Canadian Space Agency Awards R&D Funding to 21 Companies

CSACAMBRIDGE, Ontario, May 29, 2015 (CSA PR) — The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario), is pleased to announce that 21 high-tech companies received research and development (R&D) funding via the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) Space Technology Development Program (STDP).

The wide range of innovative projects to be developed by emerging companies as well as large established space industry leaders demonstrates how space technology drives jobs and growth in Canada’s dynamic economy.

Minister of State Goodyear made the announcement at COM DEV International Ltd.‘s Cambridge, Ontario facility. COM DEV is receiving funding to complete seven projects, including new operating systems for COM DEV products, advanced photo detection and image processing technologies, including work with aluminum additive technologies.

By leveraging R&D activities and increasing innovative products for commercialization in the space sector, the STDP supports two core principles of Canada’s Space Policy Framework: “Positioning the Private Sector at the Forefront of Space Activities” and “Excellence in Key Capabilities.” The Framework is the government’s approach to Canada’s future in space to ensure continued commitment to exploration, commercialization and development.

Quick facts

  • In 2012, the Canadian space sector generated total revenues of $3.327 billion for our economy and employed some 8,000 highly skilled men and women.
  • The CSA‘s STDP is contributing to the development of industry capabilities by investing in new space technologies, further enhancing Canadian expertise and talent and ensuring the industry’s responsiveness to future market demands while maintaining its global competitiveness.
  • Previous STDP investments have been instrumental in positioning Canada’s innovative space sector as a leader in satellite communications, space robotics, optics, and space based radar.
  • The program selected 38 proposals from across Canada. The total funding for all projects is close to $13.1 million;
  • 18 projects will receive funding of $600,000 or less for a term of 24 months;
  • 20 projects will receive funding of $200,000 or less for a term of 24 months;
  • Each company is also contributing a minimum of 25% of the total value of its project.

Quotes

“Space is an integral part of our government’s overarching strategic goals of jobs and growth, sovereignty, security and the advancement of knowledge. Our Government is proud to invest in the design and development of innovative technologies to maintain our position as a global leader in space technologies. This investment supports and takes full advantage of the capabilities of Canada’s space sector, contributing to our future in space.”

– The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Below is a list outlining the companies selected to receive a Contribution Agreement from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to perform Space Research and Development (R&D). Following an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) process, twenty-one (21) companies have successfully met the requirements and will receive Contribution Agreements to support their R&D projects. The maximum cost envelope of each agreement is less than $600,000 (Category A) and less than $200,000 (Category B), and all agreements are valid for twenty-four (24) months. For each project, the total government assistance (federal, provincial and Municipal) cannot exceed 75% of total eligible project costs. A short description of the objective of each R&D project is given below.

LIST OF COMPANIES & AWARDS

 
CompanyR&D ProjectR&D ObjectiveValue of Project
ABB Ltd.
Location: Saint-Laurent, QC
Multi-Spectral Imager for highly elliptical orbits and geostationary orbitsThis investment will help to advance the design of a Canadian meteorological imager instrument and adapt it to be compatible with future satellite missions.
  • CSA contribution: $596,256
  • ABB: $198,751
  • Total value: $795,007
Aflare Systems Inc.
Location: Brampton, ON
Imperator FMS (IFMS) – Flight Management and Control System Software Application for unmanned aerial vehicle & small satellitesThis project will develop flight management and safety systems to support fail-safe measures for small unmanned aerial vehicles and satellites. This new system will provide additional monitoring of potential failures and allow spacecraft operators or a redundant system to take corrective measures.
  • CSA contribution: $81,995
  • Aflare Systems: $28,445
  • Total value: $110,440
Bubble Technology Industries (BTI) Inc.
Location: Chalk River, ON
Feasibility Study of Multi-Agent Field Analyzer for Space Applications (MAFASA)The company will do a feasibility study on developing a new technique to identify components from geological samples gathered in the course of a manned or robotic exploration of extraterrestrial bodies such as Mars, the Moon, or an asteroid.
  • CSA contribution: $401,833
  • BTI: $153,448
  • Total value: $555,281
BTI Inc.
Location: Chalk River, ON
Risk Reduction Activities for the Canadian High-Energy Neutron Spectrometry System II (CHENSS II)This project will support R&D on a new, improved instrument to more accurately study the energy distribution of neutron radiation onboard the International Space Station (ISS). These measurements will help characterize the radiation exposure experienced by astronauts so that methods can be developed to mitigate the effects.
  • CSA contribution: $200,000
  • BTI: 116,247
  • Total value: 316,247
Canadensys Aerospace Corporation
Location: Toronto, ON
Advanced Thermal & Energy Storage Technologies for Survival & Operations of Low-Cost Missions in Deep SpaceThis project will examine small-scale energy storage and thermal management technologies capable of operating at very cold temperatures. This will enable future micro- and nano-class space missions to survive in the extreme thermal environment of deep space.
  • CSA contribution: $199,997
  • Canadensys : $67,160
  • Total value: $267,157
CM Labs Simulations Inc.
Location: Montreal, QC
Collision detection and content creation technologies for high fidelity grasping simulationsThe project will enhance the realism and flexibility of the space robotics simulator used for astronaut training and mission planning for robotic operations on the ISS.
  • CSA Contribution: $199,468
  • CM Labs: $66,855
  • Total value: $266,323
COM DEV International Ltd.
Location: Ottawa, ON
Micro-Spectrometer for Atmospheric Remote SensingThe project will develop a compact spectrometer to measure of Green House Gases in the atmosphere. This spectrometer will be compatible with nanosatellite, microsatellite and hosted payload applications as well as aviation and terrestrial applications.
  • CSA contribution: $600,000
  • COM DEV: $200,000
  • Total value: $800,000
COM DEV International Ltd.
Location: Cambridge, ON
Dyson Spectrometer Prototype DevelopmentThe project will develop an innovative prototype spectrometer for microsatellite based, hyperspectral imaging applications that will be able to achieve low distortion performance over a large field-of-view.  The proposed approach contains fewer optical elements than other approaches and is configured in a compact format with modest demands for weight, volume, and cooling resources which make it make it very attractive for microsatellite applications as well as for aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicle applications.
  • CSA contribution: $600,000
  • COM DEV: $200,000
  • Total value: $800,000
COM DEV International Ltd.
Location: Cambridge, ON
Smart Switch InterfaceThis project is to develop new interface options for COM DEV’s switch space product family. The primary objective is to allow the switch products to become CANBus compatible – where CANBus, an already widely accepted communications protocol designed for many electronic products used in aerospace, automotive, maritime, medical and industrial automation equipments, is now being more broadly reviewed for space payload incorporation – therein offering “smart switch” product portfolio enhancement.
  • CSA contribution: $458,411
  • COM DEV: $152,804
  • Total value: $611,215
COM DEV International Ltd.
Location: Cambridge, ON
Flexible Space Situational Awareness Payload DevelopmentThe project will demonstrate paradigm-changing technologies relating to the viewing, understanding and predicting the physical location of near-earth objects.  The project will implement advanced photon detection technologies and advanced image processing methods to improve detection performance and achieve significant reduction in image exposure time.  The technologies will be directly applicable to space situational awareness applications as well as applications in space astronomy.
  • CSA contribution: $600,000
  • COM DEV: $200,000
  • Total value: $800,000
COM DEV International Ltd.
Location: Cambridge, ON
Advanced Channel Combiner TechnologiesThe objective of this project is to create more efficient and advanced Ku band channel combiner to improve telecommunications satellites performance. Ku band is used in particular to deliver internet and television signals to end-users and is therefore in high demand. Advancements like those proposed in this activity will increase capacity and feasibility of novel combiner configurations.
  • CSA contribution: $443,827
  • COM DEV: $147,943
  • Total value: $591,770
COM DEV International Ltd.
Location: Cambridge, ON
Additive Manufacturing Capability DevelopmentWith this project COM DEV will qualify aluminum material additive manufacturing and evaluate its application/benefit for both commercial satellite communications market products such as waveguide switch components (a structure allowing to redirect signals), and  for science mission market products, more specifically beam steering mirror mounts. Current manufacturing techniques for waveguide switches are difficult, take multiple machines and setups and are challenging to manufacture. Anticipated benefits of this technology versus the current manufacturing techniques include mass, size and cost reduction, accelerated schedule and improved production reliability.
  • CSA contribution: $362,724
  • COM DEV: $120,908
  • Total value: $483,632
COM DEV International Ltd.
Location: Cambridge, ON
New Iso-Divider ProductThe objective of this project is to develop a product that will combine and integrate space worthy Isolators and Power Dividers within the same package, saving space and mass in satellite designs. This product will be used for satellite communication purposes.
  • CSA contribution: $200,000
  • COM DEV: $67,122
  • Total value: $267,122
Communication & Power Industries (CPI) Canada Inc.
Location: Georgetown, ON
G-Band – The Next Generation of Cloud Profiling RadarsThis project will develop higher frequency radar technology dedicated to cloud profiling. Currently, radars are being used to better understand clouds and cloud processes. Using a new radar band could significantly improve current profiling capabilities in boundary layer clouds, cirrus and mid-level ice clouds, and precipitating snow.
  • CSA contribution: $416,886
  • CPI Canada: $138,963
  • Total value: $555,849
Gedex Inc.
Location: Mississauga, ON
Vector Gravimeter for Asteroids (VEGA) Prototype Instrument Development and Flight TestThis project will develop and test-fly an instrument that could explore the surface of asteroids – the VEGA. Very accurate measurements of the gravity force vector on the surface of an asteroid would provide answers on asteroid and solar system formation and help locate deposits of valuable minerals such as water ice, which are of interest to commercial asteroid mining companies. This instrument is designed to be compatible with very small, low-cost exploration spacecraft.
  • CSA contribution: $600,000
  • Gedex Inc.: $268,070
  • Total value: $868,070
Integran Technologies Inc.
Location: Mississauga, ON
Nanometal Enabled Multifunctional Composites for Space ApplicationsThe project aims to test and optimize a novel nanomaterial that has equivalent or better performance than aluminum in mechanical strength and stiffness, electromagnetic interference shielding, thermal conduction, and surface dust erosion resistance. The proposed material is composed mainly of a carbon-fiber-reinforced-polymer core coated with a nanometal developed by Integran Technologies.
  • CSA contribution: $200,000
  • Integran: $77,993
  • Total value: $277,993
International Datacasting Corporation (IDC)
Location: Ottawa, ON
Transponder BondingThe objective of this project is to enhance the distribution of high quality video and high speed data for satellite applications. This technology will permit the transmission of higher volumes of data in a shorter period of time, allowing satellite providers to keep up with the demand for higher-speed data exchanges.
  • CSA contribution: $196,086
  • IDC: $65,342
  • Total value: $261,428
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA)
Location: Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC
Next Generation ReflectorThis project aims at designing, manufacturing and testing a prototype of a new antenna reflector that would minimize the cost and mass of the next generation of antenna products.
  • CSA contribution: $200,000
  • MDA: $105,365
  • Total value: $305,365
MDA
Location: Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC
End-to-End Space-Ground CommunicationThis project will focus on the development and the study of key advancements in satellite on-board processing technology in order to improve the level of integration of an end-to-end communications network. The idea is to provide a fully integrated approach where the utilization of  ground and space segments are maximized
  • CSA contribution: $471,769
  • MDA: $90,256
  • iDirect: $67,000
  • Total value: $629,025
MDA
Location: Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC
High Throughput Satellite (HTS) Antenna TechnologyThis project will focus on the development of HTS antenna technologies, encompassing multiple frequency bands.
Thanks to these innovative technologies, end-users will have acces to exclusive solutions in C-, Ku-, Ka- and Q/V-band.
  • CSA contribution: $364,550
  • MDA: $121,517
  • Total value: $486,067
MDA Systems Ltd.
Location: Richmond, BC
Wide-Swath, 10m Resolution Hyperspectral Sensor and MissionThis project will explore the feasibility of using novel technology in a compact spaceborne sensor. The sensor would be compact enough to fly on a small satellite while delivering better sensitivity, coverage, and resolution. Such smaller, cheaper satellites can be deployed in constellations that provide continental-scale coverage every few days, which is critical for such applications as agriculture and defence. As well, the company will test the use of non-radiation hardened signal processing devices in the harsh space environment to enhance their performance.
  • CSA contribution: $192,419
  • MDA: $53,116
  • ABB: $12,500
  • Total value: $258,035
MDA
Location: Richmond, BC
On-board ProcessingThis project will seek to will test the use of non-radiation hardened signal processing devices in the harsh space environment to enhance their performance.
  • CSA contribution: $573,618
  • MDA: $192,030
  • Total value: $765,648
MAYA Heat Transfer Technologies Ltd. (MAYA HTT)
Location: Montreal, QC
Software for Advanced Composite Material ModelingThis project will develop software to improve the realism and accuracy of structural modelling tools used to predict the progressive degradation of composites in space technologies.
  • CSA contribution: $199,991
  • MAYA HTT: $66,983
  • Total value: $266,974
Neptec Design Group Ltd.
Location: Ottawa, ON
Next Generation TriDARThis project will focus on the creation of a next-generation TriDAR platform. TriDAR is a 3D sensor used to perform autonomous rendezvous and docking in space. This project aims to reduce the TriDAR products mass, volume and power consumption in order to broaden the range of applicable missions.  The project will also improve the system’s data acquisition and scan speed performance, add cooperative tracking capability, evaluate and test solid state beam steering detector and technologies, and demonstrate the feasibility of hybrid 3D sensing.
  • CSA contribution: $600,000
  • Neptec Design Group:
    $200,000
  • Total value: $800,000
Neptec Design Group Ltd.
Location: Ottawa, ON
Next Generation Thermal ImagerThis project will focus on the development of a high resolution next-generation thermal camera specifically designed for space. The increase in resolution will result in a camera that is better suited to new space applications such as spacecraft inspection and remote sensing, thus potentially opening new markets for Neptec.
  • CSA contribution: $199,499
  • Neptec Design Group: $66,499
  • Total value: $265,998
Neptec Design Group Ltd.
Location: Ottawa, ON
High Precision Laser RangeFinderThis project further improves Neptec’s high-precision laser rangefinding capabilities, essential to enabling spacecraft formation flying missions. The advancement of this technology will achieve higher levels of measurement accuracy at distances never reached before. This helps to secure a competitive advantage in the field of navigation sensor technologies and establish Canada as a recognized leader in the development of flight products for formation flying.
  • CSA contribution: $166,073
  • Neptec Design Group: $55,358
  • Total value: $221,431
Neptec Design Group Ltd.
Location: Ottawa, ON
LiDAR-based Rover Navigation SoftwareThis project advances Neptec’s rover-based planetary exploration technologies based on Neptec’s in-house family of 3D scanning LiDAR sensors. The project will develop a LiDAR-based suite of navigation software that integrates LiDAR visual odometry, efficient mapping, path planning, and obstacle avoidance, using the unique scanning pattern provided by Neptec’s sensors.
  • CSA contribution: $172,162
  • Neptec Design Group:
    $57,387
  • Total value: $229,549
Neptec Design Group Ltd.
Location: Ottawa, ON
Self Calibrating Radiation Tolerant Time-to-Digital Converter (TDC)This project is for the design and development of a Self Calibrating Radiation Tolerant TDC prototype that will comprise the following features: maintain its own accuracy across all operating conditions; allow for custom data processing and control logic to be implemented in a single device (thus reducing complexity of on-board electronics); and be used as part of a rangefinder for topographic mapping, satellite formation flying as well as rendezvous and docking operations.
  • CSA contribution: $121,202
  • Neptec Design Group:
    $40,401
  • Total value: $161,603
NGC Aérospatiale Ltée
Location: Sherbrooke, QC
Geometric Error Source Identification and Quantification (GESIQ)The main objective of the GESIQ study is to develop a technology for the improvement of Earth-observation satellite parameters knowledge by identifying and quantifying the geometric errors sources in the satellite imagery data starting from known geometric errors previously determined using ground control points.
  • CSA contribution: $160,295
  • NGC Aérospatiale Ltée:
    $53,432
  • Total value: $213,727
NGC Aérospatiale Ltée
Location: Sherbrooke, QC
Autonomous Navigation & Mapping (ANIMA)The purpose of this project is to enable the development and validation of an innovative navigation and mapping technology to be integrated onboard exploration rover systems, enabling navigation, mapping and localization of mobile vehicle systems where Global Positioning System (GPS) or other absolute navigation infrastructure are not reliable or even available.
  • CSA contribution: $199,414
  • NGC Aérospatiale Ltée:
    $66,471
  • Total value: $265,885
Nüvü Caméras Inc.
Location: Montreal, QC
Electron Multiplying Charged Coupled Device (EMCCD) Camera ControllerThis project aims to advance the design of their electron-multiplying charge-coupled device camera controller in order to prepare it for future space missions by reducing power consumption and adapting heat dissipation of the device controller.
  • CSA contribution: $200,000
  • Nuvu contribution: $66,959
  • Total value: $266,959
Optech Inc.
Location: Vaughan, ON
Scanning Lidar SystemThis project will develop a prototype scanning LiDAR system that combines new LiDAR technology and a scanning mirror mechanism. This system will provide a range of information that can be used for space robotics and planetary exploration.
  • CSA contribution: $600,000
  • Optech contribution: 219,863
  • Total value: $819,863
Qidni Labs Inc.
Location: Kitchener, ON
A novel nano-filtration technology for aerospace applicationsThis project is to design, build and test high-performance and durable nano-filters to be used in the aerospace industry. These nano-filters would serve in the filtration of fluid system protection in engine lubrication, engine fuel, coolant, radar cooling systems and odor/bacteria/virus removal from water and air.
  • CSA contribution: $200,000
  • Qidni Labs Inc.: $69,500
  • Total value: $269,500
SED Systems (a division of Calian Ltd.)
Location: Saskatoon, SK
Multi-channel Modulator Pre-CompensationThe project will design, develop and implement an innovative algorithm that will allow satellites to send more data at a reduced cost.
  • CSA contribution: $159,131
  • SED: $53,046
  • Total value: $212,177
Square Peg Communications Inc. (SPCI)
Location: Ottawa, ON
Development of 3G/4G Satcom Tester TechnologyThe project will develop a network simulator for third- and fourth-generation (3G/4G) mobile satellite terminals. This will facilitate the development of new terminals and applications that extend the capabilities of 3G/4G terrestrial wireless systems to users on land, at sea or in the air.
  • CSA contribution: $600,000
  • SPCI: $251,285
  • Total value: $851,285
UrtheCast Corp.
Location: Vancouver, BC
On-Board Autonomous Cross-Cueing of Earth Observation (EO) Sensor Systems for Maritime Domain Awareness and Tasking OptimizationThe objective of this project is to develop a unique space-borne on-board autonomous tasking system, allowing for improved detection and identification of targets, and cloud-free target imaging.
  • CSA contribution: $600,000
  • UrtheCast: $271,125
  • Total value: $871,125
UrtheCast Corp.
Location: Vancouver, BC
Dual L and X Band Active Planar Array Antenna for Space-based RadarThe project aims to develop the design of a new Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) antenna. This will include building and testing a technology prototype to evaluate the performance. The targeted application for this technology is for a SAR payload deployed on the ISS.
  • CSA contribution: $600,000
  • UrtheCast: $344,438
  • Total value: $944,438
Xiphos Systems Corp.
Location: Montreal, QC
Q7 Camera BoardsThis project aims to leverage the company’s miniaturized data-processing technology with a versatile camera interface board for the new Q7 processor card. It will address a market niche in spacecraft image processing from a wide range of conventional and specialized imagers. Potential applications for this technology include space, security and forest fire management.
  • CSA contribution: $147,904
  • Xiphos: $50,600
  • Total value: $198,504