From: Space Strategies Consulting Ltd.
Posted: Friday, January 31, 2020
In December 2019, SSCL was awarded a contract under the Department of National Defence’s Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program for a Phase 1B for its Space Object Identification (SOI) Project. Maria Rey, SSCL’s Chief Science Officer, stated that, “the Synthetic Aperture Ladar for Space-Based Object Identification will provide Canada and her allies with the space intelligence they need to understand what adversarial powers are doing in space and support safety of space flight while building a foundational capability for Transparency and Confidence Building measures”.
SSCL, an innovation-driven technology and strategic space consulting company, has collaborated with the world-renowned optical firm Institute d’National Optique (INO). In collaboration with SSCL, INO is developing a Synthetic Aperture Ladar (SAL) and the Optronic Synthetic Aperture Processor (OSAp), to employ this technology in a space-based SOI mission. INO is the largest centre of expertise in optics and photonics in Canada and is among the best technological research centres in the world. SSCL’s expertise and understanding of space operations, combined with INO’s technical expertise, will result in new operational capabilities for Canada and her allies in the realm of Space Object Identification.
Until now, space objects orbiting the earth have largely been tracked, but not directly observed with sufficient detail capable of determining their composition or intent. As more satellites are launched, along with the debris that accompanies them, the perfect conditions are formed for adversarial powers to covertly launch satellites which may have unknown missions. These satellites have the potential to threaten existing space capabilities and challenge the current stability and peaceful use of outer space.
SSCL’s concept for space-based SOI is for INO to develop their Synthetic Aperture Ladar (SAL) and Optronic Synthetic Aperture Processor (OSAp) into a space-based payload that will someday scan targets of interest for Canada and her allies. Early studies indicate that the SAL/OSAp platform would be capable of imaging objects with a 1cm resolution, at a range of 1,000km. The information captured will lead to enhanced knowledge about that satellite’s capability and perhaps intent, thus enabling leaders to make critical decisions necessary to protect Canada’s space interests.
Colonel (ret’d) Andre Dupuis, President and CEO of SSCL, says that “the investment by the Department of National Defence into domestic space capabilities ensures Canada’s continued leadership in space, while simultaneously developing Canada’s high-tech industrial sector by stimulating sustainable growth in the domestic space sector”.
SSCL’s team will be using the IDEaS Phase 1B to address critical risk areas in developing space-capable engineering designs for INOs SAL and optronic processor. Concurrently, SSCL will develop mission concepts of operation to enhanced DND’s understanding of the operational potential this powerful tool brings to the enhancement of the peaceful uses of space, now and into the coming decades.
ABOUT Space Strategies Consulting, Ltd.
SSCL’s team of highly qualified Space Professionals brings our clients a deep understanding of the complexities of space operations across the entire spectrum of users from Commercial, Civil and National Security stakeholders. We have in-depth knowledge of user requirements that can bring together space capability providers with operational users. Mission areas include: Policy Planning and Strategy Development, Space Mission Design, Space Sciences and Exploration, Government Contracting, Earth Observation and, Remote Sensing, Surveillance of Space, Satellite Communications, Training and Professional Development, and Exercise and Wargame Design, Development and Execution.
INO is the largest centre of expertise in optics and photonics in Canada and is among the best technological research centres in the world. For the past 30 years, it has created and developed innovative and valuable solutions to meet the needs of businesses in Quebec and throughout Canada. Its innovative solutions support Canadian businesses in several key industries through five business units: biomedtech; advanced manufacturing; energy, resources and environment; security, defence and aerospace; and city, infrastructure and mobility.
The Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program is an investment of $1.6 billion over 20 years aimed at meeting the demands of today’s complex global defence and security environment. The program enables Canada to deliver the capabilities needed for a strong and agile military by providing financial support to foster innovation through contracts, contribution agreements and grants. The IDEaS program helps innovators by supporting analysis, funding research, and developing processes that facilitate access to knowledge. It will also support testing, integration, adoption, and acquisition of creative solutions for Canada’s defence and security communities. For more information on the IDEaS program, visit the website.
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