From broadcasting and environmental monitoring to space research, satellites play a crucial role in helping us communicate, improve our world and better understand the universe. There are now over 1,000 satellites in operation and a significant number contain COM DEV components. Over 40 years, COM DEV has become a key supplier to the satellite manufacturing industry and an important partner with the scientific research community. Today, the company has over 1,100 highly skilled employees at locations worldwide, each focused on serving a key sector of the space industry.
If you’ve watched television, it’s a safe bet you’ve been served by COM DEV equipment. The majority of broadcast satellites worldwide rely on COM DEV passive microwave filters to remove unwanted parts of the frequency in the television transmission and enhance the wanted portions of the signal. This has been COM DEV’s core competency since its first space contract in 1974. These and other satellite communication components are produced at the Company’s Cambridge, Ontario facility, which employs a highly efficient lean manufacturing model to create components that are 100 percent reliable, and are produced cost efficiently and on schedule.
As the explosive growth in cellular communications continues, particularly in emerging markets, telecom companies are challenged to serve their new customers with the existing infrastructure. Increasingly they look to satellites to help carry the load, enabled by satellite-capable communication towers. COM DEV has been able to transfer its expertise in broadcast communications to this sector and is a key supplier to the High Throughput Satellites that are being deployed to address the increasing global demand for data. COM DEV is a world leader in the Ka and Ku band components used in these satellites, which it supplies from its Cambridge, Ontario facility.
Satellite technology enables scientists to tackle complex challenges and answer fundamental questions about the Universe. The optical design capabilities of COM DEV’s team in Ottawa, Ontario are playing an important role. The instruments we built for the James Webb Space Telescope will help detect the earliest objects after the Big Bang, search for habitable planets, and keep the observatory pointed with an incredible degree of precision. Our optical payload is helping the Sapphire satellite track orbital debris to reduce the chance of collision with spacecraft. We are also applying these capabilities to more “down to earth” tasks like precision agriculture, forest monitoring and water resource management.
The climate affects humanity in profound ways and much of the data to help us better understand it can be collected most effectively from space. COM DEV is building industry-leading ferrite switch instruments at its locations in Aylesbury and Edinburgh in the UK, and a number of the world’s meteorological satellites already rely on our technology. These satellites take continuous measurements of temperature, humidity, wind speeds, ocean wave heights, and polar ice thickness. In addition to improving short-term weather forecasting, this data offers valuable tools for anticipating and responding to longer-term
Since being launched in 2009 exactEarth™ has established itself as the leader in the global satellite AIS data services market, providing vessel tracking and related data service products to over 200 government agencies and commercial organisations worldwide. exactEarth currently has a four-year database related to the movements of more than 150,000 vessels, with plans to expand the tracked population to over 1 million vessels by the end of the decade. Customers use these data services for such applications as maritime surveillance, security, safety, search and rescue, vessel route planning, commodity flow analysis, fisheries monitoring, cargo logistics, and environmental monitoring. exactEarth’s pioneering efforts have established satellite AIS as a major base data set for the global maritime information market.