Our origins

Kennedy antenna dish used by the CRC to receive telemetry from the ISIS satellites in the 1960s.

For over 40 years, the CRC has responded to a broad range of telecommunications challenges and opportunities unique to Canada's telecommunications landscape. From antennas to algorithms, broadcast to broadband, and satellites to software—the CRC has played a critical role in charting Canada's course in communications.

For example, CRC's early satellite research led to the development of communications satellites used in broadcasting, search and rescue, and other applications serving Canadians today. CRC was the site of the first international terrestrial connection to ARPANET, precursor of the Internet. CRC's discovery of photosensitivity in optical fibre led to the establishment of high-speed Internet and spurred the growth of Canada's optical communications industry. CRC research and testing were instrumental in the adoption of North America's digital television standard. More recently, CRC research was fundamental to establishing new loudness control standards for TV broadcasting.

Canada's first satellite, Alouette 1, was largely designed, built and tested at the CRC's Shirleys Bay Campus. Dr. John Chapman reveals the internal electronics of the satellite in 1962.

Just as the Alouette satellite pioneers positioned Canada in space, a similar pioneering spirit is needed today, to navigate our nation through the coming era when demand for radio frequency (RF) spectrum puts pressure on its supply. The proliferation of mobile devices running bandwidth-hungry applications is putting pressure on this finite resource. A shortage could jeopardize not only personal and business communications, but public safety communications as well.

Technological solutions can help address the heavy demands being placed on spectrum. CRC's expertise lies in the wireless technologies and techniques of tomorrow that are adept at sharing spectrum, mitigating interference, optimizing interoperability and overall, capitalizing on this valuable resource. Fundamental to the future are CRC's advice and support to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, which manages spectrum, and to other government departments that rely heavily on wireless communications. Also important is our relationship with industry, academia and other research institutes for by working collaboratively, Canada will be better positioned to overcome the spectrum challenges on the horizon.

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