Canadian Military Orders Satellite Ground Stations

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PARIS — Canadian defense authorities announced Nov. 2 a contract with MDA Corp. to build two transportable ground stations that will be able to capture commercial Earth observation imagery from satellites flying overhead when deployed anywhere in the world.

The contract, valued at 31.1 million Canadian dollars ($30.6 million), is part of Canada’s Joint Space Support Project, which in addition to Earth observation also includes a feature that ultimately will allow Canadian defense authorities to identify commercial observation satellites overflying Canadian territory or areas in which Canadian forces are located.

“Our government is giving our Canadian forces the capabilities they need to protect our sovereignty while supporting skilled full-time jobs in places like Richmond,” Associate Minister for National Defence Julian Fantino said in a statement. Richmond, British Columbia, is the headquarters of MDA Corp.

“The Space Situational Awareness capability will provide for the monitoring and analysis of the location and status of adversarial and third party commercial space resources,” the Canadian Defence Ministry said in a summary of the Joint Space Support Project. “This includes providing information on threats posed by adversarial space assets to deployed [Canadian forces] and enabling commanders to account for potential space threats in their operational planning.”