Satellite Systems

Reaching more of the world with advanced satellite systems and constellations

MDA has been providing advanced satellite systems to support civil, commercial, and military missions for more than 50 years. We have unique expertise designing, manufacturing, and testing antennas, electronics, and payloads for communication satellite missions, and our world-leading work on satellite constellations, systems and subsystems helps provide enhanced and expansive communications on Earth. Whether it is extending broadband to rural areas or parts of the planet without adequate coverage, enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), or deploying the benefits of 5G technology, our interconnected world increasingly depends on satellite systems.

As one of the largest independent providers of satellite subsystems used in low Earth orbit (LEO), medium Earth orbit (MEO) and geostationary orbit (GEO), MDA technology has been integrated into more than 350 satellite missions covering over 850 satellites and containing thousands of antenna and electronic subsystems.

Our complete range of satellite solutions are critical for satellites and space systems to operate and perform their intended mission. Our antenna products cover all frequency bands and are used in spacecraft in every orbit. Our electronics products can be used in almost every part of a satellite or spacecraft. Our payload products and services include communications systems, Earth observation systems, manufacturing, integration and verification solutions for customers.

Satellite Manufacture
A robot used in MDA’s industry 4.0 advanced manufacturing areas for constellations.
Robot Arm
A robot used in MDA’s industry 4.0 advanced manufacturing areas for constellations.
Two MDA employees working on a satellite.
Montreal image
A satellite under construction at MDA’s high-tech industrial facility in Montreal.

A leader in high-volume advanced manufacturing for large satellite constellations

In 2021, MDA was selected by Telesat, one of the world's largest satellite operators, to develop and deliver the Direct Radiating Array (DRA), a revolutionary phased array, electronically-steered multi-beam antenna that will provide enhanced coverage flexibility and agility through advanced beam-forming technology. With this new innovation, achieving any-beam, anytime, anywhere coverage over the entire visible Earth becomes possible.

In 2022, MDA was selected by Globalstar, a leading provider of Mobile Satellite Services including customizable satellite IoT solutions for individuals and businesses globally, as the prime contractor to design, manufacture, assemble and test 17 satellites (with an option for up to an additional nine). The satellites built by MDA will be designed to integrate with Globalstar’s existing constellation, ensuring service continuity for customers.

This work will be done at our state-of-the-art production facility in Quebec which contains one of the largest compact ranges for satellite testing in the world, one of the largest near field ranges in the world, and a wide range of thermal, environmental, PIM, and vibration test facilities. The facility also contains a manufacturing 4.0 environment employing robotic assembly to produce high volume LEO satellite systems.

We are further developing our digital satellite technologies to support the transition from analog to digital payloads for LEO, MEO and GEO satellites by providing customized digital payload solutions for specific applications, including 5G backhaul and rural broadband. This will enable us to offer critical solutions to satellite manufacturers that lack digital payload capabilities.

Satellite Diagram R2

Antennas are required on every space system. They are responsible for transmitting and receiving data to and from the satellite. This is the only way a satellite can communicate to Earth or other orbiting satellites.

Space electronics control, process and manage the entire spacecraft and the data flowing through it.

Payloads combine all of these parts and enable specific missions based on customer requirements, function and purpose.

Compact range