Richmond Hill, Canada
Richmond Hill, Canada

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. is a Richmond, British Columbia global communications and information company. MDA has locations throughout Canada, and the United States operating under the MDA brand name.MDA's most visible products may be the Canadarm, Canadarm2 and Dextre remote manipulator systems used on NASA's Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs.MDA provides operational solutions to commercial and government organizations worldwide, including: Airborne Surveillance Solutions Satellite Ground station Maritime Information Systems Aviation Information Systems Geospatial information services, including Satellite Data Distribution, Value-Added Information Services and Intelligence Information Services Communications satellites Communications satellite payloads Communications satellite subsystems and related ground systems Commercial satellite hosted payload services Robotic surgery research via its NeuroArm development program Space robotics, satellite information and payload systems Radar and optical satellite imagery, and, remote sensingMDA is a member of the British Columbia Technology Industry Association. Wikipedia.


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Patent
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates | Date: 2015-05-19

There is disclosed a Payload Ejection System (PES) able to store any set of payloads for launch and eject that set of payloads at a controlled speed with a low tumble rate while accommodating any offset centre of mass within a restricted volume. The need for ballasting or balancing is eliminated thus freeing up the design space for these payloads. Insensitivity to centre of mass location is enabled by the use of a deployment hinge assembly arrangement which uses two or more non-parallel folding hinge arrangements that allow for linear motion of the output link in one direction while restricting the motion all other directions. One embodiment of the current PES concept uses four (4) hinge panel assemblies, selected to provide optimal stiffness around the entire mechanism. The stiffness of the PES is integral to managing offset centre-of-mass locations by allowing the mechanism to translate the effective force vector to the center of mass location.


Patent
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates | Date: 2016-07-25

The present invention provides a capture mechanism for capturing and locking onto the Marman flange located on the exterior surfaces of spacecraft/satellites. The capture mechanism achieves its goal of quickly capturing a target spacecraft by splitting the two basic actions involved into two separate mechanisms. One mechanism performs the quick grasp of the target while the other mechanism rigidises that grasp to ensure that the target is held as firmly as desired. To achieve a speedy grasp, the grasping action is powered by springs and an over-centre mechanism triggered either mechanically by a plunger or electronically by sensors and a solenoid. This forces two sets of jaws, one on either side of the object to be grasped, to close quickly over the target object. The jaws can be set up to grasp gently, firmly, or even not close completely on the target. The key is that they must close tightly enough so that the protrusions on the target cannot escape from the jaws due to any possible motions of the target. Once the jaws have sprung shut, a second mechanism draws the jaws (and their closing mechanism) back into the body of the tool pulling the captured target onto two rigidisation surfaces. The mechanism keeps pulling backwards until a pre-established preload is reached at which point the target is considered suitably rigidised to the capture mechanism.


Patent
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates | Date: 2014-03-20

The present invention provides a method for real-time tracking of moving flexible surfaces and an image guided surgical robotic system using this tracking method. A vision system acquires an image of the moving flexible surface and identifies and tracks visual features at different times. The method involves computing both rigid and stretching transformations based on the changing positions of the visual features which are then used to track any area of interest on the moving flexible surface as it evolves over time. A robotic surgical system using this real-time tracking is disclosed.


Patent
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates | Date: 2015-09-10

A steerable antenna configuration having all actuators and the feed source mounted on a stationary side of the antenna thereby eliminating the need of having to supply power and/or communication signal through, a rotation mechanism. A first actuator rotates a reflector assembly about a first axis, and a second actuator rotates at least a main reflector of the reflector assembly about a second axis perpendicular to the first axis. The second axis is rotatable about the first axis via the first actuator.


Patent
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates | Date: 2015-08-14

Herein is disclosed a tool, system and method for refueling on-orbit spacecraft. The tool and system are configured to allow for resupply of spacecraft configured to be propelled by either a bipropellant (oxidizer and fuel) or a monopropellant (typically hydrazine). The refueling tool is particularly suited for resupply of satellites not originally prepared for refueling but the system may also be used for satellites specifically designed for refueling.


Patent
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates | Date: 2015-08-14

Herein is disclosed a tool, system and method for refueling on-orbit spacecraft. The tool and system are configured to allow for resupply of spacecraft configured to be propelled by either a bipropellant (oxidizer and fuel) or a monopropellant (typically hydrazine). The refueling tool is particularly suited for resupply of satellites not originally prepared for refueling but the system may also be used for satellites specifically designed for refueling.


Patent
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates | Date: 2014-11-26

Herein is disclosed a propellant transfer system and method for refueling on-orbit spacecraft. The system and method are configured to allow for resupply of spacecraft configured to be fueled by either a bipropellant (oxidizer and fuel) or a monopropellant (typically hydrazine). The system and method are particularly suited for resupply of satellites not originally prepared for refueling as well but the system may also be used for as satellites specifically designed for refueling.


Patent
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates | Date: 2016-03-16

A steerable antenna configuration (10) having all actuators (28, 30) and the feed source (16) mounted on a stationary side of the antenna thereby eliminating the need of having to supply power and/or communication signal through a rotation mechanism. A first actuator (28) rotates a reflector assembly (22) about a first axis (24), and a second actuator (30) rotates at least a main reflector (32) of the reflector assembly (22) about a second axis (26) perpendicular to the first axis (24). The second axis (26) is rotatable about the first axis (24) via the first actuator (28).


Patent
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates | Date: 2014-03-21

The present invention provides a low profile, compact, scalable concept end-effector for use in robotic handling applications. The end-effector acts as the interface between multi-degree-of-freedom (DOF) manipulator and its base (if applicable), as well as the tools it handles and is compatible with both large manipulator systems such as the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS) and Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and smaller dexterous manipulators such as the Orbital Express Dexterous Manipulator System. An active/controlled component is attached to the roll joint(s) at one or both end(s) of the manipulator, with an entirely passive component attached to the structure/tools that the manipulator interfaces with. Interface engagement and mate operations are performed by way of the manipulator roll joint. Once mated, shear pins are extended to lock the mated assembly in place and achieve a high stiffness, zero free play mated interface.


Patent
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates | Date: 2015-05-04

The present invention provides a capture mechanism for capturing and locking onto the Marman flange located on the exterior surfaces of spacecraft/satellites. The capture mechanism achieves its goal of quickly capturing a client spacecraft by splitting the two basic actions involved into two separate mechanisms. One mechanism performs the quick grasp of the target while the other mechanism rigidises that grasp to ensure that the target is held as firmly as desired.

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