Canada awards two contracts to boost Arctic surveillance

5 February 2019 (Last Updated February 5th, 2019 10:17)

The Canadian Department of National Defence has awarded contracts for defence research and development work in support of surveillance efforts in the Arctic.

Canada awards two contracts to boost Arctic surveillance
An aerial photograph over Nunavut, taken en route to Canadian Forces Station Alert from a CC-177 Globemaster aircraft. Credit: Belinda Groves, Task Force Imagery Technician / Department of National Defence.

The Canadian Department of National Defence has awarded contracts for defence research and development work in support of surveillance efforts in the Arctic.

Through the contracts, the government aims to find solutions for challenges facing the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF), particularly in Canada’s north.

The two contracts worth an aggregate amount of C$46.2m ($35.23m) were awarded to Raytheon Canada and the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Space Flight Lab (UTIAS SFL) under the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology (S&T) Program.

Under the C$31.2m ($23.79m) contract, Raytheon will construct transmit and receive electronics for a study of over-the-horizon radar detection at long range.

This contract involves demonstration of the feasibility of sky-wave radar technology for the detection of air targets at all altitudes beyond the radar’s horizon.

The second contract valued at C$15m ($11.44m) and awarded to UTIAS SFL pertains to the development of a prototype of a multipurpose microsatellite equipped with advanced sensor technology for air and maritime surveillance.

“UTIAS SFL microsatellites will be deployed to enable quick and timely detection and identification of surface or airborne targets.”

Canada Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan said: “Our government understands that science and innovation are crucial in solving some of our most complex defence and security challenges. Through these contracts, the Department of National Defence is taking the next step to solving our surveillance challenges in the Arctic.”

Research and development in satellite and radar technologies will assist the CAF in remote locations such as Canada’s Arctic.

The government is keen to invest in surveillance solutions to secure accurate and timely information, which will allow the CAF and other players in information and intelligence collection and sharing.

In addition to delivering a greater understanding of safety and security issues, the systems are expected to support transportation and commercial activity in Canada’s Arctic.

Furthermore, solutions being developed under the ADSA programme will be used to support joint efforts between Canada and the US for modernisation of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

UTIAS SFL microsatellites will be deployed to enable quick and timely detection and identification of surface or airborne targets.

Once the testing of the prototype is completed, two more microsatellites will be built to create a small formation.