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  • Satellite Evolution Group

MDA and Thoth Technology create new Canadian space domain awareness capability

Collaboration establishes Canada’s first ground-based radar capable of monitoring Resident Space Objects in geosynchronous orbit.


MDA announced it is working with Thoth Technology to create a made-in-Canada deep space radar surveillance and space domain awareness (SDA) capability. As part of a strategic cooperation agreement, MDA commercial data services will be integrated with Thoth’s ground-based radar technology to provide unprecedented levels of sovereign monitoring in deep space over Canada, providing both detection and characterization of space objects.

Thoth uses a unique ground-based radar to characterize objects in geosynchronous orbit (GEO). This new radar technology, called Earthfence, detects and characterizes Resident Space Objects (RSOs) in GEO to provide situational awareness for a region 36,000 km away from Earth.

As part of the agreement, MDA will utilize its extensive experience to provide web-based data services through its industry leading observation web platform tool to evaluate and store data collected from Earthfence. MDA will also serve as the customer interface for all data requests.

“This collaboration is a natural fit for MDA, and we’re excited to be part of bringing Thoth’s unique deep space radar technology to build this space domain awareness capability in Canada,” said Mike Greenley, CEO of MDA. “MDA currently operates the Department of National Defence Sapphire spacecraft, the only non-US space-based contributor to the US Space Surveillance Network, and with this agreement with Thoth, we are well positioned to continue to provide critical space domain awareness capabilities that are an essential part of space surveillance and space security.”

Located in northern Ontario, Thoth’s radar facility provides more accurate range and other characterization information than the current optical systems used for GEO. Combined with MDA’s expertise, it will advance, develop and deliver transformative capabilities in deep space radar surveillance and SDA.

“In an increasingly congested and contested space environment, operators of complex satellites need to ensure that their technology is safe,” said Dr. Caroline Roberts, Thoth Technology President and CEO. “Leveraging the innovative work of Dr. Brendan Quine, CEO of ThothX and an expert in radar technologies, our Earthfence technology provides unprecedented levels of space traffic awareness day or night and Thoth is the only commercial provider of this service. As a growing Canadian business, we are thrilled to have the support and data expertise of an established company like MDA.”

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