C-CORE has completed installation and commissioning of a satellite ground station for downlinking data from a new generation of Earth Observation (EO) satellites. Designed and built at C–CORE’s facilities in St. John’s NL, the novel ground station is optimized for use with today’s emerging generation of breadbox-sized nanosats and cubesats. Its innovative self-leveling platform ensures stability during seasonal frost heave, making it ideal for Arctic deployment.

“In the EO world, we’re seeing something similar to what happened with cell phones,” says C‑CORE’s Vice President for Remote Sensing, Desmond Power. “As components get smaller, satellites get cheaper and easier to build and launch. The hundreds of small satellites now coming into service are game-changers.  They’re providing an unprecedented amount of data of every kind. That’s where C-CORE comes in: our new ground station is a matching solution – smaller, cheaper and more easily deployable too.”

Existing receiving and processing infrastructure has been taxed to keep pace, but C-CORE’s new ground station is a matching solution – smaller, cheaper and more easily deployed. Roughly one quarter the size of conventional ground stations, its robust components can be packed into a 53-foot shipping container, transported, unloaded, assembled and commissioned at the end-use site. It is designed to receive and process a variety of satellite data – optical and radar imagery, as well as the greenhouse gas measurements captured by GHGSat’s Claire satellite, whose sensor testing was supported by C-CORE’s LOOKNorth Centre in 2014.

The partnership through which GHGSat-D data is downlinked to C-CORE’s Inuvik ground station was facilitated by LOOKNorth, creating a made-in-Canada solution to a national and international environmental monitoring challenge. C‑CORE’s novel Arctic ground station provides a cost-effective solution to the challenge of high volumes of data, and helps turn all that raw information into real insights.