The North Warning System (NWS), a network of radars that “look out” from Canada’s North to detect airborne threats, is operated and maintained by Nasittuq Corporation.
The NWS is comprised of radar sites, logistics support sites, the North Warning System Control Centre, the North Warning System Support Centre and the Contract Management Office.
The NWS detects aircraft and cruise missiles flying within its radar coverage volume and uses two types of radar to ensure complete coverage: 11 AN/FPS-117 Long Range Radars and 36 AN/FPS-124 Short Range Radars. Notwithstanding their different physical configurations, all radar sites operate unattended, are powered by diesel electronic generators, and are connected to the outside world by satellite ground terminals.
Logistics Support Sites (LSSs)
Nasittuq operates five LSSs, from the Mackenzie Delta to southern Labrador. The crew at each LSS maintains the radar sites in their zone, traveling to each site by helicopter on a scheduled basis, or to deal with unforeseen problems that arise from time to time.
At three sites staff live in the local community: Inuvik, NT; Iqaluit, NU; and Goose Bay, NL. At Cambridge Bay and Hall Beach, NU staff work on rotation and live on-site in a former DEW Line Main Station, collocated with a Long Range radar site.
North Warning System Control Centre (NWSCC)
The NWSCC in North Bay, ON is collocated with a NORAD Region/Sector Air Operations Centre (R/SAOC) and provides a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week remote monitor and control function for NWS radar sites. Technicians work closely with LSS crews, who maintain the radar sites, and with Canadian and American Air Force personnel, who use radar information to perform their mission.
North Warning System Support Centre (NWSSC)
NWS Support Centre staff in North Bay perform several functions essential to the operations and maintenance of the NWS and the Short Range Radars of the Alaska Radar System. Skilled technicians and programmers complete depot-level hardware and software maintenance for the radar, communications and other systems. Nasittuq has only depot-level repair capability for the Short Range Radars, and works closely with the United States Air Force, the system owner, to manage the radars through their life cycle, including designing and implementing system enhancements.
Contract Management Office (CMO)
The CMO in downtown Ottawa is the headquarters for Nasittuq Corporation and the NWS contract. Providing executive direction and oversight, this 100-person office is also the principal liaison with the customer organization. The CMO coordinates Inuit participation, completes design engineering and implementation of system improvement projects, and provides logistics support and business services. Critical staff functions in health and safety, environmental protection, and quality systems are also managed from the CMO. A fully integrated, enterprise management system connects Ottawa to North Bay and the LSS locations, and is used to manage both the work and Nasittuq’s business.