MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) has been contracted by the Government of Canada to deliver an advanced broad-area global maritime and Arctic surveillance solution, Polar Epsilon 2 (PE2), to the Department of National Defence (DND).

The C$48.5m ($37.9m) contract also has options, which if exercised will increase the contract value to C$63.1m ($49.3m).

Under the contract, MDA will deliver ground receiving stations on the east and west coasts of Canada, specifically designed to detect ships from RADAR imagery provided by the RADARSAT Constellation Mission.

"The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the Canadian Armed Forces remain a modern, combat-effective, multi-role military."

The company will also provide two years of in-service support to maintain the delivered systems.

The Polar Epsilon 2 project is aimed at extending the Canadian Armed Forces’ access to a domestic source of space-based Earth observation data.

It will offer a combination of wide-area surveillance and support capabilities offered by Polar Epsilon, with the automatic identification system data tracking system used on ships, to enable the Canadian forces to identify and track vessels from space in near-real time.

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Canada Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said: "The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the Canadian Armed Forces remain a modern, combat-effective, multi-role military able to conduct the missions the Government asks of it.

"The Polar Epsilon 2 project positions Canada as a world leader in space-based remote sensing for arctic and maritime domain awareness, and provides our women and men in uniform with the data and information needed to respond to domestic and international crises and events."

The new system will enhance the existing Polar Epsilon’s capacity, which was delivered by MDA in 2011. It is a broad-area maritime surveillance system based on MDA’s RADARSAT-2 satellite.

PE2 ground segment systems feature ground segment systems that are able to receive and exploit information from the Radarsat constellation mission (RCM) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites.