Jan 19, 2012

Satellite-based radar imagery in Russia: new possibilities in 2012

Estimated Article Reading Time: 3 min.

In the past 2011 possibilities to provide new products to the Russian users were extended due to radar images acquired from RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2 satellites.

Now it is possible to order RADARSAT-2 SAR images in detailed spotlight mode SPOTLIGHT A at the spatial resolution of 1 meter. The advantage of the RADARSAT-2 image with meter resolution is the big scene size. Its area covers 144 sq.km (18×18 km), which exceeds the size of scenes, received from other satellites with similar imaging modes (50-100 sq.km). This makes RADARSAT-2 products most affordable in terms of unit cost.

In 2011, 5 new imaging modes of RADARSAT-2 have been implemented in the so-called “extended” modes with scene sizes increased 2-3 times at the same nominal spatial resolution. Now the new products, received in wider swath modes, are available to the users after operational tasking and reception to UniScan stations in Russia. Thanks to reception and processing of radar data the price in Russia for RADARSAT-2 products is 20% and for RADARSAT-1 products is 50% less than the official prices claimed by foreign companies-operators, offering service applying traditional schemes of the end product delivery from abroad.

The acreage of images, acquired in Wide UltraFine (UFW) mode has been extended from 400 sq.km (20 × 20 km) to 2500 sq. km (50 × 50 km) keeping the nominal spatial resolution of 3 m. In Wide Fine (FW) imaging mode the scene size has been expanded from 2500 sq.km (50 × 50 km) up to 25 000 sq. km (170 × 150 km) at the resolution of 8-10 m. New products in Wide Fine modes are applied for maritime situation, forests and emergency and disaster sites control (flash and seasonal floods). ScanEx Research & Development Center used images, acquired in FW mode to take images of the Vilkitsky Strait in the Arctic. The images were used to detect and monitor icebergs drifting in joint project with FSUE “Atomflot”. Thanks to the application of space images in new mode detailed images of the icebergs at 10 m resolution (30-50 m earlier) have been received for the entire water area of the Vilkitsky Strait.

In 2012 ScanEx Center started to provide a new product – radar images of water area with a vector map of navigation situation, created using signals of the AIS system transmitters. The new products enables to detect ship marks on SAR images and to recognize the so-called “silent” vessels, not equipped with AIS transmitters. Main applications for this product is the maritime control and detection of illegal activities, as well as search for ships in distress.

In 2011 for the first time in the history of our country the radar imagery at the resolution of 10–100 m of all seas around Russia and of the Lake Baikal was conducted. In all, in 2011 ScanEx RDC supplied over 2000 radar images to its customers via ScanNet network technology of multi-satellite operational data reception within the frames of providing different services of maritime control, floods and emergency sites monitoring. In near real-time mode the radar images became available to the customer already in 1-2- hours after taking.

In 2011 contracts in behalf of the FSUE “Atomflot” on radar imaging of shipping routes through the Northern Sea Route were successfully fulfilled. Spring floods monitoring on Russian rivers and zones of search for ships in distress was conducted in behalf of the RF National Center for Crisis Management. Activities to monitor environmental situation in water areas were carried out in the interests of oil production companies, “Gazflot”, enterprises and organizations of the Ministry of Transport of Russian Federation.

In 2012 we started to accept orders to take images of large river basins for early detection of the intensive ice hummocking areas, which might result in ice jams in spring ice flow and flooding.

Imaging orders for RADARSAT-1, RADARSAT-2, ENVISAT, and other RS satellites are accepted at the following e-mail: sales@scanex.ru or by phone: +7(495)739-73-85. Additional discounts are applicable to monitoring and data interferometric processing.

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