The Australian Government has recognised the growing importance of space capability and is currently developing a comprehensive space policy; within this process it will consider a range of opportunities for Australia to develop its space capability.
Space-systems and space derived data is used for many applications and services; this data is used to assist the Australian Government in its decision making. A primary objective of the Australian Government is to develop Australian capability and ensure secure access to this data.
The Defence White Paper of 2009 has energised debate around the need for Synthetic Aperture Rader (SAR) Satellite technology within the next 10 years. In addition, the Space Industry Innovation Council, established by the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research to provide space industry advice to Government, has produced a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Working Group report which revealed the existence of generalised material supporting the argument for a greater investment by Australia in space based capabilities.
The key recommendation was to launch a Government funded study into space-based SAR imaging capability in Australia, with particular emphasis on civil applications.
This study will explore the development and operation of a space-based SAR imaging capability in Australia, with particular emphasis on civil applications. It examines Australia’s current technical capability, available data streams and the need for SAR imagery in a civilian application context.
This study aims to provide information on:
1. Key technical and operational capabilities offered by SAR imagery, that would assist Australian users with a focus on civilian applications;
2. The need for SAR imagery in Australia from existing and emerging civilian applications.
3. The extent of SAR data currently accessible to Australian users and how the data supports various civilian services;
4. Potential deficiencies within SAR data accessibile to Australian users to determine how best to fill gaps regarding data availability;
5. Models and options for developing and operating SAR satellites in Australia.