When we think of satellite use, what comes to mind first and foremost are communications, the weather, or the Global Positioning System (GPS). But were you aware that satellites have an influence on what we eat?
Canadian farmers regularly have to make decisions about the management of their arable land. Modern technology is helping them do that.
The RADARSAT-2 satellite, launched in 2007, is an invaluable tool for farmers. That satellite continuously monitors our natural resources, such as lakes, rivers, forests and farmland. The images gathered make it possible to detect details that are invisible to the naked eye. The satellite checks on the condition of crops as well as soil moisture rate, providing an overview of agricultural holdings.
Thanks to RADARSAT-2 data we’re capable of targeting locations that require more fertilizer or water. That allows us to keep an eye on soil and harvest health, and thus avoid wastage.
The RADARSAT Constellation mission
Based on these experiences, the Canadian Space Agency is currently developing next-generation Earth observation satellites. The RADARSAT Constellation mission is to consist of three satellites that will scan 90 percent of our planet’s surface every day.
These satellites will enable Canadian farmers, and those elsewhere in the world, to maximize the performance of their crops while at the same time reducing their use of potentially polluting materials. A bonus in terms of respect for the environment.
At your next meal, keep in mind that space technology probably helped produce what you’re eating!