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Canadian Military to Launch 3-Satellite System to Track Vessels

© REUTERS / Michael BrownA United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Canada is preparing to launch a group of three satellites to track ships near the nation’s coast and also track vessels in parts of the world where Canada conducts military operations with allied nations, the Department of National Defense (DND) announced in a press release.

"This mission will carry a multi-mode synthetic aperture radar and an automatic identification system to enable enhanced ship tracking and provide greater awareness of Canada’s territories as well as other areas of interest around the world where DND and its allies operate," the release said on Friday.

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In addition to the upcoming satellite launch, Canada will invest $6.7 million in 12 research projects to develop new Earth-observation technologies that simplify and accelerate intelligence collection, the release said. With matching contributions from private industry, the research effort will total more than $13 million, the release said.

READ MORE: SpaceX Launches Falcon 9 Rocket With Canadian Telstar 19V Satellite (VIDEO)

One of the 12 projects will attempt to develop an on-board video processing system on ships, which will be used together with space-based radar and ship detection sensors to enhance near-real-time vessel detection, tracking and identification, the release said.

Another project will develop a multi-satellite data classifier to better distinguish between ship and non-ship targets, such as icebergs, according to the release.

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