Government of Canada announces contract award to the University of Waterloo for research and development in support of Arctic surveillance


April 12, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces

With an investment of close to $133 million through to 2020, the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) science and technology program will support the development of innovative solutions for enhanced domain awareness of air, maritime surface and sub-surface approaches to Canada, in particular those in the Arctic.

Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, prioritizes Arctic joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance as defence research and development priorities. Surveillance solutions explored and selected through the ADSA program will strengthen the Government of Canada’s ability to exercise sovereignty in the North, and will provide a greater awareness of safety and security issues, as well as transportation and commercial activity in Canada’s Arctic.

Canada’s contributions to regional Arctic security also form a core part of the Canada-United States defence relationship. Nowhere is this more apparent than in joint efforts to renew the North Warning System (NWS) and modernize elements of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The NWS is a chain of unmanned radar stations in Canada’s Arctic that provide aerospace surveillance of North America’s northern approaches.

While the current NWS is approaching the end of its life expectancy from a technological and functional perspective, the range of potential threats to the continent has become more complex and increasingly difficult to detect.

To this end, Canada and the United States are collaborating to seek innovative technological solutions to continental defence challenges. Studies are ongoing to determine how best to replace this important capability as part of the overall modernization of NORAD.

The ADSA Science & Technology program is part of this bilateral collaboration.

Since Fall 2017, a total of six contracts, valued at approximately $11.6 million, have been awarded to five suppliers as a result of the 2016 Innovation Call for Proposals.

The following is the most recent contract awarded under the ADSA program:

Title: Development of Single/Entangled Photon Sources for a Quantum Radar Emitter

Supplier: Institute for Quantum Computing - University of Waterloo

Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Domain: Air Surveillance

Project Type: Research and Development

Funding: $2,703,759

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.

Search for related information by keyword: Military | National Defence | Canada | National security and defence | general public | backgrounders

Page details

Date modified: