Radarsat-2/3 Tandem Mission Feasibility Study Extended

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Friday, February 15, 2002

Saint-Hubert, Quebec, February 15, 2002 - The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced yesterday the extension of a contract with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSE: MDA) of Richmond, British Columbia, extending the Mission Feasibility study for the proposed RADARSAT-2/3 Topographic Mission. The total extension value is $ 1.1 million.

"The extension of this leading-edge project, developed jointly by the Canadian Space Agency and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates, demonstrates our commitment to innovative Research and Development," says the Honourable Allan Rock, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency. "This topographic mission will not only open a wide range of new applications but also strengthen Canada's leadership and expertise in the growing Earth Observation market."

MDA is currently under contract to the CSA as the prime contractor for RADARSAT-2, Canada's next-generation Earth Observation satellite. The CSA has already funded specific modifications to the RADARSAT-2 spacecraft to support a proposed tandem mission with RADARSAT-3.

The analysis performed as part of the RADARSAT-2/3 Feasibility Study announced on February 20, 2001 demonstrated the capability of the mission to produce detailed 3-D images. Initial results indicated the need for more detail on the actual implementation process.

Depending on the results of the feasibility study and following the securing of government approval and funding, plans are to launch RADARSAT-3 a few years after RADARSAT-2, and fly the two satellites in tandem, gathering detailed data about the terrain and elevation characteristics of the Earth's surface. This would represent the most advanced space-borne land information and mapping mission ever conceived.

Data produced by the RADARSAT-2/3 tandem mission would support government and commercial applications requiring land information including natural resource exploration, civil engineering, land use planning, air traffic navigation, flood monitoring, rescue missions, disaster relief and telecommunications site planning.

About MDA

MacDonald Dettwiler is an information company that provides essential information from anywhere in the world, for decision making in the workplace. The Company operates its business through two principal groups: The Information Products Group delivers essential land information products and services that encompass legal, asset and geographical information; the Information Systems Group provides mission-critical information systems for monitoring activities on the planet, managing mobile assets and enabling mobile workforces. The Company employs 1,800 people through an international network of offices, subsidiaries and distributors.

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989 with its headquarters 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 Comptrollership and Awareness. The CSA is at the forefront of the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.

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For information
Monique Billette
Media Relations
Canadian Space Agency
Tel. : (450) 926-4370

Ted Schellenberg
MacDonald Dettwiler
Tel.: (604) 231-2215

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