Contracts Awarded in Support of New Defence Policy Include an Unmanned Air System using Synthetic Aperture Radar

File photo of Zephyr, a High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) that fills a capability gap between satellites and UAVs. Credit Airbus.

Four companies have been awarded contracts by the Department of National Defence (DND) for the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology (S&T) program. One of those companies, C-CORE, will use Synthetic Aperture Radar from a High Elevation Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Air System (UAS).

The announcement in support of Canada’s new defence policy came late last week and is valued at approximately $8.3 million.

According to the DND, “the research and analysis will be delivered through collaboration with other government departments, academia, industry and allies. Surveillance solutions will support the Government of Canada’s ability to exercise sovereignty in the North, and will provide a greater awareness of safety and security issues, transportation and commercial activity in Canada’s Arctic, and potentially contribute to the joint efforts between Canada and the United States to renew the North Warning System and modernize elements of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).”

The ADSA S&T program will provide $133 million in contracts over five years and in “support the development of options for enhanced domain awareness of air, maritime surface and sub-surface approaches to Canada, and in particular those in the Arctic.”

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan said “the Government of Canada and the Department of National Defence are proud to support Canada’s innovation industry. As the challenges along Canada’s coasts increase, investments in programs, such as DND’s All Domain Situational Awareness S&T program, contribute to ensuring that the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as our domestic and international partners, have the best tools at their disposal to respond to existing and emerging threats and risks. We look forward to the results of these studies for their potential inclusion in the modernization of the North Warning System and NORAD, and also for their potential to provide invaluable knowledge about Canada’s coastal areas, especially in the Arctic.”

The one proposal that fits into the aerospace segment is from C-CORE. Their Bistatic High Elevation Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Air System (UAS) Scenario Study received $221,000 in funding and is to be completed by July 31, 2018.

According to C-CORE the “project is for the study of the potential capabilities of using a high altitude long endurance (HALE) unmanned air system (UAS) as a receiver in a bistatic configuration with commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR) missions, both current and future. The study will look at how various configurations of transmitters and HALE UAS-mounted receivers can augment current detection and discrimination capabilities, while providing a highly mobile, persistent, all weather surveillance asset that currently does not exist.”

The other three selected proposals were;

GeoSpectrum Technologies Inc – Acoustic Source for Ocean Propagation Experimentation
Domain: Sub-Surface Surveillance
Project Type: Technology Demonstration
Funding: $4,953,038 (until 31 March 2020)

GeoSpectrum Technologies Inc has been awarded a contract to develop, design, build and test an acoustic source which will support scientific experiments in underwater sound propagation. Such a device may form part of future systems capable of providing long distance underwater communications to support, for example, an unmanned underwater vehicle engaged in open ocean or under ice survey work.

GeoSpectrum Technologies Inc – Acoustic Array for Persistent Under-Ice Vehicles
Domain: Sub-Surface Surveillance
Project Type: Research and Development
Funding: $1,944,175 (until 20 September 2019)

The objective of this project is to design and build a sensor array suitable for towing from an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). The innovative design, employing a fishing line-like cable with acoustic sensors, may be suitable for year-round underwater and under-ice operations, in environmentally hostile Arctic waters.

University of New Brunswick – Development of the Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Models (CHAIM)
Domain: Air Surveillance
Project Type: Research and Development
Funding: $1,165,143 (until 31 March 2020)

Current ionospheric models, used for prediction of radio wave propagation for communications and other applications, have significant shortcomings in Arctic regions. This is due to inaccuracies and limited local ionospheric observations. This project aims to improve this by producing high latitude electron density models at altitudes between 100 and 3,000 kilometres.


About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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