DRDC Toronto
DRDC Toronto is a major Canadian
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 military research station
Research station
A research station is a station built for the purpose of conducting scientific research. Research station sites might include outer space and oceans. Many nations have research stations in Antarctica; Showa Station, Halley and Troll are examples...

 located at the former site of CFB Downsview
CFB Downsview
Canadian Forces Base Downsview is a former Canadian Forces base in Toronto, Ontario. The airfield is currently operated as Toronto/Downsview Airport.-RCAF Station Downsview:...

 in Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

. It is one of seven centres making up Defence Research and Development Canada
Defence Research and Development Canada
Defence Research and Development Canada, also Defence R&D Canada or DRDC , is an agency of the Department of National Defence , whose purpose is to respond to the scientific and technological needs of the Canadian Forces...



The Centre’s roots go back to 1939 when the Department of National Defence
Department of National Defence (Canada)
The Department of National Defence , frequently referred to by its acronym DND, is the department within the government of Canada with responsibility for all matters concerning the defence of Canada...

 (DND) recognized the vital importance of human factors
Human factors
Human factors science or human factors technologies is a multidisciplinary field incorporating contributions from psychology, engineering, industrial design, statistics, operations research and anthropometry...

 in the ability of Canada’s armed forces
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

 to safeguard the nation in peacetime and at war. Recognizing the importance of aviation medicine to defence, an inter-departmental committee, the Associate Committee on Aviation Medical Research, was established in June, 1939, chaired by Sir Frederick Banting
Frederick Banting
Sir Frederick Grant Banting, KBE, MC, FRS, FRSC was a Canadian medical scientist, doctor and Nobel laureate noted as one of the main discoverers of insulin....

. Laboratory studies in pressure physiology began in the Banting and Best Institute
Banting and Best Department of Medical Research
Banting and Best Department of Medical Research is the preeminent Canadian biomedical research institute located on the campus of University of Toronto. The department is named after Drs. Frederick Banting and Charles Best, who discovered insulin and subsequently won a Nobel Prize in medicine....

, University of Toronto
University of Toronto
The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada...

, where the first decompression chamber for human studies in Canada was set up.

To expand the effort, in 1940, the No.1 Clinical Investigation Unit (No1 CIU) was formed at the former Eglinton Hunt Club
Toronto Hunt Club
The Toronto Hunt Club was established in by British Army officers of the Toronto garrison in 1843. It held gymkhana equestrian events at various sites around the city. In 1895 it acquired its first permanent home in a rural area east of the city between Kingston Road and the waterfront...

 at 1107 Avenue Road with the construction of a low-temperature low-pressure chamber to support research on human capabilities under extremes of cold and high altitude. This led to extensive activity in the development of oxygen and survival equipment for the Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
The history of the Royal Canadian Air Force begins in 1920, when the air force was created as the Canadian Air Force . In 1924 the CAF was renamed the Royal Canadian Air Force and granted royal sanction by King George V. The RCAF existed as an independent service until 1968...


The second significant experimental facility constructed was the first human centrifuge
A centrifuge is a piece of equipment, generally driven by an electric motor , that puts an object in rotation around a fixed axis, applying a force perpendicular to the axis...

 in the allied countries, pioneered by Dr. Wilbur R. Franks
Wilbur R. Franks
Wilbur Rounding Franks was a Canadian scientist, notable as the inventor of the anti-gravity suit or G-suit, and for his work in cancer research....

 and his colleagues. This was brought into operation in late 1941, and by August 1945 more than 13, 000 human runs had been carried out without a mishap. This machine was used to pioneer and create the world’s first anti "G" flying suit
A G-suit, or the more accurately named anti-G suit, is worn by aviators and astronauts who are subject to high levels of acceleration force . It is designed to prevent a black-out and G-LOC caused by the blood pooling in the lower part of the body when under acceleration, thus depriving the...

 to go into service, when it was worn during Operation Torch
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

 during the battle for Oran
Oran is a major city on the northwestern Mediterranean coast of Algeria, and the second largest city of the country.It is the capital of the Oran Province . The city has a population of 759,645 , while the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1,500,000, making it the second largest...

 with the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

's Fleet Air Arm
Fleet Air Arm
The Fleet Air Arm is the branch of the British Royal Navy responsible for the operation of naval aircraft. The Fleet Air Arm currently operates the AgustaWestland Merlin, Westland Sea King and Westland Lynx helicopters...

 in November 1942.

In the post-war period, research in aviation medicine continued in the universities and at Avenue Road, now renamed the RCAF Institute of Aviation Medicine (RCAF/IAF). It was assigned responsibilities for aviation medical training, medical statistics, aircrew medical selection, life support and survival equipment and clinical aviation medicine. Under unification in 1968, it was renamed the Canadian Forces Institute of Environment Medicine (CFIEM).

In 1947, the Defence Research Board (DRB) was established with its primary responsibility in the field of military medicine
Military medicine
The term military medicine has a number of potential connotations. It may mean:*A medical specialty, specifically a branch of occupational medicine attending to the medical risks and needs of soldiers, sailors and other service members...

 and the study of occupational
Occupational safety and health
Occupational safety and health is a cross-disciplinary area concerned with protecting the safety, health and welfare of people engaged in work or employment. The goal of all occupational safety and health programs is to foster a safe work environment...

 problems of the armed services. Basically, DRB was directed to the study of the environmental factors and hazards affecting them, and the assessment of their task with the view of improving their performance in it.

To address the new DRB role in military human factors research, the Defence Research Medical Laboratory (DRML) was constructed at Downsview in 1952, with the official opening on 12 February 1954. Its program was widened to embrace studies of tri-service applicability and included food and clothing research. This laboratory was renamed the Defence Research Establishment Toronto (DRET) in 1968.

In an effort to consolidate the research effort in the military, DRET and CFIEM were amalgamated in April 1971 and a new organization was formed, the Defence and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine. DCIEM had a combined military and civilian research staff, which provided a unique combination of operational and scientific expertise that addressed the operational needs of the Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

 in all environments. Over the years many new unique facilities were developed at DCIEM, including a new human centrifuge, hot and cold climatic chambers, hypobaric (1954) and hyperbaric (1977) chambers, and impact studies facility (1978).

The unification of the three services into the Canadian Forces (CF) in 1968 saw DRB evolve, becoming the Research and Development Branch of the CF by 1974. The laboratories of the DRB were integrated to DND through the formation of the Defence Research and Development (R&D) Branch (DRDB) to forge closer relationships between scientists and the military. The new branch was led by the Chief of Research and Development (CRAD), within the Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel) group.

The R&D Branch was reorganized on April 1, 2000 when it became an agency within DND called Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), a Special Operating Agency
Special Operating Agency
A Special Operating Agency is a Canadian government designation given to government organizations that have increased management flexibility in order to improve performance. Objectives include better overall management, improved operational results and greater focus on demand.- External links :*...

 within DND. As Canada’s leader in defence and national security
National security
National security is the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic, diplomacy, power projection and political power. The concept developed mostly in the United States of America after World War II...

 science and technology
Science and technology
Science and technology is a term of art used to encompass the relationship between science and technology. It frequently appears within titles of academic disciplines and government offices.-See also:...

 (S&T), DRDC maintains a broad scientific program and actively collaborates with industry, international allies, academia, other government departments and the national security community. DRDC Toronto and its forebearers have made major contributions to knowledge and equipment which has not only aided the Canadian Forces in the completion of their missions, but has had a significant impact in the civilian sector both in Canada and worldwide.

DRDC Toronto today

DRDC Toronto is a results-oriented Centre of Excellence for integrated human effectiveness science and technology (S&T) in defence and national security. It provides the Canadian Forces (CF), government agencies, academia, and industrial clients with an internationally recognized combination of expertise and research facilities.

Using a systems-based approach, DRDC Toronto covers all aspects of human performance and effectiveness
Human factors
Human factors science or human factors technologies is a multidisciplinary field incorporating contributions from psychology, engineering, industrial design, statistics, operations research and anthropometry...

, including individual and team performance, human-technology interaction, and the social and psychological factors that affect the resolution of conflict.

DRDC Toronto’s scientists and technologists apply, exploit and share the results of their research in these integrated areas of expertise:
  • Human systems integration
  • Human performance in stressful environments
  • Simulation and modeling of the human in complex military systems
  • Human issues in command and control
  • Team performance and collaborative behaviour
  • Psychology of malicious intent
  • Social and cultural factors influencing behaviour

Current research initiatives

DRDC Toronto has an enviable track record. Here are just a few examples:
  • Behaviourally Realistic Approaches to Security Risk Management: Researchers developed models of risk perception
    Risk perception
    Risk perception is the subjective judgment that people make about the characteristics and severity of a risk. The phrase is most commonly used in reference to natural hazards and threats to the environment or health, such as nuclear power. Several theories have been proposed to explain why...

    , assessment
    Risk assessment
    Risk assessment is a step in a risk management procedure. Risk assessment is the determination of quantitative or qualitative value of risk related to a concrete situation and a recognized threat...

    , and communication in response to realistic asymmetric threat
    Asymmetric warfare
    Asymmetric warfare is war between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly, or whose strategy or tactics differ significantly....

     scenarios, such as chemical
    Chemical warfare
    Chemical warfare involves using the toxic properties of chemical substances as weapons. This type of warfare is distinct from Nuclear warfare and Biological warfare, which together make up NBC, the military acronym for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical...

    , biological
    Biological warfare
    Biological warfare is the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi with intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war...

    , radiological
    Radiological warfare
    Radiological warfare is any form of warfare involving deliberate radiation poisoning, without relying on nuclear fission or nuclear fusion.Radiological weapons are normally considered weapons of mass destruction, and are very commonly equated with a radiological bomb often mis-called a "dirty bomb"...

    , or nuclear
    Nuclear warfare
    Nuclear warfare, or atomic warfare, is a military conflict or political strategy in which nuclear weaponry is detonated on an opponent. Compared to conventional warfare, nuclear warfare can be vastly more destructive in range and extent of damage...

    Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

  • Distributed Team Modeling: Using a software platform based on a problem-solving task requiring information sharing, scientists compared the effectiveness of different team structures using measures of collaboration, information sharing, and trust.
  • Tools for the Automatic Extraction and Visualization of Concepts: Tools are being developed to improve the analysis of massive quantities of information and intelligence from various sources to support military decision-making.
  • Rapid Diagnostic Tools for Detecting Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries: In collaboration with Canadian research hospitals and international partners, diagnostic tools are being developed to assist in the identification of mild traumatic brain injuries.

The Human Effectiveness Experimentation Centre manages DRDC Toronto’s major research facilities. These facilities, which are used to simulate a broad range of operational environments, include:
  • Synthetic Environment Research Facility
  • Group Immersive Simulator and Dismounted Soldier Simulator
  • ACCESS Laboratory and Future
  • Command Space
  • Human Centrifuge
  • Diving Research Facility
  • Climatic Facility
  • Hypobaric Altitude Chamber
  • Impact Studies Facility
  • Noise Simulation Facility

Joint Operational Human Sciences Centre (JOHSC)

JOHSC provides integrated human science and technical solutions in support of the CF across current and future operational environments through research, development and evaluation. JOHSC members are part of the co-located Canadian Forces Environmental Medicine Establishment (CFEME).

JOHSC can provide valuable and timely advice to a range of aerospace, land and sea/undersea challenges.

JOHSC can also utilize the unique facilities and scientific expertise of DRDC Toronto and other DRDC centres to provide S&T solutions to the CF.

Significant accomplishments

Some of DRDC Toronto’s success stories include:
  • Decompression Tables (DCIEM Sport Diving Tables) that are now used worldwide and have been adopted by foreign navies, commercial diving companies and civilian organizations to reduce the risk of decompression illness
    Decompression illness
    Decompression Illness describes a collection of symptoms arising from decompression of the body.DCI is caused by two different mechanisms, which result in overlapping sets of symptoms. The two mechanisms are:...

    , once commonly called "the bends
    Decompression sickness
    Decompression sickness describes a condition arising from dissolved gases coming out of solution into bubbles inside the body on depressurization...


  • Canadian Underwater Mine-Countermeasures Apparatus (CUMA
    CUMA is a make of rebreather underwater breathing set designed and made in Canada for the Canadian Forces by Fullerton Sherwood Engineering Ltd to replace the Royal Navy CDBA....

    ) is a new diver mine-countermeasures (MCM) diving set with a depth capability of 80 metres (262.5 ft), as well as being anti-acoustic and anti-magnetic.

  • The STInG (Sustained Tolerance to INcreased G) system, which provides G protection for pilots, superior to any current operational system.

  • Virtual reality
    Virtual reality
    Virtual reality , also known as virtuality, is a term that applies to computer-simulated environments that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world, as well as in imaginary worlds...

     simulator for Helicopter
    A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

     Deck Landing to simulate the dangerous task of landing a helicopter on the moving deck of a ship.

  • Clothe the Soldier project provided human engineering support to the Army's acquisition of over 24 new items of state-of-the-art soldier protective clothing and personal equipment

  • Load Carriage Robot - an instrumented articulated manikin that mimics the movement of the human torso

  • A Cold Exposure Survival Model (CESM) used in search and rescue
    Search and rescue
    Search and rescue is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger.The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, mostly based upon terrain considerations...

     (SAR) Operations

  • A Heat Stress Calculator for Firefighters used throughout Ontario.

  • The Pilot Anthropometric Scanning System(PASS) - a method of digitally scanning the physical dimensions of potential aircrew candidates. The cockpits of all CF aircraft fleets were assessed to accurately determine the body dimensions required to safely operate in these environments. A computer program then analyzes these sets of data to determine which aircraft fleets an aircrew candidate would be physically eligible to fly.

External links

  • DRDC Toronto
  • Select DRDC Technical reports hosted by the Rubicon Foundation
    Rubicon Foundation
    Rubicon Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization devoted to contributing to the interdependent dynamic between research, exploration, science and education. The foundation, started in 2002, is located in Durham, North Carolina and is primarily supported by donations and grants. Funding has...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.