The Canadian Space Agency Awards $2M in Contracts for Priority Technologies and Space Utilization Study

Credit: CSA/SpaceQ.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has awarded a total of $2M for two priority technology development contracts along with a contract for a socioeconomic benefit study.

Euroconsult Study

Euroconsult was awarded a $114k contract for the Socioeconomic Benefits of Space Utilization for the Canadian Space Agency. Specifically “the objective of this study is to more fully assess the socioeconomic benefits derived from the use of space assets and data as it relates to the intersection of satellite communications, imagery (Earth Observation) and navigation. The socioeconomic benefits derived from space in these domains include elements related to security and sovereignty, quality of life, and environmental management.”

The study is to be completed by July 23, 2018.

More Priority Technology Contracts

The Canadian Space Agency has issued two new contracts for the development of enabling space technologies request for proposals (RFP) issued last year as part of the Space Technology Development Program.

Canadensys Gets SWARM Lunar Contract (Soliciation 9F063-170039/A)

Canadensys was awarded a $402k contract for the Canadian Space Agency Priority Technology 3, the Scalable Wheels and Advanced Rover Motion (SWARM). This contract is in addition to the one it was awarded earlier this month for Priority Technology 2, Mobility and Environmental Rover Integrated Technology (MERIT).

These two technologies relate to the development of rover capability and could be part of a Canadian contribution for a future international effort for moon missions.

The key objectives for this contract are;

  1. Provide and demonstrate a solution to fulfill the locomotion requirements, in particular the wheels and related elements for both the PHASR (Precursor to Human And Scientific Rover) and LPR (Lunar Pressurized Rover) via the LPR Core (LPRC) including the proper redundancy and reliability to meet the requirements of extended human missions.
  2. Provide and demonstrate how previous and on-going development for a different class of rovers can be adapted or upgraded to fulfill these requirements or propose and build a new solution.
  3. Deliver an integrated solution fulfilling these objectives to the CSA.

ITRES Research Gets Imaging Spectrometer Contract (Soliciation 9F063-170039/B)

ITRES Research has received a $1.5M contract for Priority Technology 2, the Breadboard of Next Generation Coastal and Inland Water Color Imaging Spectrometer.

The CSA provided the following background information no why it was developing this technology.

“Canada has extensive coastlines and inland water bodies that offer great value for food supply, commerce, transportation, and tourism/recreation. However, they are under increasing pressure from direct human activities and are experiencing unprecedented change from modifications to our climate. Understanding and quantifying the physical, biogeochemical and ecological processes that occur within our natural waters are critical components of regional water resource management, from protecting and monitoring water quality, nearshore/wetland habitats, fisheries and aquaculture, public health, to navigation and shipping, security, oil spill/pollution event response, and impacts from episodic flood and storm events.”

“Current ocean color satellites (e.g. MODIS and Sentiel-3), with their 300 m to 1 km ground sampling distance (GSD), cannot provide accurate information in the last few kilometers next to the shore or for the large number of medium to small size water bodies (≤ 10’s of km 2 ). In order to meet the Canadian government users’ needs for higher spatial and spectral resolution data to support enhanced monitoring of our coastal environment and freshwater resources, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has awarded Canadian industry a contract to undertake a Phase 0 concept study for a proto-operational hyperspectral microsatellite mission for coastal and inland water monitoring, which is referred to as WaterSat. The Phase 0 study concluded in March 2015 and demonstrated that it is feasible to build a Canadian water color hyperspectral microsatellite with a 100 m GSD and 300 km swath covering a spectral range of 400-1000 nm at 10 nm spectral sampling interval.”

“Recently the CSA and the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have teamed up to bring together their strengths in optical payload development and remote sensing of coastal waters. An innovative mission concept for a high performance next generation water color hyperspectral payload, referred to as Coastal Ocean Color Imager (COCI), has been developed in a joint payload concept study (results published in RD-6). The COCI payload is optimized for observation of coastal and inland waters in the ultraviolet, visible and near infrared parts of the spectrum (from 360 to 910 nm) with a nominal spectral sampling 5 nm, 100 m GSD over a 240 km swath and high Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) of 950:1. It can map the whole of Canada near-weekly up to 200 nautical miles of shore and is capable of 2-day re-look for emergency response or more frequent revisit of priority targets in Canada using a pointing system.”

“The Canadian COCI, with its spatial and spectral resolution not currently available from existing water color satellites, can be used for a future Canadian WaterSat mission or as Canadian contribution to upcoming international ocean color satellites, such as NASA’s Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission.
This project is to i) elevate technical readiness level for Canadian water color imaging spectrometer technology, and ii) de-risk key technical issues of the Canadian COCI payload raised in the joint study.”

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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