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MSCI IS NORTH AMERICA’S FASTEST GROWING
A Different Way of Thinking Brings Innovation to Space
“MSCI is not a typical satellite company which is evident in the way we think and work,” explains David R. Cooper, President and Chief Executive Officer, MSCI. “Our microsatellites have many of the same capabilities as their larger brothers, but at a fraction of the build and launch costs and with amazing scheduling efficiencies, they are now practical for commercial applications that were previously cost-prohibitive.”
MSCI has strong roots in the scientific satellite business and is the only Canadian company (and one of only a very few in North America) that has actually built, launched, and operated a microsatellite. MSCI started over 10 years ago on the design of the MOST microsatellite, Canada’s version of the Hubble Space Telescope, dubbed “Humble Space Telescope”. MOST, Canada’s first microsatellite was launched in 2003 with a goal of a one year mission. After 7 years the microsatellite is still fully operational today and still delivering spectacular scientific results. “We continue to upgrade the MOST software, and improve the pointing accuracy and stability for better science. This highly cost effective scientific tool has brought great acclaim to Canada from the global astronomic community. From an engineering perspective, MOST is rewriting the book on what microsatellites can do in space. It has been a fabulous test bed for MSCI. While enabling us to refine the MMMB design for future spacecraft, it is an unprecedented engineering tool for MSCI engineers. Perhaps most importantly it has given us tremendous experience in the design and use of carefully selected commercial electronics in LEO operations,” explains David Cooper.
This extraordinary success led the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to designate MSCI’s MMMB design as the standard architecture for Canadian government microsatellites. In 2007, MSCI was contracted jointly by the CSA and the Department of Defence to develop a variant of the MMMB for the dual mission NEOSSat, a space telescope focused on hunting ATEN asteroids with potential to impact earth and space debris orbiting earth. NEOSSat will launch in 2011. MSCI’s microsatellite capabilities combined with manufacturing cost and schedule efficiencies provides a disruptive technology that can meet military initiatives for responsiveness to support global operations.
MSCI’s success in the scientific satellite business was the impetus to bring these same types of benefits to commercial customers and design the Commercial Microsatellite Bus (CMB). This spawned the COMMStellation™ initiative, a microsatellite constellation focused on global backhaul and connectivity. The lessons learned from MOST and the use of commercial electronics in LEO satellites obviates the traditional satellite thinking where satellites must be expensive and have long development cycles. Not only will MSCI’s microsatellites be more cost effective than traditional satellites in the backhaul scenario, they now compete with terrestrial infrastructure in remote regions. “We have brought our disruptive technology to the commercial segment,” states David Cooper.
MSCI is also enjoying great success with their MicroWheel (reaction wheel) attitude control systems. To date, MSCI has sold dozens of MicroWheel’s to multiple customers in the operational, educations, scientific, and commercial space. MSCI has over 65 years of accumulated flight heritage and more than 21 billion revolutions without failure. With the recent selection of MSCI Reaction Wheels for two microsatellite constellations with other companies, we now have the global best-selling Reaction Wheels in this market.
For more information about MSCI, please visit www.mscinc.ca. Additional product specific information about MSCI’s MicroWheel (reaction wheel) attitude control systems can be found at www.reactionwheel.ca, and MSCI’s COMMStellation™ at www.commstellation.com.
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