Canada’s Department of National Defence has acquired a microsatellite to improve the surveillance capabilities of its armed forces.
A contract for $15.8 million Canadian dollars ($11.3 million) has been awarded to Magellan Aerospace to design and build the new space surveillance system.
Called “Redwing,” the new satellite will monitor objects in congested orbits to increase the Canadian military’s situational awareness.
It will record and transmit tracking data from anywhere in its orbit.
The satellite will be fitted with a state-of-the-art suite of optical sensors for improved performance, according to Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand.
Development of the microsatellite is expected to be finished by next year, and testing will commence by 2026.
Redwing is scheduled to operate from 2027 to 2033.
The country’s defense department has revealed that the satellite will perform space domain awareness observations in low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous orbit, and near Cislunar altitudes.
It will utilize autonomous tracking algorithms to monitor objects performing unexpected maneuvers in space.
All information to be collected from above will be transmitted to ground stations in the Northwest Territories, Newfoundland, and Labrador.
“It is critical that we are aware of what’s happening in the space domain, so that we can monitor adversaries, support our allies, and safeguard our interests,” Anand said.
“When launched in late 2026, this research and development satellite system will identify and help to reduce risks to Canada’s space infrastructure from space debris and human-caused interference.”