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Natural Resources Canada
2010/64
August 10, 2010

Inauguration of Canada’s First Arctic Satellite Station


INUVIK, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES — Natural Resources Canada, in partnership with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and PrioraNet Canada Inc., celebrated today the opening of the Inuvik Satellite Station Facility (ISSF). This new facility will have the capabilities of receiving near real-time scientific information from orbiting satellites over Canada from coast to coast to coast.

With the second-largest landmass on Earth and the longest coastline in the world, Canada’s sovereignty depends on the effective monitoring of our land and borders. Space-borne observation of our nation’s Arctic is a powerful and cost-effective tool to help address issues relative to environmental challenges, as well as the safety and security of Canadians.

“Canada is the True North Strong and Free, and our Government remains committed to exercising our nation’s Arctic sovereignty,” said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources. “This state-of-the-art Arctic observation facility will boost Canada’s ability to monitor our Arctic, help us to increase social and economic development in the North, and strengthen our competitive advantage in the fields of science and technology.”

This partnership comprises members of both the public and private sectors, specifically departments and agencies of the Government of Canada, the German Aerospace Center and Space Agency, and PrioraNet Canada Inc, of Lethbridge, Alberta. The Inuvik facility features an antenna supplied by the German Aerospace Center that will provide enhanced access to satellites, such as the TanDEM-X satellite launched on June 21, which circles the world over the High Arctic.

“We have signed several new cooperation agreements to receive data from Earth observation satellites in Canada. The agreements open the route for the first DLR ground station to go into operation on Canadian soil and open up a new chapter of German–Canadian cooperation in space,” said Professor Johann-Dietrich Woerner, President of DLR. “For the first time, national German and Canadian entities are merging their capacities to receive Earth observation data at a mutual site in Canada.”

“We look forward to continuing to invest with our partners in the North and to create a world-class facility in Inuvik that will create opportunities now and in the future,” said Ryan Johnson, Chairman of PrioraNet Canada Ltd.

The ISSF, which will be further developed in the coming years, joins a network of northern facilities in Sweden, Norway and Alaska. This state-of-the-art facility will not only help Canada monitor our own borders, but will help provide reliable scientific information to researchers and universities both here in Canada and around the world.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

Canada today celebrated the opening of its first Arctic satellite receiving facility in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis says the state-of-the-art observation facility will boost Canada’s ability to monitor our Arctic, help us to increase social and economic development in the North, and strengthen our competitive advantage in the fields of science and technology.

Media may contact:

Richard Walker
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-996-2007

or

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-992-4447

Andreas Schuetz
Head of Media Relations
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
+49-171-3126466

Brett Michelson
Vice-President – Business Development
PrioraNet Canada Inc.
780-915-7146

The general public may contact:

Mon.–Fri., 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EDT
Telephone: 613-995-0947
TTY: 613-996-4397
(teletype for the hearing-impaired)
E-mail: questions@nrcan.gc.ca

The following media backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media/index-eng.php:

  1. Inuvik Satellite Station Facility
  2. DLR Antenna

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media/index-eng.php.