRUMENT SUMMARY - SAR (RCM) -
Full Name Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) C band
aka RCM
Status Being developed
Instrument Agencies CSA, NRCAN, DND, DFO, AAFC, EnvCan, PSC Maturity High Heritage - Operational
Instrument Type Imaging microwave radars Geometry Side-looking
Instrument Technology Imaging radar (SAR) Sampling Imaging
Data Access Constrained Access Data Format Image Products in a format that uses GeoTIFF for imagery and XML for metadata, or NITF for imagery and metadata.
Measurements and Applications All-weather, C-band data to support ecosystem monitoring, maritime surveillance and disaster management.
Resolution Summary Low Resolution 100 m and Low Noise: 100 x 100 m (8 looks); Medium Resolution 50 m: 50 x 50 m (4 looks); Medium Resolution 30 m: 30 x 30 m (4 looks); Medium Resolution 16 m: 16 x 16 m (4 looks); High-Resolution 5 m: 5 x 5 m (1 look); Very High Resolution 3 m: 3 x 3 m @35deg (1 look); Spotlight: 1 x 3 m @35deg (1 look); Quad-Pol: 9 x 9 m (1 look).
[Best Resolution: 1m]
Swath Summary Low Resolution 100 m: 500 km; Medium Resolution 50 m: 350 km; Low Noise: 350 km; Ship Detection: 350 km; Medium Resolution 30 m: 125 km; Medium Resolution 16 m: 30 km; High-Resolution 5 m: 30 km; Very High Resolution 3 m: 20 km; Spotlight: 20 km [5 km along-track]; Quad-Pol: 20 km.
[Max Swath: 500 km]
Accuracy Summary Absolute Radiometric Accuracy: +/- 1.0 dB
Waveband Summary Microwave: C band 5.405 GHz: HH, VV, HV, VH polarization - includes Quad polarization imaging mode and compact polarimetry.
MW (~1.0 cm - ~100 cm)
C-Band (8 - 4 GHz)
Instrument Measurements
CategoryParameterAccuracy
Albedo and reflectanceEarth surface albedo 
Atmospheric WindsOil spill cover 
Ice sheet topographySea-ice sheet topography 
Landscape topographyLand surface topography 
Multi-purpose imagery (land)Glacier topography 
Fire area 
Land surface imagery 
Surface Coherent Change Detection 
Multi-purpose imagery (ocean)Ocean imagery and water leaving radiance 
Ocean surface windsWind speed over sea surface (horizontal) 
Ocean topography/currentsOcean surface currents (vector) 
Bathymetry 
Ocean dynamic topography 
Ocean wave height and spectrumSignificant wave height 
Sea ice cover, edge and thicknessSea-ice cover 
Sea-ice type 
Glacier cover 
Glacier motion 
Sea-ice thickness 
Snow cover, edge and depthSnow cover 
Snow water equivalent 
Surface temperature (land)Permafrost 
VegetationVegetation type 
Land cover 
Soil type 
Instrument Missions
RCM-1 - RADARSAT CONSTELLATION-1 (2018 - 2025)
RCM-2 - RADARSAT CONSTELLATION-2 (2018 - 2025)
RCM-3 - RADARSAT CONSTELLATION-3 (2018 - 2025)
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