All Domain Situational Awareness Science and Technology Program

North Warning System, Acoustic Array System, RADARSAT-2 satellite, and Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats

Viability

Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, places Arctic joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance as defence research and development priorities.

The All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science and Technology (S&T) Program is investing $133 million from 2015 to 2020 to support the development of innovative solutions to address surveillance challenges in the North.

Surveillance solutions achieved under the ADSA S&T Program support the Government of Canada’s ability to exercise sovereignty in the North, and will provide a greater awareness of safety and security issues, and of transportation and commercial activity in Canada’s Arctic. They will also contribute to joint efforts between Canada and the United States to modernize elements of the North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) Command.

Projects

Canada and the United States are working together to find innovative technological solutions to continental defence challenges. The ADSA S&T Program is part of this collaboration.

A number of projects have received funding via the ADSA S&T Program including:

Over-the-Horizon Radar (OTHR) Project
Over-the-Horizon Radar Project
Description

Image depicting earth’s curvature and how OTHR radio waves reflect from the ionosphere to see beyond the horizon.

Ionosphere

Basic problem: the earth is curved and we need ways to see around it.

Mircowave Radar

  • Radio waves follow straight lines
  • 500-km range for 40,000-ft altitude air targets
  • 50-km range for 500-ft altitude are tadrgets

HF Over-the-Horizon Radar (OTHR)

  • Radio waves reflect from the ionosphere
  • Provides a look-down perspective
  • 3000-km range for air targets at all altitudes

The purpose of OTHR systems is to detect out-of-sight targets far beyond the horizon, unlike traditional radar which is limited to much closer line-of-sight objects. The bouncing of radar waves off the upper atmosphere allows OTHR to achieve a much longer range for target detection.

OTHR systems are currently operational worldwide; however, in the northern regions signals passing through and reflected from the Aurora Borealis can diminish their performance. This project was launched to study possible ways to improve the performance when the Aurora Borealis is present.

The following contracts were awarded for the project:

Project Title Supplier
Development of the Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Models (CHAIM) University of New Brunswick
Polar Over-the-Horizon Radar – Transmit Site Raytheon Canada Ltd
Polar Over-the-Horizon Radar – Receive Site, Raytheon Canada Ltd Raytheon Canada Ltd
Canadian Arctic Underwater Sentinel Experimentation (CAUSE) Project
Canadian Arctic Underwater Sentinel Experimentation Project
Description

Image depicting an underwater/under-ice surveillance technology.

Situational awareness in all domains, including the underwater environment, is essential to assert Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic, and to support the Canadian Armed Forces’ mission to defend our Nation.

The CAUSE Project develops and tests various surveillance systems for underwater and under-ice surveillance throughout the Arctic. The project enhances the Canadian Armed Forces' capabilities and readiness to conduct operations in a changing Arctic environment.

The following contracts were awarded for the project:

Project Title Supplier
Acoustic Source for Ocean Propagation Experimentation GeoSpectrum Technologies Inc
Acoustic Array for Persistent Under-Ice Vehicles GeoSpectrum Technologies Inc
Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV): Fuel Cell and Suction Anchor Cellula Robotics Ltd
Threat, Requirement and Gap (TRG) Analysis Project

The TRG Analysis Project assesses threats to three physical domains in Canada’s North: air, maritime surface, and maritime sub-surface. The project then analyzes the gaps in Arctic intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and develops technology options and concepts that will assist the Canadian Armed Forces in better operating in the changing Arctic environment. It also examines surveillance requirements and compares possible technological solutions.

The following contracts were awarded for the project:

Project Title Supplier
All Domain Sensor Mix Evaluation Tool (ADSMET) MDA
Context-aware sensor selection layered architecture for Arctic surveillance Complex Systems Inc
Compression of the Tasking, Collection, Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination (TCPED) Cycle Project
Compression of the Tasking, Collection, Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination Cycle Project

Description

Image depicting satellite functions over the earth.

Hand off:
R2 —> TSX

Cross cueing:
R2 —> CSK

Dynamic re-tasking:
AOI 1 —> AOI 2

In 2016, an initiative was launched, through a series of contracts, to improve the TCPED cycle for future Canadian earth observation satellites.

The contracts are modeled on the Defence Innovation Research Program (DIRP) structure and are funded 50/50 between government and industry.

These cutting-edge projects offer innovative ideas on how to best maintain, enhance and modernize the Canadian Armed Forces’ capabilities to observe the earth using satellites. They will ensure an accurate, timely and uninterrupted picture of Canada's territory, including its air and maritime regions. They will also contribute to joint efforts between Canada and the United States to improve surveillance capabilities in support of Canadian and NORAD requirements and missions.

First Round of Project Submissions

The first DIRP call for submissions in 2016 resulted in 11 projects from eight suppliers receiving close to $7.7 million from the Government of Canada, for a total investment of almost $15.4 million.

The following contracts were awarded under the first TCPED call for submissions:

Project Title Supplier
Real time TCPED cycle for RADARSAT Constellation Mission Follow-On Airbus
Multi-aperture synthetic aperture radar (SAR) tools C-CORE
Electromagnetic monitoring and analysis (EMMA) 2.0 Com Dev
Constellation mission planning system Globvision
Sensor tasking and data collection management using high-level information fusion for improved system-of-systems operation Larus
Tactical on-board processing innovation MDA
A system of systems approach to improving TCPED MDA
Fusion of open data sources with automated identification system (AIS) and Earth observation data for enhanced marine domain awareness (MDA) OODA
Multi aperture multi-frequency digital SAR UrtheCast Corp.  
Real-time on board automated tasking UrtheCast Corp.
On-board processing of SAR data UrtheCast Corp.

Second Round of Project Submissions

The second DIRP call for submissions in 2017 resulted in 12 projects from nine suppliers receiving close to $6.7 million from the Government of Canada, for a total investment of almost $13.4 million.

The following contracts were awarded under the second TCPED call for submissions:

Project Title Supplier
Complementary Electro-Optic/Infrared (EO/IR) payload to RADARSAT Constellation Mission ABB
Project Arviq AstroCom Associates Inc.  
Multi-satellite data integration for operational ship detection, identification and tracking C-CORE
Modelling the geospatial intelligence capability to support Canadian surveillance and sovereignty C-CORE
Electro-Optic/Infrared data analytics for enhanced maritime surveillance Complex System Inc.
RADARSAT thematic exploitation platform demonstrator CubeWerx Inc.
Real-time processing of large-volume space-based multimodal data General Dynamics Mission Systems
Augmenting Canada’s maritime surveillance capability with complementary electro-optic/infrared information products MDA Systems Ltd
Persistent multi-sensor land surveillance and change monitoring MDA Systems Ltd
Application of Big Data analytics techniques to extracting geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) from SAR imagery MDA Geospatial Services Inc.
Architecture innovations for analytics-ready data UrtheCast Corp.
Complementary sensor exploitation UrtheCast Corp.

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