Improved Advanced Digital Ionosonde - SK-006

Preferred Disciplines: Computer programming, atmospheric and space-based research
Project length: 12 to 18 months (2-3 units)
Approx. start date: May 2018
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 
No. of Positions: 1
Preferences: Language: English 
Company: Scientific Instrumentation Ltd. (SIL)

About Company:

SIL designs and develops solutions to high tech challenges for industrial, military and scientific applications. With more than a quarter century of engineering, providing intelligent answers to difficult questions, SIL has the experience, facilities, capabilities, and confidence to meet any of its client’s needs. Our projects encompass space-based research, military defense, civil communications infrastructure, and atmospheric and environmental research and we are well poised to lead our industry. More specifically, SIL specializes in the research, development, and application of advanced sensor technology. Coupled with support from our computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing department, manufacturing and administrative departments, our engineers and technologists can take a project from conceptualization through prototyping to full production.

Summary of Project:

SIL’s Canadian Advanced Digital Ionosonde (CADI) is a low cost, state of the art, flexible, full featured radar, ideal for both routine ionospheric monitoring and research. SIL intends to update the CADI with technical features that will enhance current research on the ionosphere, including space weather predictions. These features include lower output power to reduce interference to others and of data collected, as well as hardware redesign to lower manufacturing costs.  

Background and required skills

Research Objectives/Sub-Objectives:

  • Upgrade software
  • Redesign hardware
  • Test and evaluate the systems


  • Software upgrade: Phase coding feature will be added to the existing program running on the FPGA. This will allow for the CADI to operate in a spread spectrum mode reducing output power to less than 100 watts compared to the current 600 watts. The CADI will then be tested and its data evaluated; operation in this mode should improve the quality of the data in the lower frequency and E region due to the elimination of noise and interference.
  • Hardware design: Several components in the system are obsolete, but still available from “hard to find” suppliers. Components in all parts of the system will be examined in more detail, for current availability and obsolescence. Replacement of these parts with those currently available, will be made where possible, through in-depth research. Evaluation of the CADI’s performance with the new hardware will be done methodically to ensure the compatibility of each replacement.

Expertise and Skills Needed:

  • Computer programming
  • Knowledge of electronics
  • Knowledge of atmospheric & space sciences
  • QA and troubleshooting

For more info or to apply to this applied research position, please

  1. Check your eligibility and find more information about open projects.
  2. Complete this webform. You will be asked to upload your CV. Remember to indicate the title of the project(s) you are interested in and obtain your professor’s approval to proceed!
  3. Interested students need to get the approval from their supervisor and send their CV along with a link to their supervisor’s university webpage by applying through the webform or directly to Zsuzsa Papp at zpapp(a)