Today the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) issued through the tender service MERX a request for two separate firms to carry out a study on the RADARSAT Next Generation Options Study. The primary objective of the study work is to perform an in-depth evaluation of the Department of Defence (DND) requirements for surveillance radars and identify implementation options in a system that would enter into operation after the initial deployment of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission. The RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) is a $497 million program which will tentatively launch three Earth-observation satellites between 2014 and 2015 and is follow-on to the successful Radarsat-1 and Radarsat-2 programs.
The study has four objectives:
1. Review of DND surveillance requirements
2. Identification of options for system implementation to meet these requirements
3. Assess the benefits for the Other Government Departments
4. Identification of priority technologies for next generation Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems.
The RCM project passed its preliminary System Requirement Review in November 2006 (Phase A), and Preliminary Design Review (Phase B) in February 2010. In March MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) was awarded an $11.8 million Phase C contract. The Federal Budget in 2010 confirmed the funding for the remaining phases of the project. The tentative dates for the launch of the satellites are:
Launch Satellite 1 – August 2014
Launch Satellite 2 – March 2015
Launch Satellite 3 – June 2015
RCM has been designed to meet the Government’s requirements, which were defined through CSA-lead consultations with key users of SAR data, for maritime applications, ecosystem monitoring and disaster management.