Friday, January 09, 2015

New CSE headquarters update

Chuck Clark's latest air photo, taken on 29 December 2014, shows a number of interesting developments at CSE's new headquarters complex. (Click image for larger view.)

The temporary trailers in place for the construction of the complex, located to the east of the main building (top of the image), are now gone, which is unsurprising as construction of the project should now be finished.

Also gone are the two large containerized backup generators that formerly accompanied Pod 1, CSE's high-performance computing centre (visible at the top of the image in this post). Presumably the power plant in CSE's data warehouse, the large windowless building to the left in the image above, now supplies backup power to Pod 1 as well.

[Update 22 February 2015: It looks like DND paid CSE $600,000 to take the generators off their hands.]

Also worth noting is the small, white box on the main roof (left-hand edge), which first appeared in September 2014. This looks like the kind of shelter used to hide intercept antennas on the roofs of diplomatic facilities. Canada maintains intercept sites at several Canadian embassies around the world, including (perhaps) our embassy in Beijing.

I would guess that the installation at CSE's headquarters is used more to test new antennas and equipment configurations than to conduct ongoing surveillance, but they probably do pull in live communications in the course of routine testing and training activities, so govern yourselves accordingly!

Canadian Architect recently published an explanation of the design philosophy and interior layout of the new complex that actually provides some interesting new information if you can plow through all the PR puffery and general verbiage.


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