​Imaging Modes

RADARSAT-2 is the most flexible, highest-capacity commercial SAR sensor, and provides customers in the ​mining sector with a range of SAR imagery options for every application.

Multi-Look Fine

Multi-Look FineNOMINAL RESOLUTION: 8 m
​SWATH WIDTH: 50 km (90 km Wide Multi-Look Fine)
POLARIZATION: Single

The Multi-Look Fine Resolution Beam mode covers the same swaths as the Fine Resolution Beam mode. Products with multiple looks in range and azimuth are generated at approximately the same spatial resolution as Fine Resolution Beam mode products, but with multiple looks and therefore improved radiometric resolution. Single look products are generated at finer spatial resolutions than Fine Resolution Beam mode products. In order to obtain the multiple looks without a reduction in swath width, this beam mode operates with higher data acquisition rates and noise levels than Fine Resolution Beam mode. Like in the Fine mode, the incidence angle range is from 30 to 50 degrees, and additional near and/or far range swath positioning choices are available to provide additional overlap.

The Multi-Look Fine imaging mode is also available in a Wide Multi-Look Fine variant that extends the scene size to 90 km x 50 km. The additional coverage preserves the same spatial and radiometric resolution, but at the expense of higher data compression ratios (which leads to higher signal-dependent noise levels).

This imagery is captured with a nominal ground resolution of 8 metres and provides an excellent tradeoff between wide area coverage and the resolution cell necessary to discriminate points with different movement characteristics. It provides a spatial robustness that is necessary for the monitoring of soda ash and potash mines, and it is particularly useful for monitoring large areas where dewatering may lead to large scale spatial changes due to aquifer depletion and recharge.

Ultra-Fine

Ultra-FineNOMINAL RESOLUTION: 3 m
SWATH WIDTH: 20 km
POLARIZATION: Single

The Ultra-Fine Resolution Beam mode is intended for applications which require very high spatial resolution. The Ultra-Fine mode covers any area within the incidence angle range from 20 to 50 degrees.

The Ultra-Fine imaging mode is also available in a Wide variant that provides the same spatial resolution as the Ultra-Fine mode as well as wider coverage, but at the expense of higher data compression ratios (which leads to higher signal-dependent noise levels).

This imagery is provided with a nominal ground resolution of 3 metres. It provides accurate discrimination between points in a mine, and has been demonstrated to provide 2 millimeters accuracy for measurements in Arctic mines. The Ultra-fine beam mode is used to monitor open pit and aggressive sublevel caving operations, as well as tailings support facilities.

Spotlight

SpotlightNOMINAL RESOLUTION: 1 m
SWATH WIDTH: 18 km
POLARIZATION: Single

The Spotlight Beam mode is intended for applications which require the best spatial resolution available from RADARSAT-2. In this imaging mode, the beam is steered electronically in order to dwell on the area of interest over longer aperture times, which allows products to be processed to finer azimuth resolution than in other modes. Unlike in other modes, Spotlight images are of fixed size in the along track direction. The Spotlight mode covers any area within the incidence angle range from 20 to 50 degrees.

As the highest resolution mode on RADARSAT-2, Spotlight is used for any application that requires the best resolving power. Spotlight imagery has a nominal resolution of 3 metres in the range direction and finer than 1 metre in the azimuth direction. In mining, this beam mode is useful for small targeted operations that may require higher levels of noise suppression, and is used primarily with open pit mines that have active slope faces.

The imaging modes identified in this section are a representative sample of the 20 imaging modes available on RADARSAT-2, and have been highlighted for their applicability to ​​mining applications. A complete listing of all the RADARSAT-2 beam modes and their specifications, are available in the Satellites section of this site.

Not sure these modes give you what you need? Speak with one of our Customer Service representatives, and we'll show you how MDA and RADARSAT-2 can address your geospatial requirements.