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LOOKNorth Network Members partner with Boeing Phantom Works

On October 25th, Boeing Phantom Works announced collaborative partnerships with two members of the LOOKNorth Network: St. John’s-based C‑CORE and Montreal-based GHGSat are working with Boeing to develop remote sensing solutions that go beyond Boeing’s current satellite platform business. C-CORE will design and build satellite ground stations for downlinking data from multiple missions (conventional Earth observation (EO) satellites, nanosats, cubesats and other small satellites). The ground stations will be designed for arctic deployment, and the first two will be deployed in Inuvik, NWT and St. John’s, NL. The first imagery will be received from GHGSat’s nanosat Claire, bringing the relationship with GHGSat full circle: in 2013 LOOKNorth’s Technology Validation Program supported GHGSat’s validation of their greenhouse gas sensor prior to launch. 

EO technology is changing rapidly and dramatically. Satellites are becoming smaller, cheaper and more numerous.  The new small satellites, such as Claire, now coming into service are profound game-changers.  Ranging in size from shoebox to microwave, they are built and launched as constellations. Today, there are hundreds in orbit, capturing multiple scenes daily of any area of interest in the world.  The imagery they acquire must still be downloaded to receiving stations on the ground, more cost effectively than current approaches. Also, value-added processing must accommodate much larger volumes of data.  This is where the Boeing collaboration comes in.

C-CORE’s ground stations will downlink the ever-increasing information generated by new satellites, process it using a combination of Boeing and C-CORE analytical tools and almost immediately uplink it to interested users through the cloud, turning information into insights.  C-CORE believes that this is the future of Earth observation, and the Boeing – C‑CORE collaboration positions C‑CORE at the forefront of the journey to that future. 

The Boeing partnership supports LOOKNorth’s mandate to foster innovation in Canada’s remote sensing sector and to promote commercial use of remote sensing technologies for development of northern natural resources. The infrastructure developed under this project will provide geospatial analytical tools, an enhanced marketing platform and preferred access to satellite data for LOOKNorth’s network of over 60 Canadian businesses, universities and research centers.