Natural Resources Canada’s Ground Station Network - Introducing the Inuvik Satellite Station Facility


Earth observation, and the science around it, has become critically important.

We place high value on the ability to make evidence-based decisions

on everything from climate change to transportation to economic development.

And there’s a real need for high-quality generation, analysis, dissemination and data standards,

along with new research strategies, and information architecture.

Canada is responding to the challenge.

Over the past half-century, we have developed world-leading capacity on the ground and in space.

Canada is a key player in the science of geomatics AND in the role satellites

and satellite data play in our everyday lives.

Part of Natural Resources Canada, the Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation (CCMEO)

is our centre of expertise for geomatics, and manages infrastructure, data, policies, standards,

technology and governance comprising the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure.

NRCAN’s Satellite station network is a critical component of this infrastructure.

In 2012, the Government of Canada undertook an ambitious program to revitalize our satellite stations:

The Gatineau station in Cantley, Quebec, our station in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan… …

and to build a brand new satellite station at the Inuvik Satellite Station Facility – owned by Natural Resources Canada.

We chose Inuvik, a location above the Arctic Circle,

because it offers exceptionally high visibility to satellites for data reception and/or control.

The connection of a fibre optic cable from Inuvik into the global information

and communications technology network will ensure extraordinarily fast and reliable data transfer….

High speed internet connectivity will now be available from coast, to coast to coast,

a key driver for development in Canada’s north.

Our station features a high performance 13-metre diameter antenna

that provides reception and telemetry, tracking and control services… …

an operations building for use in the maintenance and control

of the antenna with space to support additional infrastructure… …

and all of the ground station systems support today’s and tomorrow’s needs,

including redundant power, monitoring, and the ability to fully control the station remotely.

The Inuvik Satellite Station is live and operational for both current

and future satellite missions including the Canada’s RADARSAT Constellation Mission.

The Inuvik station complements the Prince Albert Satellite Station and the Gatineau Satellite Station.

All three feature new equipment, and all have an expected array lifespan until the year 2035 –

ready to take on the challenges of a new, more demanding future.

The Inuvik Satellite Station Facility promises to be the hub of a new type of geospatial community,

as we continue to host antennas from four nations – ours, DLR, the German Aerospace Centre, SSC,

the Swedish Space Corporation, and a fourth a partnership between SSC

and France’s Centre national d’études spatiales (CNES). And there is plenty of space for more.

NRCan is committed to developing the Inuvik Satellite Station Facility in such a way

as to respect vibrant northern cultures and to ensure that local communities are engaged

and benefit widely from the project.

The new station has created local business and employment opportunities

and is a primary spark for growing the digital economy in the North.

But… don’t take our word for it: the Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation

invites you to see the Inuvik Satellite Station Facility for yourself.

Come and experience a unique new vantage point built on leading-edge technology –

a bold new standard in the science of harnessing the power of geospatial data!