Canadian Space Agency
St. Hubert, Quebec
SASKATCHEWAN FIRM TO TAKE CANADA DEEP SPACE WITH A $23M CONTRACT
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, August 26, 1998 -- The Honourable Ron J. Duhamel,
Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development and Western Economic
Diversification) announced today that SED Systems Inc. of Saskatoon, a
wholly-owned subsidiary of Calian Technololgy Ltd. (TSE-CTY), has been awarded
a $23 million contract from the European Space Agency (ESA). The contract has
been made possible through the Canada-ESA Partnership Program of the Canadian
Space Agency (CSA).
"In the twenty-year history of the partnership between the Government of
Canada and the European Space Agency, this is the largest contract ever
awarded to a Canadian company under the General Budget of ESA, and is the
first major ESA contract going to acompany in the Prairies," said Minister
Duhamel. "This single most important investment from ESA not only signifies
a Boost to the regional economy, but will help to maintain Canada's expertise
in the ever-growing world satellite communications industry."
SED Systems Inc. will provide a 35 metre antenna system to be installed at
ESA's facilities in Perth, Australia, in late 2001. The antenna is needed for
ESA's ROSETTA program in which a spacecraft, to be launched in 2003, will
rendezvous some nine years later with the comet Wirtanen. On its way to the
comet, the spacecraft will fly past and make measurements of two asteroids.
Once in orbit around Wirtanen, the spacecraft will make scientific
measurements and deploy a small landing package to explore the surface. SED's
antenna system will be used to send commands to the spacecraft and transmit
data back to Earth.
The opportunity for the Saskatchewan company to bid on the ESA antenna project
came through the CSA's cooperative agreement with ESA and its annual
contributions to the ESA's general operating budget. Thus, the competition for
this project was open to Canadian suppliers, and the door was then open to SED.
The Canada-ESA Partnership Program, managed by the CSA, provides opportunities
to Canadian companies to bid for and obtain technology development contracts
from ESA and to participate in major European space projects. Since the
collaborative program began in 1978, Canadian industry has received some 400
contracts worth in excess of $250M from ESA.
"We are very pleased SED has been chosen as the prime contractor for this
truly international antenna project," said Ed Lambert, Calian President & COO.
"We are also pleased to welcome ESA as a new customer. We've been providing
satellite ground systems to customers around the world for over 30 years, but
this is our first major sale to ESA and it's certainly the largest antenna
system we've provided."
At 35 metres in diameter, the antenna will be one of the largest in the world
used for deep-space telemetry, tracking and command applications. A powerful
20 kW transmitter will be used to send signals to the distant spacecraft, and
receiving amplifiers will operate at 15 degrees above absolute zero (-273 C)
to pick out the weak signals being sent back from deep space.
At one point, the spacecraft will be 900 million kilometers from the Earth,
more than six times the distance from the Earth to the Sun. Because of the
distance, communications from the Earth to the spacecraft and back again
could take as long as 100 minutes, even though the signals will be traveling
at the speed of light. The entire mission lifetime is 10.5 years.
SED Systems will be leading an industrial team for this project composed of
companies located in Canada, Germany, USA, France,Finland, Italy, Spain,
Switzerland and Australia. SED's customer, ESA's European Space Operations
Centre (ESOC), is located in Germany and the antenna will be installed in
Perth, Western Australia.
SED's satellite ground systems are operating on six continents and include
in-orbit testing, spectrum monitoring, satellite telemetry tracking and
command and satellite control facilities, as well as feeder link stations and
satellite communications gateways. SED also operates and maintains the
RADARSAT Satellite Control Facility under contract to the CSA at facilities
in Quebec and Saskatoon. Other services provided by SED include development
of satellite test and operations procedures, and on-site satellite test and
commissioning support. SED's customers include major international satellite
manufacturers, operators and service providers such as Lockheed Martin,
Hughes Space and Communications, Space Systems Loral, Inmarsat, Intelsat and
WorldSpace. Recent results of a Space Industry survey undertaken by the CSA
indicated that SED Systems is one of the seven most influential players in
Canada's space industry.
Calian Technology Ltd.'s mission is to maximize shareholder value through the
provision of diversified technology and professional services. Its vision is
to be the most desirable Canadian technology and professional services
provider to work for, buy from and invest in.
The Canadian Space Agency is committed to leading the development and
application of space knolwledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.
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For further information, contact:
Canadian Space Agency
Telephone: (450) 926-4355
Cellular: (450) 943-6808
Don Epp, P. ENG
SED Systems Inc.
Telephone: (306) 933-1498
Calian Technology Ltd.
Telephone: (613) 599-7200