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MDA’s RadarSat 2 Data Now Available on DigitalGlobe’s GBDX Platform

By | June 7, 2017
      RadarSat 2 mosaic of Antarctica. Photo: MDA.

      RadarSat 2 mosaic of Antarctica. Photo: MDA.

      DigitalGlobe announced an agreement with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) to make RadarSat 2 data available on DigitalGlobe’s Geospatial Big Data platform, GBDX, unlocking new applications made possible by the combination of optical and radar satellite data. MDA’s RadarSat 2 satellite collects Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data that gives users the ability to see the Earth both day and night, in all weather conditions. With SAR content on GBDX, users will have ready access to new content and tools in the cloud that cost-effectively unlock object and change detection use cases.

      According to DigitalGlobe, the first tool it integrated into GBDX is based on MDA’s radar-based change detection capability, which provides a reliable means to detect changes caused by human or natural activities. RadarSat 2’s broad-area imaging capabilities and ability to see through rain and clouds make it an apt choice for monitoring change over large areas at 5 meter resolution levels or better. Change detection can be applied to a time-lapse image stack, allowing users to determine when the change occurred.

      For example, according to DigitalGlobe, RadarSat 2 data could be combined with its optical imagery to monitor illegal logging on a country-wide scale. Users could tap into GBDX to identify all RadarSat 2 images for the areas of interest over a given period of time, run automated change detection to identify candidate areas for illicit activity, and then retrieve high-resolution optical imagery of those areas for closer inspection.

      As applied to defense and intelligence needs, new military structures and activities could be identified. In this case, GBDX would compare historical RadarSat 2 imagery with new imagery and automatically detect new man-made structures, which appear as bright spots. Customers could then further assess the structures and activities using high-resolution optical imagery.

      “Adding SAR data to the GBDX platform augments our existing 100-petabyte optical imagery library, opening up new use cases our customers have long desired, including the ability to image regardless of clouds or weather on a regular basis,” said Shay Har-Noy, vice president and general manager of DigitalGlobe’s platform business unit.