News Release Article from  Canadian Space Agency

Canada's M3MSat Successful Launch

Advancing Canada's capabilities to monitor maritime traffic from space

June 22, 2016 - Longueuil, Quebec - Canadian Space Agency

Last night at 23:56 (EDT), Canada's Maritime Monitoring and Messaging Microsatellite (M3MSat) was launched successfully by the Indian Space Research Organisation, from Sriharikota, India, along with another Canadian satellite owned by GHGSat Inc.

The M3MSat mission will improve ship detection and marine traffic management in Canadian waters by testing new technologies including an innovative antenna designed by the University of Waterloo that promises improved identification of ships and better resolution between conflicting Automatic Identification System (AIS) signals in regions with high maritime traffic.

The launch also included 'Claire', the first demonstration satellite by Montreal-based GHGSat Inc. The microsatellite will test a new way to measure greenhouse gas emissions from industrial facilities.


"The launch of M3MSat and GHGSat's 'Claire' will test technological advancements in important fields. While M3MSat will help our country better manage navigation in Canadian waters, Claire aims to improve our understanding of industry's impacts on our environment. These missions highlight the innovative solutions that space technologies can contribute to our sovereignty, security and safety. They also emphasize the important role that space technologies play in supporting economic prosperity as well as our fight against climate change."

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick facts

  • M3MSat was developed jointly by the CSA and Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) to meet complementary objectives;
  • The satellite was built by COM DEV Ltd. (now Honeywell Canada), an Ontario-based company, with support from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies and the University of Waterloo;
  • Once commissioned, the satellite will be owned by DRDC and operated from the Satellite Operations Centre at CSA headquarters in Longueuil, Quebec;
  • The CSA is testing new instruments on M3MSat. One ensures data continuity on the passage of ships in remote areas when AIS receivers cannot provide live coverage, and the other will measure static energy accumulated in satellites' electronics to improve the way we monitor the health and safety ‎of satellites.

Additional links

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