On 12 June 2015 a Canadian delegation visited DFD. The prime minister of the Canadian Northwest Territories, Robert McLeod, two of his ministers, and additional delegation members were informed about the work being undertaken at DFD, particular concerning the employment and potential of the DFD polar receiving stations and applications for the earth observation data they acquire.
Fifth from right: Robert McLeod, PrimeMinister of the Canadian Northwest Territories;
sixth from right: Michael Miltenberger, Minister of Environment, Natural Resources and Finance;
seventh from right: Robert C. McLeod, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs;
second from left: Prashant Shukle, Director General, Canada Center for Mapping and Earth Observation; third from right: Dr. Gerd Gruppe, member of the DLR Executive Board;
second from right: Dr. Dietmar Schneyer, Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs
With the first large antenna system in the Canadian Arctic, DFD was one of the initiators of the Inuvik Satellite Station Facility (ISSF). Besides the 13 m DFD antenna, two systems from international partners are meanwhile also in operation near the airport in Inuvik, the most northerly city in the Canadian Northwest Territories. A third antenna is under construction. There is enough room for over a dozen more at the site.
After acquisition, the data from the TanDEM-X mission are still being sent on tape by mail to Oberpfaffenhofen. In the future, data received at the Inuvik Satellite Station Facility will reach their destinations via a high capacity data link to the Internet and to an international research network. Inuvik is in addition being expanded to comprise one of the four main acquisition stations in the Copernicus Sentinel network.
With the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link (MVFL), whose construction began in January 2015, the government of the Northwest Territories is making possible the continued expansion of Inuvik. This optical fibre connection passes through more than 1115 km of Arctic permafrost. The cable will be laid by mid-2016, in time for the Sentinel-5 Precursor Mission, whose payload ground segment is being set up by DFD on behalf of ESA and will include the Inuvik ground station. In the discussions in Oberpfaffenhofen the technical preconditions were clarified and the potential for the expansion of ISSF was considered.
The delegation was accompanied by Dr. Gruppe, member of the DLR Executive Board, and Dr. Schneyer of the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs.