Hosted via the NRC's Advanced Electronics and Photonics Research Centre, the High-throughput and Secure Networks Challenge program aims at developing innovative technologies that will ultimately enable network operators and service providers to offer secure, affordable gigabit broadband services in rural and remote communities in Canada, well beyond the current high-speed internet standards.
Areas of focus
The High-throughput and Secure Networks Challenge program will work with stakeholders at all levels of the telecommunication systems value chain to create technologies enabling the implementation of next-generation, and next-after-next generation high speed telecommunication networks. Through collaborative partnerships with key stakeholders, it will provide disruptive solutions relevant to optical satellite communications, fixed wireless access and fibre-based telecommunications.
Collaborate with us
We invite researchers at Canadian and international universities, government departments, colleges and highly innovative firms with relevant expertise to collaborate with us on this challenge program.
The High-throughput and Secure Networks Challenge program has strengths in materials growth and processing, and in device design and fabrication. Although collaborations in these areas are welcome, the program has a special need for collaboration with teams and organizations with expertise in system assembly and design in the application areas of relevance to the program mandate and research themes.
Contribution funding is available to help defray the costs of research for academic institutions, small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and other eligible recipients collaborating with NRC researchers.
Find out more about collaborating with us, and how to apply to currently active opportunities.
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Hosted via the NRC's Advanced Electronics and Photonics Research Centre, the High-throughput and Secure Networks Challenge program aims at developing innovative technologies that will ultimately enable network operators and service providers to offer secure, affordable extreme broadband especially in rural and remote communities, well beyond the current high-speed internet standards.
Research efforts will include basic materials, photonics and electronic devices and components, system architectures, cybersecurity, quantum technologies, metrology and artificial intelligence. The program aims at providing significant advances across 5 research themes.
- Optical satellite communication (satcom): this program theme will focus on research and development that supports increased capacity of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations and their complementary ground infrastructure. The research projects will look to develop or improve existing photonic and optical components and systems, and customize them for satellite optical links (ground to satellite, satellite to ground, and inter-satellite) and on-board satellite data transport and processing. In parallel, projects will look at improving complementary aspects of network optimization, such as caching, peering and use of artificial intelligence (AI) for network management and support.
- Fixed wireless access (FWA): this program theme will support the development of low-cost, fibre-to-the-antenna technologies to enable better connectivity in rural areas. The program will focus on developing technologies to reduce installation and operation cost of networks using wireless antennas. Technological areas of interest include: radio frequency (RF) over-fibre and passive optical network (PON) technologies to enable FWA deployment, cheap and portable directional antennas, and artificial intelligence network agents for reduced human intervention in network management and maintenance.
- Cybersecurity: this program theme will focus on the research and development of both software- and hardware-based solutions for next-generational cyber solutions for satellite and free-space networks. The program will focus on developing solutions to counter security threats that will result from the advent of quantum computers. In the short to medium term, this theme will aim at developing quantum resistant algorithm (QRA) software solutions for post quantum cryptography over imperfect channels. On the longer term, the aim is to demonstrate high-dimensional quantum key distribution links for next-generation free-space communications.
- Core photonics: this theme aims at enabling increasingly higher transmission capacities in fibre optic networks through incorporation of disruptive technologies to reduce footprint, energy consumption and cost. These improvements will be achieved through better designs for materials and components such as 2D materials, lasers, modulators, photodetectors and new system architectures. The project will involve a close collaboration between materials experts, component designers, and system designers to achieve synergistic evolution of all technological aspects into demonstration of telecommunication systems and sub-systems.
- Metrology: this program theme will deliver tools for disseminating high-accuracy time signals across wide and remote geographic area, which will enable higher quality full internet service where access to an accurate time signal is an integral part of all e-commerce transactions, high-speed data communication protocols and government operations. The project deliverables will provide access to accurate time where network solutions for the North relying on satellite data communication lead to high latency and jitter, making time synchronization with standard protocols such as Network Time Protocol (NTP) unreliable and inaccurate.
The technological advances will contribute to improve the know-how in relevant technology platforms and will be transferred to external recipients (i.e. industry) for implementation in the telecommunication network. The program will focus on technologies that help the realization of its vision: to provide the Canadian telecommunication ecosystem with the tools necessary to deploy networks capable of delivering Gb/s connectivity to users anywhere in Canada.
The long-term vision for the High-throughput and Secure Networks Challenge program is to enable broadband connectivity technologies (e.g. Gigabytes anywhere) by leveraging technology platforms in advanced materials, photonic components, photonic circuits, printable electronics, radio-frequency circuits, metrology, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.
The High-throughput and Secure Networks Challenge program is looking to establish collaborations with external partners from academia, government and industry to increase research intensity and improve the program's capacity to deliver on its objectives. We invite researchers at Canadian and international universities, colleges and highly innovative firms with expertise in developing advanced electronics and photonics technologies to collaborate with us.
Several forms of collaboration formats are available, as well as a range of funding sources to support the collaborating teams, including grants and contributions that will be deployed by the program to support external partners' efforts towards program objectives.
Example of collaborations supported by the program:
- Optical Satellite Communication Consortium – in collaboration with Satellite Canada Innovation Network Space Technology (SATCAN)
The NRC is a founding member of the Canadian Optical Satellite Consortium that unites industry, academia, government departments and not-for-profit organizations in an alliance to develop and deploy next-generation technologies for (optical) satellite communications.
- University of Ottawa – Centre for Research in Photonics at University of Ottawa (CRPuO)
Properties of novel 2D materials for low energy consumption photonics.
The NRC's High-throughput and Secure Networks Challenge Program is made up of a highly-skilled and multi-disciplinary team possessing a broad range of expertise in photonics, business and advisory services, and program management.
- Sylvain Raymond, HTSN Program Director
- Jackson Hamilton, HTSN Cybersecurity and Quantum Technologies Lead
- Dr. Marina Gertsvolf, HTSN Metrology Lead
- Eddy Guzzo, HTSN Program Challenge Officer
- Boris Lamontagne, HTSN Photonics Lead