Canadian Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster Funds Deployment of Flexible Automation Solutions

BRAMPTON, Ont. (MDA PR) — Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the industry-led organization leading Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, has co-funded a private sector consortium led by MDA that will enable the integration of artificial intelligence, industry 4.0, data sharing, and collaborative robotics into highly flexible, adaptable manufacturing environments.

MDA along with partners Promark Electronics (Montreal, QC) and AV&R (Saint-Bruno, QC) seek to transform the Canadian manufacturing landscape by applying advanced manufacturing technologies into production environments where constant changes and the ability to maintain flexibility are essential competitive advantages.

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MDA Selected for Major Role on Telesat Lightspeed Satellite Constellation

MONTREAL, February 18, 2021 (MDA PR) — MDA announced today that it has been selected to provide one of the critical technology subsystems on Telesat Lightspeed, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite broadband network recently unveiled by Telesat, one of the world’s largest satellite operators. With advanced antenna design and manufacturing capabilities at its modern facility in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, this job-creating project enjoys the support of the Government of Quebec through a financial contribution.

MDA will develop the Direct Radiating Array (DRA), a revolutionary phased array, electronically-steered multi-beam antenna that will provide unlimited coverage flexibility and agility through advanced beam-forming technology. This configuration will achieve any-beam, anytime, anywhere coverage over the entire visible Earth. This new technology represents a major and key investment for the success of MDA’s Satellite Systems business, as it is expected that most LEO, Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and geostationary (GEO) satellite markets will migrate to these technologies in the future. MDA will deliver over 1000 units. MDA is also in advanced discussions with Thales Alenia Space for the Lightspeed satellites’ final assembly and manufacturing in Québec.

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MDA Announces RADARSAT-2 Continuity Mission

BRAMPTON, Ont. (MDA PR) — MDA is excited to announce that the company has embarked on a major new initiative to build a commercial Earth observation satellite mission which will serve to extend MDA’s market-leading geospatial data, products and analytics services business well into the future.

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Colorado Congressional Delegation Wants Biden to Suspend U.S. Space Command Move to Huntsville

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Colorado’s nine-member Congressional delegation has asked President Joe Biden to suspend the move of the U.S. Space Command from Colorado Springs to Huntsville, Ala., until the administration conducts a full review of a decision made during the waning days of the Trump Administration.

“This move undermines our ability to respond to the threats in space and is disruptive to the current mission. Additionally, significant evidence exists that the process was neither fair nor impartial and that President [Donald] Trump’s political considerations influenced the final decision,” the delegation said in a Jan. 26 letter to the president.

The U.S. Air Force announced the move of the U.S. Space Command from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs to the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville on Jan. 13, one week before Trump left office and a week after Congress certified the election of Democrat Joe Biden.

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MDA Extends Satellite Operations Capability Through Contract Award by CSA

BRAMPTON, Ont. (MDA PR) — MDA today announced that it has been awarded a contract by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to provide satellite flight operations and data management services for the Agency’s Earth observation and space situational awareness satellite missions.

MDA will provide spacecraft health monitoring and control, operational analysis, basic system maintenance, data order handling, image quality control and data processing and archiving for the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM), SCISAT and NEOSSat from the CSA’s Multi-Mission Control Centre in Longueuil, Quebec.

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MDA Appoints New Vice President of Satellite Systems

BRAMPTON, Ont. (MDA PR) — MDA is pleased to welcome Amer Khouri as the company’s new Vice President of Satellite Systems. As the leader for this business, Mr. Khouri will be responsible for all business area activities including successful execution of existing programs and the continued growth of MDA’s Satellite Systems business, which is based in Montreal, Canada.

Mr. Khouri has an extensive 25-year career in general management, corporate and business development, strategy, product management and marketing. He is a proven leader with a strong track record building and transforming global organizations, developing and implementing winning growth strategies, and executing and integrating acquisitions and business ventures.

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UArizona Scientists Will Test Mars Exploration Drones in Iceland with $3 Million NASA Grant

TUCSON, Ariz. — A team of scientists led by Christopher Hamilton of the University of Arizona is gearing up to send drones on exploration missions across a vast lava field in Iceland to test a next-generation Mars exploration concept.

Hamilton is the principal investigator on a project that has been awarded a $3.1 million NASA grant to develop a new concept combining rovers and unmanned aerial systems, commonly known as drones, to explore regions of the red planet that have been previously inaccessible. These new Rover–Aerial Vehicle Exploration Networks will be tested in Iceland to explore volcanic terrains similar to those observed on Mars.

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Canada’s Top Space Highlights of 2020

Credit: Canadian Space Agency

LONGUEUIL, Que. (CSA PR) — It’s an understatement to say that 2020 was an exceptional year. As the year draws to a close, here’s a look at some of the most compelling, inspirational and incredible moments for Canada in space. Happy New Year!

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MDA Announces Contract for Canadarm3

BRAMPTON, Ont. (MDA PR) — MDA announced today that it has been awarded a contract from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to develop Canadarm3, the third generation Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based robotic system destined for “Gateway”, a lunar-orbiting international space station. The contract involves the award of Phase A of the Canadarm3 program, with options for the follow-on phases.

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CSA Awards 6 Lunar Science Instruments Study Contracts

The Moon as viewed by NASA’s Mariner 10 in 1973, well before research would find signs of rust on the airless surface. (Credits: NASA/JPL/Northwestern University)

LONGUEIUL, Quebec (CSA PR) — The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is preparing Canada’s space community and collaborating sectors – including Canadian companies, universities, research institutions, and other organizations – for potential roles in the long-term exploration of the Moon. The Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) was created to provide a wide range of opportunities for Canadian science and technology activities in lunar orbit, on the Moon’s surface, and beyond.

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Maxar Awards MDA Contracts for On-orbit Servicing Technologies

OSAM-1 mission (Credit: NASA)

BRAMPTON, Ont. (MDA PR) — MDA today announced that it has signed multiple contracts with Maxar Technologies to provide advanced space robotics technologies for the Space Infrastructure Dexterous Robot (SPIDER), a technology demonstration on NASA’s On‑orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing 1 (OSAM-1) mission.

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CSA Awards Contracts to Improve Earth Observation

Canada from space (Credit: RADARSAT-2 Data and products © MDA Geospatial Services Inc. 2014 – All rights reserved. RADARSAT is an official mark of the Canadian Space Agency)

LONGUEUIL, Quebec (CSA PR) — In a country as vast as Canada, observing Earth from space helps our government monitor and protect the environment and the North, manage our natural resources, and ensure the safety and security of Canadians.

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MDA Engineers, Scientists in Quebec Go on Strike

SAINTE-ANNE-DE-BELLEVUE, QC, July 4, 2020 (SSESA PR) — Given the employer’s refusal to stop its arbitrary and abusive practices, the Québec engineers and scientists of MDA, a leader in spaced-based radar and satellite communication systems, voted 87% in favour of a strike mandate. The Space Systems Engineers and Scientists Association (SSESA) criticizes the employer’s refusal to address job insecurity and loss of expertise issues, while merely proposing superficial and cosmetic modifications to the collective agreement.

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CSA Awards CAD $9 Million for Technology Development

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has awarded 14 contracts worth just over CAD $9 million (US $6.6 million) to eight companies under its Space Technology Development Program (STDP).

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) received a total of six contracts worth CAD $3.5 million (US $2.6 million). COM DEV of Cambridge, Ont., received a pair of contracts worth nearly CAD $1.6 million (US $1.1 million). And UrtheCast of Vancouver received a contract worth $999,916 (US $736,131).

“As part of a competitive process, proposals are selected based on the applicant’s (mainly industry) capacity to advance the development of specific space technologies for which they receive financial support of up to 75% of their project cost,” CSA said on its website.

The space agency plans to award additional contracts under the STDP. Details of the awards are below.

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