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Status of the Space Sector [clear filter]
Friday, October 19

9:30am EDT

[SGAC: #NextGen Canada] Public-Private Infrastructure in Canada
The international space industry has been increasingly diversifying over the years, emulating business models previously deemed forward-looking. A reflection on current state of affairs highlights business practices adept at scaling growth, opportunities and benefits to nationals of States.

For example, the economical inflow from Luxembourg: Law on Use of Resources in Space is enabling platforms for international cooperation not only amid industries, but also through its government-led mandate which recognizes the impact of propagating its regulatory reform through partnerships with other heads of States. Except for the United States, no other country has yet levelled its efforts to empower its economy to comparable lengths by focusing on policy frameworks. These are likely to be major precursors for strong economic development, intellectual property and technology transfer. Canada has, in recent years, deployed its Innovation Superclusters Initiative and the Strategic Innovation Funds under the overarching umbrella program: Innovation and Skills Plan. With the Budget 2018, $11.5M funding was designated to look at regulatory reforms with an initial focus in key sectors such as agri-food and emerging technologies, with space explicitly absent from this list. With the program’s focus aspiring to seek benefits for Canadians ranging from rural communities to establishing Canada at the forefront of innovation, the scope and terminology is likely to confound the public. To align space into these conversations, it is imperative to leverage a familiar tone that not only connects with Canadians, but that is also in-line with young entrepreneurs/early start-ups and the mandates of federal programs referred therein.

With the ambiguity that the Canadian space sector faces today and the ongoing reformatory conversations within the Government, future discussions must retrace Canadian impacts in space technology development, while simultaneously showcasing its accomplishments. This was most recently recognized in the Patents in Space report published by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). Most importantly perhaps, Canada stands to lose its prominence in the G7 group while potentially jeopardizing its heritage: the third country in Space, after the Soviet Union and the US. A new paradigm of public-private partnerships offers a pathway capable of reconciling Canadian priorities highlighted above, and therefore serves as an urgent call for Canada to act upon and align its priorities for the space industry.

Panel as part of the track entitled "SGAC: #NextGen Canada" - Developed by the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC).

avatar for Zaid Rana

Zaid Rana

Junior Program Scientist, Canadian Space Agency | SGAC

avatar for Ryan Anderson

Ryan Anderson

President and CEO, Satellite Canada Innovation Network
Ryan is President and CEO of Satellite Canada Innovation Network, a not-for-profit corporationfocused on enhancing the competitiveness of Canada’s space industry. A professional engineerwith over 12 years’ experience in space and satellite systems, Ryan has currently providesconsulting... Read More →
avatar for Gilles Doucet

Gilles Doucet

Space Security Consultant, Spectrum Space Security
Gilles Doucet is an independent space security consultant, President of SpectrumSpace Security Inc. and technical consultant for ABH Aerospace LLC. Doucet’sconsultancy focuses on the convergence of satellite technology, military spaceapplications, space governance and international... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Ram Jakhu

Dr. Ram Jakhu

Associate Professor and former Director, McGill Institute of Air and Space Law
Currently Prof. Ram S. Jakhu is tenured Associate Professor at theInstitute of Air and Space Law, McGill University. He teaches and conducts research in international space law, law of space applications, law of space commercialization, space security, national regulation ofspace... Read More →
avatar for Nathan de Ruiter

Nathan de Ruiter

Managing Director, Euroconsult
avatar for Dr. Marie Lucy Stojak

Dr. Marie Lucy Stojak

Chair, Space Advisory Board | Director of the School on Management of Creativity and Innovation, HEC Montréal

Friday October 19, 2018 9:30am - 10:30am EDT
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1

11:00am EDT

[SGAC: #NextGen Canada] Navigating the Canadian Space Landscape
The youth interested in working in the space industry face a variety of challenges. There is a lack of awareness to different types of careers in the space sector, with most associating it to aerospace engineering or astronomy. The reality is that the space industry is multifaceted, there is no handpicked subset of disciplines that “qualifies” whether it’s applicable or not to the space domain. If anything, the space sector is growing towards plurality.

It should be noted that space is an enabling domain and one of its facets strives on improving accessibility. This can be seen through the lens of SciCom: an interdisciplinary field that goes beyond the confinement of technical knowledge and blends philosophy, culture, politics and social sciences to name a few. There is, however, a lack of awareness for many young people on the composition of the Canadian space sector. For example, different companies, academic labs and institutions, museums and nonprofit organizations all collaborate in the space industry. The domain itself is woven in a foundation of inter-connected entities, be it individuals, governments or large corporates. Despite the rich distribution of fields that are involved, it remains a subtlety to both the public and particularly the youth.

Furthermore, there’s an essential need to increase opportunities that encourages visibility to auxiliary fields that are continuously working closely to the space sector. For many, there is an apparent boundary separating jobs that are ‘in” from those that are “out” of the space field. Thus, it is important to vocalize the diversity and accessibility of viable options that can be pursued. To many young graduates and university students, the broadness of the industry is not well encapsulated. This may be due to a low visibility itself and some combination of public engagement from the space community which focuses largely on its technical elements. Such introspections are equally important to bring sustainable conversations while engaging the public’s perception.

It is along these lines that the landscape of navigating the space industry can become challenging, if not completely hidden. To this day, professional growth and pathways remain deeply rooted to technical backgrounds, despite the emergence of non-technical fields becoming more prevalent. Leveraging an open dialogue may not only contribute useful insights for Canadians but may also provide exposure to concepts of global awareness. Differentiating the barrier of entry for opportunities in space by utilizing accessible platforms has its own merits and therefore serves as an important topic for discussion.

Panel as part of the track entitled "SGAC: #NextGen Canada" - Developed by the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC).

avatar for Zaid Rana

Zaid Rana

Junior Program Scientist, Canadian Space Agency | SGAC

avatar for Collin Cupido

Collin Cupido

Chief Technology Officer, Cultovo
Collin is the CTO of Cultovo, a data analytics company that uses remote sensing data to help inform financial services like crop insurance. He has a BSc in Astrophysics from the University of Alberta and was the technical lead for Alberta’s first satellite ExAlta-1. Collin's experience... Read More →
avatar for Jan Clarence Dee

Jan Clarence Dee

Space Studies Program Alumnus, International Space University
Jan Clarence Dee is currently employed as a consultant for Euroconsult. On his spare time, he serves as one of the organizers of the Montreal Space Symposium and a member of the Montreal chapter of the Canadian Space Society.Jan is a graduate from Concordia University (Canada) in... Read More →
avatar for Kate Howells

Kate Howells

Global Community Outreach Manager, The Planetary Society
Kate Howells is the author of Space is Cool as F***, member of the Government of Canada’s Space Advisory Board and Global Community Outreach Manager at The Planetary Society, an organization that aims to empower people around the world to become involved in advancing space exploration... Read More →
avatar for Martin Lebeuf

Martin Lebeuf

Head, Academic Development, Canadian Space Agency
avatar for Ali Nasseri

Ali Nasseri

Space Generation Advisory Council
I am an Aerospace engineer turned Educator turned Physicist. I have worked on the design of launch systems and propulsion, combustion and spintronics in the past as a researcher. I also Chaired the Space Generation Advisory Council from 2016-2018. Talk to me about anything space... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1

12:45pm EDT

Space situational awareness – Key to sustainability in space and on earth
Sustainable development on earth is directly related to space sustainability. It is an accepted fact today that human beings are dependent on space activities and space technology for day-to-day functioning on earth, such as communications, disaster management, earth observation and weather forecasting. Space technology also plays an important role in sustainable development in earth and in giving effect to the sustainable development goals of 2030. For example, several NewSpace actors are working towards improving communication networks to provide connectivity to populations to remote and rural areas both in developed and developing countries. However, to ensure that space technology can continue to contribute to sustainable development in earth, it is necessary to preserve the space environment.

Space sustainability is dependent on our knowledge of positions of space objects in space. Ability to see what is happening in space or space situational awareness (SSA) is the first step towards developing comprehensive mechanism for space sustainability. At present, most States and private operators are dependent on the United States (USA) for SSA data. Though, India, China and Russia have some SSA capabilities, the USA still is undisputed leader in SSA capabilities and there is heavy reliance on USA for the SSA data. However, due to both technological as well as political considerations, it is not prudent for an entire industry to be dependent on one actor for vital SSA data. As we saw with the 2009 Iridium-Cosmos collision, the USA was not able to predict the collision of its operational maneuverable satellite with defunct Russian satellite, despite its stellar SSA capabilities. The fact is with the present level of technology, it is not possible for any one State to ubiquitously track all satellites persistently at all times. Further, only the satellite owner-operators have the most accurate real-time data of the location of their satellite. That the USA’s SSA data is not completely accurate is evidenced by the fact that an Intelsat study concluded that the collision warnings provided by the USA military had nearly a 50 % false positive rate (half of the warnings were issued when there was not actually a potential collision) and a 50% false negative rate (warnings were not issued for half of the actual close approaches). It is to be remembered that maneuvering satellites needs utilization of fuel, which is a limited resource and hence false positive warnings may limit the lifetime of a satellite. Further, collision warning if not issued may result in destruction of a space object creating debris, which may lead to exponential collisions making an entire orbit unusable.

Therefore, in order to preserve the space environment, it is necessary for all actors involved in space activities to co-operate and enter into partnerships. Space sustainability is the key space industry as well as survival of humans on earth.

avatar for Upasana Dasgupta

Upasana Dasgupta

Doctoral candidate, Institute of Air and Space Law, McGill University
Upasana Dasgupta is a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Law and the Institute of Air and Space Law, McGill University. She is pursuing doctoral research on "Preventing Collisions in Outer Space: Towards better implementation of State responsibility in commercial space era" under... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 12:45pm - 1:05pm EDT
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1

1:05pm EDT

What is the Space Generation Advisory Council?
You've probably seen the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) or SpaceGen name somewhere, or interacted with someone that has been to one of our activities. But what is SGAC, what does it do, and what are its outcomes? I cannot tell you all SGAC does, but hopefully I can paint a picture of some of the more impactful activities we have done in the past few years. More importantly, I will share with you how people like you have worked with SGAC to help share the views of the next generation on relevant space policy topics with the UN, space agency and the global space community.  

avatar for Ali Nasseri

Ali Nasseri

Space Generation Advisory Council
I am an Aerospace engineer turned Educator turned Physicist. I have worked on the design of launch systems and propulsion, combustion and spintronics in the past as a researcher. I also Chaired the Space Generation Advisory Council from 2016-2018. Talk to me about anything space... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 1:05pm - 1:25pm EDT
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1

1:25pm EDT

The Space-based Kill Assessment Program: Space-based Missile Defense, Militarized Outer Space and its Terrestrial Implications

* The sneak peek of the animated presentation can be viewed here (Its full copy available upon request).

In 2014, the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), a section of the US Department of Defense (DoD), ambitiously launched its Space-based Kill Assessment (SKA) project in an effort to reinforce the American missile defense capabilities, such as the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), by 2020. The SKA sensors – an important component of the system to create a more robust communications network for more strategic interception of incoming threats – are expected to be on orbit in 2018, tested and fielded in the consecutive years. It is also noteworthy that these sensors will be piggy-backed on commercial satellites mainly for the cost savings benefits. This reportedly first partnership of the MDA with commercial stakeholders for its space applications evokes the on-going debate over the dual-use objects as a potential aid to space weapons, in addition to the implications of the ‘Military-Industrial Complex’ (MIC) associated with the US military.

While some governments, such as that of the US, insist on the self-defense and security purposes in its march towards outer space for military interests, like the justification of experimenting the US’ SKA sensor network, such military-oriented space policies have critically been assessed because they would eventually result in compromising the peaceful uses of outer space, as stipulated in the Outer Space Treaty (1967), by adding new tensions and sources of conflicts. A dilemma between the national security needs and the benefit of global cooperation never seems to end. Though, given the winds of war still blowing in our world, the current global paradigm calls for individual State’s voluntary dedication to the prevention of armed conflicts.

By and large, outer space is perceived as a field of adventure and unlimited possibilities; e.g., the mine of untouched natural resources and the next destination for civilization. And yet, it has also been serving as an excellent high ground from which to gain a military advantage since the inception of the Space Age, which may well generate some destructive outcomes contrary to such life-giving potentials publicly anticipated from 'space.' Thus, this presentation intends not only to discuss primarily how the US Space Program – as part of its national defense policy – is in conformity with an international effort to ‘harmoniously’ enhance global space security, but more importantly, to emphasize that now may be the time to reflect on the weight of our terrestrial decisions – government and industry alike – extending to the extraterrestrial forum. So, we may hopefully find a way to "bring space down to earth" truly for more sustainable human future, and ultimately, for the greater good of all people.

avatar for Julianne Oh

Julianne Oh

Doctoral Candidate, Royal Military College of Canada (RMC)
Julianne Oh is currently a doctoral candidate at the Royal Military College of Canada (War Studies Program). She is also an alumna of McGill University; i.e., in addition to her LL.M. (Master of Laws) received from its Institute of Air and Space Law, she completed, in 2016, the Integrated... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 1:25pm - 1:45pm EDT
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1

2:15pm EDT

[SGAC: #NextGen Canada] Aligning Canada with International Partners for the Advancement of Space Exploration
In recent years, decadal surveys regularly administered by NASA and the US Congress have been used to forecast key priorities for scientific missions. The preceding National Research Council’s Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics (2010) designated the WFIRST mission as the top priority from the scientific community, echoed by the Canadian astronomy community as well. Canada recently retracted from its commitment to this major international space project due to a lack of funding for space programs.

When solicited for interest in participation, Canada gets on board but then lacks the sustainability at a transitional point of commitment. Such endeavors are not only critical to space exploration, but also for the development of an inter-generational workforce and the scholarly advancements in space astronomy (for which the country is renowned for). The lack of a mechanism to ensure a firm engagement when a project is finally greenlit demonstrates an institutional void: the Canadian space program simply cannot rely solely on ad hoc measures and yearly budget allocations. As a result, Canada had to renege on its potential contributions to the WFIRST mission, which subsequently led to repercussions on multiple fronts. Canada would have provided key instruments that now have to be descoped from the project. Furthermore, Canada has already invested in Phase 0 studies for these technologies, roughly $3.1-million. The considerable expertise development and possible “HQP-drain” are equally important losses.

A support infrastructure to foster future collaborations requires a firm acknowledgement from the government, both financially and institutionally. This is highly prevalent as NASA steers its focus to a cislunar station with its international partners, including the CSA. There may be a future where Canada is no longer a central player at the table of major space faring nations and may even lose out on future economic outputs of the space industry. The steady retraction of Canada’s involvement in international space missions is in stark opposition to the spirit of the nation’s space pioneers, who held grand visions for the country’s role in shaping humankind’s frontier in space. Moreover, Canada stands to lose its prominence in the G7 group and its heritage as well: the third country in Space, after the Soviet Union and the US. There remains an important impetus on all members of the industry to highlight the comprehensive benefits of space exploration and its multi-dimensionality; in other words, its benefits to the economy, to Canadians and to Canada’s standing internationally.

Panel as part of the track entitled "SGAC: #NextGen Canada" - Developed by the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC).

avatar for Zaid Rana

Zaid Rana

Junior Program Scientist, Canadian Space Agency | SGAC

avatar for Dr. Alain Berinstain

Dr. Alain Berinstain

VP Global Development, Moon Express Inc
Alain Berinstain was born and raised in Montreal and worked at the Canadian Space Agency for 17 years. Among other responsibilities, he was Director of Planetary Exploration and Space Astronomy as well as Director of Science and Academic Development at CSA. He now is now Vice President... Read More →
avatar for Dr. René Doyon

Dr. René Doyon

Director, Institute for Research on exoplanets
René Doyon obtained his PhD in astrophysics from the Imperial College of Science, Technologyand Medecine in 1990. He is full professor at the physics Department of the Université deMontréal, Director of the Institute for Research on Exoplanets and Mont-Mégantic Observatory.His... Read More →
avatar for Mike Greenley

Mike Greenley

Group President, MDA - Maxar Technologies
Mike Greenley is the Group President of MDA, a Maxar Technologies company and internationally recognized leader in advanced radar satellite systems and infrastructure, ground systems, space robotics and sensors, satellite antennas, electronics and payloads, surveillance and intelligence... Read More →
avatar for Gilles Leclerc

Gilles Leclerc

Director General, Space Exploration, Canadian Space Agency
Gilles Leclerc joined the Canadian Space Agency in 1989. He gained experience as project engineer, manager and then Director in a variety of technology development, satellite communications and international space programs. Between 1997 and 2000, Mr. Leclerc was posted at the Canadian... Read More →
avatar for Ewan Reid

Ewan Reid

President and CEO, Mission Control Space Services
Ewan Reid is the President and CEO of Mission Control Space Services Inc. a Canadian Space Exploration and Robotics company with a focus on spacecraft operations, onboard autonomy and artificial intelligence.  Prior to founding Mission Control Ewan held several positions at Neptec... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 2:15pm - 3:15pm EDT
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1
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