VANCOUVER, June 19, 2015—UrtheCast Corp. announced plans to build, launch and operate the world’s first fully-integrated, multispectral optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) commercial constellation of Earth Observation satellites (the “Constellation”), to be deployed over multiple launches expected in 2019 and 2020.
The Constellation is expected to comprise a minimum of 16 satellites (8 optical and 8 SAR) flying in two orbital planes, with each plane consisting of four satellite pairs, equally-spaced around the orbit plane. Each pair of satellites will consist of a dual-mode, high-resolution optical satellite (video and pushbroom) and a dual-band high-resolution SAR satellite (X-band and L-band) flying in tandem.
The Constellation will provide what the Company anticipates to be unmatched space-imaging capabilities, including high collection capacity, optical and SAR data fusion, weather-independent high-resolution imaging using the SAR, target revisit, and imaging latency. By flying the satellites in tightly-paired SAR and optical tandem formations, the Constellation is expected to offer a number of innovative capabilities, including onboard real-time processing, cross-cueing between the satellites, and real-time cloud imaging on the leading SAR satellites that enables cloud avoidance in the trailing optical satellites. By employing two orbital planes, the Constellation will allow for maximum revisit rates in the mid-latitudes, while providing the Company with global coverage extending to the poles.
UrtheCast has entered into Memoranda of Understanding (“MOU’s”) with multiple customers and partners, including an MOU from a confidential customer to provide US$195 million of funding for the Constellation during the build phase of the program (expected to be 2016-2020). As these MOU’s are successfully converted to binding definitive agreements, these customers will provide further support and funding for the Constellation.
The Company plans to disclose further technical, operational and financial details with respect to the Constellation as the material aspects relating to the build, launch and operation of the satellites are formalized with additional customers.
UrtheCast’s President and COO, Wade Larson said: “We’ve been working on the Constellation for over a year now and we’re delighted by the market reception we’ve had. We’re confident that the Constellation will bring an entirely unique dataset to this industry and, frankly, given the response we’re getting around the world, our customers agree. We couldn’t be more pleased with the progress we’re making.
“UrtheCast’s Strategic Industrial Partners: SSTL (UK) and ElecnorDeimos (Spain)UrtheCast’s strategic implementation partner for the satellite design and build is UK-based Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL), the world’s leading smallsat manufacturer, owned by Netherlands-headquartered Airbus Group SE. Said Luis Gomes Director of Earth Observation for SSTL, “The design of the Gen-3 constellation is the culmination of a considerable effort on the part of both companies over the past year, working in very close partnership. As strategic partners in this venture, we see this initiative as a perfect marriage of the strengths of both SSTL and UrtheCast.”
UrtheCast’s strategic implementation partner for building out the Constellation’s mission planning system, distributed ground stations, SAR payload integration, mission analysis and flight dynamics is Spain-based ElecnorDeimos Space. As Miguel Belló, CEO of ElecnorDeimos Space noted, “We’re very pleased to be working with UrtheCast, its partners, and its customers in building out the Constellation. Our extensive experience in working with the European Space Agency’s (ESA) satellite missions, integrating complete satellite missions, in addition to working with other customers around the world, makes us an ideal partner for UrtheCast in realizing this ambitious and unique program.”
This release contains certain information which, as presented, constitutes “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking information involves statements that an action or event “will” be taken or occur, “is expected”, or that the Company “plans” or “anticipates” (or similar language) and includes statements about plans to develop, launch and operate the Constellation, partners and potential customers of, and the ability to finance, the Constellation, the expected capabilities of the Constellation and its sensors, as well as the Company’s ongoing plans to operate sensor and camera components on the ISS, proposed image, video, product and web platform offerings and expected commercial partners. Forward-looking statements are subject to various known and unknown risks, many of which are beyond the ability of UrtheCast to control or predict, and which may cause UrtheCast’s actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied thereby, including, but not limited to, inability to access capital to finance planned projects, the inability to convert any or all of the MOU’s into binding, definitive agreements with the Company’s customers, the inability to satisfy the conditions of the MOU’s or of any binding, definitive agreements executed on conversion thereof, the loss of any Constellation customers, delays caused by third parties in the development, building or launch of the Constellation, damage which may occur to the sensors, cameras or Constellation components during development, launch, installation or operation, unexpected changes in Russian, Canadian or United States government policies, as well as those factors discussed in the Company’s annual information form dated March 20, 2015, (the “AIF”) and the Company’s amended and restated short form base shelf prospectus dated May 15, 2014 (the “Prospectus”) which are available under UrtheCast’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.
Forward-looking information is developed based on assumptions about such risks, uncertainties and other factors set out herein, in the AIF and Prospectus, and as otherwise disclosed from time to time on UrtheCast’s SEDAR profile. UrtheCast undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements except as may be required by applicable Canadian securities laws. Readers are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements.