CRCSI analyses benefits of SAR in two reports

By on 30 April, 2013

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Two reports examining Australia’s use and investment in SAR satellites have been released by the CRCSI.

SAR, or Synthetic Aperture Radar, satellites observe the earth using radar, and can be more useful in these applications than traditional satellite imagery. Flood monitoring, ship detection over wide areas of ocean, and natural resource management can all be better managed for Australia through SAR satellites, says the CRCSI.

Robust Imaging From Space is a detailed examination of options for Australian investment in SAR satellites. The report finds that Australia could significantly benefit economically from SAR, and recommends developing a more detailed plan for continued Australian access to SAR satellites.

Robust Imaging from Space was commissioned by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Information. It was prepared by CTG Consulting in conjunction with the CRC for Spatial Information (CRCSI) Radar Research Facility team of Prof Tony Milne, Dr Mark Williams, and Dr Anthea Mitchell.

Australia and SAR: A Road Map examines the use of SAR satellites to applications such as monitoring flooding under heavy cloud, measuring water content of agricultural crops to improve yields, and detecting and monitoring ocean oil spills. The report recommends that Australia invest in skills to interpret SAR imagery, and suggests participation in multi-national SAR satellite missions into the future.

This report was prepared by Emeritus Professor John Richards for the CRC for Spatial Information.

“The two reports are examples of how the CRCSI contributes to the policy debate and formulation of strategy, through the provision of impartial and factual information on emerging issues of space and spatial science” said Peter Woodgate, CRCSI Chief Executive Officer.

These two reports help support Australia’s new Satellite Utilisation Policy. The Policy was released on 9 April by the Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation, Senator Kate Lundy.

In launching the new Policy, Minister Lundy noted that “Whether it’s for navigation, getting accurate weather forecasts, or communication in remote areas, Australians have a growing appetite for satellite services.

“This space policy will ensure that Australians can continue to access the satellite capacity we need through partnerships with other countries and commercial suppliers.”

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