CSA provides $8 million to 21 companies for smartEarth initiative

smartEarth program. Credit: Canadian Space Agency.

As part of yesterday’s announcement of a new Canadian Earth Observation (EO) strategy, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced it had funded 21 companies for its smartEarth initiative.

The CSA smartEarth program is focused on developing Earth observation applications using data from satellites to find “solutions to key challenges on Earth and in our everyday lives.”

It was just over a year ago that the CSA released an announcement of opportunity (AO) for this smartEarth initiative, the first initiative of the now new EO strategy.

When it released the AO, the CSA stated it had allocated $8 million in non-repayable contributions for an estimated 20-30 projects. The projects would receive between $150k – $500k and would perform the work between 24-26 months.

The funded projects are:

  • 3v Geomatics Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia ($400,000) – Create an automated data processing pipeline and provide access to this data through a web visualization platform that can be used for monitoring infrastructure extending across thousands of kilometres, while still highlighting displacement areas as small as tens of metres.
  • A.U.G. Signals Ltd., Toronto, Ontario ($499,969.40) – Develop a technology that can provide a reliable estimation of snow water equivalent for monitoring and forecasting of potential snowmelt flood events through utilizing RADARSAT Constellation Mission data.
  • AIRM Consulting Ltd., Winnipeg, Manitoba ($400,000) – Develop an innovative AI-driven device that integrates multi-spectral sensors and ground data leading to novel quantitative data and improved crop monitoring, protein management, decision support, and insurance applications, overcoming technological hurdles pertaining to cost, scale/range, image quality, computational intensity and seamless interoperability.
  • C-CORE, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador ($400,000) – Develop the world’s first high-resolution offshore platform Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions monitoring from satellites. This project will advance offshore emissions monitoring to an application solution ready for operational implementation.
  • CubeWerx Inc., Gatineau, Quebec ($400,000) – Develop a platform with an improved data access and usability allowing value adders of EO solutions to offer their applications as a service to users of the platform.
  • Deploy Software Solutions Inc., Ottawa, Ontario ($331,899.87) – Combine different observational approaches in a new method of environmental and disaster assessment using SBEO techniques and imagery. This will help close a critical communication gap and allow scientists and government officials to enlist citizens to validate and enhance the satellite image processing algorithms directly and in near real time, to determine the “ground truth.”
  • EarthDaily Analytics Corp., Vancouver, British Columbia ($499,999.30) – Test the ability to use Space-based Earth Observation (SBEO) data to quantify both the amount of phosphorus phytoextracted and carbon sequestered for a set of varied field trials carried out by partners in the Lake Winnipeg basin.
  • Geosapiens Inc., Quebec City, Quebec ($298,514.23) – Improve knowledge and management of flood risks through an enhanced E-NUNDATION solution by allowing decision makers to have a global and up-to-date vision of the risk and allowing insurers to better assess the risks of their clients. This will contribute to ensure the safety of citizens and increase their resilience to this natural hazard, particularly in the context of climate change.
  • GHGSat Inc., Montreal, Quebec ($400,000) – Develop an innovative capability for validated dynamic three-dimensional greenhouse gas emissions estimation on a global scale using data from GHGSat satellites and third-party satellites.
  • HabitatSeven Inc., Ottawa, Ontario ($429,335) – Develop a software framework that can be used by a variety of stakeholders (agriculture, finance, government and others) to develop, visualize, and integrate historical and operational evapotranspiration estimates.
  • Kepler Space Inc., Ottawa, Ontario ($500,000) – Provide streamlined methodology and data to generate product for wide-area monitoring of ground deformation over the entire Quebec City–Windsor transportation corridor as well as the Hudson Bay Railway in northern Manitoba, and validate such data for use in railway and bridge infrastructure monitoring systems.
  • Kongsberg Geospatial Ltd., Ottawa, Ontario ($221,293.39) – Merge the airborne track picture with the maritime track picture (Automatic Identification System) integrated with geospatial decision support tools providing rapid situational awareness accessible anywhere in the world via space-based Internet access. This near-real-time picture of vehicle movements, combined with real-time weather and geospatial data will allow commanders to make informed decisions, anywhere, anytime, wherever deployed around the world.
  • KorrAI Technologies Ltd., Halifax, Nova Scotia ($150,000) – Provide near-real-time, dynamic surface deformation monitoring and commercialize the petabytes of over 20 years’ worth of historical radar data collected from the previous RADARSAT-1 mission, as well as ongoing data collected by the RCM mission.
  • Liquid Geomatics Ltd., Ottawa, Ontario (292,875) – Turn a prototype satellite-derived bathymetry into an operational product to map and detect shallow water from available satellite imagery, to help avoid accidents, environmental damage, rescue and salvage costs, and loss of life.
  • Lux Aerobot Inc., Alma, Quebec (351,247) – Develop a platform-agnostic wildfire management system, in collaboration with INO and using requirements from SOPFEU and Natural Resources Canada, to accomplish near-real-time processing to provide a high-resolution thermal mapping of active wildfires within less than 15 minutes of the image being acquired.
  • MLVX Technologies Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia (150,000) – Build a method to systematically and methodically quantify the carbon dioxide (CO2) level present at ground-elevation using hyperspectral data. Provide the information required for the governments and private entities such as farmers to track their carbon footprint and capture the associated economic benefits.
  • NextGen Environmental Research Inc., Winnipeg, Manitoba ($499,946.71) – Develop a commercial capacity to monitor freshwater lake ice hazards from space using satellite radar and distribution of ice hazard maps to user’s cell phones and desktop computers in near real time.
  • SkyWatch Space Applications Inc., Waterloo, Ontario ($500,000) – Develop a state-of-the-art cloud-enabled cataloging, ordering, searching, processing, distribution and collaboration platform for EO data, catering to the unique needs of large organizations and governments.
  • The Arctic Eider Society, Sanikiluaq, Nunavut ($500,000) – Develop an enhanced version of the SIKU Ice Map to identify persistent hazards in the landfast ice and set the groundwork for the first-ever Indigenous-trained machine learning algorithm that delivers EO derived products at scale for the benefit of northern shipping, sea ice travel safety and climate change research.
  • Vertex Professional Services Ltd., Sherwood Park, Alberta ($299,998.20) – Assist Vertex and the T’Sou-ke Nation SNA-QUA Centre in co-developing new environmental solutions relevant to Indigenous and coastal communities through analyses of Earth Observation (EO) big data.
  • Xona Space Systems Canada Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia ($495,120) – Enable advanced remote sensing and navigation applications from a commercial PNT satellite constellation.

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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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