Press Release

Satellite constellation launched for MDA’s information solution for RapidEye

By SpaceRef Editor
August 29, 2008
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Satellite constellation launched for MDA’s information solution for RapidEye

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX: MDA), a provider of essential information solutions, announced today that the satellite constellation for the information solution developed by MDA for RapidEye AG of Germany has been launched into its proper orbit.

Daniel Friedmann, MDA’s president and CEO said: “We are very pleased to see the five RapidEye satellites successfully launched. This important milestone allows us to complete the delivery of the overall information solution we are providing to RapidEye in support of their demanding business plan. Our information solution demonstrates that lower cost small satellite technology can now be deployed operationally to support business plans that would otherwise not be economically viable.”

MDA’s information solution for RapidEye includes a constellation of five light weight Earth Observation small satellites of 150 kg each, the related ground control, reception and processing infrastructure, and associated training and support services. RapidEye AG will use the solution provided by MDA to operate its business to deliver agricultural land information products and services such as crop monitoring and mapping, yield prediction, and natural disaster assessment. The RapidEye constellation has the capacity to image any point on the Earth on any given day, providing RapidEye the ability to frequently monitor changes at any location of interest around the world.

As the prime contractor MDA designed the complete information solution for RapidEye and carries full responsibility to deliver it at a fixed price. MDA engaged three key subcontractors to implement the satellite constellation portion of the solution. SSTL in Guildford, UK provided the spacecraft bus and spacecraft control centre, and performed spacecraft assembly, integration, and test. Jena Optronik GmbH of Jena, Germany provided the imaging payloads. The launch of the five satellites was provided by the Russian company, ISC Kosmotras using a Dnepr Launch Vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The Canadian Commercial Corporation, a Government of Canada crown corporation, is acting as the contracting agency between MDA and RapidEye AG.

About MDA

MDA provides advanced information solutions that capture and process vast amounts of data, produce essential information, and improve the decision making and operational performance of business and government organizations worldwide.

Focused on markets and customers with strong repeat business potential, MDA delivers a broad spectrum of earth and space based information solutions, ranging from complex operational systems, to tailored information services, to electronic information products.

MDA employs more than 3,300 people in locations across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The Company’s common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TSX:MDA.

About RapidEye

RapidEye is an ISO-certified geospatial information provider focused on integrating customized and industry specific solutions into the workflow of global customers in agriculture, forestry, energy, infrastructure, government, security and emergency. RapidEye’s experts and the satellite system – a constellation of five satellites capable of downloading over 4 million km(2) multi-spectral imagery per day, a control station and a ground segment for processing and archiving data – allow for cost-effective customized management information solutions. Currently more than 90 experts from more than 20 countries worldwide are employed by RapidEye. Following a successful launch, plans are being made to increase the team to over 140.

SpaceRef staff editor.