CAMBRIDGE, ON, Nov. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - COM DEV International Ltd.
(TSX:CDV), ("COM DEV" or "the Company") a leading manufacturer of space
hardware and systems, announces that three state-of-the-art scientific
instruments provided by COM DEV to the European Space Agency ("ESA")
for its Swarm mission were launched today from the Plasetsk Cosmodrome
in northern Russia.
The Swarm mission utilises three satellites each having an identical
suite of six instruments. The trio of satellites will measure magnetic
signals from the Earth's core, mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and
magnetosphere. The data collected by the Swarm satellites will provide
new insights into a range of phenomena about the magnetic field which
surrounds the Earth and shields it from the harmful effects of solar
storms, cosmic rays and charged particles that bombard the planet.
Strong solar storms have caused power and communication blackouts, and
damaged satellites on orbit. Without Earth's protective magnetic
shield, the development of life would likely have been impossible.
Evidence points to a weakening of the planet's magnetic shield and the
Swarm mission will enable scientists to understand the causes.
COM DEV's role was to design, develop, integrate and test the Canadian
Electrical Field Instrument (EFI) which is integrated into the
instrument suites of all three satellites. The Canadian EFI will
collect information about the interaction of Earth's magnetic field
with the solar wind and electric currents, and their effects on Earth.
"I appreciate the confidence that ESA expressed in COM DEV by selecting
the company to be the prime contractor for three instruments that will
make an important contribution toward the scientific goals of the Swarm
mission," said Mike Pley, CEO of COM DEV International. "The CEFI
project is a continuation of COM DEV's world-leading heritage in space
science, space weather, and space situational awareness instruments."
Each Canadian EFI consists of two types of sensors and an electronics
assembly. The two sensor types are the Thermal Ion Imagers and Langmuir
Probes. The Thermal Ion Imagers, developed by the University of
Calgary, will provide a high resolution 3D picture of the ion flow
around the Earth. The Langmuir Probes, developed by the Swedish
Institute of Space Physics, measure electron density, electron
temperature and the electric potential of the satellite.
Under the Canada-ESA Cooperation Agreement, Canada is a participating
state of ESA's Earth Observation Envelope Program (EOEP). This allows
Canadian organizations to take part in the development and operation of
EOEP missions by bidding on and obtaining related contracts, and
enabling Canadian groups to access the data collected by these
missions. ESA awarded the prime contract for the Canadian EFI to COM
DEV in 2007. The total value of the contract was $16.6 million and the
work was completed at the Company's facilities in Cambridge, Ontario.
The CSA is funding work by Canadian universities to validate and
perform scientific research with data from the Swarm mission and with
data from Canadian ground- and space-based instruments. COM DEV's
earlier work on the Cold Plasma Analyzer (CPA) instrument for Sweden's
Freja satellite, and the Thermal Plasma Analyzer (TPA) instrument
provided on Japan's Nozomi satellite, contributed to the success of the
Canadian EFI project. Both the CPA and TPA projects were funded by the
The Swarm mission has a design life of four years. The satellites will
travel in a polar low Earth orbit, two satellites side-by-side at an
eventual altitude of 300 kilometres above the Earth, with the third
maintaining an altitude of 530 kilometres. Data collected will be
downloaded daily to the ESA's ground station at Kiruna, Sweden and
processed at the Centre for Earth Observation at Frascati, Italy.
About COM DEV
COM DEV International Ltd. (www.comdevintl.com) is a leading global provider of space hardware and services. The
company has a staff of 1,300, annual revenues of $208 million, and
facilities in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. COM DEV
designs, manufactures and integrates advanced products, subsystems and
microsatellites that are sold to major satellite prime contractors,
government agencies and satellite operators, for use in communications,
space science, remote sensing and defence applications. The company has
won contracts to supply its equipment on over 900 spacecraft. COM DEV's
majority-owned subsidiary, exactEarth Ltd., provides satellite data
services for global maritime surveillance.
This news release may contain certain forward-looking statements that
involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially
from results indicated in any forward-looking statements. The Company
cautions that, among other things, in view of the rapid changes in
communications markets and technologies, and other risks including the
cost and market acceptance of the Company's new products, the level of
individual customer procurements and competitive product offerings and
pricing, and general economic circumstances, the Company's business
prospects may be materially different from forward-looking statements
made by the Company. The triangular logo and the word COM DEV are each
registered trademarks and the property of COM DEV Ltd. All rights
SOURCE: Com Dev International Ltd.
For further information:
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Tel: (519) 622-2300 ext. 2826
Tel: (416) 815-0700 ext. 290