Defence Research and Development Canada

Defence Research and Development Canada

Defence Research and Development Canada, also Defence R&D Canada or DRDC (Recherche & développement pour la défense Canada, R & D pour la défense Canada, ou RDDC in French), is an agency of the Department of National Defence (DND), whose purpose is to respond to the scientific and technological needs of the Canadian Forces (CF). DRDC has an annual budget of $350 million (CAD) and employs about 1600 people.



During World War II the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) conducted wartime research for the Department of National Defence and its military arms, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Army. When NRC reverted to its peacetime activities following the war, DND sought to continue defence research and created the Defence Research Board (DRB) in April 1947 to coordinate the department's research and development activities.

The unification of the three services into the Canadian Forces (CF) in 1968 saw DRB evolve, becoming the Research and Development Branch of the CF by 1974. The R&D Branch was reorganized on April 1, 2000 when it became an agency within DND called Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC).

DRDC is organized around nine research centres located across the country with headquarters in Ottawa. Each research centre focuses on a particular set of scientific and operational requirements. DRDC has an annual budget of $350 million and employs 1600 people.


DRDC Corporate

Headquarters, in Ottawa.

DRDC Atlantic

The offices of DRDC Atlantic are located in the community of Harbourview in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

DRDC Atlantic has expertise in antisubmarine warfare, mine and torpedo defence, shipboard command and control, and air and naval platform technology. It was originally the Defence Research Establishment Atlantic (DREA). Located on the shores of Halifax Harbour in the Dartmouth adjunct of CFB Halifax's HMC Dockyard, DRDC Atlantic has expanded its research programs to include emerging materials, signature management, maritime information and knowledge management, virtual platforms, and virtual combat systems. DRDC Atlantic also maintains and operates an underwater acoustic calibration facility on a barge moored at the deepest location on Bedford Basin,[1] a distinctive local landmark for decades.

In 1994, when the Defence Research Establishment Pacific (DREP) was closed as a separate establishment, the downsized facilities on the West Coast were placed under the aegis of DREA. These facilities are now operated by DRDC Atlantic as the Pacific Dockyard Laboratory.

DRDC Centre for Operational Research and Analysis (CORA)

DRDC Centre for Operational Research and Analysis (CORA) is located in Ottawa. It was originally made up of various Defence Operational Research directorates (DLOR for Land, DMOR for MAritime, DAOR for Air, DStratA for Strategic, etc.). They provide expert, objective and timely operational research, analytical support, and advice to the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence. The effort supports force development, resource allocation, acquisition, improved operational effectiveness and efficiency, strategic analysis, scientific and technical intelligence, and the achievement of departmental policy and human resource goals.

DRDC Ottawa / RDDC Ottawa

DRDC Ottawa [2] is the leader[clarification needed] in Defence R&D Canada for defence technology related to electromagnetic sciences. Its expertise includes: radio frequency (RF) sensing; RF electronic warfare; RF communications technology; network information operations; space systems; synthetic environments; and radiological and nuclear defence. It was originally known as the Defence Research Establishment Ottawa (DREO). DRDC Ottawa is located near Shirleys Bay in the west end of Ottawa.

Research Areas

  • Advanced Radar Systems
  • Aerospace and Radar Navigation
  • Anti-terrorism and Counter Smuggling Technologies
  • Communications Network Systems and Technologies
  • Electronic Warfare
  • Synthetic Environment for concept development and experimentation
  • Secure Mobile networking
  • Information Protection and Assurance, and Exploitation
  • Attack Detection and Analysis
  • Information Protection and Assurance
  • Modelling and Simulation for acquisition, requirements, rehearsal and training
  • Capability (system of systems) engineering and capability management<
  • Radiation Effects
  • Radar Data Exploitation
  • Radar Electronic Support & Attack
  • Satellite Communication Systems
  • Sensor Fusion for RMP
  • Signal Processing
  • Signature Management
  • Software Radio Architecture
  • Space Systems
  • Surface Radar
  • Ultra-wide Bandwidth Radar

DRDC Suffield

Located at CFB Suffield, DRDC Suffield is home to the Chemical/Biological Forensic Research Lab, and a host of other CB defence research labs, including Canada's small scale facility for the production of Schedule 1 substances permitted under the Chemical Weapons Convention. It was originally the Defence Research Establishment Suffield (DRES).

The Military Engineering facilities are engaged in the testing of rockets, explosives, new weapon systems, vehicle components and equipment, and house a Non-Metallic Laboratory made of polyurethane foam coated with sprayed gypsum and rubberized plastic used to make very low noise magnetic and low frequency electromagnetic measurements.

The Counter Terrorism Technology Center focuses on training first responders for a biological or chemical incident, and to develop guidelines on how to deal with those events.

DRDC Suffield also maintains facilities for the test and evaluation of anti-personnel mines to help in the development of demining equipment in association with the Canadian Centre for Mine Action Technologies (CCMAT).

DRDC Toronto

DRDC Toronto is located at the former site of CFB Downsview.[3] The Centre’s roots go back to 1939 when DND recognized the vital importance of human factors in the ability of Canada’s armed forces to safeguard the nation in peacetime and at war.[4]

DRDC Toronto is claimed to be "a results-oriented Centre of Excellence" for integrated human effectiveness science and technology (S&T) in defence and national security. It provides the Canadian Forces (CF), government agencies, academia, and industrial clients with an internationally recognized[citation needed] combination of expertise and research facilities.

Using a systems-based approach, DRDC Toronto covers all aspects of human performance and effectiveness, including individual and team performance, human-technology interaction, and the social and psychological factors that affect the resolution of conflict.

DRDC Toronto’s scientists and technologists apply, exploit and share the results of their research in these integrated areas of expertise:

  • Human systems integration
  • Human performance in stressful environments
  • Simulation and modeling of the human in complex military systems
  • Human issues in command and control
  • Team performance and collaborative behaviour
  • Psychology of malicious intent
  • Social and cultural factors influencing behaviour

Some of DRDC Toronto’s success stories include:

  • Decompression Tables (DCIEM Sport Diving Tables) that are now used worldwide and have been adopted by foreign navies, commercial diving companies and civilian organizations to reduce the risk of decompression illness, once commonly called "the bends."[5][6]
  • Canadian Underwater Mine-Countermeasures Apparatus (CUMA) is a new diver mine-countermeasures (MCM) diving set with a depth capability of 80 metres, as well as being anti-acoustic and anti-magnetic.[7]
  • The STInG (Sustained Tolerance to INcreased G) system, which provides G protection for pilots, superior to any current operational system.[8]
  • Virtual Reality simulator for Helicopter Deck Landing to simulate the dangerous task of landing a helicopter on the moving deck of a ship.[9]
  • Clothe the Soldier project provided human engineering support to the Army's acquisition of over 24 new items of state-of-the-art soldier protective clothing and personal equipment
  • Load Carriage Robot - an instrumented articulated manikin that mimics the movement of the human torso[10]
  • A Cold Exposure Survival Model (CESM) used in Search and Rescue (SAR) Operations
  • A Heat Stress Calculator for Firefighters used throughout Ontario.

DRDC Valcartier

DRDC Valcartier is located just outside CFB Valcartier; it is the largest of the research centres. Founded in 1945 as the Canadian Armament Research and Development Establishment (CARDE), it became Defence Research Establishment Valcartier (DREV) in the early 1970s, and finally DRDC Valcartier (RDDC Valcartier in French) on April 1, 2000.

The primary research fields at DRDC Valcartier are optronics, information systems, and combat systems. The numerous achievements include the Black Brant and CRV-7 rockets, the first CO2 laser, and many more.

Defence Research Establishment Pacific (DREP)

Closed in 1994.

Located at Naden, in Esquimalt, a suburb of Victoria, BC, originally called the Pacific Naval Laboratory (PNL). DREP was engaged in a variety of research areas. One group did materials research. Materials subgroups included one for Non Destructive Testing of materials including ultrasound, x-ray, and eddy current methods; a composite mechanics subgroup working on interlaminar fracture (delamination) of composite laminated structural materials and bolted joint mechanics research for composite; and a metals fracture subgroup.

Other groups worked on submarine detection, adhesives chemistry, and engine health monitoring.

Civilian achievements

Over the years, researchers at DRDC, sometimes in partnership with the NRC and others, have been responsible for numerous innovations and inventions of practical application in the civilian world. These include the G-suit, motorized wheelchair, the Alouette 1 satellite, Black Brant rocket, improvements to the carbon dioxide laser, flight data recorder, the Ballard fuel cell membrane, and the Bombsniffer (using gas chromatomography and ion mobility spectrometry).[11][12]

DRDC Atlantic traces its formation to 1944 when it was established as the Defence Research Establishment Atlantic (DREA) by the Royal Canadian Navy. DREA was one of the originating organizations that came together in 1947 to form the Defense Research Board which later became DRDC.[13]

Agency Organization

See also

External links

DRDC Branches


  1. ^ [1] DRDC factsheet
  2. ^ DRDC Ottawa
  3. ^ "About DRDC Toronto". Defence R&D Canada - Toronto. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  4. ^ "About DRDC Toronto: History of DRDC Toronto". Defence R&D Canada - Toronto. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  5. ^ "Canadian Diving Tables Used World-Wide". Defence R&D Canada - Toronto. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  6. ^ Nishi, RY; Lauckner, GR. "Development of the DCIEM 1983 Decompression Model for Compressed Air Diving.". Defence R&D Canada Technical Report (Defence R&D Canada) (DCIEM-84-R-44). Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  7. ^ Chapple, JCB; Eaton, David J. "Development of the Canadian Underwater Mine Apparatus and the CUMA Mine Countermeasures dive system.". Defence R&D Canada Technical Report (Defence R&D Canada) (DCIEM 92-06). Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  8. ^ "G Protection for Pilots". Defence R&D Canada - Toronto. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  9. ^ "Virtual Reality Simulator for Helicopter Deck Landing". Defence R&D Canada - Toronto. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  10. ^ "Soldier Load Carriage Systems: Biomechanical Measurement Tools". Defence R&D Canada - Toronto. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  11. ^ DRDC history
  12. ^ Bomb sniffer
  13. ^ History

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