Science and Technology

Defence Research and Development Canada’s (DRDC) science and technology (S&T) research is based on eleven areas of expertise that are grouped into three domains: physical, information and human. A number of these areas include aspects from more than one domain.

Areas of Expertise:

Command and Control

Command and control (C2) involves the conveyance of intent in complex environments involving humans and systems. S&T expertise that supports this requirement addresses information and knowledge management, visualization technologies, decision making tools and concept development methodologies.

DRDC's S&T focus:

  • enhanced decision-making in C2 environments;
  • flexible and adaptable C2 concepts and structures for achieving common intent;
  • effects-based visualization and awareness for the decision maker;
  • information fusion and knowledge management and representation; and
  • software protection and countermeasures.

Communications Networks

Communications networks form the basis for linkages among all elements of an organization. S&T expertise must exist in the areas of wireless and networked systems and computers, including architecture, protection and countermeasures to ensure robust, adaptable and reliable networks.

DRDC's S&T focus:

  • robust, reliable networks;
  • computer network operations;
  • robust wireless communications;
  • communications electronic warfare; and
  • navigation warfare.

Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance

Situational awareness and decision-making depend on information collected and organized to describe the environment and activity. S&T expertise in development, deployment and fusing of sensing systems is required for effective information gathering.

DRDC's S&T focus:

  • collaborative adaptive sensing;
  • sensing systems to exploit diversity (in phenomenon, space, time and spectrum);
  • new sensing technologies;
  • exploitation of target and environment characteristics; and
  • exploitation of adversaries' emissive systems.

Complex Systems

Many requirements in the defence and security environment go beyond traditional training and understanding to a convergence of disciplines that need to address the fundamental principles of complexity. S&T expertise in this area includes analysis of complexity, methodologies for capability-based planning and capability engineering, as well as methodologies to analyze integrating concepts and other complex systems.

DRDC's S&T focus:

  • smart acquisitions and enhanced material support;
  • capability-based planning;
  • capability engineering;
  • analysis of integrating concepts;
  • analysis of complex systems and concepts; and
  • improvements in multi-purpose capability of new and existing systems.

System Autonomy

Technological developments combined with a need for cost reduction and minimization of casualties has led to an increased reliance upon automatic and autonomous systems. S&T expertise includes robotics, artificial intelligence and understanding of emergent behaviours of systems of autonomous agents.

DRDC's S&T focus:

  • intelligent autonomous systems for operation in complex environments; and
  • emergent behaviour of simple autonomous systems.

Mobile Systems

An important element of effective engagement is the ability to move troops and place equipment in key locations quickly and efficiently. S&T expertise in this area focuses on the development, adaptation and maintenance of the mobile platforms that are needed for this task, including design, performance analysis and their integration into systems.

DRDC's S&T focus:

  • condition-based monitoring and prognostic and health management methodologies;
  • integrated platform models and their application;
  • characterization of effects of environment and expanded operating envelope on vehicles; and
  • development of efficient energy storage and power sources.

Weapons Systems

Modern weapons must be effective against a variety of targets in challenging environments, such as urban terrain. S&T expertise includes identification and characterization of lethal and non-lethal weapons as well as the application of new weapon concepts to meet Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) requirements.

DRDC's S&T focus:

  • non-lethal weapons;
  • assessment of the effects of weapons and weapon systems;
  • tailored precision weapons; and
  • enhanced weapons systems for complex environments, including urban operations.

Personnel Protection

Personnel of the CAF, their allies and the people they are tasked to protect, need to be protected from various threats, including weapons, environmental toxins and disease. People also need to be monitored to ensure that they are capable of performing the required tasks. S&T expertise includes threat evaluation, diagnostic methods, physical protection and treatment.

DRDC's S&T focus:

  • evaluation and mitigation of hazards from toxic materials, infectious threats and weapons;
  • diagnostic and adaptive systems for environmental stresses;
  • personnel protection systems and signature reduction; and
  • casualty prevention and management.

Protection of Assets

Physical structures and infrastructure need to be protected from attack and the environmental damage needs to be minimized during military operations. S&T expertise includes methodologies for structural survivability, reduced observability and signature management, countermeasures against weapons and equipment decontamination techniques.

DRDC's S&T focus:

  • structure and materials for protection against weapons attacks;
  • reduced observability through active and passive signature management;
  • active countermeasures for platform protection;
  • minimization of impact of military operations, including training, on the environment; and
  • decontamination of equipment and structures exposed to toxic and corrosive materials.

Human Systems Integration

Humans are required to interact with more and more complex systems to communicate, obtain information and affect actions. S&T expertise includes modelling of humans for simulation and system performance evaluation, human-systems integration, monitoring and predicting of psycho-physiological readiness and the design of systems that effectively train and prepare humans for operations.

DRDC's S&T focus:

  • human performance models for military simulations;
  • human systems integration;
  • monitoring, predicting and enhancing psycho-physiological readiness;
  • increased effectiveness and efficiency of the CAF human resources system; and
  • distributed, adaptable and on-demand learning, training and rehearsal.

Behavioural Effects

The prediction and influence of human behaviour is important for understanding and defeating adversaries, but also for developing more effective operations that may include members from diverse backgrounds and different organizations working cooperatively. S&T expertise includes understanding of motivation, communication, cultural effects, leadership and cooperation.

DRDC's S&T focus:

  • understanding, prediction and influence of adversaries’ intent;
  • strategies for promoting collaborative behaviour among teams, agencies, organizations and societies;
  • selection and development of leaders and members consistent with the ethos of the CAF; and
  • strategic outlook – Tools and models to analyze and assess implications of changes in national and international policy, socio-economic trends and political climate.