Richmond-based MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates renewed a contract with the federal government last week to provide operational support for RADARSAT-2 ground stations on both the East and West coasts. The $3.5 million contract is part of the Polar Epsilon project, a broad-area surveillance system delivered by MDA to National Defence last year. The original contact included four one-year renewal options. This first renewal extends MDA’s operational support until March 2014.

“The Polar Epsilon surveillance system delivers space-based, day and night, all-weather maritime surveillance information of Canada’s Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans and includes global high-resolution surveillance capabilities to support deployed Canadian Forces,” MDA said in a press release.

The ground stations, located in Masstown, N.S., and Aldergrove, B.C., receive and process satellite data that is used by the Canadian Forces’ regional joint operations centres.

“RADARSAT-2 allows our domestic operators to access data in as little as six minutes, helping us exercise Canada’s sovereignty over its territorial waters, including in the North,” Defence Minister Peter MacKay said in a statement.

With the Polar Epsilon project now successfully concluded, Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson, Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, had high praise for the hard work of the project staff over the last eight years. “Polar Epsilon has delivered all of its capabilities at $5.7 million under its original budget, which is a testament to the hard work of our remarkable Defence Team,” he said.