MDA achieves milestone with new Sapphire satellite
March 11, 2015, Richmond, B.C. - MDA's Information Systems group has announced it has successfully completed two years of operating Sapphire, the first dedicated operational military satellite for Canada's Department of National Defence (DND).
The Sapphire system was developed, built, and is operated by MDA, providing DND with an information solution that collects data on more than 12,000 man-made space objects per month. As of December 2014, Sapphire has provided data on more than 183,000 objects of interest since its launch in February 2013. Sapphire collects and processes in excess of 2,000 images per day and by the end of 2014 had collected over 1.1 million images.
The Sapphire satellite looks into deep space to track man-made space objects in Earth’s orbit. The Sapphire System is a component in Canada’s ongoing support of international Space Situational Awareness. The U.S. Space Surveillance Network collects data from Sapphire, enhancing the ability of Canada and the United States to detect and avoid the collision of critical space platforms with other satellites or space debris.