MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) has been awarded an $11.4 million contract by the federal government for in-service support (ISS) to the Unclassified Remote-sensing Situational Awareness (URSA) capability of the Joint Space Support Project.

MDA has been under contract since November 2011 to develop two rapidly transportable satellite ground stations that can receive and process high resolution imagery from multiple satellites in minutes, and expects to deliver the ground stations to the Department of National Defence in late 2013. The government said in a statement that URSA images could also be used domestically to support disaster relief, security or to assist other government organizations in theor missions.

The five-year ISS contract, which includes a provision for three option years at a cost of $2.4 million each, covers general system support, maintenance, logistics and training support. The government added that the contract would reduce demand on military personnel, allowing them to focus on operations.