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Neptec Design Group
  • 202-302 Legget Dr.
  • Kanata, ON
  • K2K1Y5

Contact Information

Alternate Telephone:
Year Established:
Industries Classification:
334511  Search, Detection, Navigation, Guidance, Aeronautical, and Nautical System and Instrument Manufacturing
Quality Certifications:
ISO 9001
Total Sales ($CDN):
$10,000,000 to $24,999,999
Updated on:
2018-01-16,  Industry Canada
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Neptec Design Group

Company Profile

Neptec Design Group produces electro-optical and electro-mechanical systems for mission critical space applications. We are a world class supplier of high performance intelligent LIDAR and an innovator in the world of vision systems. In our nearly thirty year history, Neptec has contributed critical systems to some of the most demanding space exploration missions and built a reputation for making things work in challenging environments. Neptec Design Group has operations in Canada, the USA and the UK and is ISO 9001 certified


  • TRIDAR Neptec's TriDAR was specifically designed for non-cooperative missions such as satellite servicing which require high levels of autonomy. The sensor hardware and algorithms were designed to provide maximum operational flexibility for such missions. This allows the sensor to be adapted to rendezvous and dock to different targets and approach profiles even after launch. The technology has been demonstrated in many laboratories around the world and tested on three Space Shuttle missions. It now serves as a primary rendezvous and docking sensor for the Cygnus spacecraft for cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station (ISS). TriDAR is offered with an optional thermal imager to provide extended range tracking and short range guidance.

  • LASER CAMERA SYSTEM (LCS) Neptec's Laser Camera System (LCS) is a high-precision autosynchronous triangulation laser scanner designed to perform on-orbit 3D inspections of spacecraft surfaces at ranges of one to three meters. The LCS was part of NASA's standard shuttle manifest and after 2003 was a mandatory system on every shuttle mission. It was used to scan the spacecraft's thermal protection system in support of the assessment and precision damage inspection process required for clearance to land the shuttle.

  • HAWKEYE LASER RANGEFINDER Hawkeye is a LiDAR-based range finder qualified for use in geosynchronous orbit (GEO). It is specifically designed to provide satellites in formation flying applications with ranging and situational awareness information on surrounding objects including space vehicles, satellites and debris. Its compact form factor is particularly suited to small satellites. Weighing less than 3 kg and consuming as little as 2.2 W, this sensor has an operational range in excess of 30 km.

  • LiDAR for Extra-terrestrial Imaging Applications (LEIA) LEIA (LiDAR for Extra-terrestrial Imaging Applications) will be Neptec's first LiDAR qualified for operation in high Earth orbit. LEIA will feature low mass and volume and a range of 1500 meters. It is a critical component of ESA's autonomous landing navigation system called PILOT and will be integrated to the Luna Resource-1 Lander for the Luna 27 mission expected in 2021. LEIA will map the surface of the south polar region of the Moon during the lander's descent in order to locate a suitable landing area for the vehicle.

  • LINIS 360 LiDAR & NAVIGATION SUITE Neptec, in partnership with the CSA, developed the LiNIS 360 scanning LiDAR to provide situational awareness, mapping and hazard avoidance in planetary rover applications. Using Neptec's patented spinning design, the sensor is able to rapidly scan a 360° by 45° (elevation) field of view. Through the use of two scanning regimes, the sensor can gather measurements at 200 kHz, which corresponds to a maximum range of 200 m and provides detailed mapping information of the immediate surroundings. Alternatively, the 25 kHz acquisition rate yields a maximum range of 1 km and provides information appropriate to maintaining situational awareness and hazard avoidance. A hybrid acquisition mode is also available that employs a phase-shifted high scan rate that evolves over time to fill gaps left in previous passes.

  • EXOMARS STEREO CAMERA (EXMC) EXMC is Neptec's visible light stereo camera for rover navigation and localisation. It boasts a mass of less than 800 g, peak power consumption less than 2.5 W, automatic distortion correction of images and delivers unprecedented accuracy over a wide temperature range. It is capable of survival in the harsh Martian environment without heaters. This camera uses a global shutter, CMOS image sensor and an efficient FPGA to provide a robust and accurate means of collecting and reporting high-quality, calibrated images to the host rover's mobility algorithms. Neptec will provide two EXMC cameras to ESA's ExoMars programme, one mast mounted to provide navigation and another body mounted for localisation.

  • LONG WAVE INFRARED CAMERA (LWIR) The Long Range Infrared Camera (LWIR) advances the state of the technology of the infrared camera previously built by Neptec and used on the International Space Station. This most recent configuration is specifically designed to support Rendezvous and Proximity Operations (RPO) in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). In particular, the LWIRCam has been optimized to provide consistent, reliable and accurate images over a large temperature range between -30C and +45C. This performance is achieved using an athermalized lens assembly and high resolution microbolometer, in a compact, and power efficient package, with a mass of less than 2.5kg and power consumption less than 10W. Enclosed in a robust housing, and including radiation tolerant electronics, the LWIRCam provides superior performance in the harsh environmental conditions observed in LEO.

  • FINE LATERAL & LONGITUDINAL SENSOR (FLLS) The Fine Lateral and Longitudinal Sensor (FLLS) is a laser-based instrument designed to measure the lateral and longitudinal displacements between two cooperating spacecraft to sub-millimetre accuracy. This sensor is a critical component of the precise formation flying technologies ESA intends to demonstrate in-orbit with its Proba-3 spacecraft. PROBA-3 is comprised of two spacecraft, the Occulter Spacecraft (OSC), and the Coronagraph Spacecraft (CSC). The precise formation flying of these spacecraft enabled by the FLLS, provides ESA an opportunity for scientific study of the Sun's corona using a coronagraph instrument.

  • CANADIAN ASTRO-H METROLOGY SYSTEM (CAMS) Designed to sharpen Space borne Telescopes images by measuring and compensating for deformation in its structure, the Canadian Astro-H Metrology System (CAMS) is a laser system typically implemented as a pair of units. This pairing of CAMS units provides redundancy to the basic metrology function while also providing the capability to measure the Optics plate's rotation around the long axis of a spacecraft. As implemented on the JAXA Astro-H observatory, CAMS provides ?m level position accuracy over the hard X-ray telescope's 12 m focal length.

  • COMMUNICATION & SITUATIONAL AWARENESS SYSTEM (CSAS) Neptec's Combined Laser Communication and Situational Awareness System (CSAS) is offered as a lightweight, low-power, cost-effective and secure communication link between satellites that also provides distance ranging information and time synchronization in support of formation flying. Offering higher data rates than traditional radio frequency (RF) communications as well as a reduction in size, mass and power, CSAS features improved channel security, a reduced antennae size up to 90% smaller than RF antennae and the elimination of interference with other sensitive RF equipment.

  • QUANTUM ENCRYPTION AND SCIENCE SATELLITE (QEYSSat) Neptec is the payload integrator for the CSA's Quantum Encryption and Science Satellite (QEYSSat) program. QEYSSat aims to demonstrate the generation of encryption keys through the creation of quantum links between ground and space, and also to conduct fundamental science investigations of long-distance quantum entanglement. Neptec has contributed key opto-electronic elements to the QEYSSat payload design and is currently pursuing the developments of both optical ground receiver (OGR) and a satellite optical terminal (SOT). These developments will allow Neptec to offer satellite operators a total system solution for ultrahigh data throughput applications based on optical communications.

  • AUTONOMOUS MEDICAL SYSTEM (AMS) In 2013, Neptec led a research team in a concept definition contract for the Canadian Space Agency to define the Advanced Crew Medical System(ACMS). Neptec's solution ? the Autonomous Medical System (AMS) integrates multiple technologies into a computerised system which processes biometric measurements and medical observations in order to formulate a diagnosis and prescribe treatment. Neptec has combined its novel knowledge storage and processing architecture with data analytics to provide evidence-based medicine for astronauts and the World and further the progress of human well being through the use of heath state models and trajectories. These developments will allow Neptec to offer Space Agencies and Healthcare Agencies on Earth evidence-based medicine at a small fraction of the cost of current healthcare paradigms.

  • ON ASTRONAUT WIRELESS SENSOR SYSTEM (OAWSS) In 2015, Neptec led a team in the development of the On-Astronaut Wireless Sensor System (OAWSS) to provide basic biometric monitoring of astronauts for the AMS. The OAWSS includes a set of two wireless sensor units (WSU) that are worn next to the skin, a series of networked sensor interface units (SIU) and a central data management system that shares the network space with the SIUs. Once associated to an astronaut, the sensors provide a wide range of non-invasive biometric readings including: cardiogram, respiratory rate, respiratory volume, body temperature, body movement, oxygen saturation and blood pressure. The WSU's can also be associated with a smartphone to provide individuals with health data collection and monitoring, and predict failures and recommend changes to 'risky' behaviour.

  • SPACE MEDICINE DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM (SMDSS) Neptec's Space Medicine Decision Support System (SMDSS) is the 'reasoning' part of the Autonomous Medical System (AMS). The SMDSS stores medical knowledge as OpenEHR Archetypes and Problem-Knowledge couplers. Neptec has further developed these established technologies by integrating a final decision algorithm called the Lethality Algorithm as well as prognostic characteristics in the form of Health State Models and Health Trajectories. Based on a list of possible diagnoses or treatments, the Lethality Algorithm provides the SMDSS with a single selection by introducing time-based and harm-based criteria to the decision process. The Health State Models and Health Trajectories provide the SMDSS with the ability to look at a patient's current health state within the context of a continuum of health states and predict failures and recommend changes to 'risky' behaviour.

  • ARTEMIS JR. ROVER Neptec's Artemis Jr Rover is a light weight terrestrial prototype of a lunar rover that was designed, developed and tested by a Neptec-led team of commercial and academic organizations. Artemis Jr was designed to operate as a surface mobility platform for a variety of science payloads and instruments for future lunar missions. With a mass of 230 kg and a payload capacity of up to 150 kg, Artemis Jr. is a four-wheeled, skid-steer design with a two-speed mechanical drive train powered by brushless DC electric motors. Artemis Jr. incorporates a passive, rigid suspension and compliant metal wheels to provide a simple, terrainable and reliable mobility chassis. The rover can be controlled directly through an RF-handheld transmitter, tele-operated remotely, or can be commanded to autonomously navigate and avoid obstacles using an onboard suite of vision and navigation sensors.

  • JUNO ROVER The Juno Rover is an early prototype rover designed, developed and built by a Neptec-led team for the Canadian Space Agency. The Juno Rover is actually a family of multi-purpose rovers that can be adapted to carry different science instruments and payloads on the Moon. The Juno Rover offers a high degree of modularity while allowing the rover to be adapted to a variety of different payloads and mission scenarios. Juno has a mass of 300 kg, can drive over all sorts of terrain and large obstacles and can carry up to 275 kg ? almost as much as it weighs. Powered by lithium-ion batteries, Juno has a top speed of 12.5 km/h and can be fitted to use many different types of wheels or a set of metal tracks.

  • VISCAM Neptec's VisCam is a Visible light spaceflight camera, designed to support Rendezvous and Proximity Operations. The camera is offered in two optical configurations ? a Wide Field of View and a Narrow Field of View ? to address the varying mission parameters associated with both near and far field objects. A streamlined approach to the camera development has led to each of the configurations sharing a common electronics enclosure. The VisCam employs a high-resolution global-shutter, CMOS image sensor, in conjunction with radiation tolerant electronics, to provide maximum performance in the harsh environmental conditions.

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