Launch of a New Canadian Research Program for Satellite Communications Technologies

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2001

April 18, 2001 - A new Space Communications research program was launched today by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Canadian Institute for Telecommunications Research (CITR) with the announcement of grants to Canadian university researchers totalling $1 million.

The first group of university projects to be sponsored through the CSA-CITR Research Program has been selected following a request for proposals and review process administered by the Canadian Institute for Telecommunications Research.

These successful projects, funded for a total of $1 million, of which the Canadian Space Agency has contributed $790,000, include industrial leveraged funds, and involve thirteen researchers from seven Canadian universities and the federal Communications Research Centre. Universities involved include Carleton University, Concordia University, McGill University, Queen's University, University of Alberta, University of Toronto and University of Waterloo.

The announcement today is made possible through a $1.9 million five-year agreement between the Canadian Space Agency and the Canadian Institute for Telecommunications Research to establish a new program supporting Canadian leadership in the research and development of emerging space communications systems and technologies.

The program's areas of interest are optical and radio-frequency (RF) technologies, antenna technologies, digital signal processing (DSP) technologies and high speed data communications and storage technologies. Applications are focused on payload technologies for multimedia products and services, mobile and personal communications services and inter-satellite links. v "The unique synergy created through this partnership of universities and the private sector," said the Honourable Brian Tobin, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency, "is evidence of the commitment of the Government of Canada to drive innovative research¾ building Canadian knowledge and expertise to develop beyond state-of-the-art technologies and applications, strengthening Canada's leadership in the highly competitive global satellite communications market."

"This new program, that will be driving Canadian space communications research over three years, gives us the opportunity to orchestrate the close cooperation between industry and academia, and among universities," said Birendra Prasada, President of CITR. "This is essential if university researchers are to focus on the truly important technological issues in satellite communications. It builds on the work we are doing in this field and opens up new possibilities for the satellite research community in this country," said Mr. Prasada.

Funding for this project was provided for in the February 2000 budget and is therefore built into the existing financial framework.

About the Canadian Institute for Telecommunications Research

CITR is a federally incorporated non-profit research company and a member of the federal government's Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Program. Its mission is to enhance the competitiveness of the Canadian information and communications technology (ICT) sector by increasing the flow of highly qualified people and ideas to its R&D activities. Nearly 300 researchers and support staff are engaged in CITR's research networks, which span 18 universities and two federal government laboratories. CITR's work is funded jointly by the NCE Program and by the Institute's 17 industrial affiliates, which include most of Canada's leading ICT companies.

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989 with its headquarters situated in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space Agency coordinates all aspects of the Canadian Space Program. Through its Space Knowledge, Applications and Industry Development business line, the CSA delivers services involving: Earth and the Environment; Space Science; Human Presence in Space; Satellite Communications; Generic Space Technologies; and, Space Qualification Services and Awareness. The Canadian Space Agency is at the forefront of the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.

For more information:

Backgrounder and contract awards:


For information:
Nicholas A. Ignatieff
Director, Administration
& Partnership Development
Canadian Institute for
Telecommunications Research
(514) 398-8104

André Leclair
Senior Media Relations
Canadian Space Agency
(450) 926-4370

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