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Brampton, Canada

Moon W.M.,University of Manitoba | Moon W.M.,Seoul National University | Staples G.,MDA Inc | Kim D.-J.,Seoul National University | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of the IEEE | Year: 2010

RADARSAT-2 is a follow-up to RADARSAT-1 and is an all weather Earth observation satellite with fully polarimetric imaging capability. The synthetic aperture radars (SARs) onboard both RADARSATs are C-band imaging radars and they are well suited for Earth's ecosystem monitoring and maritime surveillance, because of the near polar orbit and their unique all weather imaging capability, independent of solar illumination. In this paper, RADARSAT-2 is first introduced and several applications of various modes of SAR data to coastal zone problems are discussed, including the coastal surface wind, waterline mapping, and polarimetric SAR data inversion for topographic and geological parameters of tidal flats. Coastal zones, the important interface between the land and the ocean, where a large proportion of the world's population inhabits, continuously change and evolve. The dynamic interaction of coastal winds, coupled with the coastal waves and currents, continuously erode rocks and land mass, and move and deposit various sediments on a continuous basis, along with the tides. Estimation of wind speeds and directions in coastal areas are empirically formulated and can further be improved with the available fully polarimetric data from RADARSAT-2. The water line mapping critically depends on the SAR frequency, or the wavelength of the SAR data used, and RADARSAT-2 SAR data using C-band should map waterlines more accurately than the longer wavelength L-or P-band SAR systems. The roughness parameters and partial information on the tidal flat compositions can be obtained from fully polarimetric SAR data. Some results obtained from NASA AIRSAR(2000) L-band data and RADARSAT-2(2008) C-band data do not fully agree with field measurements and further investigation is in progress. The inversion of polarimetric SAR data is a very complex problem and critically depends on the SAR signal frequency and model functions. RADARSAT-2 is an imaging radar, which is very flexible and powerful tool for potential coastal zone applications. Key RADARSAT-2 features and potential coastal zone application capabilities are also briefly reviewed. © 2006 IEEE. Source

Antifaev J.,MDA Inc
ACRS 2015 - 36th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing: Fostering Resilient Growth in Asia, Proceedings | Year: 2015

Maintaining situational awareness is a key challenge for disaster management officials during typhoon-induced floods. As flooding begins, quickly developing a picture of which areas are affected is key. However, optical satellites are of limited value during this stage since cloud still obscures the area. Satellite RADAR is ideal for this application, since RADAR images can be taken through cloud without any negative effects. Using RADAR-equipped satellites such as RADARSAT-2, broad-area imagery can be acquired within hours of the onset of floods, and used to generate flood maps that enable officials to understand which population centres, infrastructure, and transportation routes are affected. This information can enable greatly improved effectiveness for disaster response efforts. Key considerations for the use of satellite RADAR in flood management include satellite acquisition planning, imaging beam mode selection, flood map creation using change detection algorithms, and maintaining a "dry season baseline" for comparison to images during floods that enables automated flood map generation. Advances in satellite RADAR such as the new Extra Fine beam mode on RADARSAT-2 now enable larger areas to be covered at higher resolution, making it possible to support more detailed disaster response planning over very large areas. Source

Irwin III R.P.,Planetary Science Institute | Irwin III R.P.,NASA | Craddock R.A.,Smithsonian Institution | Howard A.D.,University of Virginia | Flemming H.L.,MDA Inc
Journal of Geophysical Research E: Planets | Year: 2011

Some morphometric differences between terrestrial and Martian valley networks may reflect the precursor topography on Mars, particularly impact basins or tectonic slopes. To evaluate these possible influences, we mapped highland watersheds in nine study areas that sample a range of geographic and topographic settings. We collected data including latitude, longitude, watershed length, divide and terminal elevations, watershed relief and slope, slope orientation, and qualitative descriptors including whether a drainage basin was open or closed. The longest valley networks and most overflowed basins occur on preexisting intercrater slopes of 0.1-1°, particularly on north facing slopes associated with the crustal dichotomy. The control of watershed length by earlier Noachian topographic features, which the relict networks did not significantly modify, suggests that the Early to Middle Noachian geomorphic environment was nominally much drier than the later Noachian to Hesperian transition. The distribution of fluvial valleys and likely orographic effects created by the crustal dichotomy suggest that evaporation from the northern lowlands was an important source of atmospheric humidity over short time scales. Much of the highland plateau consists of smaller enclosed watersheds, which (along with cooler temperatures) detained surface water at high elevations, lengthening or impeding the global water cycle. Ponding and evaporation may have partly offset a continentality effect of the highland landmass. Prolonged modification of the intercrater geomorphic surface prior to incision of valley networks included substantial weathering, reduction of relief, and gravity-driven sediment transport, indicating a long-term role for surface water in a transport-limited, arid to hyperarid Noachian paleoclimate. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union. Source

Staples G.,MDA Inc
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Arctic and Extreme Environments Conference and Exhibition, AEE 2013 | Year: 2013

Since the launch of RADARSAT-1 in 1995 and RADARSAT-2 2007, these SAR sensors have played a pivotal role as a key source of information for the production of ice charts and the provision of near-real time data to support shipping. The RADARSAT-2, wide-swathScanSAR modes coupled with dual polarized imaging capability are ideally suited for ice mapping applications. The space segment is augmented with a ground segment that has been designed to meet the needs of rapid data processing and delivery of ice information. The wide swath-width combined with high-latitude areas-of-interest provides multiple imaging opportunities per day. Ice-type discrimination, forexample first-year versus multi-year ice, canbe achieved by using HH polarized data, and HV polarized data can be effectively used for ice-water discrimination. To meet the needs of end-users who require ice products in near-real time, MDA hasdeveloped automated ice-water discrimination algorithms and techniques to estimate ice pressure. RADARSAT-2 data are routinely used to support ice-breaking operations, commercial shipping, seismic exploration, and offshore oil drilling. A key requirement to support these activities is to provide the data in an interpretable and interoperable format that best suits end-user needs. Copyright 2013, Society of Petroleum Engineers. Source

McCoubrey R.,MDA Inc
62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, IAC 2011 | Year: 2011

This paper describes the recent development and field-testing of a science-class exploration rover prototype. The integrated prototype is a fusion of two programs funded by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA); a planetary-representative science-class mobility platform (CBR) and an advanced autonomous guidance, navigation and control system (AIRGNC). The integration of these two projects culminated in a fully autonomous analogue field deployment to test the combined system in Mars-like conditions. The Canadian Breadboard Rover (CBR) is a six wheeled planetary rover prototype capable of supporting a range of payload elements on representative terrain in a variety of science-class Analogue Moon and Mars mission scenarios. The 21 degree-of-freedom vehicle design is based on a ruggedized version of the Phase B1 ExoMars rover breadboard design previously developed by MDA for the European Space Agency. Testing on Mars-like terrain at the University of Toronto Mars Dome in Toronto, Canada demonstrated strong flight-representative vehicle performance, from traverse speeds, slope capability and obstacle negotiation, to lander stowability and deployment capability. The Autonomous, Intelligent, and Robust Guidance, Navigation, and Control for Planetary Rovers (AIRGNC) system has features that include: optimal use of features from stereo images as visual landmarks, use of visual motion estimation (VME) as feedback to close the path tracking loop, and use of a long-range/wide-field-of-view active 3D sensor to extract fixed landmarks for enabling VME observability, thereby improving accuracy. Field testing in Mars-like terrains in the Mojave Desert, under highly variable lighting conditions, demonstrated strong average localization accuracy. Moreover, Enhanced IMU-corrected odometry proved reliable and showed good accuracy in all test locations, including loose sand dunes, during a total traverse distance of 7km, under both fully autonomous and tele-operated control. The integrated CBR and AIRGNC systems were recently tested together under a Planetary Sample Return scenario near SP Crater in Arizona, USA. The integrated system was operated remotely from the CSA in Montreal, Canada using both tele-operation and autonomous control under the direction of a remote science team led by the University of Western Ontario. CBR ensured the required mobility over the rugged terrain while AIRGNC provided situational awareness, 3D modeling for target selection and science image acquisition. Continued and future work includes an interface upgrade for compatibility with future Canadian developments and exciting new CSA-funded development programs for Mars and Moon analogue rover systems to demonstrate end-to-end mission operations including science, in-situ resource prospecting and crewed exploration. Source

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