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50 Years of MDA

Dr. John Macdonald and Vern Dettwiler co-found Macdonald, Dettwiler & Associates

Created to keep local engineers and scientists from leaving British Columbia in search of work, the partnership between an engineering professor (MacDonald) and a physics graduate (Dettwiler) started out in MacDonald’s Vancouver basement.

MDA CONTRIBUTES TO ANIK A: CANADA BECOMES THE FIRST COUNTRY WITH A DOMESTIC COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE IN GEOSTATIONARY ORBIT

Anik A enables the Canadan Broadcasting Corporation to reach Canada’s North. MDA’s predecessor companies SPAR, RCA Victor and EMS were part of virtually all of Canada’s early communications satellite programs.

MDA DEVELOPS THE WORLD’S FIRST LOW-COST TRANSPORTABLE EARTH OBSERVATION GROUND STATION

MDA PIONEERS USE OF DIGITAL PROCESSOR TO RECONSTRUCT IMAGE FROM NASA’S SEASAT.

Created for remote ocean sensing, NASA’s Seasat was the first civilian space-borne synthetic aperture radar satellite. The image first constructed was of the city of Trois Rivieres, Quebec

CANADARM MAKES DEBUT FLIGHT ON SPACE SHUTTLE COLUMBIA MISSION STS-2

Icons in space exploration and robotics came together in November 1981 as MDA’s Canadarm debuted on the second US space shuttle mission, launching a space robotics legacy that continues to this day.

MDA/SPAR CHOSEN AS PRIME CONTRACTOR FOR CANADARM2-ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

CANADARM USED TO DEPLOY HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE ON SPACE SHUTTLE DISCOVERY

RADARSAT-1 LAUNCHED, WORLD’S FIRST COMMERCIALLY FOCUSED RADAR SATELLITE

MSAT-1 LAUNCHED, FIRST TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM PROVIDING MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS BY SATELLITE

RADARSAT-1 IMAGERY PRODUCES FIRST HIGH-RESOLUTION IMAGE MOSAIC OF ANTARCTICA

NASA and the Canadian Space Agency partnered in the RADARSAT Antarctic Mapping Project, providing the first detailed look at Antarctica’s ice sheet structure, coastline and more.

MDA COMMUNICATIONS AND TRACKING ANTENNAS LAUNCHED TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

MDA-BUILT CANADARM2 AND ROBOTIC WORKSTATION INSTALLED ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

MDA MILESTONE: 70 EARTH OBSERVATION GROUND STATIONS INSTALLED WORLDWIDE

FIRST SATELLITE TO FULLY COMMERCIALIZE KA-FREQUENCY BAND FEATURES MDA-BUILT ANTENNAS

Telesat’s Anik F2 features the breakthrough satellite communications technology, enabling cost-effective, two-way broadband services for the Direct-to-Home satellite television market.

MDA’S ORBITER BOOM SENSOR SYSTEM ENABLES SPACE SHUTTLE RETURN TO FLIGHT, AND PERFORMS FIRST POST-LAUNCH SHUTTLE INSPECTION

RADARSAT-2 LAUNCHED, CANADA’S SECOND-GENERATION RADAR EARTH OBSERVATION SATELLITE

FIRST-EVER DEMONSTRATION OF AUTONOMOUS ON-ORBIT SATELLITE SERVICING USES MDA ROBOTICS ON THE ORBITAL EXPRESS MISSION

MDA ON MARS: MDA-BUILT PHOENIX METEOROLOGICAL STATION DISCOVERS SNOW IN ATMOSPHERE

DEXTRE, CANADA'S DUAL-ARMED ROBOT, INSTALLED ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

MDA LAUNCHES ITS FIRST OPTICAL SATELLITE CONSTELLATION FOR RAPIDEYE, TO SUPPORT THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY

FIRST MRI-COMPATIBLE BRAIN SURGERY PERFORMED BY CANADARM SPIN-OFF NEUROARM

MDA NAMED PAYLOAD PRIME CONTRACTOR FOR RUSSIAN EXPRESS AM5 AND AM6 SATELLITES

NASA’S CURIOSITY ROVER LAUNCHED WITH MDA-BUILT SOIL-ANALYZING INSTRUMENT, APXS

MDA CONTRACTED FOR CANADA’S THIRD-GENERATION RADAR EARTH OBSERVATION SYSTEM

LAUNCH OF SAPPHIRE, CANADA’S FIRST MILITARY SATELLITE THAT MONITORS OBJECTS IN ORBIT

BANK OF CANADA INTRODUCES $5 BILL FEATURING CANADARM2 AND DEXTRE

MDA DELIVERS OVER 100 ANTENNAS FOR WORLD’S FIRST LEO COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE CONSTELLATION

MDA DELIVERS 486 ANTENNAS TO IRIDIUM-NEXT, SECOND-GENERATION LEO COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE CONSTELLATION

MDA SENSOR SYSTEMS PART OF NORTHROP GRUMMAN CYGNUS COMMERCIAL RESUPPLY SPACECRAFT TO ISS

PROJECT TRITON: MDA AWARDED CONTRACT TO BUILD NEW SYSTEM FOR NATO MARITIME COMMAND & CONTROL OPERATIONS

MDA INSTRUMENT MAKES HIGH-RESOLUTION 3D SCANS OF ASTEROID BENNU ON NASA OSIRIS-REX MISSION

CANADIAN DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE SELECTS MDA FOR 10 SATELLITE-BASED SEARCH AND RESCUE REPEATERS

MDA DELIVERS MOBILITY AND VISION SYSTEM TECHNOLOGIES TO EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY FOR 2022 MARS ROVER MISSION

MDA SELECTED TO DESIGN ELECTRONIC WARFARE SUITE FOR CANADA’S NEXT GENERATION COMBAT SHIP PROGRAM

CANADA’S RADARSAT CONSTELLATION MISSION SATELLITES LAUNCHED ON SPACEX FALCON-9 ROCKET

MDA UK-DEVELOPED COLUMBUS KA-BAND TERMINAL DELIVERED TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

MDA SELECTED FOR DEVELOPMENT OF CANADARM3 FOR NASA’S LUNAR-ORBITING GATEWAY