The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has awarded 14 contracts worth just over CAD $9 million (US $6.6 million) to eight companies under its Space Technology Development Program (STDP).
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) received a total of six contracts worth CAD $3.5 million (US $2.6 million). COM DEV of Cambridge, Ont., received a pair of contracts worth nearly CAD $1.6 million (US $1.1 million). And UrtheCast of Vancouver received a contract worth $999,916 (US $736,131).
“As part of a competitive process, proposals are selected based on the applicant’s (mainly industry) capacity to advance the development of specific space technologies for which they receive financial support of up to 75% of their project cost,” CSA said on its website.
The space agency plans to award additional contracts under the STDP. Details of the awards are below.
VANCOUVER (UrtheCast PR) – UrtheCast Corp. (TSX: UR) (“UrtheCast” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide an update with respect to closing the acquisition of Geosys Technology Holding LLC, securing a US$12 million term loan and other corporate updates.
Closing of Geosys Acquisition
UrtheCast is pleased to announce the acquisition (the “Geosys Acquisition”) of Geosys Technology Holding LLC (“Geosys”) from Land O’ Lakes, Inc. (“Land O’Lakes”). The total purchase price for the Geosys Acquisition is US$20 million payable in three installments. The first installment of US$5 million was paid to Land O’Lakes on the closing of the Geosys Acquisition today, US$5 million is payable on October 14, 2019 and the balance of US$10 million is payable upon the transfer of certain intellectual property from Land O’Lakes prior to April 13, 2021. As part of the first closing, UrtheCast entered into a new 13-year agreement to provide Land O’Lakes with certain services currently provided by Geosys to Land O’Lakes with total annual fees payable to UrtheCast in excess of US$10 million per year, and an increased rate at such time as the UrtheDaily Constellation is operational. (more…)
UrtheCast says it is close to securing financing to launch a constellation of satellites capable of acquiring daily high-quality, multispectral imagery of locations taken at the same time from the same altitude.
Further to the update provided during its third quarter earnings release on November 14, 2017, the Company has evaluated multiple opportunities and selected an institutional investor with which it has entered into an exclusivity agreement on December 15, 2017 for the previously announced US$175 million financing for the development of the UrtheDaily™ Constellation.
The Company is currently working closely with the investor to finalize closing documentation as soon as practicable, with a target completion date for the financing extended to the end of January 2018. Completion is subject to final definitive documentation being completed and agreed, the lender’s completion of confirmatory due diligence and receiving approval of our Board of Directors.
Following funding, UrtheCast will have a path to the launch and commercialization of the UrtheDaily™ Constellation. With signed binding agreements for both data subscriptions totaling in excess of C$100 million, and a contract to build the UrtheDaily™ Constellation, the Company continues to target the commencement of the UrtheDaily™ operations in the 2020 growing season notwithstanding the extension of the financing closing date.
The company describes the constellation as follows:
UrtheDaily™ is a planned global coverage constellation aiming to acquire high-quality, multispectral imagery, at 5-m GSD, taken at the same time, from the same altitude every day. With its exceptional capabilities, it presents a disruptive and problem-solving technology that will transform the way we observe our planet.
The spacecraft, constellation and operations approach is expected to enable ultra-high sensor spectral calibration targeted specifically at geoanalytics applications to optimize the ability to reliably extract information from the imagery and to detect even subtle changes on the planet.
The spectral bands of the UrtheDaily™ constellation have been specifically selected to match Landsat-8/Sentinel-2/RapidEye/Deimos- 1 bands to ease the constant and automatic in-flight cross-calibration with trusted references, minimize the effects due to atmospheric variations, and to provide improved accuracy of key information products.
VANCOUVER, BC (UrtheCast PR) – UrtheCast Corp. (TSX:UR) (“UrtheCast” or the “Company”), and Twenty First Century Aerospace Technology Co. Ltd (“21AT”), China’s largest independent commercial satellite operator and non-governmental investor in remote sensing satellite systems, today announced a long-term strategic partnership to acquire geospatial data from the UrtheDailyTM Constellation, UrtheCast’s planned constellation of Earth observation satellites which will deliver daily, medium resolution imagery of the entire planet’s landmass, excluding Antarctica.
MADRID, Spain (UrtheCast PR) – UrtheCast Corp. and its subsidiary, the Earth Observation company Deimos Imaging, today announced the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement with Beijing Space View Technology Co. Ltd. (“Space View”), a leading provider of remote sensing satellite data and geospatial information services based in China, for the mutual global distribution of their respective product portfolios.
The space assets of Deimos Imaging and Space View include Deimos-1, Deimos-2 and the satellite SuperView constellation, of which currently 2 satellites have been launched, with the next two to be launched at the end of 2017, resulting in a wide portfolio of medium, high and very high-resolution satellites. These assets are complementary and are expected to provide customers with an exceptional level of decision making data, and to create unique and valuable benefits across a diverse group of sectors while strengthening the positions of both companies in their respective markets.
SURREY, England (SSTL PR) — A signed contract for the Earth Observation satellites for the UrtheDailyTM Constellation was announced today by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and UrtheCast of Canada. The UrtheDailyTM Constellation, planned for launch in 2020, will be capable of scientific-grade quality, multispectral imagery, high-resolution, targeted specifically at geoanalytics applications.
The UrtheDailyTM spacecraft are based on the SSTL-250 platform and will be built by SSTL at its facilities in Guildford UK. The spacecraft will deliver high-resolution imagery using spectral bands, which have been specifically selected to match Landsat-8, Sentinel-2, RapidEye and Deimos-1 bands to ease cross-calibration with trusted references and to minimise the effects of atmospheric variations.
Wade Larson, President and CEO of UrtheCast commented “I am delighted to be announcing the UrtheDailyTM Constellation contract has been placed today with SSTL, the world leader in the design and manufacture of small satellites. Our two companies have developed a close synergy, and our combined experience and expertise has resulted in a space systems architecture for the UrtheDailyTM Constellation that will deliver exceptional data quality for a range of geoanalytics products.”
Andrew Cawthorne, Director of Earth Observation at SSTL said “We have worked closely with UrtheCast to develop an imaging system capable of detecting subtle changes on the planet, and we are very much looking forward to supplying the satellites for this landmark Earth Observation constellation.”
SSTL is a leading supplier of LEO missions to commercial owner operators: previous missions include Beijing-1, platforms for the 5 satellite RapidEye constellation, Deimos-1, exactView-1, KazEOSAT-2, and the 3-satellite TripleSat constellation.
VANCOUVER, Aug. 14, 2017 (UrtheCast PR) — UrtheCast Corp. (TSX:UR) (the “Company”) announced today that it has entered into a contract with a confidential customer for the development and delivery of a dual-frequency stand-alone Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) operational-class satellite as an “accelerator” for the OptiSARTM Constellation.
The exact amount of the contract is not being disclosed at this time for confidentiality and competitive reasons, but the Company can confirm that it is a substantial contract worth in excess of one hundred million Canadian dollars.
Bryce Space and Technology has produced a new report, Start-up Space: Update on Investment in Commercial Space Ventures.
Below is the executive summary. You can also download the full report.
The Start-Up Space series examines space investment in the 21st century and analyzes investment trends, focusing on investors in new companies that have acquired private financing. Space is continuing to attract increased attention in Silicon Valley and in investment communities world-wide. Space ventures now appeal to investors because new, lower-cost systems are envisioned to follow the path terrestrial tech has profitably traveled: dropping system costs and massively increasing user bases for new products, especially new data products. Large valuations and exits are demonstrating the potential for high returns. (more…)
VANCOUVER, BC, March 14, 2017 (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada PR) — A Vancouver-based company will develop new technologies that will provide its clients with highly detailed images of the planet as a result of a $17.6-million (US$13.06 million) investment by the Government of Canada.
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced this investment in UrtheCast Corp., a leading developer of space and ground-based satellite technology.
VANCOUVER, January 17, 2017 (UrtheCast PR) — UrtheCast Corp. (TSX:UR) (“UrtheCast” or the “Company”), the geospatial and geo-analytics company developing two Earth Observation (EO) satellite constellations, known as OptiSARTM and UrtheDailyTM, today announces that it has entered into a binding agreement with a confidential government customer for the sale and shared operation of the first two satellites in the OptiSARTM Constellation, the world’s first commercial EO constellation with integrated optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensors, for US$180 million.
The customer has also agreed to pay an additional US$30 million for other products and services related to the sale of the satellites, contingent on the parties reaching mutual agreement on the final scope of these deliverables. (more…)
The Small Satellite 2016 Conference is now over. Below are links to Parabolic Arc’s coverage of the conference and the CubeSat Workshop that preceded it last weekend. There are also links to announcements made during the conference and in recent weeks.
VANCOUVER, Aug. 4, 2016 (UrtheCast PR) — UrtheCast Corp. (TSX:UR) (“UrtheCast” or the “Company”), today announces that it has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to U.S. companies interested in a long-term strategic partnership to serve the United States Government, further to the Company’s announcement on May 6, 2016.
The RFP solicits prospective U.S. commercial partners with strong U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC) footprints to help deliver data and services from UrtheCast’s planned 8-satellite UrtheDaily™ Constellation and 16-satellite OptiSAR™ Constellation to U.S. Government user agencies.
VANCOUVER, BC, July 29, 2016 (UrtheCast PR) — | UrtheCast Corp. (TSX:UR) (“UrtheCast” or the “Company”) today announces that it has signed a strategic partnership with OmniEarth, Inc. (“OmniEarth”) in support of UrtheCast’s planned UrtheDaily Constellation, expected to be capable of imaging 140 million square kilometers of the global landmass every day at 5 meters GSD. The UrtheCast-OmniEarth partnership includes collaborative system development, the sharing of intellectual property, and joint customer marketing activities.
Clyde Stays Cool: While many in the United Kingdom are (figuratively) losing their heads over Brexit, smallsat maker Clyde Space of Scotland is taking the vote to leave the European Union in stride.
“We really don’t do that much business in Europe,” CEO Craig Clark said. “Our first contracts were in Asia, Japan, South Africa and the U.S. and it actually took us a few years to get a contract in the EU. We will be relatively unaffected by this.”
UrtheCast Lays Off Staff: UrtheCast laid off a dozen employees in San Francisco and gave three others the option of working from home as the company consolidated operations at its headquarters in Vacouver, B.C.
The company had about 250 employees before the layoffs.
China Completes Mega Telescope: China has completed the world’s largest radio telescope, which is called the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST). The telescope, which has 4,450 panels on it, will search for signs of alien life.
PALO ALTO, Calif., Jun 27, 2016 (Orbital Insight PR) – Orbital Insight, a geospatial big data company, today announced its $15 million Series B round led by GV (formerly Google Ventures), with participation from CME Ventures, and existing investors Sequoia Capital, Lux Capital, and Bloomberg Beta. Together with an investment and development agreement from In-Q-Tel (IQT), this investment adds $20 million to the company’s funding.