UrtheCast Corp., the geospatial and geo-analytics company developing two Earth Observation (EO) satellite constellations, known as OptiSARTM and UrtheDailyTM, today announces that it has entered into a binding agreement with a confidential government customer for the sale and shared operation of the first two satellites in the OptiSARTM Constellation, the world’s first commercial EO constellation with integrated optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensors, for US$180 million. The customer has also agreed to pay an additional US$30 million for other products and services related to the sale of the satellites, contingent on the parties reaching mutual agreement on the final scope of these deliverables.
“This milestone in the OptiSARTM program is the result of years of technology development and many months of contract negotiations,” explained UrtheCast’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Wade Larson. “Not only is this a strong endorsement of the OptiSARTM Constellation and evidence of the commercial demand for this technology, but we believe this contract will accelerate the negotiation of similar agreements with other customers for the purchase of the remaining satellites.”
In June 2015, UrtheCast first announced its plans to build, launch and operate the OptiSAR™ Constellation, which is expected to comprise 16 satellites in total (eight optical and eight SAR) flying in two orbital planes, with each plane consisting of four satellite pairs. Each pair will fly in tandem and consist of a high-resolution optical satellite offering video and pushbroom imaging and a dual-band, high-resolution SAR satellite comprised of X and L radar bands. By employing two orbital planes, the OptiSAR™ Constellation can provide for maximum revisit rates in the mid-latitudes, while providing global coverage extending to the poles. Subject to UrtheCast financing the build and launch of the remaining six satellites in the first orbital plane, the first eight satellites are scheduled for launch in late 2021, with operations expected to begin in 2022.
This agreement represents UrtheCast’s first successful conversion of the three previously announced memoranda of understanding (MOUs) for the purchase of OptiSARTM satellites into binding contracts. The agreement is subject to a number of conditions, including UrtheCast obtaining the necessary customer commitments to allow for the build, launch and financing of the first eight satellites in the Constellation, the Customer obtaining within the next 12 months the funding for its payment obligations, the parties reaching mutual agreement on the detailed procedures for the shared operation and tasking of the two satellites, and other customary covenants and regulatory approvals for agreements of this nature. Provided these conditions are met, the purchase price will be paid upon achievement of certain build-phase milestones, starting when UrtheCast begins building the first eight satellites.
UrtheCast is in advanced discussions with the remaining MOU counterparties and other potential customers for the remaining satellites in the OptiSARTM Constellation. UrtheCast expects that each contract will have unique pricing depending on the imaging and commercial rights, ground segment features, and the operating, maintenance and training services to be provided to each customer.
UrtheCast Corp. is a Vancouver-based technology company that serves the rapidly evolving geospatial and geoanalytics markets with a wide range of information-rich products and services. The Company currently operates four Earth Observation sensors in space, including two cameras aboard the International Space Station and two satellites, Deimos-1 and Deimos-2. Imagery and video data captured by these sensors is downlinked to ground stations across the planet and displayed on the UrthePlatform, or distributed directly to partners and customers. UrtheCast is also developing and anticipates launching the world’s first fully-integrated constellation of multispectral optical and SAR satellites, called OptiSAR™, in addition to its proposed UrtheDaily™ constellation, which the Company believes will together revolutionize monitoring of our planet with high-quality, medium and high-resolution, and high-coverage and high-revisit imagery in all weather conditions, any time of day. Common shares of UrtheCast trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange as ticker ‘UR’.