ABB to help Canadian space agency to monitor climate in the North Pole

ABB wins R&D contract worth CDN $5.7 million from Canadian Space Agency   

QUEBEC, Nov. 22, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, will develop key applications for an instrument designed for meteorological observations onboard satellites for the Canadian Space Agency's Polar Communications and Weather (PCW) mission.

This R&D contract for an imaging spectroradiometer, a device designed to measure the wavelengths of individual colors of light, is worth CDN $5.7 million and was awarded by the Canadian Space Agency through the Space Technologies Development Program (STDP). The technologies that ABB will develop are similar to those currently under development for the next generation of geostationary weather satellites.

Currently there are limitations to the short-term weather forecasts, long-term climatological predictions, and other services offered in the high Arctic by existing satellites, particularly with respect to mobile communications for ships, planes and unmanned aerial vehicles. To help improve these services the PCW mission aims to place two satellites into a highly elliptical orbit approximately 39,900 km above the North Pole to provide reliable and continuous communication services and to monitor weather and climate changes throughout the Arctic region.

"Space-based and ground-based atmospheric instrumentation is a core business at ABB, and this contract will strengthen our position within this market," said Marc-André Soucy, Manager of ABB's Remote Sensing division. "."Backed by its rich heritage in the space industry, ABB will use its expertise to the benefit of the Canadian Space Agency in connection with this major project."

ABB already has a number of space-related projects to its credit, including the interferometer module that is at the heart of the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) instrument, which is a key component of the American National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project (NPP) meteorological satellite that was launched on October 28, 2011.

The PCW project will require the expertise of mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, software engineers (computer science), physicists, optic experts, and technicians who specialize in many other disciplines.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in some 100 countries and employs approximately 130,000 people.

Image with caption: "Model of the imaging spectroradiometer - Image credit : ABB (CNW Group/ABB inc.)". Image available at:


For further information:

ABB Group Media Relations:
Antonio Ligi
(Zurich, Switzerland)
Tel: +41 43 317 6512

ABB inc.
ABB Analytical - Measurement Products
Nancy Rochette, Marketing and Communications Specialist
(Quebec, Canada)
Tel: +1 418 877 2944


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