Home Ice bergs MDA and ICEYE sign agreement to integrate X-band SAR satellite into MDA’s CHORUS ™ constellation

MDA and ICEYE sign agreement to integrate X-band SAR satellite into MDA’s CHORUS ™ constellation


After Thorough Analysis, MDA Selects the Best of New Space
X-band providers to combine with its leading C-band radar capability

PARIS, December 15, 2021 / CNW / – MDA Ltd. (TSX: MDA) and ICEYE announced today at World Satellite Business Week that they have entered into an agreement for ICEYE to provide X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for CHORUS, the next generation Earth observation trade mission. A multi-sensor collaborative constellation, CHORUS brings together diverse and unique images and data sources, changing how and when we see the world by providing a new level of real-time information and innovative Earth observation services.

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Building on the legendary RADARSAT program, CHORUS will feature C-band and X-band SAR satellites operating in a single medium-tilt orbit with day or night imagery in all weather conditions. A vital part of the CHORUS constellation, the X-band spacecraft will fly in the same mid-tilt orbit with the same ground track as the C-band SAR satellite built by MDA.

This revolutionary approach will provide the most extensive radar imaging capability available on the market, with higher imaging performance, higher frequency imaging, variable imaging times, more orbit imaging time, fast jobs, faster delivery times, and near real-time data (NRT). exploitation assisted by machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Adding a high-resolution X-band SAR satellite to a powerful C-band SAR satellite will also unlock new use cases, including failover and tracking techniques that allow MDA’s main wide-area sensor to monitor an area of ​​interest (the “tip”) and to zoom in on objects of interest (the “marker”) using the rear high resolution sensor.

By combining the capabilities of the C and X bands, CHORUS will significantly improve existing services and enable new applications not possible with existing SAR satellites. Features include:

  • Designed with an emphasis on maritime surveillance applications, CHORUS will have dedicated vessel detection imaging modes with imaging capability to collect an area equal to 40% of the world’s exclusive economic zones (EEZs) – or more of 55 million square kilometers – every day using the 25m Vessel detection mode.

  • CHORUS will enable a new level of precision in all-weather satellite monitoring of icebergs in the North Atlantic. This is currently achieved by observations of manned aircraft supplemented by Earth observation satellite images.

  • The mission will enable switch and locate operations between extended surveillance and high resolution point target surveillance. This unique capability is particularly useful, when merged with space-based Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, for use cases such as detecting vessels over a large area and classifying vessels to take into account. load dark ship detection activities.

  • The X-band satellite will operate in a leak orbit, which will improve the correlation of images, allowing more efficient fusion, measurement, exploitation and characterization of events or objects.

The companies also announced that they have signed a separate distribution agreement that will allow MDA to sell existing and future X-band ICEYE data to select RADARSAT-2 customers as well as develop value-added products to leverage immediately started with the advanced integration of information data. and analyzes of these two types of SAR sensors.

MDA owns and operates RADARSAT-2, one of the world’s most successful large-area commercial imaging satellites. With more than 20 imaging modes and customers in over 45 countries, RADARSAT-2 provides operationally reliable products and services supporting a number of use cases including marine surveillance, surveillance ice, disaster management, environmental monitoring, resource management and mapping.

ICEYE operates the world’s largest commercial constellation of SAR satellites and has launched 14 spacecraft to date. The company plans to further expand its constellation with at least four additional satellites by mid-2022, with the goal of achieving an average access time of three hours anywhere in the world.


“We are delighted to be working with ICEYE to add the X-band satellite to our revolutionary constellation CHORUS. We now have two cutting-edge technologies that work together in harmony to bring new ones The agreement to distribute ICEYE data to our RADARSAT-2 customers now allows immediate action on expanding our service roadmap. information.
Mike Greenley, CEO, MDA

“With these pivotal agreements, we recognize an excellent opportunity to showcase the best of ICEYE’s capabilities and expertise with MDA. ICEYE will ensure that the latest technology and high performance X-band SAR satellite data is seamlessly integrated and still available as part of MDA Constellation CHORUS We are very proud to strengthen our relationship with MDA and look forward to providing them with the best SAR capability for many years to come.
– Rafal Modrzewski – Chairman and CEO and co-founder, ICEYE


https://mda.space/en/article/mda-announces-chorus-name-of-its-commercial-earth-observation-mission https://mda.space/en/article/mda-announces-radarsat-2-continuity-mission


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Serving the world from its Canadian headquarters and global offices, MDA (TSX: MDA) is an international partner in space missions and a pioneer in robotics, satellite systems and geointelligence with a 50-year history of firsts on and above the Earth. With more than 2,200 employees across Canada, US and UK, MDA is leading the charge towards viable lunar colonies, enhanced Earth observation, communication in a hyper-connected world, and more. With a track record of realizing space ambitions, MDA empowers highly skilled people to continually push boundaries, take on great challenges, and imagine solutions that inspire and endure to change the world for the better, on land and in the world. the stars.


ICEYE offers unparalleled persistent monitoring capabilities for any location on earth. With the world’s largest constellation of synthetic aperture radars, the company enables its customers to make objective, data-driven decisions in areas such as insurance, disaster response and recovery, security, maritime surveillance and finance. ICEYE data can be collected day or night, and even through cloud cover. For more information, please visit www.ICEYE.com.




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