Canada’s Maritime Monitoring and Messaging Microsatellite was launched into orbit June 22, marking a major milestone for Honeywell Aerospace and the COM DEV business unit. Called the M3MSat, the dishwasher-size satellite is the first complete spacecraft ever designed and built by Honeywell.
The M3MSat was developed by COM DEV, the Ontario-based space hardware and software company acquired by Honeywell earlier this year.
“This is a significant milestone for the M3MSat team and I would like to extend my congratulations to everyone involved in this project,” said Kurt Meister, Space Systems Vice President for Honeywell.
The innovative M3MSat will allow the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Department of National Defence (DND) to economically test technologies in space in order to integrate them in future operational missions. The satellite will improve Canada’s ability to locate and identify marine traffic and is also equipped with a two-way low data rate messaging capability and a new device that will monitor the health and safety of satellites.
The satellite was successfully launched using an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. It will circle the Earth from pole to pole at an altitude of 505 km (about 315 miles). It will travel over Canadian waters approximately 10 times a day.
Its primary mission is to improve Canada’s ability to use Automatic Identification System (AIS) technology to detect and monitor maritime traffic. The satellite has an advanced AIS payload including an innovative antenna that promises to achieve higher performance for ship identification.
In addition, the M3MSat will be capable of performing demonstrations of two-way low data rate messaging applications and will test a device designed to measure the static energy that has accumulated in the satellite's electronics. If successful, the device could improve the way satellites are built and monitored for health and safety.
The satellite is owned by the Canadian Government and will be operated from the CSA Mission Operations Centre based in St Hubert, Quebec.