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Calian's Systems Engineering Division Wins Major Broadband Wireless Satellite Contract With the European Space Agency

8/4/09 - Calian (TSX:CTY) is pleased to announce that its Systems Engineering Division (SED) has been given an authorization to proceed valued at approximately $15 million from the European Space Agency (ESA) for the provision of a 35-metre deep space antenna and RF system in South America. It is expected that the resolution of final details and contract signing for an estimated total value of $39 million will be achieved before the end of the 2009 fiscal year.

ESA operates and maintains a network of ground stations in support of satellite operations. The network is being augmented by adding deep space antenna systems to support the ongoing missions such as Rosetta, Mars Express, Venus Express, Herschel, Planck, the planned Bepi Colombo, LisaPathfinder and Gaia missions, as well as the ESA cosmic vision and Mars exploration program. Under previous contracts with ESA, SED provided two similar large antenna systems in New Norcia (Western Australia) and Cebreros (Spain). Today's announcement is for a third antenna system that SED will develop over a 36-month period, completing the installation in South America in 2012.

The system will enable X-band transmit and receive capability, with the possibility of future upgrades to other bands. At 35 meters in diameter and with full-motion capability, the antenna will be one of the largest in the world used for deep space communications. As prime contractor, SED will bring together the skills and equipment from subcontractors and suppliers from many European countries. SED's key subcontractors for the project include Vertex Antennentechnik from Duisburg (Germany) for the antenna structure and Esteyco SA from Madrid (Spain) as the contractor for the civil works. SED's customer for this project is ESA's European Space Operations Centre based in Darmstadt (Germany).

"We are extremely pleased to have been selected by ESA to provide the third antenna system destined for South America," said Ray Basler, President and CEO of Calian. "I believe this success is a direct result of our performance on the previous deep space antennas and our emphasis on working closely with our customers and our subcontractors to successfully implement large custom developments." The majority of SED's annual revenues are derived from work with repeat customers that include major satellite manufacturers, operators and service providers around the world.

The contract was made possible by the Canada-ESA Cooperation Program, managed by the Canadian Space Agency from its headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec. The Program enables Canadian companies to bid for and obtain technology development contracts from ESA, and to participate in major European space projects. Canada is the only non-European country to participate directly in ESA programs.

By Robert Hoskins

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