Recently the Canadian Space Agency gave Members of Parliament a presentation on the new Macdonald, Dettwiler and Associates RADARSAT-2 satellite monitoring capabilities. The Canadian Space Agency accesses this satellite to provide a number of monitoring applications.
During the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, the Space Agency provided security monitoring of the Pacific Coastal waters. During that time, two foreign fishing trawlers, fishing within Canada’s 200 mile zone limit, were spotted and identified by name and reported to authorities. Since then, we have had no encroachment within Canadian waters on the west coast. The agency has the capability to track every ship on every ocean in the world. They can identify any ship that illegally dumps or leaks oil in the ocean anywhere on the planet. This monitoring of earth’s waters provides security as well as help in identifying any environmental protection violations. The agency can determine ocean temperatures, concentrations of marine plankton, ocean current patterns, and much more.
The Space Agency also monitors the weather, with the ability to map hurricane courses. It also monitors lightning strikes, which helps determine forest fire risks. The monitoring is so exact that land slumps can be detected as little as three quarters of an inch in predicting earth slides. The Space Agency noticed two days before the mine disaster in Chile that the earth over the mine site slumped one inch. This type of data will improve safety as well as monitor unstable areas globally.
Monitoring the quantity and quality of ground water is so exact that it can determine the yield a grain farmer will have per acre before the crop is harvested as well as the height of the crop.
RADARSAT-2 has the most advanced technology capabilities ever developed and it is proudly Canadian. Access to this technology has been provided to some international communities, at a charge, helping to pay for its future technological development.
The RADARSAT-2 will help Canadians provide national security, environmental protection, and economic prosperity through its leading technologies. Canadians have partnered in the development of these technologies and it is proving to be a wise investment.
Colin Mayes, MP