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USGIF Announces Commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar Satellite Working Group; Schedules Training Event at U.S. Pacific Command

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) and its members have formed a Commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar Satellite Working Group (CSARS WG) with the aim to explain the capabilities and advantages of space-based SAR as well as to provide hands-on learning and training for users.


The CSARS Working Group comprises USGIF Members MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), the commercial provider of RADARSAT-1 data and operator of RADARSAT-2; Infoterra GmbH, the German part of Astrium GEO-Information Services and commercial operator of TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X; and e-GEOS S.p.A., the commercial provider of COSMO-SkyMed constellation data.


This is the same group of companies awarded the 2011 Laureate Award by Aviation Week, recognizing pioneering work to “make radar imagery an essential element of geospatial information packages for government, defense and enterprise applications.”


These USGIF Members came to the Foundation with the idea for a working group to further promote the tradecraft and educate the GEOINT Community on the wide range of capabilities SAR provides. Commercial SAR plays significant roles in environmental monitoring, earth-resource mapping, and military applications that require broad-area imaging at high resolutions independent of weather and lighting conditions. It has been used for decades to support these applications.

The USGIF CSARS Working Group, in cooperation with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), will in June host its first training session, which will take place at U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM). The training aligns with the group’s mission of promoting the value and utilization of commercial space-based SAR data products and service through education and other activities. The PACOM event will provide an introduction to SAR, discussion on unique capabilities and utilities, and demonstrate applications with hands-on learning and interpretation of real-life scenarios.


Future initiatives from the group will include additional training programs and workshops as well as position papers, educational materials, and other tradecraft efforts as it promotes the interoperability and integration of commercial space-based SAR data products and services as a component of geospatial intelligence operational capabilities. Later this year, these charter organizations will welcome other satellite SAR organizations to join the working group and offer additional perspectives and capabilities.