Space engineering firm COM DEV announces major satellite contract

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The Cambridge, Ontario space engineering firm COM DEV announced that it has received an order to supply equipment for two communications satellites. The initial authorization to proceed is for $11 million. The full value of the contract will be “in excess of $45 million,” the company said. It will be the largest ever contract between COM DEV and the unnamed “long-standing” customer, identified only as a major satellite prime contractor. COM DEV will supply multiplexers, switches and microwave components.

The satellites will fly in Geostationary Earth Orbit, meaning that they will be positioned at a specific height above the Earth’s equator and will follow the Earth’s rotation, thus appearing stationary to a ground observer. They will include both traditional and High Throughput Satellite (HTS) payload equipment. An HTS can provide twenty times or more the data throughput of a conventional satellite, using the same orbital spectrum.

In a press release, COM DEV president Mike Williams said that the contract demonstrated the company’s “dominant position” as a supplier of equipment for HTS satellites. “The trend towards HTS payloads creates an opportunity for us to provide up to three times the equipment we would for a traditional broadcast payload.” The order is one of the largest the company has ever received for a commercial communications satellite, he said.

Work on the satellite equipment will be done at COM DEV’s Cambridge facilities and be completed by the end of fiscal 2016.

Earlier in July, two satellites, one from Brazil and one from Europe, were launched carrying equipment from COM DEV’s international divisions. The company has also received support recently from the federal government in the form of investment in R&D. COM DEV will be involved with seven projects which it says will play a role in developing the next generation of space equipment products.

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