Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI)—Program Highlights 2013–2014
The majority of projects in the SADI portfolio are in the research and development (R&D) phase. Economic and social benefits are expected from the research and subsequent commercialization of the innovation over the 20-year life cycle of an average project.
This annex provides an update on the status of projects that have been undertaking their R&D for at least one year (i.e. projects contracted before 2013–2014), as well as projects that entered the repayment phase, and those that became inactive, in 2013–2014. Projects contracted in 2013–14 are listed in section 7 of this report.
Projects in the research and development phase (2007/08–2013/14)
ASCO Aerospace Canada Ltd. (ASCO Canada)
Location: Delta, BC
Authorized SADI Assistance: $7,688,288
Contribution Agreement: October 25, 2010
Innovation: The objective of the project is to test and verify new manufacturing processes for machining titanium which can be incorporated on the Lockheed F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) bulkhead production parts. Continuing studies are required to monitor elements such as tool life to ensure that the processes are not only technically effective, but also cost effective. As part of the SADI project, ASCO Canada purchased a Macbormill machine (a high-speed milling machine) which is now operational and enhances ASCO Canada's capabilities to produce aircraft more efficiently. As a result of its new capabilities, ASCO Canada was asked, on behalf of the JSF program, to provide additional quotations in early 2014 for both machining and assembly work.
Collaboration: Since the beginning of the project, ASCO Canada has maintained a co-op partnership with the University of British Columbia and has recruited five post-graduate students into its operations. In May 2011, ASCO Canada started a joint R&D project with the National Research Council (NRC) to study deep pocket/slotting titanium machining with very small diameter tools. The research project was completed by year end, and involved three NRC engineers and three ASCO Canada engineers.
Economic and Other Benefits: This project has allowed ASCO Canada to retain twenty highly-skilled and experienced technical staff, all of whom are expected to be retained. This project will enable ASCO Canada to compete for additional JSF work and in the future adapt the processes developed to other aerospace markets. The processes developed under this project have allowed ASCO Canada to participate in the JSF spar processes (process to develop the main structure of the JSF aircraft wing). The company is also looking for other applications for the processes and technical expertise being developed. Processes developed under this project will enable ASCO Canada to maintain a competitive edge over the global competition. During the project, ASCO Canada implemented additional waste reclamation and recycling programs, dramatically reducing industrial waste and minimizing its ecological footprint by 20 percent.
Axys Technologies Inc.
Location: Sidney, British Columbia
Authorized SADI Assistance: $1,836,900
Contribution Agreement: August 5, 2009
Innovation: The objective of this project was to research and develop a system to integrate and manage data from various maritime monitoring and surveillance sources to provide comprehensive real-time information. This provides a unified view of the maritime domain and enhances port and waterside security. The innovative aspect of this project involved developing the system's ability to receive information from various sources, integrate the data and present it to users and decision-makers in real time. As of March 31, 2014, this project is considered complete with several installations around the world including Canada, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand and Ecuador.
Collaboration: AXYS has collaborated with the University of Victoria, Camosun College and Memorial University of Newfoundland. In addition, AXYS continues to engage engineering co-op students in its research and development activities. AXYS has also been working with the Port of Prince Rupert to enhance its waterside monitoring and surveillance program and is collaborating with JASCO Research and Ocean Sonics in the area of marine underwater acoustic surveillance. Since project completion, AXYS has engaged with the Canadian Hydrographic Service with regard to data sharing services.
Economic and Other Benefits: With SADI support, AXYS has been able to develop a highly innovative product to help defence and security organizations, port operators and other stakeholders improve maritime surveillance and security and respond promptly to security incidents such as undesired vessel movements, discharge of pollutants at sea, oil spills and severe weather threats. AXYS has also seen its sales and workforce grow. Its technology has allowed for better maritime domain decision-making, and for the provision of better information to stakeholders and improved microclimate data delivery.
Location: Saint-Laurent, Quebec
Authorized SADI Assistance: $250,000,000
Contribution Agreement: March 30, 2009
Innovation: The objective of this project was to improve CAE's existing modelling and simulation technologies to develop simulators for a wider range of aircraft. This project has resulted in further development of CAE's core modeling and simulation technologies and the introduction of several innovative products and services across a broad spectrum of aerospace and defence applications. These innovations have allowed for a number of new trademarks to be registered and patent applications to be filed and granted.
Innovations developed include: a new Full Flight and Mission Helicopter for single and dual-pilot seating introduced as the CAE 3000 Series platform; a next-generation Dynamic Synthetic EnvironmentTM which allows changes in the synthetic environment, such as weapons, weather or the latest intelligence from the real world, to be reflected dynamically; the Augmented Visionics System, which provides pilots with a synthetic virtual representation of the environment around them; the next generation of Magnetic Anomaly Detection – Extended Role which can be mounted on lighter platforms such as on Unmanned Arial Vehicles; and the development of an Unmanned Arial System (UAS) Mission Trainer which combines an open architecture with commercial off-the-shelf hardware and simulation software to provide a comprehensive, platform-agnostic training system (meaning it runs equally well across more than one platform) for UAS pilots, sensor operators, and mission commanders.
Collaboration: CAE uses a collaborative model of technological development that benefits universities and research facilities. The company has made contributions in excess of $7 million for collaborative projects with universities and research institutes including: a McGill University Research Chair; Carleton University's Centre for Advanced Studies in Visualization and Simulation; and CAE's Augmented Engineering Environment Software/Development Laboratory at École Polytechnique de Montréal. CAE has also launched collaborations with Ottawa and McMaster Universities, the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec, the National Research Council of Canada and the Institut national d'optique.
Economic and Other Benefits: CAE has introduced new aircraft simulation platforms including the 3000 Series full-flight simulator technology and CAE's Visual System Tropos-6000. In addition, technology developed under this project has allowed CAE to collaborate with Bombardier Aerospace for its CSeries platform, Global 7000 and Global 8000 aircraft programs, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) for the new AVIC Medium-Sized Transport aircraft, the Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, and AgustaWestland for the AW189 full-flight simulator.
Modelling and simulation applications have been leveraged into defence and security applications, notably PRESAGIS products which were featured at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. CAE is expanding professional services offerings, applying modelling and simulation to achieve safety, security and efficiency/productivity benefits for entire nations, such as Brunei. Project know-how in complex algorithmic modeling and evidence–based training has also been applied in healthcare and mining markets.
This project has also strengthened CAE's Canadian supply chain through partnerships with Canadian industrial partners and suppliers.
CAE's simulation product platforms have contributed to a better environment through the use of new composite materials to reduce material footprints, and electric motion and vibration systems. In addition, wide-body aircraft pilot training allows savings of between 7,500 and 14,000 litres of fuel and 6.6 metric tons of CO2 for every hour of training. Noise and other negative impacts are also mitigated.
D-TA Systems Inc.
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Authorized SADI Assistance: $1,790,140
Contribution Agreement: August 25, 2010
Innovation: This project involved research and development of products that convert high frequency analog signals from systems such as radio, radar and sonar into digital data for computers. This conversion will enable real-time processing and display and will reduce the cost and deployment time for complex systems. It will also allow D-TA to customize products to meet the requirements of defence communications users in Canada and the United States. The project is now complete and D-TA has developed four products.
Collaboration: D-TA founded Carleton University's Dipak and Tara Roy Sensor Processing Laboratory in November 2011. This laboratory supports graduate research and facilitates advanced research in sensor processing to develop concepts, algorithms and system architectures for a variety of applications, including: radio, radar, sonar, wireless, medical imaging and instruments, and other areas of interest to communication, defence and aerospace sectors. Five students have benefited from D-TA guidance and supervision and access to company facilities, one of whom was recruited as a full-time employee. D-TA also delivered a consulting report to the Agency for Defense Development in South Korea with the support of a Carleton University engineering faculty member. The university interaction is a huge step in skill development in the field of advanced signal processing.
Economic and Other Benefits: The R&D project has increased D-TA's visibility in the defence market and enhanced its competitiveness. D-TA won several projects with the US Department of Defense and the Canadian Department of National Defence. D-TA's configured solutions are significantly reducing deployment time and costs for system integration, software development and system testing. D-TA's solutions also allow customers to reach the point of field trials in six to nine months instead of two to three years. A number of high-paying jobs have been created through this project. The entire R&D was undertaken in Canada including with Canadian based sub-contractors and 90 percent of D-TA's suppliers are located in Canada.
Engineering Services Inc. (ESI)
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Authorized SADI Assistance: $778,800
Contribution Agreement: December 6, 2012
Innovation: The objective of this project is to develop a mobile robot for patrolling, under remote control, private and public buildings, private premises for commercial and residential use, and open space and areas used by the public officially, commercially or privately. The robot will operate with limited human supervision, and will be integrated within networks of public or private security systems. The proposed technology will reduce the human resource cost and increase the quality of services. As a result of the SADI funding, ESI will develop a proof-of-principle demonstration prototype. The project is currently on schedule and a patent application is in progress.
Collaboration: ESI will involve four engineering students in this project (three from the University of Toronto and one from McMaster University) to work on engineering design. The students will be active members of the engineering design team and the work will provide the students with exposure to the engineering profession and an opportunity to apply classroom theory to real design problems.
Economic and Other Benefits: Once completed, it is expected that the resulting product will expand the use of robotics for applications to the security industry sector and among supply chain partners. The project will demonstrate the capability to introduce automation (including some human hands-on interaction) in order to broaden and improve services and mitigate human resource shortfalls. The project is allowing ESI to enhance its skills development in autonomous navigation of mobile robots as well as increase its competitiveness in being able to showcase a product in a new business domain.
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Authorized SADI Assistance: $1,275,700
Contribution Agreement: September 28, 2012
Innovation: The project involves research and development in the area of Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy with the objective of developing the capability to measure the concentration of metallic contaminants in jet engine oil. The project goal is to develop a prototype portable instrument that will enable aircraft maintenance personnel to measure contaminants on the ground beside an aircraft rather than in a lab or another location. The instrument would provide air maintenance personnel with an immediate engine health assessment.
Collaboration: As part of the project, GasTOPS will engage a co-op student for the duration of the project and will collaborate with Queen's and Carleton universities.
Economic and Social Benefits: GasTOPS is one of the few small and medium-sized enterprises qualified and able to provide supplier-designed articles in the Joint Strike Fighter Program. This project will enhance the company's capability in this regard and will generate additional opportunities across the aerospace market.
Location: Longueuil, Quebec
Authorized SADI Assistance: $48,957,693
Contribution Agreement: February 21, 2013
Innovation: The Héroux-Devtek Inc. (HDI) project will integrate new technologies into landing gear design and allow HDI to become a Tier 1 supplier of complete systems. Tier 1 suppliers are responsible for delivering complete systems to original equipment manufacturers. A growing requirement for aerospace industry clients is the use of new materials and processes to make finished products and manufacturing processes more environmentally sustainable. Building on its solid past experience as a supplier of machined parts and its previous R and D programs, HDI intends to carry out this project by grouping the technologies to be developed into four categories.
All of the activities complement each other and will ensure that HDI's primary objective is achieved. They will also be aimed at eliminating or reducing environmentally harmful processes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the environmental footprint and improving the life cycle of landing gear, during design, manufacture, operation, maintenance and overhaul. On the project completion date, HDI will be able to offer a "ready-to-use" unit to the company assembling the aircraft. HDI therefore proposes acquiring knowledge on how to integrate the various landing gear systems, from the landing gear lever in the cockpit to the tire.
This is why HDI is developing sub-systems of new technology, such as the landing gear integrity monitoring system, weight-on-wheels detection, advanced shock absorption, and electrical operation of the landing gear, as well as integrating the various landing gear systems, including the various electronic boxes such as the brake control, steering control, emergency control and landing gear control systems.
Collaboration: The project will bring significant technological benefits to the academic and research communities. During this project, HDI intends to collaborate with various universities and technical colleges such as McGill, ETS, École Polytechnique, Laval and Concordia, at a cost of $1.5 million. HDI is working in partnership with several other Canadian companies as part of the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec (CRIAQ), Mitacs-Accélération, etc. These collaborative projects provide major support that promotes knowledge sharing, training and selecting technical labour before they enter the job market.
To date, HDI has formed a partnership with the Aerospace Technology Centre to develop a process for manufacturing parts made of composite. An agreement has been signed with Laval University for integrated modelling of a shock absorber cylinder for landing gear that is made of aluminum. HDI has also signed an agreement with McGill University in relation to the project for manufacturing composite parts.
Another agreement has been signed with Clumeq to help develop calculation tools using HDI's high-performance computer and help accelerate the modelling process for certain projects such as the aero-acoustic project.
As part of this project, HDI has hired 18 interns to date, one of whom obtained a permanent position with HDI.
Economic and Other Benefits: This project will enable HDI to provide clients with new materials and processes intended to make finished products and manufacturing processes more environmentally sustainable.
It is certain that the planned projects, such as the project "Integration of new technologies into the design of landing gear – Phase II" will greatly enhance HDI's competitiveness and competition in the market. HDI's market shares have increased considerably in recent years, which is why it is focusing on new technology that will enable it to increase its value proposition. HDI is currently ranked third in the world among landing gear suppliers. HDI's objective is to be number one and offer a viable alternative in the market.
Kongsberg Mesotech Ltd.
Location: Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
Authorized SADI Assistance: $4,968,000
Contribution Agreement: February 23, 2010
Innovation: Kongsberg Mesotech Ltd. (KML) is developing its next generation of sonar for the purposes of monitoring and classifying threats to ports and high-value marine assets. These high resolution images will also be used for mine detection, avoidance and counter measure. The sonar being developed has proven itself in trials and has been utilized for various other industries (fisheries, oil and gas, engineering) with favorable results. KML's sonar designs use advanced telemetry and data processing in order to obtain the most detailed images as fast as possible. The unique imaging technology of the M3 sonar developed under this project has been protected with patents.
Collaboration: KML has employed co-op students and Post Doctorates from Simon Fraser University and provided funding for a PhD student at the University of Victoria for the development of imaging technology. KML is also considering supporting a chair position within the University of Victoria for marine engineering and sciences. KML is assessing the potential to engage a Post Doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia for using sonar and acoustics for material characterization and possibly classification.
Economic and Social Benefits: To date, KML has commercialized one model of its M3 sonar which has a wide range of abilities and operable depths. A dual axis single beam sonar system to acquire profile points for 3D point cloud rendering and modeling has been released to production with use in port security and clearance as well as commercial engineering applications. A 1MHz 1171 single beam sonar system for high resolution imaging has been released to production for use by police and first responders for evidence recovery and security applications. The product's versatility has also been used within the fisheries market for stock assessment and monitoring through the use of fish tags.
Magellan Aerospace Limited
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Authorized SADI Assistance: $43,391,600
Contribution Agreement: September 1, 2008
Innovation: The objective of the project is to undertake the research and development of new processes for composite manufacturing and complex assemblies that incorporate both composite and metallic components. This project is related to the multinational Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. The complexity and precision, essential to produce the parts that go into an F-35 JSF, requires specific technologies. For example, the aircraft design demands exactness such that on the multiple pieces that are assembled for the horizontal tail assembly, almost 1,400 holes have to align within one-half thousandth of an inch, which is 1/6th the thickness of a piece of paper. The first units produced by Magellan were sent to the United Kingdom for final assembly and met specifications. In December 2012, Magellan delivered the first F-35A Horizontal Tail Assembly from the Winnipeg facility. The first flight of Magellan's first assembly took place in February 2014. The technology required to complete this engineering feat, and do it repeatedly and efficiently, continues to improve with new equipment, software updates and new processes, all supported by SADI.
Collaboration: Working with Red River College, Magellan opened the Centre for Non-Destructive Inspection Technologies, which is located on the College's Industrial Campus at Magellan Aerospace. This state-of-the-art centre allows students and professors to learn and experience laser technology that inspects carbon fibre parts up to 85 percent faster and is found nowhere else in Canada. Development collaboration is also being done with the University of Manitoba and the Composite Innovation Centre, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Economic and Other Benefits: Magellan is advancing its manufacturing capabilities with leading-edge equipment in state-of-the-art facilities, and continues to develop technologies that provide an opportunity for many years of work. These precision machining, composite work, and inspection technologies provide employment in highly-skilled manufacturing jobs and world-class learning opportunities for students and faculty. With the international participation associated with the JSF program, Magellan is gaining global recognition for its accomplishments in applying advanced technology in a production environment. Many design, engineering and affordability changes continue to happen as the F-35 JSF proceeds with flight testing. Magellan expects this phase of the program to last a few more years, and continues to seek better ways of producing the various products being manufactured. Low-rate production of Magellan built units are currently undergoing in-flight testing, with full-rate production of the JSF program expected in 2019.
NGRAIN (Canada) Corporation
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Authorized SADI Assistance: $9,500,000
Contribution Agreement: October 30, 2012
Innovation: The objective of this project is to develop the 3D tools and application framework necessary to drive the next generation of aircraft by developing interactive 3D simulation software that will assist in technical training and operational support, and provide the most true-to-life virtual hands-on experience to users. The new software will be used to guide workers through repair jobs, and will help reduce equipment maintenance time. The interface and user experience will be improved with increased functionality, realism, and wherever possible, take advantage of other platforms' capabilities (such as the touch interface or tracking capabilities of the iPad/android).
Progress to date has included new augmented reality products and visual analytic demonstrations. NGRAIN software is used in the development of the F35 Joint Strike Fighter, and in the development of the F22 stealth fighter in the US.
Collaboration: NGRAIN plans to collaborate with a variety of Canadian education and private sector companies in pursuit of the objectives envisioned for this project. This includes working with the University of Toronto, University of Alberta, Algonquin College, University of British Columbia and the British Columbia Institute of Technology. To date, NGRAIN has worked with the University of Toronto on laser scanning, 3D rendering and mobile deployment of simulations. The company is also currently engaged in outlining new initiatives with the World Bank, Boeing and Convergent Technology.
Economic and Other Benefits: The SADI program is helping NGRAIN advance its technology more rapidly than otherwise would have been possible. In addition to funding specific lines of advanced research, it has facilitated collaboration with other Canadian educational and business enterprises that would not have otherwise occurred. With SADI support, NGRAIN has been able to invest in new hardware including 3D printers and wearable devices, which have put NGRAIN at the forefront of rapidly expanding, augmented reality and visual analytics (big data) markets. As a result, NGRAIN has developed long-term significant business relationships with Lockheed Martin, the Department of National Defence and others. For example, many members of the Canadian Armed Forces around the world are using NGRAIN technology to make their jobs safer and more efficient.
The software developed through this project is expected to provide growth opportunities for the Canadian high-tech industry and will enable companies to increase their level of technology development and create new knowledge-based jobs across diverse industry segments. Many of the 3D modelling and training technologies developed could be adapted to other industries (e.g. automotive production, civil aviation, nuclear power, oil and gas, and medicine), allowing users to increase productivity, reduce costs and become more competitive.
Norsat International Inc.
Location: Richmond, British Columbia
Authorized SADI Assistance: $13,270,265
Contribution Agreement: March 28, 2013
Innovation: The objective of this project is to increase Norsat's capabilities in the production of satellite terminals, components and wireless components to maintain its leadership position within the aerospace and defence industry. The project is enabling Norsat to expand its line of microwave components and improve existing product performance. In particular, Norsat has developed and refined the industry leading ATOM line of Ku band transmitter products for use in satellite user ground stations, which enables the transmission and reception of microwave radio signals to and from satellites for audio, video or digital processing. In addition, the project has enabled Norsat to develop a low-cost antenna system capable of operation across X, Ku and Ka bands.
The project has allowed the company to design and build a flat panel antenna prototype which will address the challenges of tracking a satellite from a moving vehicle. This is a challenging technology and will require several iterations of design and prototype development. The project has also enabled Norsat to develop the Sentinel RMC, a platform ideal for any application requiring remote real-time data monitoring and control, allowing Norsat to enter into the M2M (machine to machine) oil and gas industry for the first time.
As part of this project, the Outdoor Transmission Kit (OTK) was created to support Norsat's line of portable office products. These products provide access to accessories and services such as internet connectivity, phones, printers and more. The OTK provides remote transmission capability that can withstand harsh environmental conditions, making them ideal for first responders globally.
The SADI project has also enabled Norsat to develop innovative new filters and antennas within the wireless communications market. In particular, a large effort was spent on the research and development of ceramic resonator filters which allows for smaller filters that are important at low frequencies where typical filters are quite large. This product development has created a new level of space efficiency in multi-channel combining requirements and can be used for public safety systems globally. Temperature compensation still remains a challenge however, and additional research is required. In addition to developing new filters, the SADI project has enabled Norsat to develop new wideband antennas for the land mobile radio market.
Collaboration: Norsat has collaborated with Simon Fraser University (SFU) to develop antenna components including the flat panel antenna prototype. Norsat used the Sierra Wireless Laboratory (Antenna Measurements Lab at SFU) to characterize the Norsat 1m reflector and feed for Asiasat certification. The flat panel prototype was also characterized at SFU.
Norsat collaborated with Kratos Systems and Solutions Inc. on the ATOM Radio Frequency product line which kick-started the development of products for the microwave product line.
Economic and Other Benefits: Some additional benefits of the project include enabling Norsat to expand its microwave product line and create the environment needed for the further development of these products. SADI has supported Norsat in the update of its test and measurement equipment with a new Vector Network Analyzer and Signal Generator. The project has enabled Norsat to expand its Canadian supply chain in support of its new ATOM Radio Frequency products. Norsat used many local contractors to complete prototypes including printed circuit board manufacturers, machine shops and cable assembly shops.
The SADI project is helping to position Norsat to be successful in the wireless communications market by being the first to market with innovative new products. It will also enable Norsat to retain and increase its workforce.
PCI Geomatics Inc.
Location: Richmond Hill, Ontario
Authorized SADI Assistance: $7,665,000
Contribution Agreement: August 12, 2009
Innovation: The objective of this project is to research and develop a high-speed computing framework and software suite that will make it possible to process large amounts of raw satellite image data faster and more cost-effectively, with an emphasis on increasing the automation of image processing. The resulting data are essential for decision-making in many fields, including aerospace and defence, environmental monitoring, agriculture, security and intelligence, and wide-area surveillance. Through this SADI project, PCI has enhanced its capabilities in this field and continues to work on researching and developing new technologies for the marketplace.
Collaboration: PCI is engaged in an ongoing collaboration with Queen's University on a project researching feature extraction from Very High Resolution remote sensing imagery. Previously, PCI completed a collaboration project with the University of Ottawa under the SME4SME program in the exploration of visual attention models in the context of satellite imaging. Other investigations and engagements undertaken by PCI as part of this SADI project include an exploration into the area of neural net computation applications in high resolution earth observation imagery with the University of Toronto, and a collaboration with the University of New Brunswick in the area of optical and radar image processing.
Economic and Other Benefits: SADI funding has aided PCI in enhancing technologies, most notably the Geomatica and GeoImaging Accelerator products, allowing them to enter the marketplace at a faster rate. Recent improvements to the software products have increased the efficiency of many data processing workflows, resulting in savings of time, energy and computing resources to PCI software users. SADI assistance has also enabled PCI to apply more resources to technology development, improve the quality of its product releases and expand its range of offerings to new technologies. Technology development undertaken with the assistance of SADI funding has resulted in software products that are capable of processing and managing large volumes of geospatial data quickly, accurately and at a lower cost than previously possible.
Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. (P&WC)
Location: Longueuil, Quebec
Authorized SADI Assistance: $300,000,000
Contribution Agreement: December 10, 2010
Innovation: P&WC is developing aircraft engines that are lighter, more powerful, and offer better fuel consumption and improved durability, enabled by technologies related to lighter materials, high temperature coatings, next generation combustors, novel compressor architectures and intelligent engine controls and advanced manufacturing technologies. The company is developing cleaner, quieter engines which, in many cases, will exceed the noise and emission standards in the industry. The technologies developed in this project are being demonstrated in next generation platforms, such as regional turboprop and large business jets. The quality of the innovation is reflected in over 60 patents granted per year.
Collaboration: The company has established and maintained collaborative relationships with a large number of universities, research institutions and industrial partners in Canada, providing significant annual contributions to universities and research institutions. They have been recognized by the Science Technology and Innovation Council as a leader in strategic collaboration. On a yearly basis, P&WC conducts over 200 collaborative projects with 17 universities across Canada, engaging well over 400 students through different programs.
P&WC participates in seven NSERC industrial research chairs established at universities in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec and five consortia and research networks, such as Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec (CRIAQ), which enhance university expertise and develop Canadian supply chains. In addition, P&WC has established ten university Centres of Expertise and has been instrumental in the creation of Undergraduate Aerospace Institutes at six universities in Ontario and Quebec. All collaborative initiatives contribute to advancing university expertise, expanding the capability of the supply chain, and developing the next generation of aerospace professionals in Canada.
Economic and Other Benefits: Since the start of the project, the technologies developed have led to the certification of a new PT6A turboprop engine, which builds upon the PT6A legacy. The PT6A-140 offers more power to extend its capabilities for missions with higher altitudes and a 5 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption, through the incorporation of advanced aerodynamics, a more efficient compressor, and the latest generation of hot section materials. Other innovations have reduced emissions, increased maintenance intervals and further enhanced ease of operation with the introduction of digital electronic control to small gas turbine engines. These new technologies are delivering additional benefits such as reduction of noise and elimination of materials of concern to the environment. In its next generation regional turboprop, these new technologies are resulting in significantly lower fuel consumption. Through the use of fewer raw materials, increased automation and more efficient manufacturing processes, the company is lowering its use of energy and reducing its production of pollutants. In addition, the project provides development opportunities for the company's already highly skilled workforce and its research and industrial partners. Since the beginning of this project, over 1400 engineering employees have increased their technical skills through formal training. P&WC employees are actively participating in over 130 technical committees and aerospace associations to shape the future of the aerospace industry.
Thales Canada Inc.
Location: Saint-Laurent, Quebec
Authorized SADI Assistance: $12,988,800
Contribution Agreement: December 23, 2010
Innovation: The objective of the project was to research and develop a full Fly-By-Wire (FBW) flight control system that is lighter and more reliable than the standard flight control systems. This project supported the development of three new technologies related to the Bi-directional 429 bus, Flight Control Computer and Back-up Flight Control Unit. Three related products were also developed: the V3 Flight Control Computer, the Flight Control Computer and the Back-up Flight Control Unit. As of March 31, 2014, the research and development phase of this project is considered complete.
Collaboration: Thales has been involved in several collaborative projects with the Consortium de recherche et innovation en aérospatiale au Québec (CRIAQ), École Polytechnique de Montréal, McGill, and École de Technologie Superieure for total research contributions exceeding $690,000. Through these research projects there was an exchange of knowledge between the universities' researchers and Thales in the development of new prototypes. Finally, Thales also supported a minimum of five student internships each semester, providing firsthand experience in the field of aerospace. During the R&D project, 10 of these students were hired by Thales on a full-time basis.
Economic and Other Benefits: Thales's two new products, the Flight Control Computer and Backup Flight Control Unit are both available and ready for integration into commercial FBW aircraft. Their adaptability allow them to meet the needs of a wide range of regional and business FBW aircraft. Developments from this project helped create more reliable and lightweight flight control systems than the standard mechanical modules previously in use. In addition, lighter aircraft consume less fuel which reduces operating costs and provides environmental benefits through a reduction in aircraft exhaust.
Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems
Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Authorized SADI Assistance: $8,231,222
Contribution Agreement: August 30, 2013
Innovation: The objective of this project is to develop next generation sonar technologies. Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems Inc (UEMS) will build smaller, lighter versions of existing sonar systems with improved capabilities and performance. The resulting products will introduce next-generation underwater sensing, data transport, and active sonar transduction technologies which will differentiate UEMS in the emerging low-frequency active sonar marketplace.
Thus far, one of the two new smaller low-frequency transducer technologies has been both modeled and prototyped with a piezoelectric (PZT) ceramic. Patent applications for this design are underway. In addition, internal acoustic transducer modelling capabilities have significantly improved. Smaller amplifiers suitable for the new smaller low-frequency transducer technologies have been designed and prototyped. Two new PZT vector sensor design alternatives have been modelled, and one has been prototyped. All of these innovations will enhance the ability of sonar technologies to transmit information efficiently.
Collaboration: The project has several post-secondary education collaborations. The largest is a collaboration with Simon Fraser University for a new microelectro mechanical systems (MEMS)-based accelerometer through a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Collaborative research and development (R&D) grant which is valued at approximately $1M in total between the Department of National Defence, Defence Research and Development Canada, NSERC, and UEMS. Over its duration, this will support one research engineer, two post-doctorate fellows, two PhD students, two Masters of Science students, and three Bachelor of Science students (hired as research assistants). This is a key element in developing smaller vector sensors for underwater operation. The next largest collaboration is the UEMS sponsorship of an NSERC Senior Industrial Research Chair at Dalhousie University in underwater digital communications. This activity has been on-going for 18 months and currently supports eight undergraduate students, four Masters students, one doctoral student, and two post-doctoral fellows.
Other collaborative R&D activities are underway with Dalhousie University on innovative options for modern towed bodies for sonar, and with the University of Calgary for novel methods of testing towed arrays in instrumented water tunnels and tow tanks, which supports one post-doctoral fellow. An NSERC Applied R&D activity is underway with the Nova Scotia Community College to define the effort required to regenerate an out-of-date low-frequency vector sensor calibration capability; this has supported five college students.
Economic and Other Benefits: The SADI assistance has allowed UEMS to significantly increase its R&D staff capacity with the following permanent staff: one recent PhD graduate in Physics, two recent Bachelor of Engineering graduates in Electrical Engineering, one senior Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering, one recent Bachelor of Engineering graduate in Mechanical Engineering, one senior systems engineer, one senior project manager, and two mechanical technologists. The SADI assistance has been a significant factor in UEMS's ability to attract and retain this new intellectual capital. Furthermore, it is also expected that developments from this project will lead to lower acquisition and ownership costs for customers, and will increase the number of ships capable of supporting sonar products, thereby enhancing national defence capabilities.
Ultra Electronics TCS Inc.
Location: Montréal, Quebec
Authorized SADI Assistance: $32,447,400
Contribution Agreement: March 22, 2011
Innovation: Ultra TCS is developing a new generation of tactical radio systems, comprising wireless and mobile communication devices for military and government security applications. The company is on track with respect to developing a family of high capacity radios with unique features for different markets. New technologies under development include a platform that fully exploits the Software Defined Radio concept and a multiband/multichannel radio that integrates several communication technologies into one system. At the CANSEC tradeshow in May 2013, the company announced the launch of the ORION radio, its 4th generation of High-Capacity Line-of-Sight (HCLOS) radios. In October 2013, Ultra TCS was awarded a contract from the US Army to evaluate this new Canadian technology. The evaluation of the early production multiband/multichannel ORION radio was successfully completed in May 2014, confirming that the technology is reliable in very demanding operational conditions.
Innovation work is continuing with the development of mobile, overwater and mesh networking waveforms, in addition to aggressive SWaP (Size, Weight and Power) objective for which Ultra TCS is incorporating new filter and RF power amplification technologies. In January 2014, Ultra TCS applied to the PWGSC Built in Canada Innovation Program proposing to leverage these new overwater and SWaP technologies in a product aimed at market segments for Ultra TCS.
Collaboration: Ultra TCS is supporting an NSERC Industrial Research Chair in high performance wireless emergency tactical communications technology at the École de Technologie Superieure (ETS). The Chair currently employs 2 institutional researchers, 2 Post-Doc fellows, 4 professional engineers, 12 PhD candidates, and 8 Masters Engineering candidates. This Chair has allowed many students to develop highly specialized expertise in wireless technology and to benefit from valuable internships in the industry. Since 2012, the company has also been contributing in-kind and cash to a three year NSERC project conducted jointly with AeroETS involving the use of autonomous UAV platforms as on-demand aerial repeaters.
The SADI-supported R&D projects are allowing Ultra TCS to maintain its ability to support co-op students and an NSERC Research Chair at ETS, and undergraduate and graduate level internship opportunities.
Economic and Other Benefits: The SADI-supported R&D projects are helping Ultra TCS achieve the market diversification that will ensure the company's future. The SADI support has also allowed Ultra TCS to enter the new fields of mobile mesh, maritime communications and autonomous aerial relays which are driving new research.
In 2013–14, 40 new frequency units derived from Ultra TCS's new High Capacity Radio, the first in the world to support both time and frequency duplexing, were purchased by the Department of National Defence, in addition to the number of units sold last year. These units provide the Canadian Forces with a unique tri-band capable transmission system that can operate from 225MHz to 5000MHz. Ultra TCS is also bidding the High-Capacity Radio for a major tactical radio-relay procurement opportunity in India.
The development and production of the new ORION radio is enabling the company to continue to maintain a large base of Canadian suppliers to support design activities. More than 10 software and firmware design contractors contributed to this product with a significant level of hardware design subcontracted to Canadian companies. Discussions are ongoing for a broad international distribution of the product, and if the product is successful, it will enable Ultra TCS to keep technology jobs in Canada and provide leading-edge technology to Canada's military and public safety forces.
Projects that entered the repayment phase in 2013/14
Location: Longueuil, Quebec
Authorized SADI Assistance: $26,964,430
Contribution Agreement: September 2, 2008
Innovation: The Héroux-Devtek project consists of developing and integrating evolving technologies in landing gear systems to equip the next generation of aeroplanes.
With respect to material development, processes and the environment, the new material Ferrium S53 (a high-performance stainless steel), the replacement of cadmium plating with aluminum plating, and high-velocity oxy-flame (HVOF) (eliminating chrome plating) have been applied directly on the CH-53K helicopter. With these developments, Héroux-Devtek is demonstrating its unwavering commitment to the environment.
Héroux-Devtek has also been able to fully integrate engineering and manufacturing processes that are based on the solid analytical model in order to proceed directly to other key steps of the development process (structural analyses, dynamic analyses, manufacturing, parts inspection, etc.) and have been used to develop landing gear for such aircraft as LJ85, Legacy 450/500, CH-53K and F5X; another clear advantage over its competitors.
On these same landing gears, Héroux-Devtek has expanded the framework of its scope by developing and integrating much more comprehensive and complete solutions such as landing gear for helicopters, tail skid shock absorbers, door locking mechanisms, emergency release systems, hypersensitive detection systems, shear and torsion pins, complete control systems, and more. Héroux-Devtek's development team now has a greatly expanded range and capabilities, which means that the company can now definitively position itself as a key player in the global aeronautics industry, in spite of its relatively modest size as compared to the industry giants.
Collaboration: Héroux-Devtek has developed various types of partnerships to carry out the projects involved. For the project to eliminate the use of beryllium in rings and locking elements, the work was carried out with Alpha Casting (Montreal), which developed locking elements made of a cobalt alloy for testing and validation. By participating in this development, Alpha Casting is aware of the design requirements for the parts in question and is thus ready to proceed to the production stage. The comparison with the copper-beryllium alloy will therefore lead to a solution that will allow industry to eliminate a harmful product (beryllium).
For the Composite project, Héroux-Devtek collaborated with an SME called Delastek, which has expertise in composite materials for other applications. With its involvement, HDI integrated expertise in other applications and gave Delastek the opportunity to develop new expertise in landing gear parts made of composite. The Aerospace Technology Centre (ATC) also contributed to this project to facilitate the transfer of technology. The ATC supplied equipment and personnel to perform tests according to HDI instructions and with the involvement of Delastek. The goal was to demonstrate the feasibility of the technology before its industrial implementation. This approach made it possible to prepare a future supplier for the type of parts developed.
Laval, Sherbrooke, Concordia, École Polytechnique, ETS, HECs, and Dawson College and Collège Bois de Boulogne were involved in various research projects, whether through participating in the projects or through master's or co-op students. A total of 35 student interns helped complete this project, and several students interned with the company twice. One person was hired after the project was completed.
Economic and Other Benefits: Through the SADI project, seven products were developed, five processes implemented and 15 technologies improved. This project, which maximizes landing gear design to reduce its weight, has had beneficial effects on the environment over the long term. The creation of full-time employment and hiring of co-op students has also led to long-term economic benefits.
True to its strategy of plant specialization, Héroux-Devtek has entrusted its manufacturing partners with manufacturing all of the parts that do not fall under the mandate of its own plants. Several landing gear parts for business aircraft are already manufactured by subcontractors. Consequently, a major part of production related to increased sales will be made using Héroux-Devtek's Canadian supplier base.
In the long term, the project will also enable the company to provide its clients with products at the cutting edge of technology, giving it a significant competitive advantage that will enable it to solidify its position as the third-ranked global player in the field of landing gear.
Integran Technologies Inc
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Authorized SADI Assistance: $807,399
Contribution Agreement: March 24, 2010
Innovation: Integran has developed a proprietary and patented electrodeposition nanophase cobalt phosphorous product called Nanovate CoP as a replacement for Electrolytic Hard Chrome (EHC) in steel components used in aerospace applications. This product is an environmentally compliant alternative to EHC that exhibits significant performance enhancements, including superior sliding wear, lubricity, corrosion protection and fatigue resistance while showing efficiencies over EHC. The greater efficiencies include lower power consumption and higher deposition rates resulting in a much smaller carbon footprint. This new product can be employed on, and adheres to, all standard (low carbon) steels, high strength steels and aluminum alloys and may equally be used in military and private sector products. Demonstration and validation components have been installed on the US Department of Defense (DoD) aircraft and are currently being evaluated for performance against strict military specifications. The plating specification and activation procedures as well as data acquisition with the US DoD remains ongoing. An Aerospace Materials Specification and a US DoD Mil-Spec are currently being approved.
Collaboration: Integran has collaborated with a number of Masters and PhD students from the Materials Engineering Department of the University of Toronto to leverage their knowledge, expertise and equipment. Students are given the opportunity to work in a real-world leading-edge environment in which to apply their skills and to learn new ones from actual hands-on applications.
Economic and Social Benefits: Integran has entered into a development licence with a Montreal-based aerospace company for gas turbine engine applications. Integran also extended licence exclusivity by five years to a major US manufacturer of hard chrome steel bars and tubes for the fluid power industry. Qualification and approval of the technology for use at the US DoD will guide supplier OEM requirements. Through industry collaboration and participation at technical conferences, presenting papers and publishing articles, Integran has engaged in interactions with all major aerospace landing gear and airframe companies. Integran is currently conducting prototyping programs which should lead to licensing opportunities. This new technology replaces existing hard chromium plating processes known to cause adverse health effects (ranging from skin ulcerations to lung cancer) and reduces greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution.
Integran Technologies Inc
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Authorized SADI Assistance: $399,386
Contribution Agreement: March 15, 2012
Innovation: In this project, Integran developed and validated an electroforming process that produces a nanostructured alloy that matches the desirable properties of copper-beryllium, particularly for use as high load bushings but without the toxic properties of copper-beryllium. This pulsed electroplating process goes beyond merely coating a metal object. Rather, near-net-shape components are created that require little to no machining to achieve final dimensions, resulting in very little material waste. The work also showed this innovative process can be used successfully for large metal sheets and high conductivity wires, both of which are used in multiple military applications. The project exceeded the performance goals originally set out in the project. Demonstration and validation testing to advance the technology readiness level (TRL) beyond 5 is currently on-going.
Collaboration: Two engineering students from the University of Toronto were involved in this project. The students spent one year working at Integran as part of their program.
Economic and Social Benefits: The validation testing performed in this project demonstrates that these nanostructured alloys can meet or exceed the performance of copper beryllium in many applications, and could result in substantial cost savings for the Canadian and US DoD military through the decreased use of toxic substances. Once the demonstration and validation activities are completed, Integran expects to expand its product line and customer base, providing next-generation metal alloys that are more robust and free from toxic copper-beryllium alloys. In addition, qualification and approval of the technology (e.g. for use at the US DoD) will guide supplier OEM requirements. Integran has started to engage in interactions with major users of copper-beryllium (e.g. aerospace and defence companies) and will be conducting prototyping programs which are expected to lead to licensing and manufacturing opportunities.
Projects that became inactive in 2013–14
No SADI projects became inactive in 2013–2014.
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