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Multi-beam phased array development starts for Telesat Lightspeed LEO

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Posts: 1048
Feb 23rd, 2021 at 11:07am  
Telesat, a Canadian company, is working on a low earth orbit (LEO) system called Telesat Lightspeed.  Telesat has placed a contract with MDA to develop and deliver at least 1000 direct radiating phased array antennas.  These antennas are for use on the LEO satellites will produce multiple beams directed at anywhere in the satellite coverage area.

From LEO height such a phased array antenna can be used to provide tiny cell-sized spot beams directed almost directly at customer ground earth stations.  From GEO height the beams would be much broader and offer the possibility on on-orbit reconfiguration to match aggregate traffic requirements for maritime, air mobile as well as land based customers.

MDA is a private, independent company headquartered in Canada with operational locations in Canbada, the US and the UK. It has approx 2000 employees.

The antenna development work will create about 280 jobs at the facility in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, are has earned support of the Government of Quebec through a financial contribution.

This Youtube video above, about a ground VSAT customer site in the Starlink network, will give you an idea of how a phased array might work.

Original press release from MDA: https://mda.space/en/article/mda-selected-for-major-role-on-telesat-lightspeed/
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