Following the signature of a collaboration agreement between the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC), the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) and NGC Aerospace, the joint development of the flight software for a HyperSpectral Earth-observation satellite has been initiated. This long-term collaboration will provide the NSSTC and the UAEU with the capability to develop the navigation, guidance and control system enabling the high autonomy and agility of satellites based on innovative technologies that NGC has developed over the last 18 years.

This 3-year project will be followed by a 5-year collaboration period during which new projects may be initiated to support future space ambitions of the UAE. The first phase of this co-development has just started with a two-week collocation of 3 NGC engineers in Al Ain, UAE. This collaboration creates work for 3 highly-qualified persons at NGC for its full duration.

“NGC is more than happy to be working with the NSSTC and the UAEU. With its Earth and planetary exploration missions, the United Arab Emirates is becoming a major contributor to the advancement of space science and engineering for peaceful uses and we are thrilled to be part of it.” says Jean de Lafontaine, CEO. “This project is motivating for NGC employees and makes Canada shine beyond its borders.”

Back in May 2018, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the UAE Space Agency had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aiming at facilitating collaboration for the peaceful use and exploration of space. This was followed by a CSA-led mission to the UAE’s Global Space Congress in which NGC participated and benefited from the good relations developed by CSA with the UAE’s space sector. The novel agreement between NGC Aerospace and the two UAE entities is the first space collaboration project between the two countries since the signature of the MOU.

This project has been made possible for NGC thanks to the Canadian dollars invested by the CSA in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth-observation programmes. Indeed, NGC’s credibility in delivering space-qualified flight software has been made possible through a series of ESA satellite projects which Canada supported throughout the years and still continues to support. This credibility has become a business card for NGC to promote its knowledge and expertise outside Canadian borders with the support of Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service around the world.


NGC Aerospace’s mission is shaping the future of autonomous exploration through ingenuity, knowledge and collaboration. NGC is designing and deploying the computer intelligence of mobile systems with the aim of increasing their autonomy, performance, reliability and safety while reducing their development and operational costs. The mobile systems of interest include Earth satellites, planetary orbiters, landers, rovers and pilotless aerial vehicles. NGC’s guidance, navigation and control software has cumulated 40 years of successful operation in orbit and has contributed to the technologies enabling the high autonomy, agility and accuracy of future aerospace systems.

For more information:

Jean de Lafontaine, Eng.
Ph.D. President and Chief executive officer

Amélie St-Amour,
Eng., M.Eng. Project Manager

2995 boul. Industriel, Sherbrooke QC J1L 2T9 Canada
+1 819 348-9483