TORONTO, 28 May 2009. Magellan Aerospace Corp.'s Winnipeg-based division, Bristol Aerospace, won a RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) satellite bus development contract from MacDonald, Dettwiler, and Associates Ltd. (MDA) of Vancouver, British Columbia.
The RCM mission is being developed by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to provide C-Band data continuity to existing RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2 users. The mission also will support maritime surveillance (ship detection, ice monitoring, and oil spill detection), disaster management, and ecosystem monitoring.
The primary areas of coverage are Canada and its surrounding Arctic, Pacific, and Atlantic maritime areas. The mission will be comprised of three spacecraft in low earth orbit, each carrying a C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload. The expected launch dates are 2014, 2015, and 2016.
The initial contract, valued at $6 million Canadian, will have a period of performance through the end of 2009, and is for the Phase B Preliminary Design of the satellite bus, or platform, which is the service module section of the satellite, reveals a representative. Further contracts are expected to follow for the Detailed Design and Manufacture, Integration and Test phases of the program, upon government approval for full program funding.
RCM bus development and manufacture will take place at Magellan's facilities in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The RCM bus will be based on the MAC-200 small satellite bus that was first developed for the CSA's CASSIOPE program. The MAC-200 bus is now undergoing spacecraft- level testing at the CSA's David Florida Laboratory in Ottawa, with an expected launch date in 2010. The MAC-200 bus will be upgraded to accommodate the large, deployable C-band SAR antenna and to increase the power subsystem capacity for the radar payload.
New GPS and propulsion subsystems will be added to support the precision orbit maintenance requirements.
Upgrades will be made to the bus avionics to support the seven-year mission lifetime.