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Remote sensing can be defined as the study of something without making actual contact with the object of study.

More precisely, it can be defined as: "Remote sensing is the science (and to some extent, art) of acquiring information about the Earth's surface without actually being in contact with it. This is done by sensing and recording reflected or emitted energy and processing, analyzing, and applying that information."

Cost effective tool for performing various research on local and regional scales. Not a new concept and has been used extensively in global research over the past several decades.

Controllable source of illumination sees through cloud and rain, and at night Images can be high resolution (3 - 10 m)

Different features are portrayed or discriminated compared to visible sensors

Some surface features can be seen better in radar images: ice, ocean waves soil moisture, vegetation mass man-made objects, e.g. buildings geological structures

Radar remote sensing uses the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, from a frequency of 0.3 GHz to 300 GHz, or in wavelength terms, from 1 m to 1 mm. The across-track dimension is referred to as range. Near range edge is closest to nadir (the points directly below the radar) and far range edge is farthest from the radar. The along-track dimension is referred to as azimuth. In a radar system, resolution is defined for both the range and azimuth directions. Digital signal processing is used to focus the image and obtain a higher resolution than achieved by conventional radar.

The RADARSAT constellation is a pair of Canadian Remote Sensing satellites. The constellation consists of: - RADARSAT-1, launched 1995 - RADARSAT-2, launched 2007 RADARSAT can provide complete global coverage with the flexibility to support specific requirements. The satellite's ground track is repeated every 24 days. RADARSAT can provide daily coverage of the Arctic, view any part of Canada within three days, and achieve complete coverage at equatorial latitudes every six days using a 500 kilometre wide swath.

Measuring motion of the Earth's surface. Studying the movements and changing size of glaciers and ice floes. Developing highly detailed and accurate elevation maps. Monitoring floods. Assessing terrain for the likelihood of finding oil or other natural resources. Early recognition and monitoring of oil spills.

Assessing the health of crops and forests.

Planning urban development and likely effects.

The ice Mapping system generates the bulk of the data imaging the bedrock through more than four kilometres of ice and building a picture of internal reflecting layers in the ice sheet at a resolution of a couple of metres. Initial processing of the radar shows a wide variety of landscapes beneath the ice, from smoothly rolling plains in the deep basins, to large mountain ranges cut by deep valleys, and many indications of wet sub glacial conditions and new lakes beneath the ice. Mapping out the internal layers structure within the ice will also assist in understanding present and past ice flow, and in searching for good sites for deep ice core drilling.

Interests in Sea Ice ship routing, navigation safety marine engineering (e.g. ship design, bridges, oil platforms) important component of aquatic ecosystem effects on regional and global climate possible indicator of climate change

Ice information requirements

ice edge location ice concentration ice type (thickness) age (first, second, multi-year) floe size distribution ice velocity hemispheric ice volume

pressure ridges

brash ice

crack" or "lead

first year floes

pancake ice

first year floe

Nilas (thin elastic crust of ice )

tears (open water cracks)


imaging radar is expected to become the prime instrument for mapping the distribution and motion of sea ice on a periodic basis. observational independence from weather, fog, and clouds and the fact that it provides its own illumination, are decisive advantages that imaging radar has in the remote sensing of sea ice.



Radar is used planetary and galaxy observations. Blue Shift and Red Shift. Also includes mapping of planets such as Venus to visualize beneath its opaque clouds.

Also the study of constellation patterns, path of comet and asteroids.




various Astronomical observations carried by Radar are based on DOPPLER EFFECT phenomenon.


Redshift happens when light seen coming from an object, that is moving away, is proportionally increased in wavelength. Shifts the colour to the red end of the spectrum. Redshift is seen due to the expansion of the universe, and sufficiently distant light sources (generally more than a few million light years away) show redshift corresponding to the rate of increase of their distance from Earth


This shifts the colour from the red end of the spectrum to the blue end. Occurs when photons outside the visible spectrum (e.g. x-rays and radio waves) are shifted toward shorter wavelengths. Blue shift is most commonly caused by relative motion toward the observer, described by the Doppler effect. Nearby stars such as Barnar Star are moving toward us, resulting in a very small blue shift.