Canada investing in Arctic subsea surveillance

The Canadian government is starting to invest in defense research which will improve subsea surveillance solutions for its Arctic regions.

On April 6, the government announced it has awarded a contract to Cellula Robotics to develop a fuel cell that would boost the ability for autonomous underwater vehicles to store sufficient energy to undertake long range and long duration missions.

This contract has a total value of close to CAD$648,000 and is being awarded under the 2016 Innovation Call for Proposals for the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology (S&T) program.

Surveillance solutions support Canada’s ability to exercise sovereignty in the North, and provide a greater awareness of safety and security issues, as well as transportation and commercial activity in Canada’s Arctic. In addition, solutions may contribute to joint efforts between Canada and the United States to renew the North Warning System and modernize elements of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

Through an investment of close to $133 million through to 2020, the ADSA S&T program coordinates and funds innovative research and analysis to support the development of options for enhanced domain awareness of air, maritime surface and sub-surface approaches to Canada, in particular those in the Arctic.

“In order to address Canadian challenges we need to explore innovative made-in-Canada solutions, especially given the extensive coastline in the Arctic,” Canadian defense minister Harjit S. Saijan said announcing the contract. “Our academic institutions and innovation industry are among the best in the world and we are proud to work with them to address particularly complex surveillance issues for the Arctic.”

The All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology (S&T) program is led by the defense department and aims to leverage innovative science & technology expertise from other government departments, academia, industry and allies, to identify, assess and validate technologies in support of air and maritime surveillance, particularly in the North.

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