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TECH SPACE
MDA awarded key development work for exploration and communications
by Staff Writers
Richmond, Canada (SPX) Jan 24, 2014


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MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates has been awarded multiple strategic technology development contracts by the Canadian Space Agency. The contracts, with a combined value of approximately CA$3 million, are funded under CSA's Space Technology Development Program whose mandate is to advance key technologies to support future Canadian space exploration missions and support industrial capacity building.

Several of the contracted projects are expected to advance technologies which enable more ambitious approaches to robotic spacecraft servicing, robotic systems that can operate in more challenging space environments, and instruments for planetary exploration.

One project is to focus on advancing the development of deployable ultra-high frequency (UHF) antennas used for satellite communication. UHF antennas are normally rigid and deployed at full size; this project seeks to develop an antenna that could be folded, resulting in a very compact size for launch.

The antenna could then deploy to its full length once the final orbital position is reached. Reducing the size of the antenna at launch could benefit initiatives such as small satellites and hosted payloads.

"These contracts build on MDA's reputation of developing a broad range of innovative space-based solutions," commented Don Osborne, the general manager responsible for this business.

"They will help to accelerate strategic technologies for future space missions."

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