VANCOUVER—SSL, the U.S. commercial satellite business of Canada’s MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., has signed a deal to help the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency develop a satellite servicing business.
The company, also known as MDA, says DARPA’s Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites program is expected to be the foundation of a new business for SSL.
DARPA and SSL are expected to share the costs and responsibilities for the program.
SSL will provide a spacecraft to carry the robotic servicing payload and will manage integration and operation of the spacecraft, while DARPA will contribute the robotics technology, expertise and a government-provided launch. MDA will add a refuelling capability.
The RSGS program is expected to have the capability to perform a variety of different types of missions for clients on both a planned and urgent need.
The business will offer both commercial and government customers repair, upgrade and relocation services as well as satellite refuelling.