MDA releases first details of its commercial Earth observation mission

September 27, 2021   Maryam Farag

Photo: MDA Ltd.

MDA Ltd. released new details about its next Earth observation (EO) mission.

Leveraging RADARSAT, the new system will include a large C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite operating in a mid-inclination orbit. Capable of covering a 700 kilometres swath in a single pass, the new system will provide the broadest area coverage on the market, changing how, when and what can be seen.

The system will operate in a mid-inclination orbit, targeting areas of greatest customer interest. With 75 per cent faster tasking, increasing revisit and reducing delivery time, the system will offer Near Real Time service with download times direct to commercial customers in 15 minutes in targeted areas.

The inclined orbital path provides variable versus static imaging time, enabling the system to capture a diversity of images at different times each day. The new satellite will offer enhanced client-controlled priority tasking, guaranteeing image collection when needed.


“For decades, governments, commercial and institutional customers worldwide have counted on MDA’s Earth observation data to tackle some of the world’s biggest issues including national sovereignty and maritime border protection, illegal fishing, natural disasters and the effects of climate change. Leveraging the latest innovation and scientific advancements to provide a new level of real-time and actionable insight, our 4th generation Earth observation satellite will once again change how and when we see our planet.” said Mike Greenley, Chief Executive Officer, MDA Inc.

The system is ideal for very large area monitoring applications such as oil spill detection, and includes three dedicated vessel detection modes, three strip-map modes (8m, 5m and 3m), and a spotlight mode.

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