The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry, today announced that two Canadian space firms will be conducting concept studies for potential Canada–Israel space missions.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Israel Space Agency (ISA) seek to develop advanced applications in satellite communications and position both the Canadian and Israeli space sector to play a significant role in this growing global market.

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) will study the feasibility of an advanced payload for a potential future mission that would enhance the flexibility of the next generation satellite communications. The firm will conduct this study in partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd (IAI).

COM DEV International Ltd. (COM DEV) with exactEarthTM will evaluate the feasibility of a potential Israel–Canada Advanced Radio & thermal-location μ (micro) Satellite (ICARUS) mission. ICARUS would demonstrate a new, low-cost nano-satellite constellation that would use a combination of receivers to locate maritime vessels, thus improving maritime awareness, safety and security. The potential ICARUS mission would be undertaken in collaboration with IAI and Elbit Systems Electro-Optics Elop Ltd.

Quick facts

– This initiative is aligned with Canada’s Space Policy Framework, supporting Canada’s space sector in the innovation required to bring to market cutting-edge technologies that meet national interests. It also demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to pursuing partnerships to share the expenses and rewards of space initiatives.
– The two concept studies will examine the approach, costs and feasibility of the potential space missions.
– Each Canadian firm will receive $300,000 to undertake their concept study.
– A Memorandum of Understanding between the CSA and the ISA, signed in 2005 and amended in 2014, allows the Agencies, private sectors and academia in both countries to cooperate in joint projects or research activities.


“Canada and Israel have a long-standing partnership in space cooperation. The Government of Canada is proud to continue this collaboration as we work to develop innovative technologies to meet national interests and ensure the competitiveness of our space sector.”

Industry Minister James Moore

“At COM DEV International we recognize how important maritime domain awareness, safety and security are to Canadians. As a leader in the development of innovative satellite technologies and affordable mission solutions, we look forward to the opportunity to work with our partners in Israel on this initiative.”

COM DEV International CEO, Mike Pley

“MDA has developed unique capabilities to be able to respond to national and international priorities with tailored offerings. We are very pleased to work again with our Israeli partners in support of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Canada-Israel Space Cooperation.”

MDA’s president of Information Systems, Don Osborne