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Canada's areas of action in ESA programs

Canada currently participates in several programs of the European Space Agency (ESA), in the fields of satellite communications (telecommunications), Earth observation, exploration, navigation, and generic technology development.

Satellite communications

Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) 4.0 Program

The ARTES 4.0 Program (successor of the ARTES Program) encompasses all ESA satellite communications activities. It transforms research and development investments into successful commercial products. This helps secure the future of Europe and Canada in the worldwide satellite communications market.

Earth observation

Copernicus Space Component Program

The Copernicus Space Component Program (previously known as the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Space Component Program) provides accurate, timely and easily accessible space-based information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change, and ensure civil security. The program consists of a growing constellation of satellites known as the Sentinel satellites, offering long-term coverage of the environment.

Future Earth Observation (Future EO) Program

The Future EO Program, formerly the Earth Observation Envelop Program, is the backbone of ESA activities in the field of Earth observation. This program involves a diverse series of innovative instruments and missions, known as the Earth Explorer missions. These have been designed and readied for flight with the intention of targeting specific scientific and monitoring challenges of the Earth system.

European Earth Watch

Canada is taking part in three key missions of the European Earth Watch Program. First, the ALTIUS mission aims to develop a limb sounder (primary mode) for monitoring 3D distribution and evolution of the stratospheric ozone. Second, the Arctic Weather Satellite aims to develop a prototype satellite for a future constellation of weather satellites to monitor the polar regions. This will provide long-term datasets to improve weather forecasting and modelling of climate change in vulnerable locations. Finally, the Global Monitoring of Essential Climate Variables (GMECV+) mission aims to extend and improve global records of essential climate variables to support climate science and policy.


European Exploration Envelop Program (E3P)

E3P brings together all ESA space exploration efforts and covers three exploration destinations, i.e. Low Earth Orbit (LEO), the Moon, and Mars. It is structured around four cornerstone mission campaigns:

  1. Humans in LEO;
  2. Humans beyond LEO;
  3. Lunar robotic exploration; and
  4. Mars robotic exploration.

Each campaign enables comprehensive scientific activities (SciSpacE) while future developments are supported by technology innovation preparatory activities (ExPeRT). Canada participates in all E3P elements – except for the International Space Station and the Gateway, where Canada maintains its own national program.

Navigation Innovation and Support Program (NAVISP)

In a world where satellite-based positioning, navigation and timing services are key enablers – underpinning everything from automated drones to precision farming to electricity grids and financial networks – NAVISP supports novel ways of making these services more robust and reliable.


General Support Technology Program (GSTP)

The GSTP aims to convert promising engineering concepts into a broad spectrum of mature products – everything from individual components to subsystems up to complete satellites – right up to the brink of spaceflight or beyond.


Should you have any questions about the cooperation between Canada and the ESA, contact us at

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