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Terma Delivers Data Processing Chain For Canadian Satellite Program

Terma has significant experience in building ground-based control and information processing facilities for space applications. In addition, Terma is a provider of on-board electronic equipment such as star trackers and power systems.
by Staff Writers
Copenhagen, Denmark (SPX) Mar 07, 2008
Denmark-based high-tech company Terma has been awarded a contract from Canadian company MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) to deliver a data processing chain as part of the Sapphire space object surveillance program. As mission prime, MDA will lead the Sapphire mission team, including Terma and UK-based Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. for delivering the spacecraft and Canadian COM DEV contracted to build the payload.

As part of the contract - based on previous experiences in processing images from star trackers - Terma will develop the observation processing and scheduling facility to be installed in Canada.

The mission will provide a satellite-based Resident Space Object (RSO) observation service that will provide accurate tracking data on deep space orbiting objects.

SAPPHIRE will feature a space-based data collection platform for continuous surveillance of manmade objects in medium to high Earth orbits (6,000 to 40,000 km).

The data collected will be processed by the facility delivered by Terma, and the results will be used to update the U.S. Satellite Catalogue that is used by both NORAD and Canada to provide space situational awareness.

The Sapphire Processing and Scheduling Facility (SPSF) includes several subsystems: an observation scheduling module, an image processing module, and a calibration module.

The technology is based on Terma's significant experience in adapting star trackers to the needs of orbit and attitude control systems on a range of European and American satellites. In this case, the adaptation will be towards the design of the Sapphire telescope.

The two year program is part of a USD 65 million contract from Canada's Department of National Defence (DND), with potential to extend the contract to cover mission support, operations, and maintenance.

Terma has significant experience in building ground-based control and information processing facilities for space applications. In addition, Terma is a provider of on-board electronic equipment such as star trackers and power systems.

Recent projects in Terma include a significant contract with MDA for the satellite control center of Radarsat 2, a radar-based Earth observation satellite launched in December 2007.

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