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Polar Communications & Weather (PCW) Mission. Aurora. Borealis. Dual Objectives: Communications & Weather. Reliable communications in the high latitudes (North of 70º) to ensure: Security Sustainable Development Support to Northern Communities Air and Marine Navigation

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Polar Communications & Weather

(PCW) Mission



dual objectives communications weather
Dual Objectives:Communications & Weather
  • Reliable communications in the high latitudes (North of 70º) to ensure:
    • Security
    • Sustainable Development
    • Support to Northern Communities
    • Air and Marine Navigation
  • Provide high temporal/spatial resolution meteorological data above 50º N in support of:
    • Numerical Weather Prediction
    • Environmental monitoring, emergency response
    • Climate monitoring
mission requirements
Mission Requirements
  • To provide continuous meteorological service and information for the entire circumpolar region, with the imagery data “refreshed” as frequently as practical. GOAL 15 min
  • To improve weather prediction accuracy and timeliness by providing high quality data currently not available or available with insufficient spatial / temporal resolution
  • To improve the monitoring and prediction of air quality variables
  • To improve the modeling of physical processes in the Arctic environment
  • To develop measures of climate change through high quality monitoring of key atmospheric and surface variables
  • To improve observation and forecasting of space weather
  • To have a proto-operational system in place by 2014.
area of interest
Area of Interest

Meteorological Coverage Requirement

Meteorological Coverage Goal

Communications Coverage Requirement

mission overview
Mission Overview
  • Architecture:
    • Constellation of two satellites in HEO (Molniya-type, 12 hours)
  • Orbit:
    • Two planes with apogee over Atlantic and Pacific (TBC)
  • Payloads:
    • Communications (Ka-band) and Meteorological payload suites on each satellite
  • Bus:
    • Canadian SmallSat Bus
  • Ground segment:
    • Based on existing Canadian infrastructure with potential addition of the Northern Ground Station
  • Operations:
    • Government operated (TBC)
  • Launch:
    • 2014 and 2015
  • Lifespan:
    • 5 years-requirement, 7 years - goal
  • Partnership:
    • Open for International and Public-Private Partnership
applications and products
Applications and Products
  • Winds from sequences of images: high priority product
  • Surface type analysis: ice, snow, ocean, vegetation and surface characteristics such as emissivity, albedo, vegetation index
  • Surface temperature, detection of boundary-layer temperature inversions, diurnal cycle
  • Mid-tropospheric q/T sensitive channels for hourly direct assimilation complementing GEO radiance assimilation
  • Volcanic ash detection
  • Smoke, dust, aerosols, fog in support of air quality models and environmental prediction:
  • Total column ozone:
  • Cloud parameters: height, fraction, temperature, emissivity, phase, effective particle size.
  • Broadband outgoing radiation: total, Vis, IR, window
phase 0 overview
Phase 0 Overview
  • Phase 0 closed out September 30, 2008
    • Identified and validated comprehensive Users Requirements (UR Document)
    • Proved pertinence of the mission to the national and international priorities of the Government of Canada
    • Demonstrated feasibility of the technical solutions
phase a overview
Phase A Overview
  • Status
    • Phase A1 (October 2008-March 2009) - committed
    • Phase A2 (April 2009 – November 2009) – planned
  • Expected Main Outcomes:
    • Successful Preliminary System Requirements Review
    • System Requirements Document
    • Ground Segment Requirement Specification (update)
    • Spacecraft Requirement Specification (update)
    • Bus Requirement Specification
    • Meteorological Payload Requirement Specification (update)
    • Communication Payload Requirement Specification (update)
    • Mission Development Plan, including lifecycle cost
    • Treasury Board submission seeking phases B/C/D approval
partnership opportunities
Partnership Opportunities
  • Phase A1:
    • Extension of membership in the Users & Science Team to the international partners  URD final release
  • Phase A2: Joint Definition Study
    • Via CSA: government and intergovernmental agencies
    • Via Prime Contractor: private/commercial entities
  • Phase B and beyond:
    • Partnership mission (International and/or PPP) (TBC).
  • Open for Partnerships!!
    • Some discussions w/Finland have taken place
    • Norway meeting
    • US and Russia
for more information collaboration
For More Information/Collaboration…
  • Guennadi Kroupnik:

PCW Program Manager

Canadian Space Agency

Tel.: (450) 926-6471


  • Louis Garand:

PCW User & Science Team Co-Chair Environment Canada

Tel.: (514) 421-4749