Canadian Space Agency and Environment Canada Join Forces to Study Ozone - EMS Technologies to build MAESTRO instrument

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Thursday, February 22, 2001

Toronto, Ontario, February 22, 2001 - The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and Environment Canada (EC) today unveiled a new scientific instrument that will be deployed on the CSA's SCISAT-1 satellite to help scientists increase our understanding of the depletion of the ozone layer.

EMS Technologies of Ottawa has been awarded a contract worth $2.2 million to build the MAESTRO instrument (Measurements of Aerosol Extinction in the Stratosphere and Troposphere Retrieved by Occultation).

AWith today's announcement we are witness to the power of partnership, innovation and the development of space-based technologies for the benefit of humanity. SCISAT-1 and the MAESTRO instrument will help us maintain and enhance Canada's expertise in ozone research while helping us better understand the impact of humanity on our fragile atmosphere" said the Honourable Brian Tobin, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency. AIt is through cooperation like this between the Canadian Space Agency, Environment Canada, industry and scientists that we are advancing space science research to increase our understanding of ozone depletion, a concern to all Canadians."

AThis study will focus on the Arctic B one of Canada's most vulnerable environments, said Environment Minister David Anderson. AIn recent years, scientists have observed major changes in the Arctic atmosphere. Climate change and ozone loss could well have a serious effect on Canada's far north. We are already beginning to see the likely effects of climate change: melting permafrost, and the retreat of permanent icepacks. Despite action that has been taken to protect the ozone layer, severe depletion is now occurring in the Arctic during the late winter and early spring. The Arctic environment is not well understood, and this research will help shed light on this complex and fragile region.

"As the Member of Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean," said Marlene Catterall, "I am proud of the dedication and contribution of our high-technology space industries who are committed to innovation. These companies are working in partnership with the Canadian Space Agency and Environment Canada and are using their expertise to help scientists find environmental solutions to safeguard our fragile atmosphere."

Dr. Gerry Bush, President, EMS Technologies Space & Technology Group commented that AThe curatorship of our planet is the responsibility of all those who live on it and EMS is pleased to bring our decades of experience in the design and development of systems and products for space to bear on this important space program. Once again, the Government of Canada is demonstrating global vision and an acute sense of environmental responsibility and Canadian industry is providing the necessary technologies to fulfill this mission.

The scientific goal of the SCISAT-1/ACE (Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment) mission is to measure and understand the chemical processes that control the distribution of ozone in the Earth's atmosphere, particularly at high latitudes. The data, recorded as SCISAT-1 orbits the Earth, will provide Canadian scientists with improved measurements relating to global ozone processes and help policy makers assess existing environmental policy and develop protective measures for improving the health of our atmosphere and prevent further ozone depletion.

The MAESTRO instrument joins another Canadian instrument, the Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS), designed and built by ABB Bomem of Quebec City. Both instruments are designed to gather information on the chemical processes occurring in the ozone layer, approximately 8 km to 50 km above the Earth's surface.

Dr. Peter Bernath, Mission Scientist, from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Waterloo heads a Science Team that includes scientists from Canada, the United States, Belgium, Japan, France and Sweden. Dr. Tom McElroy, Environment Canada, is the principal investigator for MAESTRO, with support from Dr. Jim Drummond of the University of Toronto.

About the CSA

Established in 1989 and situated in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space Agency coordinates all aspects of the Canadian Space Program. Through its Space Knowledge, Applications and Industry Development business line, the CSA delivers services involving: Earth and the Environment; Space Science; Human Presence in Space; Satellite Communications; Generic Space Technologies; Space Qualification Services and Awareness. The Canadian Space Agency is at the forefront of the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.

About EMS Technologies

EMS Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: ELMG) is a leading innovator in the design and manufacture of space and terrestrial wireless solutions, focusing its unique range of advanced technologies on the needs of broadband and mobile information users. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, employs almost 2,000 people worldwide, and has major manufacturing facilities in Atlanta, Montreal and Ottawa. The company's diverse businesses include the Space and Technologies Group, the SATCOM and Wireless divisions, and its wholly owned subsidiary, LXE Inc. For more information, visit the company on the World Wide Web at

Funding for this project was provided for in the February 2000 budget and is therefore built into the existing financial framework.

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CSA internet link:

Environnement Canada internet link:

For more information:

Anna Kapiniari
Manager, Media and Public Relations
Canadian Space Agency
Tel.: (450) 926-4350
Tom McElroy
Environment Canada,
Tel.: (416) 739-4630

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