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Your Canadian Geospatial Briefing for March 18th: Lunar Gateway program; RME; SongSAT; Edmonton’s Smart City entry; 2019 geospatial events

MDA applauds Canadian entry to Lunar program

Image from NASASpaceFlight.com

MDA is cheering the Canadian government’s decision to join the Lunar Gateway program, an internal initiative led by NASA. The Lunar Gateway will be a Moon-orbiting outpost that will support ongoing scientific activity on the surface of the moon, featuring a communications node, a laboratory, and a short-term living space for astronauts. Construction will begin in 2022; Canadarm3 robotics will be used in operations and maintenance of the new space station, which will orbit the Moon 400,000 km from Earth and require significantly more robotic and autonomous controls systems than the International Space Station, which operates 400 km from Earth. Canadian contributions to the Lunar Gateway program will leverage Canadian expertise in space robotics and artificial intelligence.

RME’s new UAS aircraft

World leading aerial survey services company RME Geomatics has announced their delivery of a Renegade-M aircraft under the Canadian Federal Government Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP). The aircraft is a single-rotor helicopter UAS capable of flying in manual mode, semi-autonomous with autopilot assistance, or full autonomy for waypoint navigation. It can carry RGB camera technology, and the addition of a fixed magnetometer mitigates the need for high-capacity sense and avid technologies. RME’s aircraft is proving an effective tool to gather infrared, hyperspectral, and LiDAR data, and it is expected that the unit will lead to significant gains in data accuracy.

Edmonton submits $50M to Smart Cities Challenge 

Edmonton hopes that a $50 million federal grant through the Smart Cities Challenge will help the city make better infrastructure decisions. This comes after a more than year-long effort to create a plan focused on using data for infrastructure decision making. Said data is already available to the public via the Open Data portal. Edmonton, Quebec City, Surrey, Waterloo and Montreal have all been selected as finalists for the grand prize. “We already have the data,” Mayor Don Iveson said. “The question is can you build apps around it? Can you make different urban planning or infrastructure investment decisions using that data? And can we track progress over time to actually say are we improving population health?”

What does the land have to say?

The SongSAT project is a NASA award-winning tool that converts satellite imagery into sound. Taking individual pixels from satellite data and using a unique algorithm to translate it into notes on a musical scale, the team out of the University of Waterloo have so far converted Saskatchewan’s grasslands, the Russian Arctic, Chinese mountains, Australian coastal waters, and the forests of Central Africa into music. The development team (“Team Salinity”) was one of six winners at NASA’s 2018 International Space Apps Challenge. “You don’t really get to actually hear what the land has to talk about,” SongSAT developer and University of Waterloo geomatics student Colin Tuen Muk said. “It is pretty soothing depending on what type of music you want to listen to and what type of land type.”

Save the dates: major Canadian geospatial conferences for 2019

As readers will have noticed, GoGeomatics Canada has been stirring community buzz on the inaugural GeoIgnite conference taking place in June 2019. But we wouldn’t be doing our job if we weren’t also keeping you up-to-date on the other top geospatial events taking place across the country. Take a look at our list of 5 major location-technology conferences, gatherings, and events happening in 2019, and keep in mind that in-person networking is always the best way to expand your brand, sell your products or service, find a job, or collaborate with other professionals in the industry

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