ERDAS and MDA Geospatial Services Bring RADARSAT-2 to the Geospatial Community

Norcross, GA, USA — ERDAS announces collaboration with MDA Geospatial Services Inc. to develop pilot projects demonstrating real-world applications of RADARSAT-2 data using the IMAGINE Radar Mapping Suite. 

Radar research and development continues to evolve into real-world applications. It is now possible to map inter-scene changes at the wavelength or even sub-wavelength scale. Thus C-band radar, with a 6 cm wavelength, can potentially quantify changes at the cm level. Because radar imagery penetrates cloud cover, perennially cloud covered areas may be mapped using orthocorrected radar images.

MDA Geospatial Services is a leading provider of Earth observation data, information products and services and exclusive holder of distribution rights to Canada’s RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites.  The Canadian Space Agency partnered with MDA to develop RADARSAT-2, which is now managed and operated by MDA. 

Launched in 2007, RADARSAT-2 is the world’s most advanced commercial C-band SAR satellite that offers new imaging flexibility and a faster turn-around schedule for data acquisition and product delivery. Its powerful capabilities range from high-resolution imaging and fully polarimetric data, to heightened system responsiveness and an impressive on-time imaging capacity (28 minutes/orbit).

The IMAGINE Radar Mapping Suite is a bundle of specialized modules for processing radar data within the ERDAS IMAGINE environment. These modules include IMAGINE Radar Interpreter™, IMAGINE OrthoRadar™, IMAGINE SAR Interferometry™ and IMAGINE StereoSAR DEM™. IMAGINE Radar Interpreter provides fundamental tools to preprocess radar images or enhance them for visual interpretation, enabling speckle removal and radiometric calibration and terrain correction for radar imagery, and the ability to fuse radar and optical images. IMAGINE OrthoRadar performs precision georeferencing and orthorectification of SAR images, using SAR sensor models, satellite orbit models and digital elevation models (DEMs). IMAGINE SAR Interferometry includes Interferometric SAR (InSAR), which creates accurate, high-resolution DEMs from SAR image pairs, Coherence Change Detection (CCD), which produces georeferenced raster and vector change maps, and Differential Interferometric SAR (D-InSAR), which enables extremely precise mapping of surface displacement. IMAGINE StereoSAR DEM enables users to extract terrain height information from stereo pairs of RADARSAT data to generate accurate DEMs.

“To maximize the value of radar imagery for decision-makers, it is critical that the data suppliers and software developers work together. In that way, the software can be optimized to take advantage of the design strengths of a sophisticated sensor such as RADARSAT-2,” said Derrold Holcomb, Senior Radar Scientist, ERDAS.

William Jefferies, Chief Technical Officer, MDA Geospatial Services said, “Modern commercial SAR systems like RADARSAT-2  have tremendous capabilities that are increasingly being recognized by the user community, as advanced techniques like interferometry and polarimetry are routinely applied to a variety of applications. Software tools such as ERDAS IMAGINE allow users to exploit those capabilities and, more importantly, focus on their applications and not on the details of radar processing.”

The new agreement is effective immediately and includes the creation of dedicated training material for ERDAS users. In addition, there will be a joint evaluation of existing tools and potentials with regard to interferometric data sets.

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For more information about ERDAS or its products and services, please call +1 770 776 3400, toll free +1 877 GO ERDAS, or visit

ERDAS – The Earth to Business Company – helps organizations harness the information of the changing earth for greater advantage. ERDAS creates geospatial business systems that transform our earth’s data into business information, enabling individuals, businesses and public agencies to quickly access, manage, process and share that information from anywhere. Using secure geospatial information, ERDAS solutions improve employee, customer and partner visibility to information, enabling them to respond faster and collaborate better. It also means better decision-making, increased productivity and new revenue streams. Welcome to ERDAS: a trusted name, with a new energy, and a new vision. Earth to business starts here. ERDAS is a part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden. For more information about ERDAS or its products and services, please call +1 770 776 3400, toll free +1 866 534 2286, or visit