Space is an Important Element of First DND IDEaS Program Contracts

Canada Senate Report "Military underfunded: The walk must match the talk" for the Defense Policy Review. Credit: Senate of Canada.

Last week the Department of Defence (DND) announced 160 contracts valued at $26.8M for 16 science and technology challenge areas which included 20+ contracts for space organizations.

The contracts are the first in the DND’s $1.6 billion Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEeS) program.

According to DND, the “IDEaS program brings innovators to the table to support defence and security.”

Over 600 proposals were submitted.

In a media release the Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said “through our defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, we are providing the women and men of our Canadian Armed Forces with the tools and equipment they need to do their jobs. The success of the IDEaS first call for proposals is a testament to the importance of investing in Canadian innovation to support the future of our Canadian Armed Forces. These new collaborations will facilitate the flow of innovative ideas and concepts to help deliver the capabilities needed for a strong and agile military. Congratulations to all contract recipients.”

Of the 16 challenges there was one in particular that was centrally focused on the space domain, #13, Identification and Characterization of Space Objects.

Ten contracts were awarded in this category. Details on each contract beyond the title and award amount are not available. Several companies with awards in this category were also awarded contracts in other challenges listed below.

  • Geocentrix Technologies Inc. ($198,620.00) – The Space Situational Awareness Graphical Environment (SSAGE)
  • Thales Canada Inc. ($198,906.75) –  SPace Activity Analysis and Collection/Correlation Engine (SPA2CE)
  • Globvision Inc. ($196,538.28) – Advanced Space Common Operating Picture (SCOP) System for Intelligent Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Space Object Identification and Characterization (SOI&C)
  • Magellan Aerospace ($194,934.47) – Enhanced Space Surveillance using Star Trackers
  • Canadensys Aerospace Corp ($199,990.79) – Watchguard Space-Based Proximity Monitoring System – HD Zoom for the Common Operating Picture
  • University of Calgary – Research Services ($199,924.84) – High Resolution Tracking of Low Earth Orbit Space Objects
  • MDA Systems Ltd ($199,999.89) – Space Common Operating Picture System (S-COPS)
  • Columbiad Launch Services ($199,749.99) – Artificial Intelligence Driven Platform for Identification and Detection of Space Objects
  • Avalon Holographics Incorporated ($185,077.32) – Holographic Display for Space Situational Awareness
  • Space Strategies Consulting Ltd (SSCL) ($176,388.00) – Space Object Identification Using Optronically-processed Synthetic Aperture Ladar
DND Infographic - IDEaS Building Defence Capability
Infographic – IDEaS Building Defence Capability. Credit: DND.

Other notable awards include:

Challenge 3. Cognitive Performance Enhancement

  • Avalon Holographics Incorporated ($186,864.88) – Holographic Display for Battlespace Visualization
  • Thales Canada ($199,981.77) – Gaze-Aware System for Supporting Human Performance in Surveillance

Challenge 4. Predicting and Optimizing Personnel Performance

  • Neptec Design Group Ltd ($98,541.59) – Biometric Monitoring in support of personal performance prediction and optimization

Challenge 6. Detection and Classification of Objects of Interest

  • Centre en Imagerie Numerique et Medias Interactifs ($199,770.21) – SDSN: Smart Drone Surveillance Network
  • Single Quantum Systems Inc. ($199,999.43) – Analysis software for High performance entangled photon quantum LIDAR imaging

Challenge 7. Persistent Maritime Surveillance

  • University of Calgary ($166,500.00) – GNSS-based mitigation of ionospheric noise for precise magnetic anomaly detection
  • Persistent Maritime Surveillance ISE Ltd ($199,991.26) – AUV to ASV Docking to Enable Autonomous

Challenge 10. Proactive Deterrence

  • Spectrum Space Security Inc ($88,987.50) – Deterrence in Outer Space Through Mutual Dependencies
  • Space Strategies Consulting Ltd (SSCL) ($164,151.50) – A New Framework for Proactive Deterrence in Space

Challenge 11. Collaboration of Robotic Systems

  • Eomax Corp. ($199,170.98) – SWARM – Micro UAV Swarms for Tactical Activity
  • Kongsberg Geospatial Ltd ($199,885.70) – Beyond Line of Sight Organization of Robotic Groups (BORG)

Challenge 14. What is in that full-motion video

  • MDA Systems Inc. ($199,996.79) – Panoptes: Automated Behaviour Anomaly Detection System for Full Motion Video
  • York University ($199,024.00) – Real-time multiple-object detection, tracking and modeling from fixed and airborne platforms
  • C-Core ($199,778.10) – FMV and Still Imagery Tracking Toolset

A full list of all the challenge contract winners is available on the DND’s website.

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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