Canadian Manufacturing

MDA gets another contract for lunar landing sensor

MDA has developed a full suite of standardized sensor products designed for use in lunar landings, orbital debris removal, rendezvous and docking as well as Earth observation. 

January 13, 2022  by CM Staff

BRAMPTON —  MDA Ltd. has obtained a contract with an undisclosed US-based space company for a key landing sensor for a 2023 mission to the Moon. This award was made as part of the company’s project involving NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, according to a company statement.

“Momentum is building as governments and private sector organizations work hand in glove on a shared mission that will take us back towards the Moon and beyond,” said Mike Greenley, Chief Executive Officer of MDA in a statement.

“MDA is proud to be part of that collaboration and we look forward to supporting the upcoming missions to the lunar surface where our robotics and sensor technologies will play an important enabling role.”

This follows a similar contract announced in August to provide lunar landing sensors to Intuitive Machines. The company stated that it associates this opportunity with a renewed interest in Moon missions from governments and commercial organizations around the world.

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According to Euroconsult, approximately 130 missions are expected by the end of the decade, compared to 52 missions conducted over the prior decade. All of the missions require sensors. MDA has developed a full suite of standardized sensor products designed for use in lunar landings, orbital debris removal, rendezvous and docking as well as Earth observation.

The landing sensors for the US-based 2023 mission will be delivered from MDA’s Harwell UK office. The company also stated that the UK Space Agency has supported the development of MDA’s two commercial lunar landing sensors – LEIA (Lidar) and FLARE (Laser Range Finder).

“No one gets to the Moon on their own and strong partnerships are critical to mission success. We are grateful for the collaboration and support from the UK Space Agency on our suite of commercial landing sensors which will ensure that MDA and the UK are at the forefront of a new commercial space race,” said David Kenyon, Managing Director of MDA UK in a statement.

MDA stated that while FLARE will be used for flatter, less risky landing areas, the contract announced today will use the LEIA technology, which enables landings in more treacherous locations. Through its use of 3D models to navigate around obstacles, LEIA provides an opportunity to access a greater number of sites and essential resources.


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