The Government of Canada has awarded a contract to Cellula Robotics to develop a fuel cell that will help enhance the capability of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).
The project is intended to enable the AUVs to store a greater amount of energy in order to support long-range and long-duration missions.
It forms part of the government’s commitment to supporting the research and development of upgraded sub-surface surveillance capabilities in the Arctic region.
The current contract features a total value of C$648,000 and has been awarded under the 2016 Innovation Call for Proposals for Canada’s All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology (S&T) programme.
The enhanced sub-surface surveillance solutions are expected to boost the government’s ability to exercise sovereignty in Northern Canada, in addition to offering enhanced awareness of safety and security issues.
In addition, the systems are anticipated to improve transportation and commercial activity in the country’s Arctic region.
Canada Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough said: “Our government is committed to providing the members of the Canadian Armed Forces with the tools they need to do their jobs, while obtaining the best possible value for Canadians.
“These contracts will draw upon Canadian expertise to develop cutting-edge surveillance technologies for the Arctic.”
The planned solutions are also expected to enable Canada and the US to jointly renew the North Warning System and upgrade elements of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
The ADSA S&T programme coordinates and funds new research and analysis for the development of solutions for enhanced domain awareness of air, maritime surface and sub-surface approaches to Canada, particularly in the Arctic.
It is currently slated to receive an investment of approximately C$133m through to 2020.