For example, Radarsat's images are extremely useful in the Canadian north. The harsh climactic conditions and fog in the Arctic regions make maneuvering fishing vessels around moving blocks of ice extremely difficult. Accidents are very likely. From a satellite, however, it's easy to monitor the movement of large polar icecaps. Because Radarsat clearly maps sea ice distributions, Canadian vessels can now travel those waters more safely. Each province is able to access the information from two ground stations in Gatineau, Quebec.
Applications for Radarsat's technology extend beyond Canada as well. The advantages it brings will be shared by countries all over the world. For example, many developing countries have made use of the information. In Vietnam, researchers are monitoring rice growth; in Kenya, coffee growers track plantation changes; and in Jordan, scientists use Radarsat data to aid in a water-harvesting project.
Radarsat receiving stations in Canada and the United States are located in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan; Gatineau, Quebec; and Fairbanks, Alaska. The satellite is expected to last five years.