MONTREAL, CANADA, 22 JULY 2021 — NorthStar Earth & Space (NorthStar) announced that it is collaborating with the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) to develop a prototype Earth Observation Monitoring System for Marine and Coastal Environments (EOMCE) to improve information quality and deliver critical knowledge on marine pollution, ice conditions, and coastal ecosystems directly impacted by climate change.
This $2.7M initiative, which is expected to conclude in Q1 2024, is also supported by Quebec’s Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) Centre for Water, Land, and Environment, and includes $1.5M in funding to NorthStar from Defence Research and Development Canada’s (DRDC) Canadian Safety and Security Program, under its Community Resilience Portfolio.
In Canada and around the world, the integrity of marine and coastal environments is impacted by climate change and pollution. These impacts include ecosystems alteration and loss, increasing coastal erosion rates, water quality decline and marine biodiversity depletion. To reduce and mitigate risks, stakeholders require up-to-date knowledge on the condition of Canada’s coasts and in-depth understanding of their vulnerability to human activity and natural hazards, including cumulative effects over time.
“NorthStar is proud to be working with the Canadian Coast Guard and Quebec’s Institut national de la recherche scientifique to help safeguard Canada’s marine and coastal environments” said Stewart Bain, CEO of NorthStar Earth & Space. “This investment by a coalition of partners, including Defence Research and Development Canada, will enable resilient Canadian coastal communities with the means to respond to increasing environmental threats, and assist in strategies to adapt to climate change.”
The initiative will see NorthStar, the Canadian Coast Guard and the INRS pool expertise to develop information services that will leverage data from multiple Earth Observation sources and be demonstrated via a prototype web-based information portal. The goal is to deliver near-real time information on the health of Canada’s marine and coastal environments, enabling active decision-making. NorthStar will continue its development of an automated processing pipeline by fusing its hyperspectral airborne data acquired over Canada with spaceborne optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data to realize unique and enhanced imaging products. NorthStar will combine Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data fused from multiple sources to deliver rich near real-time information services for marine pollution, coastal ecosystems, and ice conditions, which are all directly impacted by climate change.
The information provided by the EOMCE’s frequent and long-term monitoring of coastal environments will enable stakeholders to realize several key benefits in support of:
- Assessment and refinement of climate change adaptation strategies
- Risk assessment and emergency preparedness and response to coastal contamination, ice drift/jam, storm surges and flooding.
- Protection of coastal ecosystems and restoration of their environmental services.
As NorthStar’s global environment monitoring services develop, the EOMCE will be fully integrated into a complete NorthStar commercial service designed to contextualize multiple forms of complex raw data sources, delivering more accessible information sets, and enabling real-time actionable decision-making to preserve our planet and our delicate ecosystems for future generations.
About NorthStar Earth & Space
NorthStar is creating Earth Information and Intelligence (EI2) services in collaboration with partners in the private, academic and government sectors. Using proprietary and third-party data, NorthStar is developing solutions in a variety of Earth sectors including Agriculture, Maritime, Forestry and Energy.
Following the launch of its debut Skylark Space Situational Awareness (SSA) constellation, NorthStar plans to launch dual mission satellites performing both SSA and Earth observation. Dual mission satellites will be equipped with Hyperspectral, Infrared and Optical sensors, which will operate continuously from space, imaging, digitizing, and analyzing the details of Earth’s ecosystems and surrounding orbits daily.
Through its Information Platform, NorthStar will deliver contextualized information solutions directly to end users in the private and public sectors, providing critical knowledge about Earth and its orbital environment.
NorthStar’s investors comprise a global coalition of strategic partners, including Telesystem Space, the Space Alliance (Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio) of Europe, KinetX (USA), the Government of Quebec and the Government of Canada.
About NorthStar’s EOMCE partners
- Website of the Canadian Coast Guard
- Website of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique
- Website of Defence Research and Development Canada