Government Announces DND and Space Industry Contracts Worth $16 Million

Liberal MP David Lametti announcing Strategic Innovation Fund investment for Advantech Wireless Technologies. Credit: David Lametti.

In the last week the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and the Department of National Defence (DND) invested $16 million in support of three organizations.

Advantech Satellite Network gets $11.5 million

David Lametti, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of ISED announced the first investment last Wednesday, April 11 in Montreal.

The government will provide Advantech Satellite Networks with a repayable government loan of nearly $11.5 million through ISED’s Strategic Innovation Fund.

Advantech “will develop an advanced satellite broadband network that will improve the performance of satellite communication systems. The total value of the project is $29 million.”

“The project will support the development of next-generation terminals and hubs for faster and higher-capacity broadband networks that allow data to be transmitted more efficiently across networks, leading to significantly lower network costs. These innovations could also lead to other broadband solutions that will help bring greater Internet access and more reliable service to communities in rural areas of Canada. As the technology can be adapted to any satellite, the project will position Advantech to capture a share of a growing global market.”

David Gelerman, President and CEO, Advantech Satellite Networks said “we are extremely honoured and excited that our High Throughput Satellite System [HTSS] project was awarded this contribution from Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund. HTSS is an important piece of the overall telecommunications infrastructure and plays a major role in producing visible and concrete outcomes for areas without access to high-speed Internet. The technology being developed will showcase Canadian satellite companies’ innovations that will help them provide affordable connectivity for the benefit of all Canadians, eliminating the digital divide for hard-to-reach regions, including the Arctic. It will also enhance Canadian satellite technology exports worldwide.”

Institute for Quantum Computing – University of Waterloo gets $2.7 million

On April 12 in Waterloo Liberal Waterloo MP Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism announced a $2.7 million contract to Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo.

The contract is for a study of a new quantum technology that would contribute to improving remote sensing methods in the Arctic and is part of DND’s All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology (S&T) program.

“The Arctic presents unique challenges for a variety of remote sensing methods including radar. Space weather such as geomagnetic storms, solar radiation storms and solar flares interfere with radar operation and prevent the effective identification of objects. A new sensing technique – quantum illumination – will allow radar operators to cut through heavy background noise and isolate objects, including stealth aircraft, with unparalleled accuracy.”

“Practical quantum illumination requires on-demand and rapid emission of photons – single particles of light – in entangled (highly correlated) pairs. Quantum illumination has been demonstrated in a laboratory setting. This project supports the development of an on-demand, high-rate source of correlated photon pairs, enabling this technology to move from the lab to the field.”

In a news release Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan said “radar is our eye in the sky, especially in the Arctic, which presents unique challenges for a variety of remote sensing methods. Quantum technology is one of the latest innovations in this area and we are proud to partner with the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo toward the further development of this technology in support of the defence of Canada and Canadians.”



Neptec Design Group gets $1.8 million

On April 16 in Ottawa Liberal MP Karen McCrimmon of Kanata—Carleton announced approximately $1.8 million for three contracts to the Neptec Design Group, part of the CSA’s Space Technology Development Program.

In a news the release the government said that “through these contracts, Neptec will develop a miniature three-dimensional camera that could enable rovers to navigate autonomously on the Moon and Mars, or on Earth. This technology would allow rovers to collect more scientific data, thereby maximizing the scientific returns of their missions.”

“Neptec will also partner with Thales Alenia Space Switzerland, the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), and McMaster University to develop an optical communications system. This innovative system will use light to securely transfer information between Earth and satellites.”

“Lastly, Neptec will develop a new automated cell culture system to help us study the impacts of microgravity on the human body.”


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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