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Using synthetic aperture radar or electro-optical satellite imagery, MDA’s experienced personnel create commercial and military grade digital elevation models that are dependable, accurate and cost-effective

RADARSAT-2 technical enhancements provide improved capabilities for the generation of digital elevation models (DEMs). These enhancements include high-resolution 3m data and multi-polarization, which improve the discrimination and recognition of surface features and targets. In addition, greater positional information and control over the RADARSAT-2 orbit garners higher absolute accuracies.

There are two methods used to generate DEMs from RADARSAT-2 data: interferometry and radargrammetry.

Interferometry is the process of using two complex SAR images, with the exact same parameters, to determine elevation by using the phase information in the data. The complex image from the two images is combined to generate interferograms, which are representations of the difference in phase from the two signals in each image data. The interferograms are then processed and analyzed to remove atmospheric effects and thus yield the elevation on the ground.

Similarly, radargrammetry is the process of using two amplitude SAR images, with different viewing geometries, to create parallax and thus infer elevation. MDA has developed and further refined processes in this technique to achieve the highest accuracy possible. Furthermore, MDA has invested in a permanent production team which can generate DEMs over significantly large areas in a relatively short time.