Science: a $30 million contract for ABB in Quebec

The ABB plant in Quebec has obtained a $30 million contract from the Canadian company EarthDaily Analytics (EDA) to develop equipment responsible for taking high-definition images from ten satellites that will circle the Earth.

Once deployed on the satellite network, ABB’s technology will continuously capture images of landmasses and major sea areas around the world. The satellites will be launched from 2023.

“This project marks an important milestone not only for our technology, but also for our diversification strategy focused on the private space sector,” reacted Marc Corriveau, general manager of ABB’s Measurement and Analytics business unit, to Quebec, specializing in the manufacture of optical space equipment.

The information gathered, thanks to the high quality images in 22 spectral bands, can help support environmental protection measures, including conservation and sustainable management of resources.

From the data collected, it will be possible, for example, to follow the progression of blue algae in lakes, to predict the trajectories of forest fires, to monitor the state of health of crops. All this from the air. This data will be accessible to scientists, governments, municipalities, businesses and other organizations.

“It will give information on everything that happens on the surface of the Earth,” said Frederic Grandmont, Ph.D., Eng., manager of technology development and business for the space industry at ABB.

The ABB plant is located in the Espace d'innovation Michelet, in Quebec City.  About 80 positions are currently available.


The ABB plant is located in the Espace d’innovation Michelet, in Quebec City. About 80 positions are currently available.

Rapid evolution

The emergence of private companies, which occupy more and more market share in the space field, has contributed to the democratization of space, he says.

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“There is a private market opening up. That’s new. Like SpaceX, which sends people into space for tourism. For us, this is a significant shift, because we have always done contracts for space agencies,” said Mr. Grandmont.

Since private companies are sending rockets into space, the business opportunities are endless.

In this project, ABB will collaborate with Xiphos Systems Corporation, on high-performance in-flight data processing electronics, and with Loft Orbital, the space infrastructure service provider of the EarthDaily Constellation system.

With a well-filled order book, approximately 80 positions are to be filled at the ABB plant in Quebec. We are looking to fill several specialized positions, but we are also looking for production employees.

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