Canadian Space Agency grants $2m to Vancouver’s UrtheCast

UrtheCast CEO Don Osborne | Photo: Rob Kruyt

What happened: B.C. firm to receive funding from Ottawa for space technology

Why it matters: UrtheCast looks poised to rake in additional revenue with launch of satellite constellation in 2021

A Vancouver firm best known for installing an ultra high-definition camera system on the International Space Station is taking on a funding payload from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

UrtheCast Corp. (TSX: UR) announced Tuesday (May 28) it’s receiving $2 million from the CSA to further development of its technology.

UrtheCast owns two Earth observation satellites and the CSA’s Space Technology Development Program (STDP) will deliver $1 million for satellite technologies to be deployed in the Vancouver company’s upcoming UrtheDaily Constellation.

The satellite constellation is expected to be operational by 2021.

The other $1 million will go towards the development of UrtheCast’s synthetic aperture radar technology.

"We are extremely proud that the CSA has selected our innovative technology proposals through the highly competitive STDP program," UrtheCast CEO Don Osborne said in a statement.

“This validation of our technology speaks to the Government of Canada's continued, active interest in our technologies and programs.”

UrtheCast closed a US$20-million deal in January to acquire digital agriculture firm Geosys Technology Holding LLC.

Geosys specializes in using satellite imagery to help companies better understand crop health.

The acquisition deal sees UrtheCast providing Geosys' services for 13 years to its former owner, Land O’Lakes, Inc.

The company estimated the deal for those continued services will translate into more than US$10 million in additional revenue a year, with the potential for the fees to increase once UrtheCast’s new constellation is operational.