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Radarsat Antarctic Mapping Project Digital Elevation Model
Antarctica Revealed: Landmark Imagery
|© CSA 1997; Mosaic © Ohio State University, 1997|
When scientists rotated the satellite RADARSAT in 1997 so its radar aimed south as it made passes over the South Pole, history was made. The resulting images from the mission’s synthetic aperture radar (SAR) yielded the first high-resolution mapping of Antarctica — a continent larger than the United States and Mexico combined.
In less than three weeks, as part of the first Antarctic Mapping Mission (AMM-1), RADARSAT acquired complete imagery of the landmass and coastal ice. The images were assembled into a mosaic depicting the entire continent at 25 m resolution. The mosaic provides a detailed look at ice sheet morphology, rock outcrops, research infrastructure, the coastline, and other features of Antarctica. It also represents calibrated radar backscatter data that may provide insight into climate processes affecting the upper few meters of snow cover.
The RAMP collection includes images at a wide variety of resolutions, and images from both Versions 1 and 2 of the mosaic, which was updated in 2001.