NASA Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) at NSIDC

Supporting scientific study of the cryosphere

See Also


This product Home page contains tools for ordering and working with the data, a gallery of RAMP images, and other related RAMP project information.

Polar Ice Sheet DEMs and Elevation Data

This data page contains links to DEMs and elevation data archived at NSIDC.

Related Resources

Canadian Space Agency (CSA) RADARSAT-1 Web site

This is the CSA RADARSAT-1 Project Web site with detailed information on the RADARSAT-1 platform.

DAAC Data Projects: Active Microwave


RADARSAT-1 was developed by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and was launched on 4 November 1995 into a sun-synchronous, 798 km orbit with a 24-day repeat cycle. On board the satellite is a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensor that transmits a microwave energy pulse at 5.3 GHz (C-band) to the Earth and measures the amount of energy that is reflected back. RADARSAT's SAR instrument has a multitude of resolutions and swath widths ranging from 8 to 100 m and 45 to 500 km, respectively.

In a collaboration between NASA and CSA, the RADARSAT Antarctic Mapping Project (RAMP) was created. In 1997, RADARSAT was rotated in its orbit so that its SAR antenna looked south towards Antarctica. This allowed for the first high-resolution mapping of the entire continent of Antarctica. The RAMP mosaics provide a detailed look at Antarctica's ice sheet morphology, rock outcrops, research infrastructure, coastline, and other features.

NSIDC archives and distributes a 125 m and 25 m resolution Version 2 image mosaic in binary format; a 250 m resolution Version 1 image mosaic in binary format; and 200 m, 500 m, and 1 km Version 2 image mosaics in GeoTIF format. To access this data, see the RAMP Data Web page. NSIDC also archives RAMP data as Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) which can be accessed via the Polar Ice Sheet DEMs and Elevation Data Web site.

Sample Image

RADARSAT SAR image of Fimbul Ice Shelf

RADARSAT SAR Image of the Fimbul Ice Shelf
This image was collected and processed as part of NSIDC's RAMP AMM-1 SAR Image Mosaic of Antarctica project. Image copyrighted by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).