MDA software for Canada's space robotics system arrives at Space Station

Press Release From: MDA
Posted: Friday, February 9, 2001

MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates has delivered mission critical software to the International Space Station. Launched onboard STS-98 on February 7th, the sophisticated software will await the arrival of the MDA Robotic Workstation scheduled to be launched March 8th.

With these elements in place, the International Space Station (ISS) will be equipped for the arrival and installation, in April, of the new generation robotic arm, the Space Station Remote Manipulator System, also built by MD Robotics, a subsidiary of MDA.

Chris Woodland, director of the Mobile Servicing System program for MD Robotics, said, "The Canadarm has long been the workhorse of the Space Shuttle missions. Now, a new century will see a new technological marvel in space, again wearing the Canadian flag with pride. Thousands of Canadians from coast to coast are responsible for developing this unprecedented technology."

As the design authority, MD Robotics in Brampton Ontario, together with a team of software engineers and integrators from MDA in British Columbia, and EMS Technologies in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, developed the complex software to meet the stringent requirements of the Canadian Space Agency and NASA for the ISS and manned space flight. This highly complex and seamless software will control the speed, force, and movement of the robotic systems, including nearly 300 mission-specific files that can be reconfigured to achieve mission objectives while ensuring astronaut safety and successful deployment of robotic systems.

Mag Iskander, Vice President and General Manager of MD Robotics commented, "A new generation of Canadian robotic technology is going into space during the next few years. MDA will play a critical ongoing role in the sustaining engineering of these systems and software enhancements, which will produce a strong revenue stream for many years."

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