Design Engineering

MDA secures $180M digital satellite constellation contract

By DE Staff   

General Aerospace

Canadian space industry firm to build Non-Geostationary Orbit constellation for undisclosed customer.

MDA Ltd. announced it has received an Authorization to Proceed (ATP) contract from an undisclosed customer to start work on a Non-Geostationary Orbit (NGSO) satellite constellation, that includes Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO).

Valued at approximately $180 million, the ATP contract initiates the engineering and programmatic work toward a full satellite constellation contract that MDA says will be worth $750 million at a minimum. Expected in 2024, the definitive contract, if approved, would see MDA serve as prime contractor to deliver at least 36 of MDA’s digital software-defined satellites (SDS).

The company’s modular SDS line includes next generation features that will create high customer demand, the company says. These include:

Digital payload technologies that meet multiple non-geostationary orbits and frequencies, with dynamic in-orbit reconfiguration.


A scalable, regenerative on-board processor with a built-in software-defined packet router.

A family of digital beamforming-enabled, electronically-steered direct radiating arrays, with direct RF conversion and native beam hopping capability compliant to DVB standards.

And a constellation software suite that includes onboard flight telecom software, a real-time digital payload simulator and a scalable constellation network manager.

Announcement of the above contract follows the largest deal in MDA’s history. In August, the company was named general contractor for Telesat Lightspeed, Telesat’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. Featuring the same software-defined satellite technology, that program will be worth approximately $2.1 billion, MDA says.


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