[SatNews] Additional imagery is being supplied to Japan to assist with damage assessment and the direction of relief efforts.
Imagery from MDA Systems Information Group's RADARSAT-2 satellite is being used to assess damage and direct relief efforts to the main stricken areas of Sendai, Japan, resultant of, the March 11, 2011 earthquake. MDA provided imagery acquired by the RADARSAT-2 satellite over the devastated areas in Japan, in support of disaster management efforts through the Canadian Space Agency's (CSA) participation in the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters". The first image of the disaster was acquired on March 12, 2011, hours after the powerful earthquake hit the Pacific Ocean near Northeastern Japan.
When a natural disaster of such great magnitude as experienced in Japan occurs, there is an urgent need to identify areas that have been hit hardest by the disaster. Satellite imagery acquired immediately after the event provide views of the extent of damage to critical infrastructure such as buildings, roads and airports. These images can be compared with satellite imagery taken before the event to detect major changes on the ground. The changes show how the landscape has changed and will help determine passable routes for aid workers and safe areas suitable for establishing aid camps to provide medical support and shelter. Launched in 2007, RADARSAT-2 is the world's most advanced commercial C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite. RADARSAT-2 offers new imaging capabilities and a faster turn-around schedule for data acquisition and product delivery. It provides enhanced information for applications such as environmental monitoring, ice mapping, resource mapping, disaster management, and maritime surveillance. RADARSAT-2's ability to collect imagery independent of darkness or inclement atmospheric conditions is a valuable support during times of emergency to supplement airborne and ground resources for local and regional damage assessment.