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Geospace Observatory (GO) Canada -

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  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. AO OBJECTIVES
  3. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
  4. APPLICATIONS
  5. EVALUATION
  6. FUNDING
  7. FUNDING AGREEMENTS
  8. PRIVACY NOTICE STATEMENT
  9. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
  10. Appendix A – Core Sites
  11. Appendix B – Complements to the proposal
  12. Appendix C – Evaluation Criteria Scale

Class Grant and Contribution Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology

Announcement of Opportunity (AO)

Publication date:

Application deadline:

Summary of key information

  • Eligible Recipients : In order to be eligible, recipients must be Canadian Universities and post-secondary institutions;
  • Contributions: Non-Repayable Contributions
  • Estimated Total Amount: 4.2M or more
  • Amount per Project:
    • Category A : significant leveraging and requiring CSA participation (FY / : >250K, FY / : >250K, FY /: >250K, FY /: >250K, FY /: >250K, FY 28/: >250K)
    • Category B : more than 480K (FY / : >80K, FY / : >80K, FY /: >80K, FY /: >80K, FY /: >80K, FY /: >80K)
    • Category C : less than 480K (FY / :80K, FY / : 80K, FY /: 80K, FY /: 80K, FY /: 80K, FY /: 80K)
  • Maximum Timeframe of the Project : 72 Months

1. INTRODUCTION

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is pleased to announce an opportunity for the Canadian solar-terrestrial science community to propose instruments to be part of the Geospace Observatory (GO) Canada from to . The GO Canada program aims to exploit Canada's geographical advantage to make world-class observations of space weather, and thereby increase Canada's resiliency to its impacts on infrastructure and services. This Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is an initiative under the CSA Class Grants and Contributions (G&C) program aimed at funding a number of projects that will make high-value observations of geospace above Canada as part of the GO Canada program. These observations will aid in advancing knowledge in the geospace sciences and enhance Canadian space missions and projects, most notably the ESA Swarm mission, NASA's THEMIS mission, the Canadian ePOP on CASSIOPE mission, and help prepare future science missions with Canadian participation.

For more than 30 years, the CSA has supported the collection of data on geospace, the region of near-Earth space comprised of the thermosphere, ionosphere, and magnetosphere, through arrays of ground-based instruments. These observations began with the Canadian Auroral Network for the OPEN Program Unified Study (CANOPUS), and continued as the Canadian Geospace Monitoring (CGSM) program.  Since , the observations are funded through contribution agreements, under the GO Canada program. With this third GO Canada Data & Instruments AO, the CSA solicits proposals for projects that will gather observational data through ground-based instruments for use in scientific analysis and modelling as well as space weather forecasting. The resulting network of instruments and associated data management systems will form the infrastructure element of the next Canadian Geospace Observatory.

This Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is consistent with the terms and conditions of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Class Grant and Contribution Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Research Component.

Applicants are asked to read the following AO thoroughly before submitting their applications. This AO was prepared to help applicants complete the application process, and outlines key elements including mandatory criteria for eligibility, details on eligible projects and the selection process. In the event of any discrepancies between this AO and the individual funding agreements governing a project, the latter document(s) will take precedence.

2. AO OBJECTIVES

The overarching objective of the Geospace Observatory is to observe and understand geospace. The AO will support this objective by contributing to projects that observe Canadian geospace with networked arrays of ground-based instruments and return their data for processing, preservation, and access. These data will be made openly available as rapidly as possible in order to maximize both their scientific value and their value in mitigating the impact of space weather on the lives of Canadians.

More specifically, the objectives of this AO are:

  1. To make continuous high-value observations of geospace;
  2. To generate value-added data products based on these observations;
  3. To make these data rapidly and openly accessible while preserving them for future use; and
  4. To foster the continuing development of a critical mass of researchers and highly qualified personnel in Canada in areas relevant to the priorities of the Canadian Space Agency

3. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

In this section 3

3.1 Eligible Recipients

In order to be eligible, recipients must be Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions;

3.2 Eligible Projects

In addition to being linked to the AO objectives as evaluated by the evaluation criteria, a proposal must demonstrate that the project satisfies the following criteria for eligibility:

  • A proposal must contain at least one instrument.
  • The instruments must be ground-based, in Canada.
  • The measurements made by the instruments must be primarily associated with a geospace phenomenon.
  • The instrument array must be able to detect spatial features up to 1000 km in size, when such features are geometrically projected to an altitude of 100 km.
  • The instruments must be capable of autonomous and continuous operation whenever viewing conditions allow it.
  • All data must be made fully, freely and openly available on the shortest feasible timescale (no more than one week after acquisition by the instrument). An exception can be made for the data that must be manually retrieved from the instrument (no more than three months after acquisition by the instrument).
  • Each project submitted by a PI must be self-contained, cannot depend on instruments already proposed in a separate project, and must plan for the collection, processing and dissemination of data until the end of the agreement.
  • Proposals in Category A must include a valid written promise of conditional funding of more than 33% of the project if CSA funds the project, accompanied by the proposal to the third party funding agency and, if available, the evaluation from the funding party.
  • Proposals in Categories B and C must include a supplementary document of no more than ten pages, title page and table of contents excluded, labeled "Project Development Plan" (as described in Appendix B).
  • Proposals in Categories B and C must also include a document entitled "Data Management Plan" of no more than three pages, title page and table of contents excluded (as described in Appendix B).
  • The principal investigators (PIs) leading these projects must:
    • hold a Ph.D. obtained from a recognized institution;
    • be on the payroll of the eligible recipient;

All development phases necessary for a project are eligible. Any logical breakdown or combination of these phases can constitute a funded project. However, breaking down a project into numerous phases to obtain more than the maximum grant or contribution is not allowed. Furthermore, even if the maximum funding for one project is not reached, the completion of a funded phase does not automatically guarantee funding of the remaining phases.

The Government of Canada currently operates support infrastructure that may be included as part of a proposal. The support infrastructure includes the Information Technology Infrastructure (ITI) system, telecommunications services, electrical power, and climate-controlled shelter, as described in Appendix A. The use of the support infrastructure will be shared among the funded proposals and coordinated with the CSA.

3.3 Links to CSA Priorities

To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to the CSA priority included in the Space Strategy for Canada, available at www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/publications/space-strategy-for-canada/: to ensure Canada's leadership in acquiring and using space-based data to support science excellence, innovation and economic growth.

"Space provides a unique perspective for space scientists to observe our planet, the health of our ecosystems and how our planet interacts with the Sun (e.g. space weather), and to learn more about our solar system and the universe we inhabit. The Government is improving its approach to selecting science missions by forging inclusive partnerships with the science community within and outside government to help collectively determine Canada's next slate of science missions. This new approach will ensure that resources are deployed to the highest priority scientific questions and issues. The Government will also explore innovative business models and partnership to deliver on those science missions and activities."

3.4 Links to the Class G&C Program Objectives

To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to the achievement of at least one of the following objectives:

  • To support the development of science and technology relevant to the priorities of the Canadian Space Agency;
  • To foster the continuing development of a critical mass of researchers and highly qualified people in Canada in areas relevant to the priorities of the Canadian Space Agency;
  • To support information gathering, studies and research related to space;

4. APPLICATIONS

In this section 4

4.1 Notice of intent (NoI)

The objective of the NoI is to verify the eligibility of the applicant and the project before receiving a complete application. This optional step is not intended to eliminate potential applicants, but to provide early confirmation that a project meets the eligibility criteria. An applicant can submit multiple NoIs, but can only submit one proposal. For the formal evaluation, the information in the proposal will take precedence over the information provided in the NoI. If there is a change between the information provided by the proponent in the NoI and in the proposal, the eligibility information provided with the NoI acknowledgement may no longer be valid.

4.1.1 Required Documentation

The NoI submitted shall include:

  • Documents necessary to verify eligibility of the applicant according to the criteria set out in Section 3.1 of this AO.
  • A description of the project (approximately one page, to a maximum of 1000 words) that allows the CSA to assess the project's eligibility under the criteria listed in Sections 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4 of this AO.
  • The planned budget request, including third party funding. This is for planning purposes and is not binding.

Documents related to the NoI can be:

  • Uploaded electronically by first completing an account creation request at the Electronic Proposal Portal. Upon receipt, the CSA will send an email with instructions on how to connect to the CSA secure filer system to allow you to upload documents securely. Please note that Chrome is the browser of choice for submissions. Supported browsers are Google Chrome and, Internet Explorer with some restrictions. Applicants using the electronic portal are encouraged to create their account many days before the submission deadline as technical difficulties may arise. If such difficulties cannot be resolved, applicants can submit their documentation by mail.

    Or

  • Mailed to the CSA at the following address:

    GO Canada - AO
    c/o Pierre Langlois
    Sun-Earth System Sciences
    Canadian Space Agency
    6767 Route de l'Aéroport
    Longueuil
    , Quebec J3Y 8Y9

Documents must be received by the CSA electronically (successfully uploaded) or via mail or recognized courier service, with a postmark or registration dated no later than 23:59 ET, . After this date, NoIs will not be responded to, but a proponent can still submit an application form.

4.1.2 Service standards – NoI

Applicants will be notified in writing of decisions about their project.

Acknowledgement: The CSA's goal is to acknowledge receipt of the NoI within ten (10) working days of receiving the request. The acknowledgment will indicate whether or not the NoI describes an eligible project.

4.2 Application Form

4.2.1 Required Documentation

If application is uploaded electronically:

The application must include the following:

  • a completed original application form (Word, 210 KB) signed (digitally) by the duly authorized representative;
  • the proposal (maximum 20 pages, Category A proposals can refer to the third party proposal);
  • the document(s) confirming the legal name of the applicant;
  • letters from other funding contributors confirming their contributions (if applicable);
  • letters from the co-investigators (Co-Is) acknowledging their roles and responsibilities, as identified in the proposal;
  • Declaration on Confidentiality, Access to Information Act and Privacy Act form signed by the duly authorized representative (refer to the applicant Declaration on Confidentiality, Access to Information Act and Privacy Act section included in the application form); and
  • for organizations in Quebec, M-30 Supporting Documentation form completed and signed (digitally) by the duly authorized representative (refer to the M-30 form for organizations in Quebec included in the application form).

The application must be prepared as a single PDF-formatted file containing all of the above requested documents with all security features disabled. Please order the document with the application form and proposal first. The proposal and supporting documents must be included in the file as searchable PDF-formatted documents (PDF/A-1a or PDF/A-2a formats preferred). If there are any accessibility issues with the submitted PDF file, all consequences reside with the applicant.

Applications will remain valid for a duration of one year from the date of submission. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application complies with all relevant federal, provincial and territorial legislation and municipal bylaws.

The application form and supporting documents must be uploaded electronically by first completing an account creation request at the Electronic Proposal Portal if one was not created during the NoI step. Upon receipt, the CSA will send an email with instructions on how to connect to the CSA secure filer system to allow you to upload documents securely. Please note that Chrome is the browser of choice for submissions. Supported browsers are Google Chrome and, Internet Explorer with some restrictions. Applicants using the electronic portal are encouraged to create their account many days before the submission deadline as technical difficulties may arise. If such difficulties cannot be resolved, applicants can submit their documentation by mail.

  • Applications must be submitted (successfully uploaded) by applicants no later than 23:59 ET, . Applicants using the electronic portal are encouraged to upload the documentation many days before the submission deadline as technical difficulties may arise. If such difficulties cannot be resolved, applicants can submit their application by mail.
  • Applications sent by email will not be accepted.
  • Incomplete or late applications shall not be considered. A late application is considered to be one that has an electronic timestamp on the CSA system later than the deadline above.

Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently asked questions (FAQ) (see Section 10. Frequently asked questions).

If application is sent by mail or courier:

The application must include the following:

  • a completed original application form (Word, 210 KB) signed (digitally) by the duly authorized representative;
  • the proposal (maximum 20 pages, Category A proposals can refer to the third party proposal);
  • the document(s) confirming the legal name of the applicant;
  • letters from other funding contributors confirming their contributions (if applicable);
  • letters from the co-investigators (Co-Is) acknowledging their roles and responsibilities, as identified in the proposal;
  • Declaration on Confidentiality, Access to Information Act and Privacy Act form signed by the duly authorized representative (refer to the applicant Declaration on Confidentiality, Access to Information Act and Privacy Act section included in the application form); and
  • for organizations in Quebec, M-30 Supporting Documentation form completed and signed (digitally) by the duly authorized representative (refer to the M-30 form for organizations in Quebec included in the application form).
  • a single PDF-formatted file containing copies (identical to the hard copies) of all the above requested documents with all security features disabled on standard electronic media (USB memory key, CD, or DVD). The proposal and supporting documents must be included in the file as searchable PDF-formatted documents (PDF/A-1a or PDF/A-2a formats preferred). If there is any discrepancy between the hard and the soft copies, the hard copy takes precedence.

Applications will remain valid for a duration of one year from the date of submission. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application complies with all relevant federal, provincial and territorial legislation and municipal bylaws.

Applications must be delivered to the CSA at the following address:

GO Canada - AO
c/o Pierre Langlois
Sun-Earth System Sciences
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Longueuil
, Quebec J3Y 8Y9

  • the complete application must be received via mail or recognized courier service, with a postmark or registration dated no later than 23:59 ET, . Applications that do not meet these criteria will be rejected;
  • the CSA reserves the right to refuse applications that meet the above criteria, but are received at the CSA after ;
  • applications sent by email will not be accepted; and
  • incomplete applications shall not be considered.

Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently Asked Questions (Section 9).

4.2.2 Service Standards – Complete Applications

Applicants will be notified in writing of decisions regarding their application. Selected applications will be announced on the CSA website. The CSA has set the following service standards for processing times, acknowledgement of receipt, funding decisions and payment procedures.

  • Acknowledgement: The CSA's goal is to acknowledge receipt of proposals within two (2) weeks of receiving the completed application package.
  • Decision: The CSA's goal is to respond to the proposal within fifteen (15) weeks of the AO's closing date, and to sign contribution agreements within thirty (30) weeks of the AO's closing date.

Compliance with these service standards is a shared responsibility. Applicants must submit all required documentation in a timely fashion. Service standards may vary by Announcement of Opportunity.

5. EVALUATION

In this section 5

5.1 Eligibility Criteria

  • Represents an eligible recipient as defined in Section 3.1;
  • Represents an eligible project as defined in Sections 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4;
  • Meets program funding provisions in Section 6.1.

5.2 Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria, further described in Appendix C – Evaluation Criteria Scale.

  • Benefits to Canada;
  • Project feasibility;
  • Resources;
  • Results; and
  • Risk and risk mitigation measures.

5.3 Evaluation Process

Only applications that have passed the eligibility assessment listed in Section 5.1 will be given further consideration. Once the eligibility criteria are confirmed, evaluators will assess the screened applications according to the criteria listed in Section 5.2. Evaluators shall be experts in the fields relevant to the applications and may include representatives of Canada and other countries, as well as representatives of other government and non-government agencies and organizations. A multidisciplinary evaluation committee will be formed if applications from several different disciplines are competing in order to provide a uniform and unbiased final score and ranking of proposals.

Before a final decision is made, the CSA's Program Manager responsible for this AO may seek input and advice from other organizations, including (but not limited to) federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government agencies and organizations.

The results obtained in this AO could take into account certain factors in the final decision to grant funding, such as, but not limited to, the representativeness of the four designated groups (woman, Aboriginal person, disabled person or member of a visible minority), regional distribution, academic level, distribution between universities and post-secondary educational institutions, etc.

6. FUNDING

In this section 5

6.1 Available Funding and Duration

The AO will propose three categories of projects to accommodate the different types of projects in Canada. The CSA has encouraged the Canadian Solar-Terrestrial Scientific community to pursue partnership opportunities for the last 5 years. Category A is dedicated to this kind of proposal, which enables a substantial (>33%) portion of the funding from a third party. Category B is for projects requesting more than $80K/year and Category C projects requesting $80K/year or less.

At the time of writing of this AO, CSA intends to fund at least one (1) Category A proposal, one (1) Category B proposal, and two (2) Category C proposals, based on merit and available funding, over a maximum period of 72 months.

Each eligible Principal Investigator can be funded for one single project under this AO. Researchers can be co-investigators in many proposals, without restrictions. Each proposal will be provided the minimum level of funding required to secure the proposed activity in support of overall program objectives. The CSA reserves the right to reject any proposals or reduce the amount of the grants or the contributions at its entire discretion.

Approved proposals will be eligible for a total amount of government assistance (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) of up to 100% of total project costs in the case of other eligible recipients. To determine the amount of funding to be allocated, consideration will be given to the availability of CSA funds, the total cost of the project, and the other confirmed sources of funds provided by other stakeholders and the applicant.

Applicants must identify all sources of funding in their applications and confirm this information in a funding agreement if the project is selected for funding. Upon completion of a project, the recipient must also disclose all sources of funding.

The proposal should only include sources of funding that are confirmed by a Letter of Intent. Third party funding that is not secured should not be required for the project to be viable as presented, but the increase in project scope, should the funds be obtained, can be discussed in the project development strategy (see Appendix B).

6.2 Eligible Costs

Eligible costs are direct expenses that are associated with the delivery of the approved project and that are required to achieve the expected results of the project. Expenses will be covered subject to the applicant signing a funding agreement, in the form of a contribution, with the CSA.

Eligible costs for contributions under this AO are the following:

  • Access fees;
  • Accommodation and meal allowances;
  • Acquisition, development and printing of materials;
  • Acquisition or rental of equipment;
  • Aircraft and watercraft charter services;
  • Consultant services;
  • Costs for carrying out environmental screening and/or impact studies;
  • Costs related to obtaining security clearance;
  • Data acquisition;
  • Data management;
  • License and permit fees;
  • Marketing and printing services;
  • Materials and supplies;
  • Overhead (administrative) costs (not to exceed 10% of eligible costs for universities);
  • Participation fees at conferences, committees and events;
  • PST, HST and GST net of any rebate to which the recipient is entitled and the reimbursement of any taxes for goods and services acquired in a foreign country net of any rebate or reimbursement received in the foreign country;
  • Publication and communication services;
  • Registration fees;
  • Salaries and benefits;
  • Training;
  • Translation services;
  • Travel;

7. FUNDING AGREEMENTS

In this section 3

7.1 Payments

The CSA and each successful applicant (the recipient) will sign a funding agreement. This is a condition for any payment made by the CSA with respect to the approved project.

Payments for contribution agreements (including advance payments) will be made in accordance with the process and the reporting requirements described in the signed funding agreement. Upon notice of a successful application, the CSA will have no liability until a funding agreement is signed by both parties. Only eligible costs incurred after the funding agreement is signed and indicated in the agreement will be reimbursed.

7.2 Audit

The recipient of a funding agreement shall keep proper records of all documentation related to the funded project, for the duration of the project and for six (6) years after the completion date of the project, in the event of an audit. This documentation shall be available upon request.

7.3 Conflict of Interest

In the funding agreement, the recipient will certify that any current or former public office holder or public servant it employs complies with the provisions of the relevant Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders and the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector respectively.

7.4 Intellectual Property

All intellectual property developed by the recipient in the course of the project shall vest in the recipient.

7.5 Organizations in Quebec

An organization in Quebec whose operations are partially or fully funded by the province of Quebec may be subject to the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif, R.S.Q., Chapter M-30.

Under Sections 3.11 and 3.12 of this Act, certain entities/organizations, as defined in the meaning of the Act, such as municipal bodies, school bodies, or public agencies, must obtain authorization from the Secrétariat du Québec aux affaires canadiennes (SQRC), as indicated by the Act, before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada, its departments or agencies, or a federal public agency.

Consequently, any entity that is subject to the Act is responsible for obtaining such authorization before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada.

Quebec applicants must complete, sign and include the M-30 Supporting Documentation form with their application.

7.6 Performance Measurement

The CSA will ask the recipients to report on certain aspects of their projects such as:

  • Knowledge Creation
    • Knowledge production (including publications)
    • Presentations
    • Intellectual property (including patents)
  • Capacity Building
    • Project's research team (including highly qualified personnel supported)
  • Collaboration
    • Partners' contributions
    • Partnerships
    • Multidisciplinarity

7.7 Open Science

The CSA wishes to promote the dissemination of data and findings that result from the projects it funds as quickly and to the greatest number of people as possible. Improved access to scientific results not only allows scientists to use a broader range of resources and knowledge, but also improves research collaboration and coordination, strengthens citizen engagement and supports the economy.

Thus, the CSA promotes the use of open data and open access publication and archiving - in order to facilitate the widest dissemination of findings that results from its funded projects. Thus, recipients are invited to publish, in a timely matter, their data . Articles can also be published by using one of the following methods:

  1. Accessible online repository (institutional or disciplinary) so that the publication is freely accessible.
  2. Journal offering open access to articles.

The publication costs are eligible expenses as defined in section 6.2. It should be noted that these two methods are not mutually exclusive and that recipients are encouraged to use both.

Finally, the CSA wishes to receive, as a courtesy, a copy of the funded publications (if not freely accessible) or the hyperlink (if freely accessible) and its digital object identifier (DOI). These will be use to improve accessibility by including them in the CSA funded publications directory.

8. PRIVACY NOTICE STATEMENT

The CSA manages and protects the information provided by the applicant under the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act. By submitting your personal information, you consent to its collection, use and disclosure in accordance with the following Privacy Statement, which explains how the information about the applicant will be processed.

The information is collected under the CSA Class Grants and Contributions Program in Support of Awareness, Research and Learning - Research Component (ASC PPU 045) and Awareness and Learning Component (ASC PPU 040) . This information will be used for administration and application evaluation purposes. Personal information (such as name, contact information and biographical information) will be kept for 6 years and destroyed. According to the Privacy Act, any individual may, upon request,

  1. have access to his or her personal data and
  2. request correction of the incorrect information.

Applicants should also note that information relating to the Funding Agreement could be disclosed publicly in accordance with the laws, policies and directives of the Government of Canada.

For additional information regarding this statement, please contact:

Office of Access to Information and Privacy
Canadian Space Agency
Tel : 450-926-4866
Email: asc.aiprp-atip.csa@canada.ca

9. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

It is the responsibility of the applicants to obtain clarification of the requirements contained herein, if necessary, before submitting an application.

For any questions related to the AO, applicants shall use the following email address pierre.langlois@asc-csa.gc.ca. Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this AO. The CSA will respond to questions received before .

At any point, applicants are welcome to share with the CSA their comments or suggestions regarding the program using the following generic email address (asc.lecedessetc-thegandccoe.csa@canada.ca) oor the generic web-based Comments and Suggestions Box available at www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/resources/gc/comments-form.asp

  • Question 1: My project has a budget category that is not listed in the AO's budget template.

    Answer 1: You can add lines in the budget to include categories that are not recognized by the CSA in the case where those are funded by a third party. This addition must be discussed in the proposal. CSA will only fund the budget categories which were posted in the AO.

  • Question 2: The AO requires the data to be openly available no more than 3 months after acquisition, when manually retrieved, for a project to be eligible. This translates to a significant cost. Is this a strict requirement?

    Answer 2: Through this response, the requirement is changed from three to six months. Applicants are encouraged to keep in mind the AO objectives as they balance the need for timely retrieval of the data with the associated costs.

10. Appendix A – Core Sites

In this section 3

To increase synergy among instruments, and reduce travel costs to remote locations, the Government of Canada is maintaining shelters that provide power and communications infrastructure. The core sites are identified in Table 1 below. These facilities can be included to host instruments as part of a proposal. Usage of these sites in a project will not confer any advantage for the selection.

Table 1 - Core sites available
Site Code Lat (°) Long (°)
Arviat ESKI 61.1 −94.1
Churchill FCHU 58.8 −94.1
Dawson DAWS 64.0 −139.1
Fort McMurray MCMU 56.7 −111.2
Fort Simpson FSIM 61.8 −121.2
Fort Smith FSMI 60.0 −111.9
Gillam GILL 56.4 −94.6
Island Lake ISLL 53.9 −94.7
Pinawa PINA 50.3 −95.9
Rabbit Lake RABB 58.2 −103.7
Rankin Inlet RANK 62.8 −92.1
Sachs Harbour SACHS 72.0 −125.2
Taloyoak TALO 69.5 −93.6
Yellowknife YELO 62.5 −114.5

10.1 Communication infrastructure

This section describes the communications infrastructure provided at the core sites, free of charge to all applicants.

At each core site, the PIs are responsible for the instruments (operation and maintenance), up to the point where each instrument connects to the Information Technology Infrastructure (ITI). The ITI and the internet connection are the responsibility of a separate contract and furnished by the government.

New proposed instruments located at core sites should be compatible with the ITI to make efficient use of resources. A heated shelter is also provided to host the electronics or instruments.

The IT infrastructure provides basic network services, shared storage, and data acquisition capabilities at each GO Canada core site. It is capable of autonomous operation under non-ideal conditions such as dusty environments, poor power quality, and potentially extreme temperatures.

The primary design goal for the ITI is to simplify the requirements for operating scientific instruments at remote field sites. This is done by providing a basic set of required services coordinated over standard internet connections. While the ITI is currently implemented by a particular hardware configuration, clients should only be concerned with the interface specifications.

Internal Network

Communication at each field site is via standard internet protocols (e.g. TCP/IP). The primary "bus" is a 24- port 10/100 Mbps Ethernet switch. All connectors are standard RJ-45; all cables are Cat5 or Cat6. All networked devices can communicate with each other directly through the switch without any intervention by the ITI computer.

The main internal network is configured to allow up to 249 devices in addition to the core ITI computer and four power related elements (see below). Several network addresses have been set aside for automatic (DHCP) allocation to temporary (e.g. short-term campaign) clients. Addition of each new permanent network devices requires some minor configuration file changes.

Internal Services

The ITI computer provides several services to clients on the internal network.

  • DHCP – dynamic host configuration protocol;
  • DNS – domain name services;
  • NTP – a network time protocol reference is available to all internal clients. The primary standard is provided by a GPS (Garmin 18x LVC), which should be accurate to less than 1 millisecond. Additional time sources can be obtained over the internet, but satellite travel time delays introduce significant and variable inaccuracies (e.g. 0.1 to 1 seconds).

Internet Connection

Each GO Canada core site has a single connection to the internet provided by Cellular Internet data averaging download 30Mbps and upload 6Mbps, where no local ISP is available.

External Services

The ITI computer acts as the primary gateway for the internal network. It provides multiplexing capabilities so that multiple internal clients can share a single external IP-address.

  • SNAT - source network address translation allows internal clients to initiate network connections with external systems. This is accomplished automatically for all internal clients.
  • DNAT - destination network address translation allows external devices to initiate network connections with internal clients. This requires minor configuration file changes for each additional client.

10.2 Power Management

Shared power is provided for client use via a 1500 W uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and network switched power bar with remote monitoring and control. All plugs and outlets are standard NEMA 5-15.

  • UPS - uninterruptible power supply filters line power and provides short duration (>30 minutes for the ITI UPS and less for the instrument UPS) battery backup.
  • PDU – power distribution unit has 8 individually switchable outlets and a total current monitor.

10.3 Other

  • Temperature regulation system
  • KVM – an 8-port keyboard/video/mouse switch allows clients to share the site LCD display and keyboard/mouse input devices.
  • Rack – a standard equipment rack is provided for client use to mount instrument and support electronics. Space in the rack is assigned on a first come first serve basis
  • Storage – roughly 1TB of disk space is available for general use and storage of client data. Multiple access methods (e.g. SMB, RSync, HTTP) can be configured as required.

10.4 Shelter and site maintenance

The infrastructure for each core site (operation and maintenance of shelter, utilities, custodian, etc) is provided through a separate industrial contract at no cost to the observational elements of GO. Equipment maintenance and data retrieval services are available to the client by way of yearly maintenance trips by the industrial contractor and local custodian support. A heating and ventilation system automatically maintains the building temperature within the 10-30 °C range. The shelter is approximately 8 feet long by 12 feet wide, and 8 feet in height. Instruments can be installed inside the shelter or on the land base around the shelter. Building penetrations are provided for cable runs to external instrumentation and can be customized to client needs.

11. Appendix B – Complements to the proposal

In this section 3

11.1 Project Development Plan

Proposals must include a supplementary document of no more than ten pages, title page and table of contents excluded, labeled "Project Development Plan". The Deployment and Operations Plan will be reviewed as an integral part of the proposal and shall include the following information:

  • Technical description
    • Description (functional, technical and interface specification) of the instruments.
    • Description of the integration, testing, calibration, verification and characterization required of the instruments in preparation for the deployment, or during operation.
  • Deployment and maintenance strategy
    • Proposed or current location of all the instruments related to the applicant's proposal.
    • If the proposed or current instrument is not located at a GO Canada core site, provide a description of the infrastructure required or currently in place for all sites related to the applicant's proposal (building, utilities, custodian, communication link, etc).
  • Project development strategy
    • Current funding partners, including their expected contribution over the years
    • Plans to seek supplemental funding if this contribution agreement is awarded, including the increase in scope of the project, as appropriate
  • Risk assessment and mitigation
    • Risk assessment (likelihood, impact and mitigation) associated with the project.

11.2 Data Management Plan

The proposal shall include a document entitled "Data Management Plan" of no more than 3 pages, title page and table of contents excluded. The Data Management Plan will be reviewed as an integral part of the proposal.  The Data Management Plan must describe how the proposal will conform to the Geospace Observatory data policy and include the following information:

  • The description of the data
  • The formats of data, software and data access APIs (the CSA encourages the use of the Heliophysics API (HAPI)), related materials and supporting documentation to be produced in the course of the project (identify which one will be made open);
  • The standards to be used for data and metadata format (the CSA encourages the use of the Space Physics Archive Search and Extract (SPASE) data model) and content (where existing standards are absent or deemed inadequate, this should be documented along with any proposed solutions or remedies);
  • The methods to be used for accessing the data;
  • Release dates of the data and plans for preserving data and other research products, and for long-term access to them ;
  • Name and coordinate of the data steward;
  • URL that will link to the project's data landing page;
  • The maximum anticipated daily volume (bytes/day) at which data will be collected or generated (one rate per dataset); and
  • The total volume of data that will be collected or generated per year (one amount per dataset); and
  • Digital Object Identifier (DOI), if applicable.

12. Appendix C – Evaluation Criteria Scale

Scoring and weights: Each evaluation criterion below will be rated on a letter scale from A to D, with A being the highest score. A numerical weight is associated with each letter as indicated hereafter.

The criteria assume that the proposed instruments will be deployed in isolation from any other instruments proposed in response to this AO. This condition ensures that the possible non-funding of other instruments will not compromise the proposed instrument array.

Criteria

1. Benefits to Canada

Enhancement of scientific return from space missions, projects and of Canada's world-class expertise/leadership in space science.
  • Will the data enhance the scientific return of Canadian and international space missions?
  • Will the data be used by organizations that study space weather and its impacts on critical infrastructure?

Poor. The data is unlikely to enhance the scientific originality and innovation of any space mission. (Score: D = 0)

Average. The data is likely to enhance the scientific originality and innovation of a space mission or project and may have a significant scientific impact. (Score: C = 8)

Good. The data will enhance the scientific originality and innovation of a space mission or project and will likely have a significant scientific impact. (Score: B = 14)

Excellent. The data will significantly enhance the scientific originality and innovation of a space mission or project and is expected to have a significant scientific impact. (Score: A = 20)

Criterion Score

  • Maximum: 20
  • Minimum: 8

2. Feasibility

Feasibility of the ground-based observation system
  • Does the proposal demonstrate an understanding of the requirements associated with collecting and processing the data?
  • Is the proposed work feasible and is the approach capable of collecting and processing the data within the budget requested?
  • Are the methods proposed for collecting and processing the data of high quality?
  • Does the proposal demonstrate a realizable strategy for expanding the project?

Poor. The Project Development Plan demonstrates poor understanding of the requirements associated with data collection and processing. Objectives are not clearly described and/or not likely attainable. The budget does not clearly demonstrate how the proposed activities are distinct from and complement those funded by other sources. The methodology is not clearly described and/or appropriate. (Score: D = 0)

Average. The Project Development Plan demonstrates fair understanding of the requirements associated with data collection and processing. Long-term and short-term objectives are described. The budget demonstrates how the proposed activities are distinct from and complement those funded by other sources. The methodology is partially described and/or appropriate. (Score: C = 8)

Good. The Project Development Plan demonstrates good understanding of the requirements associated with data collection and processing. Long-term goals are defined and short-term objectives are planned. The budget demonstrates how the proposed activities are distinct from and complement those funded by other sources. The methodology is clearly described and appropriate. (Score: B = 14)

Excellent. The Project Development Plan clearly demonstrates complete understanding of the requirements associated with data collection and processing. Long-term goals are clearly defined and short-term objectives are well planned. The budget clearly demonstrates how the proposed activities are distinct from and complement those funded by other sources. The methodology is clearly defined and appropriate. An expansion strategy is presented, showing a long-term vision for the proposed activity. (Score: A = 20)

Criterion Score

  • Maximum: 20
  • Minimum: 8

3. Resources

3.1 Quality, Diversity and Experience of the team
  • Is the mix of knowledge, expertise, and experience of the project team sufficient to attain the scientific and technical objectives?
  • Are the responsibilities and contributions of each of the team members clearly identified?
  • How will communication between the team members be accomplished?
  • Doesthe proposal include a meaningful plan to foster recruitment and engagement of members from the four designated groups (woman, Aboriginal person, disabled person or member of a visible minority) within the team?
  • Will the project contribute to the development of highly qualified personnel in the field of Solar-Terrestrial Sciences?

Poor. The knowledge, expertise and experience of the proposed team is below an acceptable level. The quality and importance of contributions to, and used by, other researchers and end-users is below an acceptable level. The contribution, complementarity of expertise, and synergy of team members is poor. The approach to communication between team members to achieve the proposed objectives is not clearly described. (Score: D = 0)

Average. The knowledge, expertise, and experience of the proposed team are of reasonable quality, impact and/or importance. The quality and importance of contributions to, and used by, other researchers and end-users is modest. There is some contribution, complementarity of expertise, and synergy of team members. The approach to communication between team members to achieve the proposed objectives is clear. (Score: C = 4)

Good. The knowledge, expertise, and experience of the proposed team are of superior quality, impact, and/or importance. The quality and importance of contributions to, and used by, other researchers and end-users is strong. The team members have demonstrated the ability to manage and complete similar projects. The approach to communication between team members to achieve the proposed objectives is clear and efficient. (Score: B = 7)

Excellent. The knowledge, expertise, and experience of the proposed team are at the highest level of quality, impact, and/or importance to a broad community. The quality and importance of contributions to, and used by, other researchers and end-users is very strong and extensive. The team has demonstrated the expertise required to fulfill the proposed tasks in two or more projects. The proposal refers to an policy or plan to include members of designated minority groups. The approach to communication between team members to achieve the proposed objectives is clear, concise, efficient, and effective. (Score: A = 10)

Criterion Score

  • Maximum: 10
  • Minimum: 4
3.2 Access to other funding sources and resources
  • Are the resources sufficient to attain the scientific and technical objectives within the proposed schedule?
  • Is the budget appropriate and are the expenses justified? Is there a budget breakdown and does it support the proposed activities?
  • Are there other sources of funding and does the proposal establish their relationship with the proposed project?
  • Is there a clear methodology to how the work will be carried out to ensure that the planned activities will be accomplished on time and within the budget requested?

Poor. The appropriateness and justification for the budget is inadequate. The requested budget does not seem to relate to the proposed methodology and expected results. The proposal does not show how the work can be performed given the funds available. There are no leveraged funds or in-kind contributions from the applicants or other organizations. (Score: D = 0)

Average. The appropriateness and justification for the budget is adequate but some questions remain. The requested budget relates to the proposed methodology and expected results. The proposal shows a rough breakdown of the expenses, including funds from partners if applicable. Funding from partners is required to deliver high-quality data but is not secured, or does not leverage partner funding. (Score: C = 8)

Good. The appropriateness and justification for the budget is solid. The requested budget is linked to the proposed methodology and expected results. The proposal shows a clear breakdown of the expenses. The proposal includes secured funding partners for less than a third of the budget, and is promised in the form of letters of Intent or other official means. (Score: B = 14)

Excellent. The appropriateness and justification for the budget is very strong. The requested budget and categories are clearly linked to the proposed methodology and expected results. The proposal shows a clear breakdown of the expenses, including funds from partners. Leveraged funds from other organization(s) are greater than 33% of the budget, and is secured and documented through signed agreements, letters of Intent or other official means. (Score: A = 20)

Criterion Score

  • Maximum: 20
  • Minimum: 8

4. Results

Collection, generation and accessibility of high-value data
  • Will the data be of high quality (i.e. high accuracy, high resolution, high cadence)?
  • Will the data be well-documented (i.e. complete instrument descriptions, full set of complete metadata)?
  • Will the data be recorded using open formats (i.e. non-proprietary formats such as ASCII, HDF, CDF, FITS)?
  • Is there a plan for long-term preservation of the data and a stable access location on the internet?

Poor. The quality of the data will be lower than that of data collected or generated by instruments or systems of this type deployed in Canada. There is no indication that descriptions and metadata will be available. Most of the collected data will not be available in open formats. (Score: D = 0)

Average. The quality of the data will be comparable to that of data collected or generated by instruments or systems of this type deployed in Canada. The descriptions and metadata will contain most of the information necessary for the data to be understood by users. Most of the collected data will be available in open formats. (Score: C = 8)

Good. The quality of the data will equal to that of data collected and generated by the best instruments and systems of this type deployed in Canada. The descriptions and metadata will contain the essential information necessary for the data to be independently understood by users. The collected data will be available in well-known open formats. (Score: B = 14)

Excellent. The quality of the data will be higher than or equal to that of data collected and generated by the best instruments and systems of this type deployed anywhere. The descriptions and metadata will contain all the information necessary for the data to be independently understood by users. The data will be available in community-standard open formats. (Score: A = 20)

Criterion Score

  • Maximum: 20
  • Minimum: 8

5. Risk and Mitigation

Difficulties associated with operating remote observatories
  • Are the key risks identified along with the associated probability, impact and mitigation strategies (e.g. technical, financial, managerial)?

Poor. The proposal does not identify key risks and their mitigation strategies. (Score: D = 0)

Average. Three (3) risks (financial, managerial, or technical) are identified and evaluated. The risk evaluation is deemed unrealistic or incomplete. (Score: C = 4)

Good. Six (6) risks (financial, managerial, or technical) are identified, described and evaluated adequately for probability and consequence, with credible mitigation strategies. (Score: B = 8)

Excellent. Nine (9) risks (financial, managerial, or technical) are identified, described and evaluated adequately for probability and consequence, with credible mitigation strategies. (Score: A = 10)

Criterion Score

  • Maximum: 10
  • Minimum: 4

Total Score

  • Maximum: 100
  • Minimum: 70
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