You are using an outdated browser that does not fully support the intranda viewer.
As a result, some pages may not be displayed correctly.

We recommend you use one of the following browsers:

Full text

Proceedings of the Symposium on Global and Environmental Monitoring

Susan M. Till
Canada Centre for Remote Sensing
2464 Sheffield Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0Y7
ISPRS Commission VII Symposium
Victoria, Canada, September 1990
The sensor research and development program at the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS) covers
the development and evaluation of new systems and new techniques for remotely sensing the earth's
resources and environment. The airborne sensor developments nave been accompanied by the parallel
development of data processing and analysis systems, by advances in calibration and correction
procedures for signature measurements, and by extensive data acquisition for remote sensing
application development. An overview of the sensor developments will be presented, including the
high performance CCRS synthetic aperture radar, with the implementation of polarimetrie and
interferometric SAR modes, and the high resolution electro-optical spectral imagers including the
new wide angle system WHiRL.
KEY WORDS: Synthetic aperture radar, multispectral imager, remote sensing, airborne.
Recent sensor developments at the Canada
Centre for Remote Sensing are leading to
advances in signature measurements, both in
the microwave area and in the visible and
infrared regions.
In the area of microwave signature
measurement, the CCRS Convair-580 provides an
airborne radar research facility that is used
to establish synthetic aperture radar
technology for remote sensing, to conduct
research in imaging radar, and to develop new
remote sensing applications and new sensor
properties for remote sensing. It has flown
extensively for research projects across
Canada as part of the Radar Data Development
Program (RDDP), to prepare for the new range
of radar satellites including Radarsat and
ERS-1. It has, as well, participated in major
international missions in Canada and Europe,
such as LIMEX/LEWEX (1987), BEPERS (1988),
SISEX (1989), and LIMEX (1989).
In the electro-optical area, continuing sensor
developments are underway in the
implementation and use of high resolution
digital imagers for signature measurements in
the visible and infra red regions. These have
included the development and test flights of
the Wide-angle High Resolution Line-imager,
WHiRL, with high radiometric and spatial
resolution across a 70 degree field-of-view,
and the development, now in the integration
stage, of an airborne multi-spectral short
wave infra red imager for research studies of
infra red signatures. Other activities include
the development of an automated laboratory
calibration facility for radiometric,
geometric and spectral calibration of array
imagers, and advances in algorithms and
methodology for atmospheric and geometric
corrections to allow for enhanced thematic and
mapping applications.
The CCRS airborne synthetic aperture radar
(SAR) has acquired a unique and extensive set
of radar data from oceans, ice and land, and
these have led to improved understanding of
microwave-target interactions. The SAR, which
is the primary sensor in the Convair-580, is
an extremely versatile system for remote
sensing research, with many options for flight
and radar configurations and image products.
The CCRS C-/X-Band SAR system, which was
developed under contract to CCRS by MacDonald,
Dettwiler and Associates as prime contractor,
has been designed to operate in a large number
of well-defined discrete states. Parameters
are accurately resettable and automatically
logged during operation of the radar, while a
small number of key radar system parameters
such as range delay are continuously variable.
The system has proved not only a versatile
state-of-the-art research facility but a
reliable and stable system that can be well
The C-Band portion of the radar was
commissioned in the CCRS Convair-580 aircraft
in 1987, and the X-Band portion was installed
in January 1988. Since then, the two radars
have flown more than 200 research missions for
a range of remote sensing disciplines and for
many research groups and user agencies in the
remote sensing community. These missions have
ranged from multi-temporal studies of
agricultural targets, during the growing
season and under different environmental
conditions, to studies of ice and oceans with
dedicated survey vessels and participants from
international groups, to forestry signature
investigations coordinated with ground data
measurements and multi-sensor acquisition.
These missions have been complemented by
continuing development and evaluation of the
system, its calibration, and the processing
Results from the Convair-580 research missions
were presented at the first RDDP Workshop held
in January 1990, and a comprehensive list of
publications resulting from the C-/X-Band SAR
developments and the RDDP are provided in the
Workshop Report (1990). Some specific
developments include improved understanding of
ice and ocean interaction (for example, refer
to: Special Issue on Labrador Ice Margin
Experiment LIMEX and the Labrador Extreme
Waves Experiment (LEWEX), 1989; and Vachon and
Bhogal, 1990), advances in agricultural
signature measurements (for example, Brisco et