Press Release

Microsat Systems Canada Inc Selects MDA to Provide a Microsatellite Synthetic Aperture Radar (MSAR) Payload

By SpaceRef Editor
February 13, 2018
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Microsat Systems Canada Inc (“MSCI”) announced today that they have selected MDA, a Maxar Technologies company, to provide the payload for a MSCI’s microsatellite based Synthetic Aperture Radar.

The MSAR satellite will have a wet mass of less than 180 kg, fit within a standard ESPA ring launch volume, and will provide a ground resolution of less than 1 meter.

David Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of MSCI, stated that: “We selected MDA late last year to provide us with a SAR payload designed for a dual constellation of optical and SAR microsatellites for one of MSCI’s customers, based on MDA’s solid track record in the world of space borne SAR. Since then, MDA has leveraged their world class RADARSAT proven technology to quickly optimize the design for our microsatellite application and we are thrilled to see the results”.

Combined with MSCI’s ultra-stable bus pointing stability, MSCI’s MSAR will have higher resolution than any other microsat based SAR system currently flying and will address the needs of a whole new class of military and commercial customers whose needs are not met by low resolution images – and at fraction of the cost of traditional SAR satellites.

MSCI will mate the SAR with an advanced variant of their flight-proven NEOSSat bus with the addition of deployable solar arrays and propulsion, and expects to have the first satellite ready for launch by Q4 2020.

“Just as microsatellites are revolutionizing the satellite communications business, low cost and low risk high resolution SAR microsatellites are the next frontier – and MSCI expects to lead it.”

About MSCI

Microsat Systems Canada Inc (“MSCI”) is the global leader in the provision of Reaction Wheels to microsatellite programs for military, commercial, and scientific purposes. With an impeccable on-orbit track record, sales of hundreds of Reaction Wheels, and flight heritage of greater than 250 years, MSCI continues to attract new and repeat customers throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. MSCI, prime contractor to the Canadian Space Agency for the MOST and NEOSSat satellites, now owns and operates MOST and continues to apply variants of the NEOSSat Multi-Mission Bus for a variety of enhanced applications. MSCI is a privately owned corporation.

About MDA

MDA is an internationally recognized leader in space robotics, satellite antennas and subsystems, surveillance and intelligence systems, defence and maritime systems, and geospatial radar imagery. This includes building the RADARSAT-1, RADARSAT-2, and RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites. MDA’s extensive space expertise and heritage translates into mission-critical defence and commercial applications that include multi-platform command, control and surveillance systems, aeronautical information systems, land administration systems and terrestrial robotics. MDA is also a leading supplier of actionable mission-critical information and insights derived from multiple data sources. Founded in 1969, MDA is recognized as one of Canada’s most successful technology ventures with locations in Richmond, Ottawa, Brampton, Montreal and Halifax. MDA is a Maxar Technologies company (TSX: MAXR NYSE: MAXR;). For more information visit

SpaceRef staff editor.