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MDA Will Launch its Next Generation Earth Observation Constellation on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket

MDA launches a new corporate identity to highlight soaring space ambitions (CNW Group/MDA)


MDA announced at its Earth Insight customer conference that it has selected SpaceX to be the launch service provider for CHORUS, MDA’s next generation Earth observation constellation. CHORUS is targeted to launch on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket in the Q4 2025 launch window from Florida.

A collaborative multi-sensor constellation, CHORUS will bring together diverse and unique imagery and data sources and provide a new level of near real-time insight and innovative Earth observation services. Operating in a unique mid-inclination orbit, CHORUS will be able to image day or night, regardless of weather conditions, with daily access of up to 95% of the coverage area. From an industry-leading 700km-wide imaging swath down to sub-metre high resolution, CHORUS will provide the most extensive and unrivalled Earth observation radar imaging capacity available on the market in a single mission.

“The production of CHORUS is well underway and we are looking forward to once again working with SpaceX to launch our next generation Earth observation capability,” said Mike Greenley, CEO of MDA. “The Earth is big, dynamic and evolving daily, and our ability to see, measure and analyze what is happening in near real-time – and over time – is imperative to meeting the needs of our global customer base. The insight that CHORUS will provide to governments, companies and organizations around the world will drive decisions and action, and will help to solve some of the biggest problems facing our planet.”

In 2013, MDA became the first commercial customer to launch on SpaceX’s Falcon 9. Designed and manufactured by SpaceX, Falcon 9 is the world’s first and only orbital class reusable rocket.

With multiple sensors operating in a unique mid-inclination orbit, CHORUS will support higher imaging frequency between the mid-latitude areas of the northern and southern hemispheres. With tipping and cueing techniques, higher imaging performance, more imaging time per orbit, fast-tasking, faster delivery timelines and near real-time data exploitation aided by machine-learning and artificial intelligence, CHORUS will offer advanced, innovative Earth observation services, including:

• Protection of national security and sovereignty by providing critical time-sensitive data and intelligence on maritime and land activities;

• Detection of illegal activities such as overfishing, deforestation or bilge water dumping;

• Monitoring of critical infrastructure, transportation corridors, coastal erosion, land subsidence and the effects of climate change;

• Provision of timely information to support humanitarian aid and disaster response in the aftermath of floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes and marine oil spills; and

• Routine systematic observations for a variety of natural resources, industrial and geographic applications including agriculture, forestry, mining and exploration activities.

Through Canada’s successful RADARSAT program, MDA has created an internationally recognized reputation for excellence in near-real time, broad area, commercial SAR data for mission critical applications. The RADARSAT series includes RADARSAT-1 (1995), RADARSAT-2 (2007) and the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (2019). CHORUS will be MDA’s fourth generation Earth observation mission.

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