The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has issued its latest notice of Letter of Interest (LOI) for the Space Technology Development Program.
The Space Technology Development Program has become a staple program for the CSA to encourage new ideas that could lead to advances in space technology.
For this LOI the CSA has “identified 7 technologies that it has classified as priorities in connection with possible opportunities for Canadian participation in national or international space missions of interest to Canada.”
The closing date of the LOI is April 17, 2020.
Preliminary List of Priority Technologies* TRL: Technology Readiness Level
|ID||Title||TRL*||Estimated Timeline||Estimated Budget|
|1||Wide-Field Astronomical Imaging in|
UV/Optical – Critical Technologies
|2 -> 3-4||22 months||$1.5 M|
|2||Enabling Technologies for the Search of New Worlds||3 -> 4-6||22 months||$1.0 M|
|3||Mass and Volume Reduction for Planetary Exploration Instrument||3-4 -> 5-6||22 months||$1.0 M|
|4||SAR High Speed On-Board Processing||4 -> 6||12-18 months||$1.75 M|
|5||Novel SAR Technologies for Low Cost Wide Area Monitoring||2 -> 3-6||12 months||$650 k|
|6||Cloud-computing for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) processing||3 -> 5||18 months||$600 k|
|7||Block Chaining in service of EO big data||1 -> 3||24 months||$500 k|
The following are short excerpts from each of the Priority Technologies from the LOI which you can download below.
- Wide-Field Astronomical Imaging in UV/Optical – Critical Technologies – Understanding the origin and evolution of the universe, galaxies, stars, planets and life itself is a fundamental objective of astronomy. Following community led scientific prioritization in astronomical research in Canada (CSEW 2016, LRP 2010, MTR 2015), the concept for a wide field of view optical / UV space telescope was proposed, mainly for the investigation of dark energy. The concept referred to as CASTOR (Cosmological Advanced Survey Telescope for Optical and UV Research) was proposed as a Canadian led space telescope mission.
- Enabling Technologies for the Search of New Worlds – The CSA recently completed studies for future opportunities in space astronomy. Two studies identified opportunities for a Canadian-led small mission that would be dedicated to specific science of exoplanet transits and possibly other time-domain astronomy. CSA has also supported (through FAST grants) projects using the balloon program for testing optical or UV imaging and for adaptive optics for wavefront corrections towards enabling exoplanet imaging. Such early concepts require further development including testing of prototypes or breadboard to assess feasibility, reduce technical risks and increase their TRL. This technology development opportunity targets priority payload or optical technologies that would enable Canada to make a significant contribution to exoplanet science, aligned with CSA and community priorities in this field. The technology areas include, but are not exclusive to, the concepts proposed as results of recent CSA supported studies or activities.
- Mass and Volume Reduction for Planetary Exploration Instrument – The objective of this work is specifically to advance readiness of a mature, low-cost concept targeting a near-term mission opportunity. For the purpose of any potential RFPs, “near-term” is defined as launch before 2027, and, “low-cost” means a CSA mission-lifecycle investment up to $30M. It is envisioned that future RFPs and CSA Preparatory Study opportunities will be made available for the advancement of new ideas and lower TRL planetary instrument concepts, targeting later launch dates.
- SAR High Speed On-Board Processing – The need for on-board processing (OBP) of data for space-based missions continues to grow due to the increasing quantity of data being acquired by satellites along with operational requirements calling for rapid response to collected data. Accordingly, two types of future SAR missions have been identified that could benefit from OBP, and will be the focus of this study: Earth Observation Missions and an Interplanetary Mission.
- Novel SAR Technologies for Low Cost Wide Area Monitoring – Several trends in SAR technologies can be identified that could potentially improve the ability to satisfy the user needs. A few of these trends are describe here but they are not aimed at restricting the options available to the Contractor and are provided to highlight the range of space and ground based technologies that can be considered under this activity.
- Cloud-computing for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data processing – This project will deliver a series of demonstrations of an online platform to discover, access, process, manipulate, and exploit Earth Observation data (such as from Radarsat Constellation Mission (RCM).
- Block Chaining in service of EO big data – This project proposes to explore new technologies to enhance security and protect valuable Earth Observation (EO) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. Distribution of SAR data must be controlled and sensitive data must be protected from unauthorized access. Earth Observation in Canada is subject to multiple regulations such as those that flow from the Remote Systems Sensing Space Act (RSSSA) which, in particular, shape the protection afforded to raw SAR data and the remote sensing products generated from that raw data.