A partnership between Pembroke-based Thoth Technology
and a professor at University of Toronto’s Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics
is helping Canada reclaim its role as a world leader in very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI).
A technology used in radio astronomy, VLBI allows a signal from an astronomical radio source to be collected at multiple radio telescopes on Earth, combining their angular resolution to create an Earth-sized telescope for making ground-breaking observations about astronomical objects. Without VLBI, a breakthrough viewed by many as momentous as the invention of the Internet, there could be no Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) such as Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.
U of T Professor Ue-Li Pen contacted Caroline Roberts, CEO of Thoth, because he wanted to use the company’s 46-metre radio antenna at the Algonquin Radio Observatory
(ARO) for pulsar research. OCE’s Technical Problem Solving program gave Thoth the first opportunity to work with Professor Pen and his group. Under OCE’s Smart Computing R&D Challenge
, Thoth was awarded support for the project to access SOSCIP computing resources on its Agile computing and Blue Gene/Q platforms. And through OCE’s TalentEdge
Program, Thoth was able to apply students’ cutting-edge knowledge to the problem of VLBI signal processing.
Space elevators — a type of space transportation system — could also be a viable technology within 10 years thanks to Thoth. The ThothX Tower uses readily available materials inflated with helium or hydrogen to ascend to 20 kilometres.
The patented technology has a number of innovative applications related to the world’s fastest Internet, renewable wind-energy generation, space planes, international travel and high-altitude tourism.
Return on Innovation
- Thoth expects to hire 5 more staff within two years
- The technology has the potential to make Canada a world leader in the multi-billion dollar global VLBI and SKA markets
- OCE Investment: $254,998
OCE©2016 Last updated 10/2016