Magellan Aerospace announced today it has delivered the first two payload modules structure to MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), the prime contractor for the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM).
According to Magellan Aerospace the “payload modules are major structural assemblies that will house the electronics for the radar payload being developed by MDA, and are key delivery milestones in Magellan’s contract with MDA.”
“The RCM contract has a challenging schedule,” said Mr. Phil Underwood, President and CEO, Magellan Aerospace, “Magellan’s ability to deliver the payload module structures on-time, and to our customer’s specifications is crucial to the success of this important Canadian satellite mission. The spacecraft buses that Magellan is manufacturing for RCM are significantly larger than the buses that have been provided for previous Canadian space missions,” he continued, “and Magellan has invested in a new Advanced Satellite Integration Facility in Winnipeg that will be large enough to accommodate the simultaneous build of three satellite buses. This investment demonstrates Magellan’s commitment to the RCM program and the global satellite market”.
The RCM is the follow-on to the previously successful RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2 satellites.
RADARSAT-1 was Canada’s first Earth observation satellite and used synthetic aperture radar (SAR) to obtain images of the Earth’s surface to manage natural resources and monitor global climate change. RADARSAT-1 was decommissioned in 2013. RADARSAT-2 is still operational and has exceeded expectations.
The RCM will be a three-satellite configuration and according to the Canadian Space Agency “will provide on average daily coverage of Canada’s maritime approaches and frequent coverage of Canada’s land, as well as on average daily access to 95% of the world to Canadian and international users.”
RCM is currently scheduled to launch in 2018.