Called CASSIOPE, this innovative mission will build a small satellite spacecraft platform that will be adaptable for a wide range of missions, including science, technology, Earth Observation, geological exploration and high capacity information delivery.
Scientists, led by the University of Calgary, will use the satellite to collect new data and details on space storms in the upper atmosphere and their potentially devastating impacts on radio communications, GPS navigation, and other space-based technologies. This innovative scientific probe, called ePOP, forms a key element of the Canadian Space Agency's science program and involves contributions from 10 Canadian universities and research organizations.
CASSIOPE will also demonstrate a potential new information delivery service called Cascade that will allow very large amounts of information to be delivered to decision-makers anywhere in the world. Future operational missions could deliver a commercial "digital package delivery service" to customers ranging from resource exploration companies to the military.
MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) of Richmond, B.C. will lead a Canadian industrial team expected to include EMS Technologies of Montreal and COM DEV Space of Cambridge, Ontario in the development of the CASSIOPE mission.
The estimated value of the program is over $100 million, with investment from the Canadian Space Agency and Technology Partnerships Canada. The Canadian Space Agency is providing $63 million and Technology Partnerships Canada $77.2 million of which $29 million is dedicated for future operational Cascade missions.
MDA President and CEO Daniel Friedmann commented: "This mission represents a key milestone for MDA, as we continue our expansion into the small satellite missions market. CASSIOPE also allows the demonstration of a new and exciting information delivery service."
CASSIOPE is scheduled for launch in 2007.
For more information, please consult the attached backgrounders.