Canada's Department of National Defence (DND) has awarded a contract to MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) to provide operational support for Radarsat-2 satellite ground stations, National Defence minister Peter MacKay and associate defence minister Kerry-Lynne D Findlay have said in a joint statement.
The contract follows a previous one-year deal awarded to MDA in 2012 for operational support that included options for an additional four years, with the first recently exercised.
MacKay said the Canadian-built satellite offers powerful technical advancements that enhance marine surveillance, ice monitoring, disaster management, environmental monitoring, resource management, and mapping in Canada and worldwide.
"Radarsat-2 allows our domestic operators to access data in as little as six minutes, helping us exercise Canada's sovereignty over its territorial waters, including in the north," MacKay added.
Under the latest C$3.5m contract, MDA will support the Radarsat-2 ground stations in Masstown, Nova Scotia and Aldergrove, British Columbia, Canada, until March 2014.
The Radarsat-2 ground systems have been designed to support the deliverables under the Polar Epsilon project, the broad-area surveillance system delivered to the DND in 2012 by MDA.
In addition to providing global high-resolution surveillance capabilities to support deployed Canadian Forces, the Polar Epsilon surveillance system provides space-based, day and night, all-weather maritime surveillance information of Canada's Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans.
Findlay said that the military uses Radarsat-2's information to generate imagery during operations to support efficient and cost-effective use of Canadian military assets for its commanders.
"It frees up complimentary capabilities in our inventory, and allows us to deploy our air and sea assets much more efficiently, effectively and decisively," Findlay said.