Communications Research Centre Canada

Communications Research Centre Canada
Centre de recherches sur les communications Canada
Agency overview
Formed 1969 (1969)
Jurisdiction Government of Canada
Headquarters Ottawa, Ontario
Minister responsible Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry[1]
Agency executive Dr. Jean Luc Bérubé, President

The Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC) is a Canadian government scientific laboratory for research and development in the field of advanced telecommunications. For over 40 years, it has made significant contributions to the information and communications technology sector in Canada and abroad.[2] The CRC's research encompasses the four main platforms for information delivery: terrestrial wireless, satellite, fibre optics and broadcasting.

The CRC operates under a three-pronged mission:

  • To serve as the federal government's centre of excellence for communications R&D, ensuring an independent source of advice for public policy purposes;
  • To support government operations led by major clients in selected areas of ICT application such as national defence, public safety and space-based communications;
  • To identify and close the innovation gaps in Canada's communications sector by engaging in industry partnerships, building technical intelligence, supporting small and medium-sized high technology enterprises, and working with other research organizations across Canada.

In 1987, its Alouette-ISIS Program was designated one of the 10 most outstanding achievements in the first 100 years of engineering in Canada.[3] The CRC has also won two Emmy Awards, one in 1987 for its role in developing the Ku-band technology of the HERMES satellite[4] and a second one in 2009 for its contributions in standardizing the ATSC Digital Television System.[5] CRC’s research and development in telecommunications earned it the 2007 Special Recognition Award from Canada’s Telecommunication Hall of Fame.[6]



Officially established in 1969, the roots of the CRC can be traced back to the late 1940s with what was then the beginning of the Canadian Defence Research Board (DRB).[7] Within the DRB was the Defence Research Telecommunications Establishment (DRTE), which existed from 1951-1969.[8] In 1969, the federal government established a Department of Communications. The DRTE in its entirety was transferred to the new department's research branch, and renamed the Communications Research Centre. The CRC came under Industry Canada's wing in 1994.


The CRC contributed to many "firsts" in Canadian communications, many of which fall under satellite communications. In 1962 the then-DRTE launched Alouette 1, Canada's first satellite. This led to the development of Canada's own communications satellite program.[9] In 1976 the Hermes satellite was launched, and marked the first high-power satellite and the first to operate at the higher frequency Ku-band.[10] In 1978, CRC offered the world's first direct-to-home satellite television broadcast via Hermes - a Stanley Cup hockey game.[11] The CRC gave a public demonstration of Telidon, the Canadian videotex/teletext system that contributed to the development of international standards for the Web, later that same year.[12] In 1983, the CRC set up the first permanent international connection to the Internet, known as ARPANET.[13]

In 1992, the CRC was helped create a repository of official government documents (including the Charlottetown Accord) on the Internet. This marked the first time a collection of official Canadian government documents was made available to the public via the Internet.[14] The next year, the CRC created a Web site for CBC Radio to distribute their audio programs directly to the public on demand. This was the first time that a commercial radio broadcaster had used the Web for international audio broadcasting.[15] In 1995, the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute awarded CRC's SARSAT team, headed by Dr. A Winter, Mr. H. Werstiuk and Dr. B. Blevis, the first ever Alouette Award for contributions in advancing search and rescue technology.[16] The CRC is responsible for many other firsts in wireless systems, radio fundamentals, i.e., Software Defined Radio,[17] communication networks, photonics and interactive multimedia that have impacted Canadian telecommunications.


External links

Coordinates: 45°20′47″N 75°53′03″W / 45.3463°N 75.8841°W / 45.3463; -75.8841

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