MAXAR Wins $3.8M Defense Innovation Research Program (DIRP) in Part for RADAR


RICHMOND, BC, Dec. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ – MDA, a Maxar Technologies company (NYSE: MAXR) (TSX: MAXR), today announced it was awarded four contracts under the Defence Innovation Research Program (DIRP) with a combined total value of CA$3.8 million. The DIRP supports Canada’s long-term commitment to respond to the scientific and technological needs of the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces. The objective of this latest DIRP initiative is to help to define the technologies and capabilities for future follow-on RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) spacecraft and ground segment exploitation systems.

MDA’s projects include:

  • Augmenting Canada’s Maritime Surveillance Capability with Complementary EO/IR Information Products: MDA will advance how optical satellite data and hyperspectral imagery complements Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data in strategic maritime and coastal surveillance applications. Improving Canada’s ability to identify and classify vessels and monitor port and other littoral vessel traffic activities by providing timely information to relevant agencies for threat assessment and action. 
  • Persistent Multi-Sensor Land Surveillance and Change Monitoring: MDA seeks to leverage the complementarity of Optical and SAR satellite image stacks to better identify and monitor changes over large areas of land. The expected benefits include more persistent and operational all-weather monitoring capabilities and very high change classification accuracy. To achieve these benefits the project will leverage new technologies such as Deep Learning and exploit the availability of large satellite image archives. The applications are far ranging and are expected to provide actionable intelligence to DND as well as to civil agencies. 
  • SAR Big Data Analytics: Petabytes of information-rich RADARSAT data exists in archives. MDA seeks to understand and demonstrate how big data analytics, Deep Learning in particular, can be applied to large archives of SAR imagery to better extract meaningful geospatial information to support actionable decision-making. 
  • Complementary EO/IR Payload to RCM: Working with Canadian industry partners, MDA explores the technical readiness and mission value of using Electro-Optical Infrared sensors to strengthen the value of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission follow-on for the surveillance of land, maritime and defence applications at a global scale. By combining, SAR and Electro-Optical Infrared sensors Canada is able to leverage the weather independent observation capabilities of SAR with finer feature discrimination of thermal, hyperspectral, or multispectral sensing for improved day and night global surveillance.

“These awards are an exciting opportunity for MDA to explore new synergies of combining Synthetic Aperture Radar with innovative technologies such as optical sensors and Deep Learning,” said Mike Greenley, group president of MDA. “The research programs have recently commenced and will continue over the next two years.”


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