NR–09.020 - March 30, 2009
– The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, announced today the locations of the two satellite reception ground stations for the Polar Epsilon project, marking the start of the second phase of this vital Arctic surveillance project.
The ground stations, to be located on the west coast in Aldergrove, British Columbia and on the east coast in Masstown, Nova Scotia, will be key components of the Canadian Forces’ enhanced surveillance and security capabilities in the Arctic and our maritime approaches. The ground stations will also enhance Canada’s ground infrastructure for satellite operations, further enabling our nation’s capacity to receive and exploit space-based data for defence, maritime security and the monitoring of our environment and natural resources.
“These ground stations will help Canada to exercise our sovereignty in the Arctic,” said Minister MacKay. “Without question, Polar Epsilon, combined with the extensive capabilities of the RADARSAT-2 satellite, will make Canada a world leader in using space-based radar surveillance technology.”
“Our Government continues to make major investments in Arctic research that will fulfill the goals of our integrated Northern Strategy,” said Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. “The data we receive from Polar Epsilon will help protect the North’s environmental heritage.”
The ground stations, which will be wholly owned and operated by the Government of Canada, will receive and process primarily satellite imagery from the RADARSAT-2 satellite launched in mid-December 2007 by MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates. The design and construction of the ground stations will start immediately, and is expected to be completed by late 2010. In addition to enhancing domestic security, increased defence investments will bring economic benefits to Canadian industry. The Canadian high tech and aerospace industries will profit from the investment of millions of dollars required for this next phase of the Polar Epsilon Project.