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Remote Sensing Space Systems Act - Operating licence application guide

PDF Version (1.5 MB)

Version 1.1 - March 8, 2021

IGN-3530
Global Affairs Canada
Non-Proliferation, Disarmament and Space Division
Space Policy and Regulatory Section

Disclaimer

This document is intended to guide potential and existing Licensees and System Participants in understanding the licensing process and facilitating the submission of complete applications for a licence. This guide is not intended to replace the Remote Sensing Space Systems Act and the Remote Sensing Space Systems Regulations, and in case of any conflict, the Act and Regulations will supersede the guide.

Executive summary

With space becoming more easily accessible and with space having transitioned from a “nice to have” resource to an “essential” resource, there is greater demand for Earth observation images.

Such images are obtained through the operation of remote sensing space systems, which are regulated in Canada pursuant to the Remote Sensing Space Systems Act (S.C. 2005, c. 45) (RSSSA, the Act) and the Remote Sensing Space Systems Regulations (SOR 2007-66) (RSSSR, the Regulations).

This document will guide an applicant in submitting an application for a RSSSA Operating Licence. Detailed within the guide are information on the following:

The Space Section of the Non-Proliferation, Disarmament and Space Division of the International Security Bureau at Global Affairs Canada (GAC) is the author of this document. Any questions, clarification or concerns can be directed to RSSSA-LSTS@international.gc.ca

We recommend that the applicant read both the Act and the Regulations, before proceeding with this guide.

Table of contents

1. Introduction

Submitting an application for a licence to operate a Remote Sensing Space System can be extremely challenging considering the complexity and the volume of information required, pursuant to the Remote Sensing Space Systems ActFootnote 1 (S.C. 2005, c. 45) (RSSSA; “the Act”) .  This document provides guidelines on the licensing procedure to clarify the application process, while a future document will explore other aspects of the Act and the Regulations.

Early consultation:

Benefits of early consultations prior to submitting a licence application includes:

  • GAC Team becomes familiarised with the applicant’s mission at the outset;
  • The applicant can learn whether a license is required and if yes, what information is expected for the application;
  • GAC Team can advise if modifications are required with the application; and
  • Both sides have an opportunity to identify any potential issues associated with the development of a proposed system and the licence application

The Space Section of the Non-Proliferation, Disarmament and Space Division of the International Security Bureau at Global Affairs Canada (GAC) administers the Act on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs (referred to as the Minister within this document). Additionally, GAC is the regulatory body of the Act and the Regulations.

GAC encourages a potential applicant to engage in early consultations before submitting a licence application by contacting RSSSA-LSTS@international.gc.ca. GAC will review initial information from the applicant and advise if modifications are required. The early consultations also provide an opportunity to identify any potential issues associated with the development of a proposed system and the licence application.

Who is required to apply for a RSSSA licence?

In Canada, no person may operate a remote sensing space system, except under authority of a licence. Any Canadian who owns and/or operates remote sensing-capable space system(s) anywhere and foreign owners and/or operators operating such systems in Canada are required to apply for a licence under the Act.

As per Section 2 of the Act, a “person” includes partnerships, a government, a government agency and an unincorporated organization.

2. Applying for a licence

Sections 2 through 7 of the Remote Sensing Space Systems RegulationsFootnote 2 (SOR/2007-66) (RSSSR; “the Regulations”) list the required documentation to support an application for a licence, an amendment to a licence, or its renewal. The application must be in writing, dated and signed by an authorized representative to affirm that the information contained in the application is true, complete and correct. A copy of the application must be sent electronically. Copies of any proposed agreements with System Participants and final versions of such agreements are also to be included. After the applicant has provided all the required information and documents, the Minister has 180 days to respond to an initial application and 90 days to respond to any amendment.Footnote 3

The application must include:

  • System Disposal Plan
  • Command Protection Plan
  • Data Protection Plan

The applicant and System Participant(s) must acknowledge the obligation to maintain records and allow inspectors access to their facilities.

The Regulations also include Schedule 1 Information and Documents to Support an ApplicationFootnote 4. Sections 1 to 8 of Schedule 1 list the details of the business information and documents required in an application. If an affiliated entity is involved in the operation of the system, it must be identified and its business information provided, as indicated in Section 31 of Schedule 1. Information is also required regarding the satellite and its operation.

The application must include a “System Disposal Plan”, a “Command Protection Plan”, and a “Data Protection Plan” or a combined “Command and Data Protection Plan”. In addition, if an application requests GAC to designate a System Participant, the application must provide detailed business information of the proposed System Participant(s), along with a copy of an agreement between the applicant and the System Participant (see Section 4 of this guide). Depending on its role, the System Participant(s) must also provide a System Disposal Plan, Command Protection Plan and a Data Protection Plan. The System Participant Agreement must include conditions that oblige the System Participant(s) to comply with the Act, its Regulations, and all licence conditions.

The applicant is required to notify the Minister via GAC’s Space Section of any subsequent changes to the design affecting the system's operational capabilities after an application is submitted or a licence is already awarded. In compliance with the established timelines, GAC will coordinate the review process within the Government of Canada.

As the regulator, GAC has the obligation to keep confidential proprietary information submitted by the applicant and subsequent LicenseeFootnote 5.

An overview of the process for review of an application can be visualised in the following flowchart (Figure 2‑1).

Figure 2-1: Licence application review process

flowchart
Text version

Figure 2-1 is a flowchart that presents an overview of the process and steps used in the review of a RSSSA application. This figure summarises the information presented in this guide.

2.1 Licence application process

GAC strongly encourages a potential applicant to initiate early consultations to help assess whether proposed operations of a remote sensing space system require a licence under the Act.
In the case of a required license, if the information in an application is incomplete or becomes inaccurate due to an operational change (or due to another situations that caused the change) prior to issuance of the licence, the applicant must submit the new or corrected information with GAC as soon as possible.Footnote 6

A complete application provides detailed information related to all elements of Sections 2 through 7 and Schedule 1 of the Regulations.

Applications and all related documents must be submitted to:

Space Policy and Regulatory Affairs Section
Non-Proliferation, Disarmament and Space Division
International Security Policy Bureau
Global Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2

The Regulations’ Schedule 1 sets out a list of required information and documents, which must be part of an applicant’s application. Appendix C of this document provides guidance to an applicant regarding the information and documents required which could be used as a basis for an application. Each application must be completed in writing, include all of the information set out in Schedule 1 of the Regulations. If any of the information required is not applicable, the applicant must indicate “N/A” and provide reasons why. The application must be dated and signed by an authorized principal executive officer that affirms that the information contained in the application is true, complete and correct. Thereafter, a copy of the application is sent by electronic mail.Footnote 7 Copies of any proposed agreements with System Participants and final versions of such agreements are also to be included.

3. The applicant – General information

The applicant is the “person” that submits the application for a licence under the Act. This person may be an individual or an entity, including a government or government agency, a corporation, or an unincorporated organization. A contact person for the applicant needs to be identified for all future communications.

All required documentation for the applicant must be complete and in order. Subsequently, GAC consults lists of prohibited entities to ensure that the applicant, the contact person, and proposed System Participant(s) are not on United Nations (UN) and Canadian sanction lists or any specific prohibition lists (see, for example, the United Nations ActFootnote 8 and the Special Economic Measures ActFootnote 9). Regarding the data and remote sensing products, some provisions of the Export and Import Permits ActFootnote 10 may apply. Additionally, GAC checks other lists, such as the following:

  1. Entities identified and listed from time to time under Canada’s Anti-Terrorism ActFootnote 11 and the Criminal CodeFootnote 12, and listed on the Public Safety Canada websiteFootnote 13
  2. Other entities and persons identified and listed on the “Foreign Policy, Economic Issues and Canadian Economic Sanctions” listings, which are located at the following links:
    1. Current sanctions imposed by Canada
    2. Listed Persons

3.1 The applicant – Key information and documents

Data on the applicant's proposed remote sensing space system must be sufficiently detailed to enable GAC to determine whether the proposal meets the requirements of the Act and the Regulations. A list of all key documents is found in Appendix A of this guide.

  1. Identification and contact information of the applicant.
  2. Identification and contact information of the “contact person” for the applicant.
  3. Security documents for the contact person, as per Schedule 1, Section 3 of the Regulations:
    1. Personnel screening form; Security screening certificate; Security clearance form; and
    2. Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) fingerprint form.

      Please note that GAC is not responsible for administrating these forms. They can be obtained directly from the Treasury Board Secretariat (for forms under 3(a) above) and the RCMP (for the form under 3(b) above). The applicant’s security officer should contact relevant government departments, such as Public Services and Procurement Canada,Footnote 14 for information on obtaining the required security clearance.

      The minimum required security clearance is “reliability”, but can be higher depending on the complexity and sensitivity of the remote sensing space system.
  4. If the applicant is an entity other than a government or government agency, as per Schedule 1, Section 4 of the Regulation, financial information is required: 
    1. a certified copy of its instrument of incorporation or continuance or its business registration in its jurisdiction of operation, as the case may be;
    2. the name, identifying information and contact information of the chief executive officer and each of the applicant’s directors, if any;
    3. the name, identifying information and contact information of each of the applicant’s officers who will be responsible for the operation of the remote sensing space system;
    4. the name, identifying information and contact information of each owner with an interest equal to or greater than 10% in the applicant entity, and the interest held by that owner; and
    5. the name, identifying information and contact information of each person who exercises control over the applicant.
  5. The name, identifying information and contact information of each of the applicant’s secured creditors, as per Schedule 1, Section 5 of the Regulations.
  6. The name, identifying information, contact information and amount of indebtedness for every person to whom the applicant is indebted for more than 5% of the applicant’s total indebtedness, as per Schedule 1, Section 6 of the Regulations.
  7. The name, identifying information and contact information of each affiliate that will be involved in the operation of the system are also required, as per Schedule 1, Section 31 of the Regulations.

4. The system participant – General information

Controlled Activities - Summary:

  1. formulating or giving a command;
  2. receiving raw data;
  3. storing, processing or distributing raw data; and
  4. establishing or using
    1. cryptography in communications
    2. information assurance measures

RSSSA, Section 2

A person or an entity participating in the operation of the licensed remote sensing space system, through performance of Controlled Activities, is a System Participant.  The Minister may designate any person or entity as a System Participant and authorize the Licensee to permit that person to carry on any Controlled Activity in the operation of the licensed system that the Minister specifies. A System Participant Agreement (SPA) is negotiated between the applicant/Licensee and the System Participant(s), and must be approved by GAC.

It is essential to include all information required in Section 32 of Schedule 1 in a System Participant Agreement. A final draft of the System Participant Agreement that is agreed by both parties and approved by GAC, is acceptable for the purpose of the application. A final signed copy can be provided after a licence is issued.

4.1 The system participants – Key information and documents

Data on the System Participant must be sufficiently detailed to enable GAC to determine whether the proposal meets the requirements of the Act and the Regulations. A list of all key documents is found in  Appendix A of this guide.

  1. Identification and contact information for each System Participant (as per the applicant’s requirements listed in Section 3.1 above).
  2. Description of the Remote Sensing Space System, clearly identifying the individual roles played by the applicant and System Participant(s), particularly relating to the performance of Controlled Activities with regard to the Remote Sensing Space System.
  3. Security documents on the contact person for each System Participant (as per the applicant’s requirements listed in Section 3.1 above).
  4. Names and security information for persons performing controlled activities.
  5. Final draft/signed copy of the System Participant Agreement, attaching other required documents such as:
    1. General Site Description;
    2. Individual or consolidated Data and Command Protection Plans; and
    3. System Disposal Plans, as they relate to the operations of the System Participant, where the same information has not been presented elsewhere by the applicant.
  6. Any related documentation under the three components of a remote sensing space system (see Section 5, Section 6 and Section 7 of this guide) for which the System Participant contributes.

5. The space segment – General information

All satellites with the capability of remotely sensing the Earth through the use of electromagnetic waves, fall within the jurisdiction of the Act. Satellites may be considered as private, public, scientific or dual-use.Footnote 15 The supporting documents submitted with the application will be reviewed and analyzed by GAC together with other departments or agencies.Footnote 16 Once a decision is reached that the satellite is acceptable for use in Canada or by Canadians abroad, GAC will verify that the satellite is approved for use under the Radiocommunication Act.Footnote 17

A remote sensing system consists of three parts:

  1. Space Segment (satellite(s) and sensors)
  2. Ground Segment (ground stations, networks, mission control centre and other facilities used to operate the system, as well as related facilities)
  3. Data (the facilities used to receive, store, process and/or distribute raw data from the satellites)

Preliminary design review and critical design review reports for “each type of remote sensing sensor” and “each type of satellite platform of each type of remote sensing satellite” are required by the Minister.Footnote 18The reports are to be provided within 45 days after the completion of the design reviews. As well, identifying information details for the satellite are required for registration of the satellite with the UN.Footnote 19

For any satellite four possible operational tasks may be considered:

  1. Launch and Early Operational Phase (LEOP)
  2. Ongoing Telemetry, Tracking and Control (TT&C)
  3. Data download that is “bent-piped”Footnote 20 to a location outside of Canada
  4. Data download and / or archiving and / or processing and / or distribution from within Canada

In addition to a general description of the satellite, as described in the Regulations, each proposed satellite operation comes with its unique documentation requirements. The information required is usually found within the documents referred to in the following section.

Satellite Registration Reminder

The Government of Canada is required to register all Canadian space objects with the United Nations, including those from industry and academia. Please contact the Canadian Space Agency about the registration of your satellite as soon as possible to begin the process:

asc.enregistrementobjetsspatiaux-spaceobjectsregistration.csa@canada.ca

5.1 Space segment – Key information and documents

Data on the remote sensing space system’s space segment must be sufficiently detailed to enable GAC to determine whether the proposal meets the requirements of the Act and the Regulations. A list of all key documents is found in Appendix A of this guide.

  1. Identification and contact information on the satellite owner/operator (if different from the applicant)
  2. Identification and contact information on the contact person for the satellite owner and/or operator (if different from the applicant)
  3. Preliminary design review and critical design review reports
  4. General description of the satellite
  5. Satellite technical details
  6. Data and Command Protection Plans
  7. Encryption Methodology
  8. System Disposal Plan (disposal of satellites(s))
  9. End-User Licence Agreement (EULA); if applicable
  10. Copy of the International Communication Union Registration and the Radiocommunication Licence

6. The ground segment facilities – General information

The Act governs the ground stations/facilities from the planning stage to its final disposal. The applicant is required to submit reports on the preliminary design review and critical design review for the ground stations/facilities “including its reception, storage, processing, delivery and information assurance subsystemsFootnote 21 for a ground station/facility under construction. GAC further requires:

6.1 Protection plans

Two protection plans are required to accompany an application: A Command Protection Plan and a Data Protection Plan. These two plans may be combined into a single document as long as it addresses all the requirements (see Appendix B of this guide).

6.1.1 Command protection plan

The detailed components of a Command Protection Plan are listed in the Regulations.Footnote 22 Items to be reviewed by GAC in respect of a ground station/facility include, but are not limited to, encryption and other protective measures in place that fall under Information Technology (IT), physical and personnel security for satellite commands.

6.1.2 Data protection plan

The detailed components of the Data Protection Plan are listed in the Regulations.Footnote 23 Items to be reviewed by GAC in respect of a ground station/facility include, but are not limited to, encryption and other protective measures in place that fall under IT, physical and personnel security for satellite data reception, and IT infrastructure for data transmission, distribution, processing and archiving.

6.1.3 Physical security

Physical security is part of the GAC review of documentation regarding the ground station/facility. Physical security describes security measures that are designed to deny unauthorized access to facilities, equipment and resources and to protect personnel and property from damage or harm (such as espionage, theft, or terrorist attacks). A list of possible questions to be considered could include:

6.1.4 IT Security

IT security is a set of cybersecurity strategies that prevents unauthorized access to assets such as computers, networks and data. It maintains the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive information by blocking the access of sophisticated hackers. Types of IT security include network, internet, endpoint, cloud and application securities.Footnote 25

GAC requires that all satellite commands be encrypted to ensure positive control of the satellite(s).Footnote 26 The level of encryption is determined by the sensitivity and capability of the remote sensing space systems.

6.2 System disposal plan

The Government of Canada is liable for space activities conducted by Canadian persons that are involved in launching satellites, whether the activities are conducted in Canada or involving Canadians abroad.

Article I of the United Nations Liability Convention defines the term "launching State" as “a State which launches or procures the launching of a space object” or “a State from whose territory or facility a space object is launchedFootnote 27.  Article II of the Convention states: “A launching State shall be absolutely liable to pay compensation for damage caused by its space object on the surface of the earth or to aircraft flight.”Footnote 28 This means that the Government of Canada is liable for damage on the surface of the earth caused by space activities conducted by Canadians that are involved in launching satellites, whether the activities are conducted in Canada or involving Canadians abroad. The disposal plan is a means for the Government to ensure that a Licensee meets these obligations.

9 (1) The Minister may not issue a licence without having approved

  1. a system disposal plan for the licensed system satisfactory to the Minister that, among other things, provides for the protection of the environment, public health and the safety of persons and property; and
  2. arrangements satisfactory to the Minister relating to the guarantee of the performance of the licensee’s obligations under the system disposal plan.

RSSSA, Section 9(1)

A System Disposal Plan required under Section 9 of the Act must meet the Space Debris Mitigation guidelines of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.Footnote 29 As well, the plan must also describe the disposal of the equipment, data, and other relevant components of the licensed system. In the event a ground station/facility ceases to be part of the licensed system, the plan will also describe the procedures to restore the physical site to a state required by environmental laws. Content related to satellite disposal is described in the Regulations.Footnote 30

6.3 Regular review by the licensee

If any changes or amendments are needed for any of the plans (or other documentation), the licensee must inform the Minister without delay.

As part of the process of ensuring that the information supplied to GAC is current, the Licensee and its System Participant(s) are required to regularly reviewFootnote 31 the information in the Command Protection Plan, the Data Protection Plan and the System Disposal Plan. Currently, GAC requires the review to be done annually. The Licensee must notify GAC without delay of any changes to those plans.

6.4 Ground segment – Key information and documents

Data on the remote sensing space system’s ground segment must be sufficiently detailed to enable GAC to determine whether the proposal meets the requirements of the Act and the Regulations. A list of all key documents is found in Appendix A of this guide.

7. The data – General information

The Act places importance on the data, which includes the remote sensing images and related products. As data is considered one of the three components of a remote sensing space system, particular consideration must be placed on the nature of the data, where is it processed (space or ground facility), where it is kept (archived), how is it accessed and how the end user gains access to it.

Since data is often associated with the ground facilities, the required documents and aspects of data are described in the preceding Section 6 of this guide.

7.1 The data – Key information and documents

Data on the remote sensing space system’s images/data must be sufficiently detailed to enable GAC to determine whether the proposal meets the requirements of the Act and the Regulations. A list of all key documents is found in Appendix A of this guide.

8. Application to the Minister

When the analysis of the application reaches a positive conclusion, a licence is prepared by GAC based on the template described in Appendix D of this document. If the licence contains any exemptions, it must be signed by the Minister as the Act directs that only the Minister may authorize exemptions to the requirements of the Act, as per Section 4(3). The submission to the Minister will provide the rationale for each exemption that is recommended by the GAC review. If no exemptions are contained in the licence, it may be issued by a person delegated by the Minister.

8.1 Provisional approval

While awaiting the approval of the Minister, the applicant may be given provisional approval of the application with necessary conditions, but without any exemption, as per Section 8(1)(a) of the Act. This allows the applicant to finalize contracts and operate as the provisional approval is binding on the Minister, as long as there is no substantive change in the facts previously submitted and on which approval was based, as per Sections 8(2) of the Act.

9. Authorizations to carry out testing operations

Controlled activities - Summary:

  1. formulating or giving a command;
  2. receiving raw data;
  3. storing, processing or distributing raw data; and
  4. establishing or using
    1. cryptography in communications
    2. information assurance measures

RSSSA, Section 2

As per the Act, performance of any Controlled Activity requires an authorization.Footnote 32At times, operations to test any component of a remote sensing space system may become necessary. Two examples include:

Any testing operation amounting to a Controlled Activity requires a prior authorization from GAC, despite the fact that it is for a limited time duration. Usually data received and processed in such operations are not allowed for distribution.

10. Acronyms

EULA
End-User Licence Agreement
GAC
Global Affairs Canada
IT
Information Technology
RCMP
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
RSSSA
Remote Sensing Space Systems Act; the Act
RSSSR
Remote Sensing Space Systems Regulations; the Regulations
SPA
System Participant Agreement

Appendices

Appendix A - Application documents list

In addition to the Schedule 1 Application, as found in the Regulations, the following lists are additional documents related to the licensing process.

With the Act and the Regulations covering different aspects of a remote sensing space system, the supporting documentation are required to cover these aspects.

Applicant

  1. Identification and contact information of the applicant
  2. Identification and contact information of the “contact person”
  3. Security documents for the contact person, as per Schedule 1 Section 3 of the Regulations:
    1. Personnel Screening, Consent and Authorization Form (TBS/SCT 330-23) of the Treasury Board Secretariat
    2. Security Screening Certificate and Briefing Form (TBS/SCT 330-47) of the Treasury Board Secretariat
    3. Security Clearance Form (TBS/SCT 330-60) of the Treasury Board Secretariat
    4. Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) fingerprint form C216-C
    The applicant’s security officer should obtain these forms from their sources and apply for security clearance from the Public Services and Procurement Canada.
  4. If the applicant is an entity, other than a government or government agency:
    1. The entity’s financial information is required, which includes:
      1. certified copy of its instrument of incorporation or continuance or its business registration in its jurisdiction of operation, as the case may be;
      2. the name, identifying information and contact information of the chief executive officer and each of the applicant’s directors, if any;
      3. the name, identifying information and contact information of each of the applicant’s officers who will be responsible for the operation of the remote sensing space system;
      4. the name, identifying information and contact information of each owner with an interest equal to or greater than 10% in the applicant, and the interest held by that owner; and
      5. the name, identifying information and contact information of each person who exercises control over the applicant.
  5. The name, identifying information and contact information of each of the applicant’s secured creditors.
  6. The name, identifying information, contact information and amount of indebtedness for every person to whom the applicant is indebted for more than 5% of the applicant’s total indebtedness.
  7. Financial information for each affiliate that is involved in the operation of the system.

System participants

According to Section 32 of Schedule 1 of the Regulations, the System Participants must provide:

  1. Identification and contact information on each System Participant.
  2. Description of the Remote Sensing Space System, clearly identifying the individual roles played by the applicant and System Participant(s), particularly relating to the performance of Controlled Activities with regard to the Remote Sensing Space System.
  3. Security documents on the contact person for each System Participant.
  4. Names and security information for persons performing Controlled Activities.
  5. Final draft/signed copy of the System Participant Agreement, attaching other required documents such as:
    1. General Site Description;
    2. individual or consolidated Data and Command Protection Plans; and
    3. System Disposal Plans, as they relate to the operations of the System Participant, where the same has not been presented elsewhere by the applicant.
  6. Depending on the role of the System Participant(s):
    1. System Disposal Plan;
    2. Command Protection Plan; and
    3. Data Protection Plan.
  7. Any related documentation on the three components of a remote sensing space system for which the System Participant contributes.

Space segment – Satellite(s)

  1. Identification and contact information on the satellite owner/operator (if different from the applicant).
  2. Identification and contact information on the contact person for the satellite owner and/or operator (if different from the applicant).
  3. Preliminary design review and critical design review reports.
  4. Common description of the satellite.
  5. Satellite & sensor technical details.
  6. Data and Command Protection Plan.
  7. Encryption Methodology.
  8. Satellite Disposal Plan [can be combined in a System Disposal Plan].
  9. End-User Licence Agreement (EULA) [if different than for the data component].
  10. Copy of the International Communication Union Registration and the Radiocommunication Licence.

Ground segment – Ground Station(s)/Facility(ies):

  1. Ground Station Engineering Drawings.*
  2. Ground Station Structural Drawings.*
  3. Municipal Building Permit.
  4. Command Protection Plan.
  5. Data Protection Plan.
  6. Encryption Methodology.
  7. Network Plan.
  8. Ground Station Equipment List.
  9. Ground Segment Disposal Plan (can be combined in a System Disposal Plan)
  10. EULA (if different than for the data component)
  11. Environmental approval

*These drawings must show the location of the ground station, the complete perimeter of the area and the location of external security devices.

Data

  1. Common description of the data / raw data / imaging type / remote sensing products
  2. EULA
  3. Data Protection Plan
  4. Data Disposal Plan (can be combined in a System Disposal Plan)

Appendix B - Protection plans

1. Overview:

Schedule 1 of the Regulations lists the required information pertaining to a “Command Protection Plan” (Sections 14 through 21), and a “Data Protection Plan” (Sections 22 through 29).  The information required is similar for telecommands transmitted up to the satellites via the ground stations and for the data relayed by the satellite(s) downward to the ground station for further processing and distribution.  Depending on the complexity of the mission in question, these two plans may be combined and submitted as one single document: “Command and Data Protection Plan” (Section 30).

These plans should provide information from the following perspectives:

This document identifies general baseline protection measures and specific measures for each of the three perspectives that will be undertaken to address the threats and risks that a Licensee or System Participant can face or reasonably anticipate.  Certain operations may face different threats because of their very nature, their location and the appeal of their assets. Examples include facilities dealing with classified operations, facilities located in high-crime areas and overseas facilities.

A Licensee and System Participant(s) are responsible for selecting, implementing, monitoring, and maintaining sustainable security controls to achieve their security control objectives. Security controls may be administrative, managerial, operational, technical or procedural. If required, additional security controls can be stipulated by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) as conditions within the licence to reflect the sensitivity of the mission.

2. General protection measures

2.1 Security awareness

The plan(s) should elaborate how a security awareness program covering all aspects of security is established, managed, delivered and maintained. Issues/questions to take into consideration include:

2.2 Security training

The plan(s) should elaborate how the security training is covered. Issues/questions to take into consideration include:

2.3 Security incident management

The plan(s) should elaborate on the security incident management. Issues/questions to take into consideration include:

2.4 Security inspections

The plan(s) should elaborate on how security inspections are conducted. Issues/questions to take into consideration include:

2.5 Security in emergency and increased threat situations

The plan(s) should elaborate on the management of security in emergency and increased threat situations. Issues/questions to take into consideration include:

2.6 Emergency and business continuity planning

The plan(s) should elaborate on the emergency and business continuity planning. Issues/questions to take into consideration include:

3. Specific protection measures

3.1 Physical security

The plan(s) must elaborate on how the following aspects are dealt within an operational environment.

The following is a list of physical security features that can be elaborated, as appropriate, in the document:

3.2 Personnel security

Adequate personnel security measures facilitate the effective utilization of resources and is an essential mitigation tool to address threats posed by trusted insiders. Possession of an appropriate level of security clearance issued by Public Service and Procurement CanadaFootnote 33 is required for the key person within the applicant organization in whose name the licence will be issued, and all other personnel (employees and contractors) who will have access to the licensed facilities. Occasionally, equivalencies may be considered for representatives from foreign organizations, based on the rigour of the process adopted by such organizations at the time of recruitment and selection of their employees.

To achieve desired personnel security outcomes, three personnel security core methods are usually implemented to ensure employees and contractors are authorized to access the licensed facilities throughout all stages of their engagement with the licensed entity. These methods ensure personnel demonstrate integrity and honesty, specifically by, for instance:

Some of the aspects that should be dealt with detail are as follows:

3.3 Information assurance

The plan(s) should elaborate on the approach and techniques used to guarantee information assurance. Issues/questions to take into consideration include:

3.4 IT security

This section of the Protection Plan describes how the applicant can safeguard IT systems to support the secure and continuous conduct of business. Secure IT systems protect the integrity and facilitate the availability of the information that entities process, store and communicate.

Detailed answers to the following questions will help develop this portion of the document.

While endeavouring to answer these IT security questions, the following aspects may also be addressed in the Plan, as appropriate.

Security issueMatters for consideration

Information security documentation

Preparing relevant documentation supports implementation of planned security measures.

Information security monitoring

Vulnerability management includes monitoring and managing vulnerabilities in, and changes to, a system that can provide valuable information about exposure to threats.
Change management includes implementing routine and urgent changes to software or systems to maintain security (including if the change triggers the need for re-accreditation).

Communications security

Infrastructure security includes good cable management and emanations security regimes that help entities maintain the integrity and availability of communications infrastructure, in addition to the confidentially of information:

  1. Cable management practices can protect information from deliberate or inadvertent access.
  2. Countermeasures reduce the risk of information being intercepted and systems compromised.

Systems and devices security includes measures that minimise data spills or unauthorised disclosure of information as data flows in and out of digital gateways.

Product security

Entities need assurance that products with a security function perform as claimed by the vendor and provide the necessary security to mitigate security threats. Assurance is achieved through formal and impartial evaluation.

Media security

Implementing sound security practices when connecting, storing, transferring, sanitising, destroying or disposing of media plays a major role in preventing classified or sensitive data spills and avoiding malicious attacks.
Media security is critical when decommissioning an IT system.

Software security

It is important to implement and maintain measures to protect against software vulnerabilities that may be used to undermine the integrity or availability of systems or information.

Access control

Well-structured and robust IT systems allow necessary access for personnel to undertake their work, while protecting information, technology and intellectual property.

Administrator rights

Restricting administrative privileges is one of the most effective ways to safeguard IT systems.

Network security

Network management practices and procedures assist in identifying and addressing network structure or configuration vulnerabilities.

Cryptography

Cryptography is primarily used to restrict access to information to authorised users. It provides confidentiality, integrity, authentication and non-repudiation of information. Encryption protects the confidentiality of data by making it unreadable to unauthorised users.

Cross-domain security

Mitigating risks by securely managing data flows between different domains includes:

  1. deploying and configuring gateways to manage information flow paths (ingress and egress of traffic) across approved systems on entity networks;
  2. implementing gateway firewalls to protect against intrusions, particularly for sensitive networks;
  3. using diodes to protect against data spills and malicious actors seeking to use information flow paths to intrude or attack information;
  4. allowing web access while protecting against the execution and spread of malicious software; and
  5. prohibiting the sharing of peripherals between IT components and ensuring unauthorised information does not pass between security domains.

Data transfers and content filtering

These pertain to implementation of procedures to ensure that content leaves a security domain in a secure manner. It also includes application of content-filtering techniques to reduce the risk of unauthorised or malicious content crossing a security boundary.

Cyber threat mitigation

Usual measures include: application control, patching applications, restricting administrative privileges, patching operating systems, user application hardening, multi-factor authentication and daily backups.

3.5 Security in contracting

The plan(s) should elaborate on the security implemented for the contracted support utilised for the remote sensing space system. Issues/questions to take into consideration include:

Appendix C - Clarifications on the schedule - 1 application

This appendix provides clarifications on the information and documents required to support an application under the Regulations’ Schedule – 1, which is the Remote Sensing Space Systems Act (RSSSA, the “Act”) Application form.

Schedule-1 Overview: The table below breaks down the main topics with their associated sections.

Applicable SectionsTopicPage
1 to 8Business information and documentsC2
9 to 10General system informationC6
11Orbit informationC7
12Remote sensing satellite disposalC8
13Remote sensing satellite information and documentsC10
14 to 21Command protection planC14
22 to 29Data protection planC22
30Command and data protection planC27
31Affiliated entitiesC28
32System Participant informationC28

Clarifications on the Schedule-1 application: The table below provides clarifications on the Schedule – 1 application form.

SectionProvisionsRecommendations
Business information and documents

1

The applicant’s name, identifying information and contact information

Applicant:

RSSSA Project Sponsor:

Project Leader: Name, Position, Organization, Address, email, contact number(s)

2

The name, identifying information and contact information of the individual proposed to be the contact person for the applicant

Point of Contact:

Name, Position, Organization, Address, email, contact number(s)

Emergency contact (should the regular contact person be unavailable):

Name, Position, Organization, Address, email, contact number(s)

3

The following completed forms for the individual proposed to be the applicant’s contact person:

Applicant’s contact person:

Name, Position, Organization, Address, email, contact number(s)

*Documentation covering the listed security clearance(s) needs to be provided as part of the application information

Please note that Global Affairs Canada (GAC) is not responsible for the forms listed in Section 3(a) through 3(d).

The applicant’s security officer should contact relevant government entities for these forms (see below), or even contact Public Services and Procurement CanadaFootnote 35 for information on obtaining required security clearance.

a)

Personnel Screening, Consent and Authorization Form (TBS/SCT 330-23) of the Treasury Board Secretariat, as amended from time to time;

Form (TBS/SCT 330-23)

  • List of clearances:
  • Personnel ID:
  • NATO Secret – Expiry date
  • Secret –Expiry date
  • Top Secret –Expiry date
  • Etc.

b)

Security Screening Certificate and Briefing Form (TBS/SCT 330-47) of the Treasury Board Secretariat, as amended from time to time

Form (TBS/SCT 330-47)

  • List of clearances:
  • Personnel ID:
  • NATO Secret – Expiry date
  • Secret –Expiry date
  • Top Secret –Expiry date
  • Etc.

c)

Security Clearance Form (TBS/SCT 330-60) of the Treasury Board Secretariat, as amended from time to time; and

Form (TBS/SCT 330-60)

  • List of clearances:
  • Personnel ID:
  • NATO Secret – Expiry date
  • Secret –Expiry date
  • Top Secret –Expiry date
  • Etc.

d)

Royal Canadian Mounted Police fingerprint form C216-C, as amended from time to time.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police fingerprint form C216-C

  • List of clearances:
  • Personnel ID:
  • NATO Secret – Expiry date
  • Secret –Expiry date
  • Top Secret –Expiry date
  • Etc.

4

If the applicant is an entity, other than a government or government agency,

a)

a certified copy of its instrument of incorporation or continuance or its business registration in its jurisdiction of operation, as the case may be

Organization incorporation documents need to be provided

b)

the name, identifying information and contact information of the chief executive officer and each of the applicant’s directors, if any

CEO/other positions:

Name, email, contact number(s)

Applicant’s Board of Directors:

Names, positions and their organizations

c)

the name, identifying information, and contact information of each of the applicant’s officers who will be responsible for the operation of the remote sensing space system

d)

the name, identifying information and contact information of each owner of an interest equal to or greater than 10% in the applicant, and the interest held by that owner; and

List of each owner who has an interest equal to or greater than 10% in the applicant (NOT the remote sensing space system), the interest held by that owner and the owner’s full contact information.

e)

the name, identifying information and contact information of each person who exercises control over the applicant.

5

The name, identifying information, and contact information of each of the applicant’s secured creditors.

List of full contact information of each of the applicant’s (NOT the remote sensing space system) secured creditors

6

The name, identifying information, contact information and amount of indebtedness for every person to whom the applicant is indebted for more than 5% of the applicant’s total indebtedness.

7

The applicant’s plans for communicating raw data or providing remote sensing products, including:

a)

making the data or products available to governments whose territories have been sensed by the remote sensing space system; and

The Act implements Canada’s adoption of the principle explained below:

Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Outer Space – PRINCIPLE XII:Footnote 36

As soon as the primary data and the processed data concerning the territory under its jurisdiction are produced, the sensed State shall have access to them on a non-discriminatory basis and on reasonable cost terms. The sensed State shall also have access to the available analysed information concerning the territory under its jurisdiction in the possession of any State participating in remote sensing activities. This access shall be on the same basis and terms, taking particularly into account the needs and interests of the developing countries.

Applicants under the Act are required to provide information on how it plans to fulfill Principle XII.

b)

providing preferred or exclusive access to the data or products.

8

The address where the applicant’s records will be maintained.

Name of organization, Address, Email address and contact number(s) of the applicant’s contact person

General system information

The Act defines a remote sensing space system as

(a) one or more remote sensing satellites and the mission control centre and other facilities used to operate the satellites; and

(b) the facilities used to receive, store, process or distribute raw data from the satellites, even after the satellites themselves are no longer in operation.

Information provided under this section should include all components of a system: space segment, ground segment, and data.

9

The name and a short description of the remote sensing space system, including the number of remote sensing satellites of the system, the planned date that each satellite will become operational and the anticipated mission life of each satellite

Name of the system/mission(s):

Name as notified to the International Communication Union (ITU):
ITU identifier:

Description:

Type of satellite(s):
Purpose:
Type of instrument(s):
Launch date(s):
Operated by (if different from the applicant):
Semi-Major Axis:
Eccentricity:
Downlink of Imagery:

10

The proposed launch date, vehicle and site.

As launch date(s) often change throughout the application process, this section needs to be updated whenever there are changes to date(s).

ORBIT INFORMATION

11

The nominal orbit and tolerances of each remote sensing satellite of the remote sensing space system, including:

a)

the semi-major axis, eccentricity, inclination, longitude of right ascension, argument of periapsis, argument of mean anomaly and epoch;

Name of the satellite(s):

Orbit height:
Semi-Major Axis:
Eccentricity:
Inclination:
Longitude of Right Ascension:
Argument of Perigee:
True Anomaly:
Perigee with Mean EER:
Apogee with Mean EER:
Period:
Epoch:

b)

the period, repeat cycle and any subcycle; and

c)

the equator crossing time of the ascending node of any sun-synchronous orbit.

Remote sensing satellite disposalEstimated duration of the satellite disposal operation:
Nominal orbital height:
Local Time Ascending Node (LTAN):
Spacecraft mass:
Drag Area:  m2
Solar Pressure Area:  m2
Solar Flux:
Period:
Time for orbit perigee to reach 100km:

12

The potential hazard from space debris and the strategy to mitigate that hazard for each remote sensing satellite of the remote sensing space system, including:

Use of NASA’s Debris Assessment Software (DAS) is recommended to obtain information provided in Section 12.

a)

the method of disposal that is proposed for each satellite and the reliability of that method;

For example: propulsion, natural decay.

b)

the estimated duration of the satellite disposal operation;

c)

the probability of loss of human life and how it was calculated;

d)

the amount of debris expected to reach the surface of the Earth, the size of the impact area expressed in square metres, and how they were calculated;

e)

the geographic boundaries of the likely debris re-entry impact area, the confidence level of the determination of the boundaries and how the boundaries and confidence level were calculated;

f)

the identity and quantity of hazardous material and dangerous goods contained in each satellite at the end of its mission life, the quantity expected to reach the surface of the Earth on re-entry and how the quantities were calculated;

g)

the orbital elements and epochs of the proposed disposal orbits for each satellite; and

h)

an assessment of space debris expected to be released from each satellite during normal operations by explosions, by intentional break-ups and by on-orbit collisions, and the measures proposed to mitigate the production of space debris.

Remote sensing satellite information and documents

13

A technical description of each remote sensing satellite of the remote sensing space system, including:

a)

a drawing of the satellite in its on-orbit configuration;

b)

its command and data handling subsystem capabilities, including its data storage technology and capacity, data transfer rate, method of access to stored data and directionality of its command, telemetry and downlink antennas;

  • Telemetry, Tracking and Control (TT&C) Uplink: GHz, variable from kbps to Mbps
  • TT&C Downlink: GHz, variable from kbps to Mbps
  • TT&C Footprint: Minimum elevation angle, which corresponds to a coverage footprint radius of km around the sub-satellite point
  • Inter-satellite crosslinks planned for the satellites referenced in the application.

On-board storage capacity:

c)

its navigation, guidance and control capabilities, including the accuracy of position, velocity, acceleration and time, and the type of technology used for those capabilities;

d)

its attitude control subsystem capabilities, including the jerk and jitter, and the type of technology used for those capabilities;

e)

its propulsion subsystem capabilities, including the amount of propellant allocated for the disposal of the satellite;

f)

its sensor technology for each sensor, including:

Provide technical details on the sensor(s).

(i)

the sensor modes,

(ii)

the spatial resolution capability of each sensor mode, and how it was calculated,

List of spatial resolution for each sensor mode.
Polarization
Calculation of spatial resolution

(iii)

the centre frequency or wavelength, bandwidth and sweep, if any, of the transmitted and received spectral bands used in each sensor mode indicating which sensor modes are co-registered by common sensor elements and which sensor modes are independent,

List for each mode.

(iv)

the polarization of transmitted and received signals with respect to each sensor mode,

(v)

the fields of view or beam widths for each sensor mode,

(vi)

for each sensor mode, the range of viewing angles or angles of incidence, and their increments of change,

(vii)

for each sensor mode, the slew and squint angles and their rates of change, and a description of the scan mechanisms employed,

List for each mode.

(viii)

the ground distance from nadir and the instantaneous swath width and potential swath width for each sensor mode,

(ix)

the image motion compensation parameters, including those for linear motion and drift,

(x)

if applicable, the characteristics of the time-delayed integration mode used within the sensor focal plane,

(xi)

spatial, spectral and temporal oversampling, aggregation and resampling capabilities,

(xii)

sensitivity, including noise-equivalent-spectral-radiance for electro-optic sensors, noise-equivalent-sigmas for synthetic aperture radar sensors and noise-equivalent-temperature-differences for thermal infrared sensors,

(xiii)

for each sensor mode, the signal-to-noise ratio, dynamic range and quantization,

(xiv)

if applicable, the range of solar illumination angles on the surface of the Earth over which the sensor can operate,

(xv)

the absolute and relative geolocation accuracy of the raw data and remote sensing products and how they were calculated, and

(xvi)

calibration methods, including absolute calibration accuracy; and

g)

the minimum time in hours between the acquisition of raw data by the satellite and the communication of the data, or the provision of remote sensing products to a recipient.

Command protection planAdditional clarifications are presented in Appendix B of this guide, which covers requirements on physical security, personnel security and Information Technology (IT) security (includes cybersecurity).

14

The general strategy with respect to command protection.

15

The location and function of all facilities, including mobile facilities, to be used to process sales orders or to give commands in the operation of the remote sensing space system.

16

A general description and block diagram of all facilities to be used to process sales orders or to give commands, including the longitude and latitude and station mask of each telemetry, tracking and command station.

17    1

A general description and block diagram of the communication architecture that includes descriptions of:

Provide as much detail as possible on the IT, physical, and personnel security measures in place for every component of a system: space segment, ground segment and data.

a)

each system supporting the facilities that are to be used to process sales orders or to give commands to the remote sensing satellite;

b)

links between the facilities and the satellite;

c)

links for relaying sales orders or satellite commands between facilities on the ground; and

d)

crosslinks between satellites.

2

The radio-frequency link information for command uplinks, including the characterization of each link and the type of information carried by each communication channel.

3

The protocols to be used in the communication architecture.

4

A description of the encryption to be used on all communication channels, including keying and rekeying schemes.

5

Management plans for the keys to be used in satellite uplinks, in command relays and in facilities for command generation and the processing of sales orders.

18

A general description of:

a)

the content and format of the proposed sales orders and the commands to be given in the operation of the remote sensing space system; and

b)

the process used to determine the commands given to the remote sensing satellite that sets out the priority of conflicting sales orders requiring the same resources of the satellite.

19

A diagram that:

a)

shows each step to be taken by the applicant or proposed System Participant from the placement of a sales order for raw data or a remote sensing product to the communication of the raw data to a recipient or the provision of the remote sensing product to a recipient; and

b)

indicates the command protection measures proposed for each step.

20

A description of the command protection measures proposed for each step of the business process, including:

a)

the measures proposed for each facility to be used to process sales orders or to give commands to the remote sensing satellite, including measures relating to:

(i)

the security screening of personnel,

(ii)

the physical security of the facility, and

The facilities mean all applicant facilities involved in the operation of the system, and not the facilities of System Participant(s).

Information on System Participant(s)’ facilities is required in the System Participant section below under Section 32.

If the applicant has a document providing general physical security description/requirements for its facilities, such a document could be considered sufficient after GAC reviews it.

(iii)

the information assurance, within the facility, of sales orders and satellite commands;

b)

the measures proposed for the communication of sales orders and satellite commands between the facilities of the remote sensing space system, including measures relating to physical and electronic protection and information assurance; and

c)

the measures proposed for the communication of commands to remote sensing satellites, including measures relating to electronic protection and information assurance.

21

Proposed measures to comply with:

a)

the conditions in paragraphs 8(4)(a) to (f) of the Act;

b)

an order that may be made under section 14 or 15 of the Act; and

Priority Access Order does not only apply to the satellites of the system; it applies to any or all parts of the system, and it is not subject to any contractual agreements. An order made under this section may take effect immediately on notice to the Licensee, but the minister making the order shall give to the Licensee an opportunity — during a period of 15 days after the notice or any longer period that the minister specifies — to make representations regarding it

Sections 14 and 15 of the Act are reproduced below:

Interruptions of Service

Minister’s order

14 (1) The Minister may make an order requiring a Licensee to interrupt or restrict, for the period specified in the order, any operation, including the provision of any service, of the licensed system if the Minister believes on reasonable grounds that the continuation of that operation would be injurious to Canada’s conduct of international relations or inconsistent with Canada’s international obligations.

Order of Minister of National Defence

(2) The Minister of National Defence may make an order requiring a Licensee to interrupt or restrict, for the period specified in the order, any operation, including the provision of any service, of the licensed system if the Minister of National Defence believes on reasonable grounds that the continuation of that operation would be injurious to the defence of Canada or the safety of Canadian Armed Forces.

Non-application of Statutory Instruments Act

(3) The Statutory Instruments ActFootnote 37 does not apply to an order made under this section.

Non-disclosure direction

(4) If the minister making an order under subsection (1) or (2) is satisfied that the substance of the order ought not to be disclosed for the same reasons as those on which the order is founded, that minister may include in the order a direction that no person shall disclose its substance to any other person except as required by law or as necessary to give it effect.

Notice and opportunity to make representations

(5) An order made under this section may take effect immediately on notice to the Licensee, but the minister making the order shall give to the Licensee an opportunity — during a period of 15 days after the notice or any longer period that the minister specifies — to make representations regarding it.

Priority Access

Minister’s order for priority access

15 (1) The Minister may make an order requiring a Licensee to provide to Her Majesty in right of Canada any service through the licensed system that the Minister believes on reasonable grounds is desirable for the conduct of international relations or the performance of Canada’s international obligations.

Order of Minister of National Defence

(2) The Minister of National Defence may make an order requiring a Licensee to provide to Her Majesty in right of Canada any service through the licensed system that that minister believes on reasonable grounds is desirable for the defence of Canada or the safety of Canadian Armed Forces.

Order of Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

(3) The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness may make an order requiring a Licensee to provide any service through the licensed system

(a) to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that that minister believes on reasonable grounds is desirable for the fulfilment of its members’ responsibilities under subsection 6(1) of the Security Offences Act;Footnote 38

(b) to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service that that minister believes on reasonable grounds is desirable for the fulfilment of its duties and functions under the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act;Footnote 39 or

(c) to Her Majesty in right of Canada that that minister believes on reasonable grounds is desirable for critical infrastructure protection or emergency preparedness.

Details of orders

(4) An order made under this section must specify the period during which the service is to be provided and may specify how and with what priority it is to be provided.

Non-application of Statutory Instruments Act

(5) The Statutory Instruments ActFootnote 40 does not apply to an order made under this section.

Non-disclosure direction

(6) If the minister making an order is satisfied that the substance of the order ought not to be disclosed for the same reasons as those on which the order is founded, that minister may include in the order a direction that no person shall disclose its substance to any other person except as required by law or as necessary to give it effect.

Notice and opportunity to make representations

(7) An order made under this section may take effect immediately on notice to the Licensee, but the minister making the order shall give to the Licensee an opportunity — during a period of 15 days after the notice or any longer period that the minister specifies — to make representations regarding it.

c)

section 16 of the Act

Section 16 of the Act is reproduced below:

TRANSFER OF REMOTE SENSING SATELLITES

Prohibition on transfer of control

16 (1) No Licensee or former Licensee shall permit a command to a remote sensing satellite of the remote sensing space system for which the licence was issued to be given from outside Canada or by any other person unless the Licensee or former Licensee

(a) can override the command from Canada; or

(b) has obtained the approval of the Minister.

Factors for approval

(2) In deciding whether to give an approval, the Minister shall have regard to national security, the defence of Canada, the safety of Canadian Armed Forces, Canada’s conduct of international relations, Canada’s international obligations, and any prescribed factors.

Data protection planAdditional clarifications are presented in Appendix B of this guide, which covers requirements on physical security, personnel security and IT security (includes cybersecurity).

22

The general strategy with respect to data protection.

23

The location and function of all facilities, including mobile facilities, to be used to handle raw data and remote sensing products in the operation of the remote sensing space system.

Both address and geographic coordinates are required.

24

A general description and block diagram of all facilities to be used to handle raw data and remote sensing products, including the longitude and latitude and station mask of each ground station

25     1

A general description and block diagram of the proposed communication architecture that includes descriptions of:

a)

each system supporting the facilities that are to be used to handle raw data and remote sensing products;

b)

links between the facilities and the remote sensing satellite;

c)

links for the relaying of raw data and remote sensing products between facilities on the ground; and

d)

crosslinks between remote sensing satellites.

2

The radio-frequency downlink information, including the characterization of each link and the type of information carried by each communication channel.

3

The protocols to be used in the communication architecture.

4

A description of the encryption to be used on all communication channels including keying and rekeying schemes.

5

Management plans for the keys to be used in satellite downlinks and relays and in facilities used to handle raw data and remote sensing products.

26

A general description of:

a)

the content and format of raw data and remote sensing products; and

b)

the processes to be employed to alter image quality and information content at each step from the acquisition of raw data to the provision of a remote sensing product, including such processes as spatial or spectral pixel aggregation — discarding low order analog-to-digital bits — and data compression.

27

A diagram that:

a)

shows each step to be taken by the applicant or proposed system participant from the placement of a sales order for raw data or a remote sensing product to the communication of raw data to a recipient or the provision of the remote sensing product to a recipient; and

b)

indicates the data protection measures proposed for each step.

28

A description of the data protection measures proposed for each step of the business process, including:

a)

the measures proposed for each facility to be used to handle raw data and remote sensing products, including measures relating to

i)

the security screening of personnel,

ii)

the physical security of the facility, and

iii)

the information assurance, within the facility, in respect of raw data and remote sensing products;

b)

the measures proposed for the transfer of raw data and remote sensing products between the facilities of the remote sensing space system, including measures relating to physical and electronic protection and information assurance; and

c)

the measures proposed for the communication of raw data and the provision of remote sensing products to recipients, including measures relating to physical and electronic protection and information assurance.

*Bent-pipe data outside of Canada is considered communicating raw data – a Controlled Activity.

29

Proposed measures to comply with any conditions of the licence that restrict the communication of raw data or the provision of remote sensing products related to:

Include any foreign remote sensing laws that the system may fall under in this section.

a)

recipients or classes of recipients of raw data or remote sensing products;

b)

sensor modes;

c)

types of raw data or remote sensing products;

d)

the time between the acquisition of raw data by the remote sensing satellite and the communication of the raw data or the provision of a remote sensing product to a recipient;

e)

the sensed territory;

f)

the location of the recipients; and

g)

any agreements entered into under paragraph 8(6)(b) or (7)(b) of the Act.

Sections 8(6)(b) and 8(7)(b) are reproduced below:

Issuance, amendment or renewal of licences

Conditions specified by Minister — raw data

8 (6) In a licence, the Minister may authorize the communication of raw data or classes of raw data from the licensed system to any persons or classes of persons other than the Licensee or system participants on any conditions that the Minister considers appropriate. The conditions may include requirements that, in specified cases or circumstances, the communication of the raw data

(b) be done only under a legally enforceable agreement, entered into in good faith, that includes measures respecting their security or their further communication.

The receipt, communication, processing or storage of raw data by such persons is not a controlled activity.

Conditions specified by Minister — remote sensing products

(7) In a licence, the Minister may restrict the provision of remote sensing products or classes of such products from the licensed system to persons or classes of persons other than the Licensee or system participants on any conditions that the Minister considers appropriate. The conditions may include requirements that, in specified cases or circumstances, the provision of the remote sensing products

(b) be done only under a legally enforceable agreement, entered into in good faith, that includes measures respecting their security or their further provision.

Command and data protection planThis section is not required if sections 14 (Command Protection Plan) & 22 (Data Protection Plan) are individually completed.

30

In lieu of a separate command protection plan and data protection plan, a combined command and data protection plan that contains the information and documents set out in sections 14 to 29 of this Schedule.

Affiliated entities

31

The name, identifying information and contact information of each entity affiliated with the applicant that will be involved in the operation of the licensed system, a description of their involvement and the name, identifying information and contact information of each person who exercises control over the affiliated entity.

To further add to the Regulations’ definition of Affiliation, GAC considers the following:

One entity is affiliated with another entity if one of them is controlled by the other or both are controlled by the same person.

System participant information

32

If the application includes a request to designate a person to be a system participant,

Ensure all information provided under this section is included in draft system participant agreement(s)

a)

the proposed system participant’s name, identifying information and contact information;

List all system participant’s information.

Name(s) (please specify which department/division/section)

Email address(es)

Contact number(s)

b)

the address of each facility to be used by the proposed system participant for carrying on controlled activities, including the location and station mask of each ground station and telemetry, tracking and command station; and

Please clearly identify and list the information of each facility to be used by each proposed system participant for carrying on Controlled Activities.

c)

a copy of an agreement or proposed agreement between the applicant and the proposed system participant that specifies

Provide all draft System Participant Agreements (SPAs) with all proposed system participants that clearly demonstrate that obligations of the applicant under the Act, the Regulations and the operating licence flow down to proposed system participants through the SPAs

A final draft SPA is sufficient for the purpose of the application

A signed copy of the SPA can be provided to GAC after the licence is issued.

(i)

the territory from which the proposed system participant will communicate raw data and provide remote sensing products or will give commands to the remote sensing satellite,

(ii)

the proposed system participant’s data protection plan that contains the information and documents referred to in sections 22 to 29 of this Schedule as modified to relate to the proposed system participant’s operations, and, if the applicant intends to permit the proposed system participant to formulate or give a command to a remote sensing satellite of the system, its command protection plan that contains the information and documents referred to in sections 14 to 21 of this Schedule as modified to relate to the proposed system participant’s operations,

Provide data protection plan for each proposed system participant(s)’ facilities.

*List all foreign remote sensing laws to which any of the proposed system participant(s) are subject.

(iii)

how the proposed system participant will make raw data and remote sensing products available to the governments of countries whose territories have been sensed by the system

Refer to Section 7(a) of Schedule 1.

While the applicant describes how it will adhere to Principle XII of the Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Outer Space,Footnote 41 the applicant needs to describe and demonstrate in the SPA how its proposed system participants will meet the same Principle as part of the system.

(iv)

how the proposed system participant will make raw data available to the applicant before the data is disposed of,

(v)

how the proposed system participant will assist the applicant to provide service pursuant to an order under section 15 of the Act,

Refer to Section 21(b) of Schedule 1.

While the applicant describes how it will comply to an order under Section 15 of the Act, the applicant needs to describe and demonstrate in the SPA how its proposed system participants will comply with Section 15 of the Act as part of the system.

(vi)

the proposed system participant’s obligation to maintain records, the address where the records will be maintained and the proposed system participant’s obligation to allow the applicant access to them,

(vii)

the proposed system participant’s obligation to make periodic or other reports to the applicant,

(viii)

the proposed system participant’s obligation to allow the applicant or an inspector access to their facilities in order to monitor compliance with the proposed system participant’s data protection plan and the proposed system participant’s command protection plan, if any, and

(ix)

the obligation of the proposed system participant to allow the applicant or an inspector access to their facilities in order to monitor compliance on the part of the applicant with the applicant’s command protection plan and data protection plan and the applicant’s requirements under the Act, these Regulations and the conditions of the licence.

Note: The applicant must include a list all documents provided as part of the application.

Appendix D - RSSSA operating licence outline

RSSSA licence overview:

  • Official Letter signed by the Minister
  • Annex A: Exemption Orders
  • Annex B: Licence Conditions
    • Eight main schedules
    • Other schedules, if applicable
  • Other Annexes, if applicable

This section provides a high-level description of what to expect when you receive a Remote Sensing Space Systems Operating Licence, along with its annexes and schedules. The intent of this document is to describe each section that forms part of a licence. Please be advised that licences are tailored from this generic model based on the specifics of the system being licensed, and, as a result, will not look the same.

Official letter signed by the minister of foreign affairs or at the appropriate authority level

Annex A: Exemption orders

Annex B: Licence conditions

As per Interpretation section of the Regulations

A listing of definitions:

  1.  Administrative Control and Operation Control of the System
  2. System Disposal Plan and Guarantee
  3. General Operating Conditions
  4. Command and Data Protection Plan
  5. Authorized System Participants
  6. Recipient Authorizations under Section 8(6) and Restrictions under Section 8(7) of the Act
  7. Authorized Ground Stations
  8. Records
  9. Reports

Annex B: Schedule 1: Command and data protection plans

Applicant’s key security documents detailing physical, personnel and Information Technology security for the entire Remote Sensing Space System.

Note: This schedule is not to be confused with the Regulations’ Schedule 1 – the Application.

Annex B: Schedule 2: Sensors and sensor modes

Annex B: Schedule 3: System participant designations and agreements

Annex B: Schedule 4:  Customer Access Profiles (CAPS) (Authorizations and restrictions)

Annex B: Schedule 5: End User Licence Agreements (EULAs)

Annex B: Schedule 6: Prohibited entities

Annex B: Schedule 7: Satellite and system disposal plan

Annex B: Schedule 8: Satellites of the system

Annex B: Schedule 9: Resource sharing (for ground station-centric licence)

Appendix E - Frequently asked questions

1. Why do I need a licence?

Remote Sensing Space Systems are regulated in Canada pursuant to the Remote Sensing Space Systems Act (S.C. 2005, c. 45) (RSSSA; the Act) and the Remote Sensing Space Systems Regulations (SOR 2007-66) (the Regulations).

The Act is the national implementation of international obligations derived from various treaties and agreements that Canada has ratified in the past. The Act, as per its name, is focused on the regulation and licensing of Remote Sensing Space Systems.

The Act also takes into account the implications of national security, the defence of Canada, the safety of Canadian Armed Forces, Canada’s conduct of international relations and Canada’s international obligations. The Regulations also contains prescribed factors related to the ability of the applicant to comply with the Act and the Regulations, as well as the enhancement of the competitiveness, at the national and international levels, of the Canadian remote sensing industry.

2. What is considered part of a Remote Sensing Space System?

Any satellite system that has the capability, directly or indirectly, of observing the Earth through the use of electromagnetic waves is considered a Remote Sensing Space System, as per the Act.

A Remote Sensing Space System consists of three parts:

3. When should I first contact Global Affairs Canada (GAC)?

It is recommended to contact GAC as early as possible in the process. It will allow GAC to assign an Officer to your project. Future applicants may contact GAC at the stage of the planning of a remote sensing space system. GAC may then advise more precisely on the documentation requirements and identify elements requiring special attention.

Future applicants are also welcome to contact GAC at all phases of the process of developing a remote sensing system.

4. How do I make contact with GAC to discuss a possible application?

You can contact GAC by e-mail at RSSSA-LSTS@international.gc.ca.

5. What types of satellites are regulated by the RSSSA?

A satellite that is capable of sensing the surface of the Earth through the use of electromagnetic waves requires to be licensed under the RSSSA.

6. I am a Canadian individual working as an employee of a foreign organization operating a remote sensing space system. Do I have to get a licence?

As an employee of a foreign organization operating a remote sensing space system, you do not need to have a licence.

A Canadian organization performing controlled activities for a foreign organization needs to obtain a licence under the RSSSA.

If in doubt, please contact RSSSA-LSTS@international.gc.ca

7. How am I to determine if a contractor needs a System Participant Agreement or not?

Controlled Activities - Summary:

  1. formulating or giving a command;
  2. receiving raw data;
  3. storing, processing or distributing raw data; and
  4. establishing or using
    1. cryptography in communications
    2. information assurance measures

RSSSA, Section 2

An affirmative answer to the question, “is my contractor performing any Controlled Activity”, as defined under Section 2 of the Act, is the litmus test to determine if a contractor needs a System Participant Agreement or not.

8. What if the contractor refuses to sign a System Participant Agreement?

If a contractor will perform any Controlled Activity, the application for a licence must include a request to have such contractor designated as a System Participant along with a copy or a proposed copy of the System Participant Agreement and other information required as contemplated under Section 2 of the Regulations. Please note that, it is a punishable offence to operate a remote sensing space system in any manner, directly or indirectly, except under the authority of a licence.

9. What is the significance of the 180 days of processing time to obtain a licence?

Once a complete licence application is received by GAC, 180 days is the maximum time allotted to approve or refuse a licence application, as per the Regulations, Section 7. This period will enable GAC as regulator to review or make changes, if needed, to all official documents provided by the applicant requesting a remote sensing licence, and time for the internal administrative process to get the Minister’s approval.

When the licensing team is involved early in the process, depending on the complexity of the project, this processing time may be shorter. Additionally, if the applicant does not require exemptions, the time for approval might also be shorter.

10. Is there a list of all the documents I need for an application?

A list of all required documentation for the remote sensing application can be found in Appendix A of this document.

11. If I have a licence from the United States (or other foreign country), is that good enough?

If you will conduct remote sensing activities in Canada, including such activities as storage and processing remote sensing data, a RSSSA licence is required. The RSSSA Licensing Team at GAC has regular exchanges with its international counterparts to ensure some level of harmonisation and to avoid contradictions in our respective licenses. Providing information from the foreign licence will be helpful in the review of the application.

12. What other approvals are required for operations in Canada?

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is responsible for radio communications and has the mandate for licensing satellite radio frequency communications for all satellites, national or foreign for use in Canada, as per the Radiocommunication Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. R-2).

13. Do companies that provide telecommunications services need a System Participant Agreement (SPA)?

Controlled Activities - Summary:

  1. formulating or giving a command;
  2. receiving raw data;
  3. storing, processing or distributing raw data; and
  4. establishing or using
    1. cryptography in communications
    2. information assurance measures

RSSSA, Section 2

Telecommunications services are only required to have a SPA if they contribute to the remote sensing space system in any of the Controlled Activities. Otherwise, their involvement needs to be explained (typically within the Data and Command Protection Plan) without the need of a SPA.

14. What if I sell a satellite prior to launch? What if I sell it sometime after launch?

The key consideration is if the satellite in question, and the remote sensing space system to which it belongs, was licensed under the Act at the time of the sale. Transfer of control of a satellite is regulated under Section 16 (1) of the Act by prohibiting transmission of a command to a remote sensing satellite for which the licence was issued, from outside Canada or by any other person, unless the Licensee or former Licensee:

  1. can override the command from Canada; or
  2. has obtained the approval of the Minister.

15. What if my satellite is part of a foreign constellation?

Please ensure that the application reflects how you as an applicant will exercise control over the operations of the remote sensing space system as a whole for which the licence is being sought. Among others, this information is required to demonstrate how orders passed under Sections 14 and 15 of the Act (as they respectively relate to Interruptions of Service and Priority Access) will be executed.

16. What efforts are being made to ensure competitiveness of the Canadian Space Industry?

GAC engages bilaterally and multilaterally with other regulators to ensure that Canadian regulations are in line with those of like-minded countries and to reduce bureaucratic red tape in efforts to make it easier for Canadian space operators to compete. The Licensing Team at GAC is available for early discussions about your project. The Licensing Team makes presentations on the RSSSA and status updates at most major Canadian and international space and remote sensing conferences. These presentations are used to highlight the ease with which industry can operate in Canada and explains the regulatory environment in Canada that is conducive to space operators.

17. Will systems with more than one ground station have different licensing arrangements than a system with only one ground station?

No, such systems are treated in a similar manner. Each ground station needs to be analyzed and will be listed in the licence and/or in System Participant Agreement(s).

18. What about a constellation made up of different foreign satellites? Will it have a different licensing arrangement than a system controlled by one “owner” / operator?

A constellation would typically be covered by one licence. The licence has provisions for multiple operators conducting Controlled Activities, as required. They are normally called System Participants (refer to Section 32 of the Regulations’ Schedule 1).

19. Can an applicant appeal a denied licence application?

We first encourage dialogue with the Licensing Team at GAC. If an applicant is displeased with the outcome of a decision on its licence application, the applicant can request to the Minister a review of the decision. Alternatively, the applicant has the right to seek judicial review with the Federal Court within 30 days of receiving the decision, pursuant to Section 18.1 of the Federal Courts Act.Footnote 44

Two questions typically asked by a foreign entity planning to operate in Canada:

20. Is a foreign entity subject to the Canadian regulation when performing remote sensing activities outside Canada?

The Canadian regulation will only exercise jurisdiction and control over any control activities occurring in Canada.

The Act applies to all activities that take place in Canada that are part of the system. For example, building an antenna station is not a controlled activity, but it is covered under the law.

21. Is there a need for a foreign entity to have a Canadian subsidiary to operate in Canada?

Presently, it is not mandatory for a foreign entity to have a Canadian subsidiary to operate in Canada. However, this is something that may be considered in the future. As each situation is unique, we recommend that you directly contact RSSSA-LSTS@international.gc.ca.

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