Details of Canadian Space Agency Research and Development Contracts Released

Earlier today Federal Minister of Industry Tony Clement today announced that the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has awarded 26 research and development contracts to 15 companies worth a total of $8 million for the CSA Space Technologies Development Program. Details of those contracts have now been released. Two companies received the majority of the funding with MPB Communications Inc. of Pointe-Claire, Quebec receiving five contracts worth $1,599,995.00 and MDA of Brampton, Ontario and
Richmond, British Columbia receiving three contracts worth $1,3 million.

ABB Bomem Inc. (Qubec, QC) – $499,891.00
Wide Swath Cloud & Fire Imager – This project addresses the development of a compact and un-cooled sensor system, specifically for a wide swath cloud and fire imager. Several potential future missions for cloud characterization and fire detection are identified and could benefit from this space technology development.
Advantech Satellite Networks (Saint-Laurent, QC) $200,000.00
Resource Management for Next-Generation DVB-RCS (Digital Video Broadcast – Return Channel via Satellite, two way broadband communication via satellite) – This project will study potential solutions that will help maintain high levels of end-to-end satellite link availability and optimise the satellite bandwidth and power usage, while meeting performance requirements and quality of service.
ARTsensing Inc. (Mississauga, ON) – $137,700.00
Development of Nanotechnology – Based Radiation Dosimeters for Space Explorations
This project will further develop the core radiation detection technology, adapt and optimize it for space applications.
Bristol Aerospace Limited (Winnipeg, MB) – $492,267.00
FPGA Based Multi-Core – A scalable multi-core processing platform for software and hardware allowing for dynamic adjustment of power, performance and capabilities.
COM DEV International Ltd. (Cambridge, ON) – Two contracts worth: $600,000.00
Multi-Port Amplifier for Reconfigurable Payloads – The technology proposed for Multi-port Amplifier for Reconfigurable Payloads represents the research and development of the novel technologies leading to a technology readiness level 2 – Formulating the technology concept.
RF Filters for Reconfigurable Payloads – The RF Filters for Reconfigurable Payloads represents the culmination of development of the mechanical tunable filter leading to a technology readiness level 5 demonstrating the design can operate in a satellite environment including the vibration environment encountered during launch.
EMS SATCOM (Ottawa, ON) – $500,000.00
MEOSAR Digital Beam Forming Antenna – The MEOSAR system will radically reduce Search and Rescue (SAR) response times providing near instantaneous distress alerts globally – including far northern latitudes which is of increasing importance as the annual number of commercial flights over the Canadian Arctic increases.
Integrity Testing Laboratory Inc. (ITL) (Markham, ON) – $300,000.00
A Planetary Environmental Simulator/Test Facility for Future Space Exploration Missions
The objective of this program is to develop and build a ground-based lunar planetary environmental simulator/test facility to be used for simulation and evaluation of the effects of the Lunar and Martian environmental factors like vacuum, temperature, UV, darkness and dust with candidate aerospace materials, coatings, structural components, space suits, and mechanical systems of spacecraft and planetary mission crew habitats, as well as to study the dust and other environmental factors mitigation strategies.
INO (National Optics Institute) (Qubec, QC) – $149,997.44
Fiber-Based Micro Flow Cytometer Technology Aimed at Space Applications
This project will address the development of fluorescence detection tools critical for cellular and molecular analysis of living cell function in space.
MDA (Brampton, ON) – Two (2) contracts worth: $800,000.00
Rendezvous Sensor and Software (RSaS) – This project addresses development of a rendezvous sensor system and the associated software required for Mars and Moon sample return missions. An integrated sensor and target system consisting of two cameras with illumination and a laser rangefinder is proposed, which is capable of searching and finding a sample container at distances of 1 to 5 kilometres and continuously tracking until capture.
Universal Docking Interface for Lunar Mobility – This project proposes to commence concept development and prototyping of a Universal Docking Interface for Lunar Mobility platforms, building on Canada’s strong heritage in space docking interfaces.
MDA (Richmond, BC) – $500,000.00
WiSAR Antenna Distortion Measurement System Technology Advancement
The Antenna Distortion Measurement System (ADMS) is a key component of the WiSAR concept that measures the antenna geometry in-orbit and enables the compensation of the antenna distortions by changing the phase of the individual transmit/receive elements.
MPB Communications Inc. (Pointe-Claire, QC) – Five (5) contracts worth: $1,599,995.00
MEC Moon Dust Magneto-Electrostatic Carbon Nanotube NanoFiltration
This project will address the lunar dust mitigation needs of the LORE Lunar Origins and Resource Exploration science/payload for the JAXA Selene-2 landed lunar mission. This includes protection of the UV/VIS/NIR input optics, rotary drill and robotic rotary mechanisms and bore-hole probe aperture against the ambient levitated lunar dust.
Miniature UV/VIS/NIR 2-D Imaging Spectrometer for Meteorology Atmospheric Science Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Monitoring – This project will provide a compact, highly-integrated UV/VIS/NIR 2-D imaging spectrometer suitable for operation in the Polar Communications and Weather (PCW) Molniya orbit environment with high reliability, Signal to Noise Ratio, and image quality to address the multiple needs for atmospheric science, core meteorology/NWP and hyperspectral missions.
Multi-Mission MicroNavigator Miniature Sensor Suite for Low-Cost Autonomous Spacecraft Navigation and Operations – The innovative integration MEMS/PBG microphotonic acceleration and rotation sensors with a Star microTracker and fiber-optic temperature sensors result in a data synergy enabling high-performance spacecraft autonomous navigation, pointing and operations to facilitate substantial Earth Observation and science in low-cost platforms.
Pioneering of Self-healing of Damage in Composites Caused by Space Debris
This project joins together the expertise of the three partners in one team MPB (space, fiber optics self-healing), Concordia University (composites, self-healing) and McGill University (novel hypervelocity launcher) to develop innovative self-healing concepts mitigating the effects of debris impacts.
Versatile Low and High Temperature Fibre Sensor for Improved Monitoring in Space Applications – This project will provide an innovative Fiber-Optic based sensor suite for space structures, capable of monitoring strain and temperature over a wide temperature range, such as can be detected on antenna reflecting surfaces (-170C to +170C), cryogenic fuel tanks (down to -220C), and the nozzle (as high as 2000C).
Neptec Design Group (Kanata, ON) – Three (3) contracts worth: $798,729.00
Corner Mirror Metrology System (CMMS) for the ASTRO-H X-Ray Telescope – This project involves the concept development of a custom metrology system for the JAXA ASTRO-H (NeXT) X-Ray telescope. This vision system is designed to provide a highly accurate alignment reference for the spacecraft’s optical instruments based on a simple corner mirror laser reflection technique.
Gated Flash 3D Sensor for Rendezvous, Docking and Capture – This technology development will yield a novel approach to flash based 3D sensing that provides an optimal balance between performance and sensor envelope for missions requiring a small but very capable 3D sensor. The targeted application is to provide the vision system for autonomous rendezvous and capture phases of the Mars sample Return (MSR) and the MSR Network (MSR NET) missions.
Lunar Rover Reliability Prediction – This project will define and develop a reliability prediction method for Lunar Rover designs. Development of a validated reliability prediction model for rover design is critical to ensure a lunar rover lifespan of greater than 5 years of operation. Neptec will be partnering with Dr Vincent Thompson an Associate Professor of McGill University and an expert in developing reliability models through traditional industrial engineering analysis through system module and characteristics analysis, and through multi-dimensional risk analysis. Also on the team are MacLean Engineering, experts in building heavy equipment for use in the mining industry, an extremely harsh environment here on earth.
NGC Aerospace Ltd. (Sherbrooke, QC) – Three (3) contracts worth: $1,200,000.00
Autonomous Planetary Landing Flight Experiment – This study aims at improving the Technology Readiness Level of four critical components of autonomous Lidar-based planetary landing systems: motion compensation, hazard detection and avoidance, precision landing and Lidar hardware. The advancement will consist of operating these elements in the real scale of a landing mission on-board a piloted helicopter, removing the geometric scaling limitations of previous laboratory demonstrations.
LOCOOS-2 Development of LOCOOS Breadboard and Validation in Relevant Environment – The proposal aims at advancing the LOCOOS technology by integrating the previously developed software into a breadboard representative of the targeted standalone subsystem and by validating it in a relevant environment.
Simulation Infrastructure for Autonomous Navigation Technologies – This study aims at providing the Landing Dynamic Test Facility (LDTF) with the capability to advance the Technology Readiness Level of vision-based navigation technologies and to extend its applicability from Mars missions to Moon and small-body exploration missions.
Passat Ltd. (Toronto, ON) – $200,000.00
Picosecond Laser Technology Concepts for Quantitative Earth Observations from Space
A conceptual design will be developed to make a system analysis of a picosecond space-borne lidar with improved 3D-spatial / temporal resolution and analytical capabilities as compared with the now conventional nanosecond space lidars.
Systmes Humains-Machines Inc. (Laval, QC) – $284,675.00
FIT: Fitness for the Task – This project is focused on the development of a monitoring tool that will assess the level of astronauts’ fitness to perform critical tasks.
Universit Laval (Qubec, QC) – $150,000.00
A Microfluidic Centripetal Device and System Workstation for Ultrafast Molecular Hybridisation in Microgravity – This research and development program will support the development and microgravity testing of a centripetally-driven microfluidic disposable device and workstation, the HY-BMCD system, designed to operate efficient microfluid transfer and ultrafast hybridisation of labelled nucleic acid macromolecules to a reference microarray of capture probes immobilised at the surface of the disposable device.

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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