Contract Awards for All Domain Situational Awareness Science & Technology Program

Strong, Secure, Engaged, Canada’s new defence policy, commits Defence to focus on Arctic joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance as a defence research and development priority and produce innovative solutions to surveillance challenges in the North. In support of this initiative, the Department of National Defence (DND) has awarded contracts to four Canadian suppliers, valued at approximately $8.3 million in total, through the first Call for Proposals for the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology (S&T) program.

The research and analysis will be delivered through collaboration with other government departments, academia, industry and allies. Surveillance solutions will support the Government of Canada’s ability to exercise sovereignty in the North, and will provide a greater awareness of safety and security issues, transportation and commercial activity in Canada’s Arctic, and potentially contribute to the joint efforts between Canada and the United States to renew the North Warning System and modernize elements of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

Through an investment of close to $133 million over five years, the ADSA S&T program will coordinate and fund research and analysis to support the development of options for enhanced domain awareness of air, maritime surface and sub-surface approaches to Canada, and in particular those in the Arctic.

The All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology program will support the development of options, over a period of five years, for enhanced domain awareness of air, maritime surface and sub-surface approaches to Canada, in particular those in the Arctic.

Surveillance solutions explored and selected through the ADSA Science & Technology 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). As the security dynamics in the Arctic evolve, Canada and the United States will continue to work side by side to secure our shared northern air and maritime approaches.

The NWS is a chain of unmanned radar stations in Canada’s Arctic that provides aerospace surveillance of Canadian and United States 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, such as those posed by cruise missiles, has become more complex and increasingly difficult to detect.

To this end, Canada and the United States have already launched bilateral collaboration to seek innovative technological solutions to continental defence challenges including early warning. 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.

The following are the successful proposals from the first Call for Proposals:

Title: Acoustic Source for Ocean Propagation Experimentation
Supplier: GeoSpectrum Technologies Inc
Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Domain: Sub-Surface Surveillance
Project Type: Technology Demonstration
Funding: $4,953,038 (until 31 March 2020)

GeoSpectrum Technologies Inc has been awarded a contract to develop, design, build and test an acoustic source which will support scientific experiments in underwater sound propagation. Such a device may form part of future systems capable of providing long distance underwater communications to support, for example, an unmanned underwater vehicle engaged in open ocean or under ice survey work.

Title: Acoustic Array for Persistent Under-Ice Vehicles
Supplier: GeoSpectrum Technologies Inc
Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Domain: Sub-Surface Surveillance
Project Type: Research and Development
Funding: $1,944,175 (until 20 September 2019)

The objective of this project is to design and build a sensor array suitable for towing from an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). The innovative design, employing a fishing line-like cable with acoustic sensors, may be suitable for year-round underwater and under-ice operations, in environmentally hostile Arctic waters.

Title: Development of the Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Models (CHAIM)
Supplier: University of New Brunswick
Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick
Domain: Air Surveillance
Project Type: Research and Development
Funding: $1,165,143 (until 31 March 2020)

Current ionospheric models, used for prediction of radio wave propagation for communications and other applications, have significant shortcomings in Arctic regions. This is due to inaccuracies and limited local ionospheric observations. This project aims to improve this by producing high latitude electron density models at altitudes between 100 and 3,000 kilometres.

Title: Bistatic High Elevation Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Air System (UAS) Scenario Study
Supplier: C-CORE
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Domain: Surface Surveillance
Project Type: Study
Funding: $221,000 (until 31 July 2018)

This project is for the study of the potential capabilities of using a high altitude long endurance (HALE) unmanned air system (UAS) as a receiver in a bistatic configuration with commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR) missions, both current and future. The study will look at how various configurations of transmitters and HALE UAS-mounted receivers can augment current detection and discrimination capabilities, while providing a highly mobile, persistent, all weather surveillance asset that currently does not exist.

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