Maxar Technologies‘ MDA has been awarded four contracts, totalling C$3.8m ($2.83m) under the joint venture Defence Innovation Research Program (DIRP) for the Canadian Government.
DIRP aims to introduce new technologies into the Department of National Defence (DND) and Canadian Armed Forces.
The latest contracts with MDA are for future follow-on RADARSAT constellation mission (RCM) spacecraft and ground segment exploitation systems.
The first contract is to help boost Canada’s maritime surveillance capability in identifying and classifying vessels, monitor port and related littoral vessel traffic events.
Under this contract, MDA will improve the capability with electro-optic/infrared information products that will make use of optical satellite data and hyperspectral imagery, with data also from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) in maritime and coastal surveillance.
The second project will focus on persistent multi-sensor land surveillance and change monitoring to identify and monitor changes over large areas.
Aimed to provide actionable intelligence to DND and civil agencies, this project will use new technologies such as deep learning and availability of large satellite image archives for persistent and operational all-weather monitoring capabilities.
The company, as part of the third project, will examine extraction of meaningful geospatial data information from SAR imagery and the application of Big Data analytics techniques to extract the data.
The fourth contract will involve MDA exploring complementary electro-optical infrared payload to RADARSAT constellation mission using advanced technology for better surveillance of land and sea.
MDA group president Mike Greenley said: “These awards are an exciting opportunity for MDA to explore new synergies of combining synthetic aperture radar with innovative technologies such as optical sensors and deep learning.
“The research programmes have recently commenced and will continue over the next two years.”