A Soyuz 2.1b-FG launch vehicle with Fregat upper stage has launched with the RADARSAT-2 satellite – Canada’s next-generation commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite. Launch was successful at 13:17 GMT from Baikonur cosmodrome.
NASASpaceflight.com covered the launch as a live event, with background, live updates, images and a free launch video, available on the links below (read more).
L2 Resources: All the Soyuz Launch Vehicle Manuals and Payload Planner’s Guides, plus more.
**FREE Soyuz-FG/RADARSAT-2 Launch Video** – Free to all forum members (registration is free – we do not use your e-mail for spam, only to send you your forum password – which is automated.
RADARSAT-2 incorporates technical advancements that include 3-meter high-resolution imaging, flexibility in selection of its scanning polarization, left and right-looking imaging options, superior data storage and more precise measurements of spacecraft position and attitude.
The SAR Payload includes the SAR antenna and associated sensor electronics required for imaging. EMS Canada (now MDA Montreal) was the SAR Payload subcontractor.
Operating in C-band, the RADARSAT-2 SAR Payload ensures continuity of all existing RADARSAT-1 modes, and offers an extensive range of additional features ranging from improvement in resolution to full flexibility in the selection of polarization options.
The enhanced capabilities are provided by a significant improvement in instrument design, employing a state-of-the-art phased array antenna composed of an array of hundreds of miniature transmit-receive modules. Fully computer-controlled, the antenna is capable of being steered electronically over the full range of the swath and can switch between operating modes virtually instantaneously.
RADARSAT-2 will be placed in a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of approximately 800 kilometers. A stabilization stage will start automatically once the spacecraft separates from the launch vehicle. Spacecraft initialization consists of switching on sensors: Global Positioning System, Magnetometer, Gyro and Sun Sensor.
Full mission background is available on the live event page – linked above.