Satellite Access Services

ISSF in snow

The Earth observation satellite market is growing rapidly, with more than an estimated 150 new satellites and hundreds more nanosatellites expected to become operational by 2023. The exponential increase in demand for imagery and more frequent satellite coverage will speed the development of higher capacity, higher quality, and more cost efficient satellites. Together, these market forces are driving the need for high-latitude satellite access facilities and services that are capable of supporting increased data volumes, and enabling global data distribution.

The Inuvik Satellite Station Facility (ISSF) is a high-latitude polar facility designed to meet the growing demand for efficient Telemetry, Tracking, and Control (TT&C) and reception. The ISSF’s prime location and world class infrastructure provides fast and reliable access to data downlink to ensure timely and reliable services.

The Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation (CCMEO), Natural Resources Canada created the ISSF in anticipation of the industry's growth trajectory, providing cost-effective and efficient antenna hosting and related services. It currently supports three antenna tenants (including SSC, DLR and CCMEO’s own antenna), and is capable of supporting many more.

Ideal Location
Located in the high Arctic at 68.9 degrees North, the ISSF can access 11 of 14 daily passes by polar orbiting Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. The site shares similar latitude to other facilities in Alaska and provides existing infrastructure to support remote operations.

ISSF polar view

Reliable, High-bandwidth Fibre in Canada's North
The ISSF will benefit from the presence of a fibre Point of Presence (PoP), which terminates in its facility. When completed in 2016, the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link (MVFL) will provide dedicated bandwidth to ISSF clients, and will be scalable to accommodate the most demanding broadband requirements. A redundant fibre loop scheduled for completion in 2017 will provide reliable 99.9999% system availability, further benefiting operationally focused customers.

Fibre link map

Room to Grow
The ISSF spans 600 hectares, providing an ideal RF environment for antenna hosting. Located near Inuvik, Northwest Territories, air access is available by the nearby Inuvik airport, and ground access from southern Canada is via the Dempster Highway to provide multiple access options for personnel and equipment. 

ISSF Facility Map

International Space Hub
The ISSF offers a world-class processing center equipped with conditioned and redundant power, a robust network infrastructure, redundant AC and dedicated access to the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link.  The proximity to Inuvik enables MDA to provide ready access for maintenance and upgrade resources required to provide 24/7 support.  

Flexible Business Model
As exclusive prime contractor for the ISSF, MDA is able to provide customers with service- and hosting-based options for satellite access:

  • Service-based Model: Customers subscribe to antenna access as a service, and pay for each subscribed pass. This option requires a minimum commitment to secure access.
  • Hosting-based Model: MDA is the prime contractor providing engineering services for new customers who wish to install antennas, shelters and other infrastructure at the ISSF.