Canada awards R&D contract to Cellula Robotics Ltd for sub-surface surveillance in the Arctic

The Government of Canada recently awarded a contract to Cellula Robotics Ltd, as part of its commitment to defence research and development.

“Our Government is committed to providing the members of the Canadian Armed Forces with the tools they need to do their jobs while obtaining the best possible value for Canadians,” said Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement. “These contracts will draw upon Canadian expertise to develop cutting-edge surveillance technologies for the Arctic.”

Through Canada’s new defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Department of National Defence (DND) is looking for innovative solutions to surveillance challenges in the North. This includes areas of Arctic joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Cellula Robotics Ltd was awarded the sum of nearly $648,000 to develop a fuel cell that will be used to improve the ability for autonomous underwater vehicles to store sufficient energy to undertake long range and long-duration missions, according to a press release. This contract was granted under the 2016 Innovation Call for Proposals for the All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology (S&T) program.

The DND heads this program with the intention to leverage innovative science & technology expertise from other government departments, academia, industry and allies. This program provides the means for DND to “identify, assess and validate technologies in support of air and maritime surveillance,” especially in the North.

“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,” said Defence Minister Harjit S. Saijan.

Surveillance solutions aid Canada in maintaining its sovereignty in the North, contributing to a greater awareness of safety and security issues, and in transportation and commercial activity. Also, solutions of this nature may assist the joint efforts between Canada and the United States in the North Warning System and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

The ADSA S&T program, with an investment of about $133 million by 2020, will help 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.

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