The Government of Canada invests in space-based maritime surveillance

Press Release From: Canada Department of Defence
Posted: Friday, June 17, 2016

As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to provide the Canadian Armed Forces with the equipment needed to respond to events and crises at home and abroad, Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan today announced a contract that will expand the Canadian Armed Forces' access to a domestic source of space-based observation data, greatly enhancing their ability to identify and track vessels from space in near-real-time.

The Government of Canada has awarded MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Systems Ltd (MDA) a $48.5 million contract for delivery of the Polar Epsilon 2 system. Polar Epsilon 2 will use imagery from the three-satellite RADARSAT Constellation Mission, to be launched in 2018, to deliver world-leading advanced surveillance capabilities for domestic and global Canadian Armed Forces operations.

The new system will extend and enhance the capacity of Polar Epsilon 1, which works with the RADARSAT 2 satellite, amplifying the Canadian Armed Forces’ ability to detect, identify, and track vessels of interest in Canada’s maritime areas, the Arctic region, and in support of operations around the world. Polar Epsilon 2 will allow identification of ships in addition to their radar-detected positions, providing an integrated, near-real-time maritime situational awareness capability. It will also help support land-based missions as required.

This procurement supports the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy, which requires strategic investment in Canadian small and medium enterprises.

Under this contract, MDA will deliver ground receiving stations on the East and West coasts of Canada, specifically designed to detect ships from RADAR imagery provided by RADARSAT Constellation Mission.

“The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the Canadian Armed Forces remain a modern, combat-effective, multi-role military able to conduct the missions the Government asks of it. The Polar Epsilon 2 project positions Canada as a world leader in space-based remote sensing for arctic and maritime domain awareness, and provides our women and men in uniform with the data and information needed to respond to domestic and international crises and events.”

Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister

Related Product
Backgrounder – Polar Epsilon 2

Associated Link
RADARSAT Constellation

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811

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