Security and defence
Did you know?
The Unclassified Remote-sensing Situational Awareness (URSA) system consists of deployable kits (antenna and terminal) which allow Canadian forces to download imagery directly from commercial satellites as they pass over areas of interest. This provides commanders in the field with strategic information.
The security and defence community has been an active user of space technology since the very first satellites were launched into orbit. In fact, Canada's first space mission, Alouette 1, studied the ionosphere to improve long-range communications for our armed forces.
Since then, space capabilities have become essential to military operations, in Canada and abroad:
- Sending and receiving encrypted communications
Did you know?
Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) on satellites are revolutionizing how we monitor and manage maritime traffic by providing broader coverage and enhancing the detection of ships, including their location, identity, heading and speed.
As maritime activities expand, monitoring and protecting Canadian waters is increasingly important, and satellites offer unique solutions. They provide meteorological information, monitor sea ice conditions, and detect the location and identity of ships.
Satellites help us make sure that ships move in a safe and timely manner through icy waters. They also support our efforts to manage marine traffic and prevent or intercept illegal activities along Canadian coasts and at sea.
Did you know?
The Canadian Armed Forces' small satellite, Sapphire, monitors space objects orbiting between 6,000 and 40,000 kilometres above the Earth's surface on a 24-hour basis. This data is incorporated into an international catalogue to help prevent collisions in space. Using this catalogue, the Canadian Space Agency's Conjunction Risk Assessment and Mitigation System supports Canadian satellite operators in industry, academia and government by processing close approach warnings and delivering value-added analyses of probability.
It's not a secret that the space environment is complex and hostile. Both natural events and man-made activities happening beyond our protective atmosphere can threaten people, property and the environment – both on Earth and in space.
- Space weather refers to radiation coming from space, mostly from the Sun. It causes spectacular auroras but can also have a major impact on human activities, from damaging spacecraft electronics to disrupting power grids on Earth. Satellites help us study and better understand space weather so that we are better equipped to predict and respond to its effects.
- Date modified: