Maxar readies to roll out next-generation satellite constellation

By Marjorie Censer / March 12, 2020 at 10:38 AM

Maxar, which reorganized last year, is this year focused on growing its work and readying its next-generation constellation, which collects the satellite imagery its earth intelligence business is known for.

In an interview with Inside Defense this week, Tony Frazier, executive vice president of global field operations at Maxar, said the company is "investing heavily in our future constellation."

"We are through the bulk of the build of what we're calling our WorldView Legion," he said, noting the company is planning two launches in 2021.

WorldView Legion is intended to increase Maxar's ability to revisit key areas, up to 15 times per day, and triple its capacity.

Maxar has also been working to realign its capital structure, Frazier said. The company sold real estate in Palo Alto, CA, and is working to sell MDA. Together, he told Inside Defense, the deal will generate proceeds "that we'll use to de-lever the company."

Once the sale of MDA is complete, Maxar will have about $1.7 billion in annual sales and about 3,900 employees. The remaining business units will be its earth intelligence business, which primarily works with U.S. government agencies, and its space infrastructure unit, which mostly has commercial and international customers.

The earth intelligence business has about $1.1 billion in annual sales. Frazier said the business has about $200 million in sales with international governments and another $100 million in commercial sales.

He said the business has seen growth by adding services that analyze the data the company's satellites collect. Frazier noted that technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning are creating more opportunities for work.