GEORGETOWN, Ont.—The Georgetown-based manufacturer Communications and Power Industries Canada Inc. (CPI) has been handed $3.3 million by the federal government to develop satellite radar technology.
Canada, through the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), is investing the money to help develop Canadian “innovation that will play a key role in the first-ever global survey of surface water,” it said in a release.
CPI Canada is being funded to develop the Extended Interaction Klystron (EIK), a satellite radar component that will generate pulses used to gather surface water information.
This technology could help Canada more efficiently manage water resources, prepare for potential flooding and help avoid costly damage from flooding or drought.
The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission will survey 90 per cent of the globe, studying the Earth’s lakes, rivers, reservoirs and oceans. SWOT data could lead to improvements in many water-related services in Canada, including operations at sea and water management systems, and will provide measurements for lakes and rivers in Northern Canada for which none currently exist.
Data gathered through SWOT, which is currently scheduled to launch in 2020, will develop high-resolution water data of Canada’s waterways and oceans.
SWOT will inventory more than one million lakes, water bodies and the discharge of all major rivers in Canada. Only 15 per cent of lakes around the world are currently measured from space.
SWOT will measure the oceans’ surfaces with a resolution 10 times better than the current space systems. This will allow scientists to study small-scale features that are key components of how heat and carbon are exchanged between the oceans and the atmosphere.