Press Release

SSL to Provide Next-Generation Imaging Satellite Constellation to DigitalGlobe

By SpaceRef Editor
July 6, 2017
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MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (“MDA” or the “Company”) (TSX:MDA), a global communications and information company, today announced that its subsidiary Space Systems Loral (SSL) was selected to provide a next-generation satellite constellation for high-resolution Earth imaging to DigitalGlobe, the global leader in Earth imagery and information about our changing planet. Called WorldView Legion, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites will more than double DigitalGlobe’s high-resolution capacity in important regions. The contract is valued at several hundred million U.S. dollars.

“This contract demonstrates our emerging leadership in Earth observation satellites and our broadening corporate capability to provide end-to-end solutions from the space segment to the ground segment to the delivery of decision-driving analytics,” said Richard White, president of SSL Government Systems. “We have worked closely with the DigitalGlobe team over the past several years to develop a solution that provides both the exceptional agility and persistence they require. We are very pleased to be selected.”

As a leader in providing commercial spacecraft systems, SSL has deep experience in building and integrating some of the world’s most powerful and comprehensive solutions for services such as communications, Earth observation, in-orbit servicing, space robotics, and exploration and this order further diversifies SSL’s business. WorldView Legion will be built in SSL’s manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, Calif., where the company takes an innovative approach to satellite design, assembly and test. 

“SSL recognized the need to meet the evolving requirements of our customers,” said Dr. Walter Scott, DigitalGlobe Founder, EVP, and CTO. “The team at SSL worked closely with us to provide an innovative and flexible design that will yield exceptional performance, value, and reliability. WorldView Legion will provide our customers with even greater insights into global events of significance, allowing them to make critical decisions with confidence when time is of the essence.”

As an innovator in global Earth imaging and data-product generation, DigitalGlobe conceived of WorldView Legion in order to transcend previous limitations and meet the evolving needs of tomorrow’s users of Earth imaging data and geospatial intelligence. The WorldView Legion constellation is designed to deliver a combination of high-resolution, sub-meter accuracy, and fast revisit rates. Combined with DigitalGlobe’s existing WorldView satellites and forthcoming Scout small-satellite constellation, DigitalGlobe will be able to image the most rapidly changing areas on Earth as frequently as every 20 to 30 minutes, from sunrise to sundown. SSL has entered into a firm-fixed price contract with DigitalGlobe to build the WorldView Legion satellites—the first of which is planned to launch in 2020—to replace the WorldView-1, WorldView-2, and GeoEye-1 satellites.

About DigitalGlobe

DigitalGlobe is a leading provider of commercial high-resolution Earth observation and advanced geospatial solutions that help decision makers better understand our changing planet in order to save lives, resources and time. Sourced from the world’s leading constellation, its imagery solutions deliver unmatched coverage and capacity to meet its customers’ most demanding mission requirements. Each day customers in defense and intelligence, public safety, civil agencies, map making and analysis, environmental monitoring, oil and gas exploration, infrastructure management, navigation technology, and providers of location-based services depend on DigitalGlobe data, information, technology and expertise to gain actionable insight. DigitalGlobe is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. (NYSE:DGI)

About SSL

Space Systems Loral (SSL) is a leading provider of commercial satellites with broad expertise to support satellite operators and innovative space related missions. The company designs and manufactures spacecraft for services such as direct-to-home television, video content distribution, broadband internet, mobile communications, and Earth observation. As a Silicon Valley innovator for 60 years, SSL’s advanced product line also includes state-of-the-art small satellites, and sophisticated robotics and automation solutions for remote operations.  For more information, visit

About SSL MDA Holdings

SSL MDA Holdings is a wholly owned subsidiary of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) and serves as the operating company for all MDA businesses. SSL MDA Holdings has its headquarters in San Francisco.

About MDA

MDA is a global communications and information company providing operational solutions to commercial and government organizations worldwide.

MDA’s business is focused on markets and customers with strong repeat business potential, primarily in the Communications sector and the Surveillance and Intelligence sector. In addition, the Company conducts a significant amount of advanced technology development.

MDA’s established global customer base is served by more than 4,800 employees operating from 15 locations in the United States, Canada, and internationally.

The Company’s common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TSX:MDA.

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