PALO ALTO, CA, Aug. 26, 2015 /CNW/ - Space Systems/Loral (SSL), a leading provider of commercial satellites, today announced it was awarded a contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to study on-orbit robotic assembly of geostationary communications satellites. Called Dragonfly, the program is designed to enable larger and more powerful satellites that cannot be launched fully assembled, to be packaged in pieces within a standard launch vehicle fairing.
"The Dragonfly program gives SSL the opportunity to demonstrate our advanced robotics capabilities with a mission that has the potential to transform the way satellites are built," said John Celli, president of SSL. "SSL has a track record of partnering with DARPA on cost-effective developments that leverage commercial practices and apply to both military and commercial use."
As one of the world's most prolific manufacturers of geostationary communications satellites, SSL brings a wealth of expertise to the Dragonfly study including heritage robotics. The Dragonfly concept, which is designed to have both military and commercial applications, is for satellites to self-assemble from an efficiently stowed state while in orbit with a focus on the installation and reconfiguration of large radio frequency (RF) antenna reflectors.
The study is scheduled for a five-month first phase during which SSL will seek to demonstrate how assembling satellites on orbit could lower satellite cost and mass, while at the same time enabling higher satellite performance. SSL is planning to further develop on-orbit satellite assembly capability and as part of this effort, has submitted a proposal to NASA for collaboration on taking the concept to a ground demonstration followed by a flight application.
SSL, a subsidiary of MDA, is a leading provider of commercial satellites with broad expertise to support satellite operators and innovative space related missions. The company designs and manufactures spacecraft for services such as direct-to-home television, video content distribution, broadband Internet, mobile communications, and Earth observation. As a Silicon Valley innovator for more than 50 years, SSL's advanced product line also includes state-of-the-art small satellites, and sophisticated robotics and automation solutions for remote operations. For more information, visit www.sslmda.com.
MDA is a global communications and information company providing operational solutions to commercial and government organizations worldwide.
MDA's business is focused on markets and customers with strong repeat business potential, primarily in the Communications sector and the Surveillance and Intelligence sector. In addition, the Company conducts a significant amount of advanced technology development.
MDA's established global customer base is served by more than 4,800 employees operating from 11 locations in the United States, Canada, and internationally.
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.'s (MDA) common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "MDA."
This release contains forward-looking statements and information, which reflect the current view of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. and its subsidiaries (collectively "MDA" or the "Company") with respect to future events and financial performance. The forward-looking statements in this regard include statements regarding the award of a contract by an inter-governmental agency. Any such forward-looking statements are based on MDA's current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends. The factors and assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements in this release include contracts not being terminated. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations. MDA cautions readers that should certain risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary significantly from those expected. The risks that could cause actual results to differ from current expectations include, but are not limited to: risks associated with the design, development and operation of technology for use in an extraterrestrial environment; failure of third parties and subcontractors; failure of systems to meet performance requirements; and failure to anticipate changes in technology, technical standards and offerings or compliance with the requisite standards.
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