SHERBROOKE, Québec, Canada — Celebrating 20 years of success and innovation since its foundation on April 30, 2001, Sherbrooke-based NGC Aerospace has acquired a solid reputation in over 20 countries for developing intelligent software enabling the autonomous control of terrestrial satellites, pilotless aerial vehicles and Moon exploration probes. Founded by Jean de Lafontaine, CEO, as the sole employee, the company grew to 8 employees by 2004, all graduates from the Université de Sherbrooke, and now counts 18 highly-qualified professionals from Canada and abroad, focussing on its bright and project-filled future.
NGC’s longevity is explained by the sense of innovation and rigour driving its personnel to deliver state-of-the-art technology of the highest quality. “NGC has always built upon its own previous successes to grow” says Project Manager, Amélie St-Amour. “Each satellite project yielded expertise and tools that we built upon for the next satellite to the point where we now sell licences worldwide for the right to use our satellite software technology”.
Indeed, the company has found success most notably in designing the onboard software controlling four autonomous Earth-orbiting satellites of the European Space Agency, all four still in operation. Two more satellites are in an advanced state of development. NGC has extended this mastery of autonomous software to the operation of pilotless aerial vehicles, with the development of an autopilot capable of hazard detection and avoidance to ensure the safe operation of drones. With partners in Canada, USA and Europe, NGC is also developing the technology that will ensure the safe and high-precision landing of lunar and planetary vehicles.
While the company has grown in both expertise and personnel over the years, it has maintained its core values of dedication, rigour, and work-life balance, and has maintained a family atmosphere, a place where all employees are valued members of the organization and contribute daily to its success.
NGC’s future shines just as brightly. “We have conquered Earth’s orbit with over 40 cumulative years of successful flight heritage” says CEO Jean de Lafontaine. “Our competency has won us two ‘tickets’ to the Moon. Soon, many pilotless aircraft will fly safely, controlled by our technology”.
To accommodate its growth, NGC moved to its current offices in the Sherbrooke Technopark in 2016. In celebration of its 20-year anniversary, a brand-new gym is being built in these offices for NGC employees to enjoy. The installation should be ready by the beginning of the summer.