Government of Canada announces contract awards aimed at improving space-based earth observation capabilities

News release

December 14, 2018 – Ottawa, Ont. – National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces

Through Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the government of Canada committed to prioritizing joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). This is essential to provide Canada with a clear picture of Canadian air and maritime approaches, monitor the Arctic, and enable CAF missions, ensuring that Canada is strong at home, secure in North America and engaged in the world. 

In support of this ongoing commitment, DND, through Public Services and Procurement Canada, has awarded 12 contracts and a total of $6.7 million to eight Canadian suppliers to improve tasking, collection, processing, exploitation and dissemination capabilities for future Canadian earth observation satellites. These contracts, awarded the contracts under the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) science and technology (S&T) program, are modeled on the Defence Innovation Research Program structure and funded through a 50/50 funding split between government and industry, bringing the total joint investment to $13.2 million.

These cutting-edge R&D projects will provide innovative solutions and tools to maintain, enhance and modernize the Canadian Armed Forces’ earth observation capabilities and ensure accurate, timely, and persistent situational awareness of Canada's territory and its air and maritime approaches, as well as other international areas of interest. 


“Through our defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, our government is ensuring that the women and men of our Canadian Armed Forces are provided with the tools and equipment they need to do the important work we ask of them. Having state-of-the-art joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tools is critical for the Canadian Armed Forces to complete their missions.”

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan

Quick facts

  • The North Warning System is a chain of unmanned radar stations in Canada’s Arctic that provide aerospace surveillance of North America’s northern approaches.

  • RADARSAT-2 is an advanced radar Earth Observing (EO) satellite launched in 2007. It is operationally used by CAF to ensure strategic situational awareness in the maritime domain here in Canada and in international waters in support of sovereignty and security, it is particularly helpful to detect ships. 

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