The federal government—through the Canadian Space Agency (CSA)—will invest in Canadian innovation that will play a key role in the first-ever global survey of surface water. Kevin Sorenson, minister of state (finance), and MP Michael Chong made the announcement on Aug. 18 on behalf of James Moore, minister of industry.

The Georgetown-based manufacturer Communications and Power Industries Canada Inc. will receive $3.3 million to develop the Extended Interaction Klystron (EIK), a satellite radar component that will generate pulses used to gather surface information. The resulting information could help Canada more efficiently manage water resources, prepare for potential flooding, and help avoid costly damage from flooding or drought.

The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission will survey 90 per cent of the globe and study the Earth’s lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and oceans. This SWOT data could potentially lead to improvements in water-related services in Canada, including operations at sea and water management systems. The data will also provide measurements for lakes and rivers in Northern Canada where none currently exist.

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