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MDA Plans for SAR Constellation CHORUS, Partners with Iceye 

By Rachel Jewett | December 15, 2021

Rendering of an Iceye SAR satellite. Photo: Iceye

MDA has announced plans for its next Earth Observation (EO) mission, a constellation called CHORUS. The commercial constellation will include C-band and X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) capabilities. 

This mission will build off of MDA’s RADARSAT heritage. X-band SAR satellites will trail C-band SAR satellites in mid-inclination orbit, in which the broad area sensor can monitor an area of interest and the trailing high resolution sensor can then zoom in on the objects. MDA said that CHORUS will offer the “most extensive radar imaging capacity available.” 

Iceye has agreed to supply the X-band SAR spacecraft, the companies announced Wednesday. In addition, they signed a distribution agreement that allows MDA to sell Iceye’s existing and future X-band data to select RADARSAT-2 customers and to develop value-added products.

CHORUS will be used for maritime surveillance and other time-critical applications, such as land intelligence and disaster response. It will be able to provide monitoring of crops, critical infrastructure, transportation corridors, coastal erosion and the effects of climate change and detection of illegal activities such as overfishing and deforestation. 

“With C-band SAR, we are able to find a needle in a haystack. With the addition of X-band data, we will be able to thread that needle. By pushing the envelope and  creating flexibility to integrate additional data sources and sensors, we want others to join our chorus and help us change how and when we see the world,” commented Mike Greenley, CEO of MDA.