Canada: For the development and delivery of a dual-frequency stand-alone Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) operational-class satellite, UrtheCast has signed a contract with a confidential customer for the OptiSAR Constellation.
The contract value has not been disclosed for confidentiality and competitive reasons, but the company has confirmed that it is a substantial contract worth in excess of one hundred million Canadian dollars.
The contract is for the delivery of the SAR spacecraft, key elements of the ground segment, namely the mission control and planning system and the SAR processor, and in-orbit operations support, but does not include the price of the launch or insurance (which are the customer’s responsibilities).
It is also being said that this confidential customer has previously signed an MoU with the company for the OptiSAR Constellation. The contract is subject to the customer obtaining final government appropriation approval and to UrtheCast and its suppliers obtaining technology transfer export permits on terms agreeable to the customer.
Subject to these conditions being met, work on the program is anticipated to begin in early 2018, for launch in late 2020. Payments by the customer to UrtheCast under the contract are conditional on the company successfully reaching various program delivery milestones.
As part of the deliverables under the contract, UrtheCast has also agreed to provide elements of the satellite ground segment and post-launch maintenance and operational support, each to be further detailed and extended in separate definitive contracts.
Using the same SAR technology that UrtheCast has been developing for the OptiSAR constellation, this contract will allow the company to accelerate both the operationalization of its SAR technology and to start its own SAR data services business.
The contract enables UrtheCast to build and launch a SAR satellite as a precursor mission (or “accelerator”) to the OptiSAR Constellation and to thereby demonstrate its high-capacity, high-throughput, fully-operational class capability with an unprecedented range of imaging modes and scientific-grade data quality.
Under the contract, the parties have agreed to enter into a separate definitive contract to provide UrtheCast with the exclusive commercial distribution rights to the customer’s unused satellite imaging capacity outside specified regions on a shared 50/50 net revenue basis, allowing the company to sell the SAR-XL data and SAR-derived services in advance of the deployment of the OptiSAR constellation – the date of which is now pushed out by at least a year.