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BRP to help develop space vehicles

April 8, 2011
Filed under Features

BRP, in cooperation with the University of Sherbrooke’s Center of Advanced Technology (CTA), will work to develop the chassis and locomotion systems for a Lunar Exploration Light Rover and a Mars Exploration Science Rover. The project was commissioned by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

BRP was awarded $5.6 million in contracts for the design, development, construction and testing of advanced space vehicles under the CSA’s Exploration Surface Mobility Program.

“BRP is proud to participate in Canada’s space program,” José Boisjoli, BRP’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “While this type of R&D is outside our regular activities, we have the resources with the CTA to take advantage of this opportunity. Employees from BRP’s triad of R&D facilities located in Canada and in Austria work together to explore the unexplored and challenge existing paradigms; this is part of our DNA. Such a project will no doubt also increase our knowledge and speed up our development of more eco-performing technologies that could, in time, be integrated into our existing products.”

Three base vehicles will be developed and built at the CTA, a private-public partnership between BRP and Sherbrooke University, before delivery to contractor MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. for integration with a range of smart sensors and payloads.

“The CTA’s team is used to thinking outside the box,” Mihai Rasidescu, president and general manager of the CTA, said in the release. “We are developing systems that may eventually need to function in the most remote and hostile environments with extreme variations in temperature, reduced gravity, and of course, the inability of the locomotion system to be serviced once in use. That’s definitely outside the box.”

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