​Imaging Modes

RADARSAT-2 is the most flexible, highest-capacity commercial SAR sensor, and provides customers concerned with natural resources applications with a range of SAR imagery options. Whether you need high-resolution imagery or are more concerned with covering large areas, MDA and RADARSAT-2 will deliver the imagery you need to manage your natural resources.

RADARSAT-2 has a number of different imaging modes that are ideally suited to the wide range of scenarios that customers responsible for managing natural resources require. From the large-area coverage required to manage a national-scale forest or EEZ for illegal fishing, to high-resolution modes that can detect selective logging, RADARSAT-2 is an incredibly flexible satellite, and there are a number of imaging modes that can be considered for natural resource applications.

Extra-Fine

Natural Resources Extra-Fine

NOMINAL RESOLUTION: 5 m
SWATH WIDTH: 125 km
POLARIZATION: Single

The Extra-Fine mode nominally provides similar swath width and incidence angle coverage as the Wide Fine mode, at even finer resolutions, but with higher data compression ratios and noise levels. The Extra-Fine mode spans a total incidence angle range from 22 to 49 degrees. This mode also offers additional optional processing parameter selections that allow for reduced-bandwidth single-look products, 4-look, and 28-look products.

The Extra-Fine mode is ideally suited to large scale land monitoring applications that require large area coverage while providing a higher resolution, such as for forest monitoring. Change detection algorithms can identify selective logging using the higher resolution. Extra-Fine is also used for ship detection when smaller vessels need to be identified, as may be the case when looking for illegal fishing activities.

ScanSAR

NaturalResources_ScanSAR

NOMINAL RESOLUTION: 50 m (ScanSAR Narrow) or 100 m (ScanSAR Wide)
SWATH WIDTH: 300 km ScanSAR Narrow (500 km ScanSAR Wide)
POLARIZATION: Single or Dual

The ScanSAR modes provides images of very wide swaths in a single pass of the satellite, and are intended for use in applications requiring large area coverage. The ScanSAR Narrow mode provides coverage of a ground swath approximately double the width of the Wide mode, with coverage over the incidence angle range from 20 to 39 degrees. The ScanSAR Wide mode provides coverage of a ground swath approximately triple the width of the Wide mode, with an incidence angle range of 20 to 49 degrees.

In the ScanSAR modes, two, three or four of the single physical beams covering adjoining swaths are used in combination. The beams are operated sequentially, each for a series of pulse transmissions and receptions, so that data are collected from a wider swath than is possible with a single beam. The beam switching rates are chosen to ensure that the blocks of imagery produced from successive sets of pulse returns from each beam provide unbroken along-track coverage. For the standard RADARSAT-2 ScanSAR modes, the radar beam switching has been chosen to provide two azimuth looks per beam for all points.

The ScanSAR modes are primarily used for applications that require large area coverage. MDA’s ScanSAR modes are the standard for global ice monitoring, and are critical for monitoring large areas of open ocean for detecting illegal fishing activities.

Wide 

NaturalResources_Wide

NOMINAL RESOLUTION: 30 m
SWATH WIDTH: 150 km
POLARIZATION: Single or Dual

The Wide Swath mode allows imaging of wider swaths than Standard Mode, but at the expense of slightly coarser spatial resolution. The Wide swath beams collectively span a total incidence angle range from 20 degrees to 45 degrees.

The Wide mode is heavily used for maritime monitoring applications and is ideal for ship detection in support of monitoring illegal fishing activities.

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 ​natural resources 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.