Scientists and managers providing environmental
services for the government will gather at a symposium on satellite
remote sensing using synthetic aperture radar, instruments that
produce pictures of the Earth’s land and oceans and provide vital
environmental data. NOAA and
the Canadian Space Agency
announced today. The symposium will be held at the Canadian Embassy
in Washington, D.C., on March 28-29.

Scientists and managers in the government
and their partners in industry and academia will be participating
in this symposium. Participants will assess progress in developing
practical products and services using data from synthetic
aperture radar
(SAR) instruments and will preview products
and services expected in the future. Participants will also discuss
how these data can be obtained by U.S. government agencies from
commercial and government sources.

"I am gratified by the scientific
and operational use already being made of RADARSAT-1
data in over 50 countries and, I anticipate significant benefits
from further exploitation of SAR data and services," said
Rolf Mamen, Canadian Space Agency’s director general of space
operations and symposium co-chair.

Synthetic aperture radar, currently flown
on the Canadian Space Agency’s RADARSAT-1 and the European
Space Agency
‘s ERS-2,
can "see through" clouds and can be used day or night.
SAR instruments produce high resolution images of the Earth’s
lands and oceans, providing data particularly vital in forecasting
and analyzing sea ice. SAR data have also demonstrated promise
in monitoring environmental disasters such as floods, earthquakes,
oil spills and volcanic eruptions. U.S. government agencies,
including NOAA, NASA, and
NASA-approved researchers, have access to all archived RADARSAT-1
data and direct approximately 15 percent of the satellite’s observing

"SAR instruments are well-suited to
a wide variety of practical applications," said Helen Wood,
director of NOAA’s
Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution
U.S. co-chair of the symposium. "For over 10 years, SAR
data have been used in U.S. government operations and research.
Current SAR missions such as RADARSAT-1 and ERS-2, followed by
new SAR missions from Canada, Europe and Japan, in the next few
years, should help to make this type of data available to support
the daily missions of many U.S. government agencies for the foreseeable

SAR applications include oceanography,
meteorology, hydrology, forestry, geology, glaciology, agriculture
and archeology.

For more information on the symposium,

For questions, please contact Karen Friedman:
or call (301)763-8349.