Canada's DND signs space data pact with U.S., U.K., Australian military

Canada's military will share space-related information and resources with the defence departments of the U.S., the U.K. and Australia under an agreement signed today.

Shared info will include satellite orbits, space weather

The Canadian military launched it first satellite last year to keep watch on the space junk orbiting the Earth. Now, DND has announced it will be sharing space data with defence departments in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. (MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates)

Canada's military will share space-related resources and information with the defence departments of the U.S., the U.K. and Australia under an agreement signed today.

Canada's Department of National Defence has existing military space partnerships with those countries, but the new memorandum of understanding signed Monday formalizes them, said a Department of National Defence news release.

"The partnership announced today will help the Canadian Armed Forces to continue improving its use of space capabilities and protecting our critical space assets," said Lt.-Gen. Guy Thibault, Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, in a statement.

"Just as we work closely with our allies on land, sea, and in the air, so too should we combine our operations in space.”

The shared information will include:

  • Data on satellite orbits, to help prevent collisions.
  • Accuracy of GPS signals.
  • Methods to prevent interference with satellite communications.
  • Space weather, such as geomagnetic storms caused by solar particles that can disrupt communications and power grids.

The Department of National Defence noted that Canada's military has already partnered with other militaries on a number of other projects. Sapphire, Canada's first dedicated military satellite, launched in February 2013, transmits data about space junk orbiting Earth to the U.S.-led Space Surveillance Catalogue. It has also partnered with other militaries on two U.S.-led satellite communications projects, Wideband Global SATCOM and Protected Military SATCOM, for government and military communications respectively.

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