Yesterday at the Université Laval the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, announced an investment of $328.5 million to 17 national research facilities at 12 universities across the country as part of the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) Major Science Initiative (MSI) fund including $30 million in funding for two space related research programs.
The programs receiving funding that are space related include:
SNOLAB (Queens University) – $28,570,000
SNOLAB is an underground science laboratory specializing in neutrino and dark matter physics and is located 2 km below the surface in the Vale Creighton Mine near Sudbury, Ontario. SNOLAB member institutions include Carleton University, Laurentian University, Queen’s University, University of Alberta and Université de Montréal.
Dr. Ken Peach, Chair of the SNOLAB Board of Directors commented on the funding, “this award will enable SNOLAB to maintain and develop its world-leading ability to host world-class experiments in deep underground science, and I look forward to many exciting results over the next five years” expressed .
SuperDARN Canada (University of Saskatchewan) – $1,556,000
SuperDARN Canada is a University of Saskatchewan led initiative operating five radar arrays across Canada that provide continuous mapping of “space weather” above Canada, data critical to being able to predict when electromagnetic storms above Earth could threaten technologies such as GPS, electrical grids and navigation systems.
Space physicist Kathryn McWilliams, director of the SuperDARN Canada project commented on the project, “electromagnetic storms give us the beautiful displays of the aurora borealis, but they can also damage key infrastructure on earth like pipeline, power grids and satellites in space. As an essential part of a global research partnership in 10 countries, the team at the U of S helps to continuously monitor how solar wind interacts with our planet. Interpreting this data is the first step to being able to predict and then mitigate the effects of extreme electromagnetic activity in the near space region.”