Aug 08, 2014

Canada + Canadian Space Agency (CSA)—New Impetus For Understanding Earth + Its Resources (Earth Observation)

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[SatNews] Canadian Industry Minister James Moore announced support for the development of new Earth Observation (EO) products that will provide crucial data to better understand Earth and its resources.

The investment of close to $6.7 million will position Canadian industry to create innovative systems, products and services that will optimize the use of data from Canadian Space Agency-supported Earth Observation missions, in particular RADARSAT‑2. RADARSAT‑2 provides the radar imaging needed for managing natural resources and monitoring the environment in the 21st century. The new technologies developed will enhance radar data from EO satellites to more accurately monitor Canada’s natural environment to help keep Canadians safe and grow the economy. This information will be used to:

  • Help the agricultural industry monitor crops and forecast yields;
  • Help map Canada’s wetlands, study river ice;
  • Help monitor Canada’s forest inventory;
  • Monitor pipelines and oil and gas transportation;
  • Monitor natural disasters such as floods and landslides.

This initiative is aligned with Canada’s Space Policy Framework and supports three of its core principles:

  • “Canadian Interests First”
    New applications will be developed to make effective use of the EO data, providing valuable information to address Canada’s needs, such as managing natural resources and monitoring natural disasters.
  • “Excellence in Key Capabilities” and “Positioning the Private Sector at the Forefront of Space Activities”
    The research and development (R&D) conducted will increase the level of expertise and competitiveness in proven competencies such as remote sensing.

The Canadian Space Agency has awarded contracts to 12 Canadian companies: MDA Systems, 3vGeomatics, MDA Geospatial Surveillance and Intelligence (GSI), ASL Environmental Sciences, Array Systems Computing, Kepler Space Inc., Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), AECOM, GHGSat, PCI Geomatics, Effigis Geo‑Solutions and C‑CORE.

By observing the Earth from space, EO satellites such as RADARSAT‑2 provide essential information on ocean, ice, land environments, and the atmosphere. Providing regular and reliable information to its users, RADARSAT‑2 operates 24/7, regardless of weather conditions. The industries that benefit from EO data include agriculture, mining, oil and gas extraction, transportation, insurance companies, and more. The aforementioned contracts were awarded following a Request for Proposals (RFP) in February of 2014. The RFP was issued by the CSA’s Earth Observation Applications Development Program