- BEng / 73 , PhD / 76
As a doctoral student Malcolm Vant worked for a month in the high Arctic in the middle of the ice on the Beaufort Sea, 300 miles from shore. His resulting PhD thesis on the dielectric properties of sea ice at microwave frequencies became a classic reference for remote sensing of sea ice thickness.
Vant has since published approximately 50 papers and reports in the areas of remote sensing and radar signal processing. He is a co-inventor of the Spotlight SAR radar system, a version of which is incorporated in the UK Nimrod 2000 maritime patrol aircraft.
After beginning his career at Environment Canada, Vant got his start with National Defence when he designed DND’s first digital synthetic aperture radar signal processor. From 1980-1992, he was responsible for the signal processing algorithm development and testing for the DND SpotSAR Project, as well as the ground processor design for the Radarsat satellite. During the 1980s, he developed techniques for producing focused radar images of ships on the high seas, and very high-resolution images of land targets.
Prior to his appointment as director general of DRDC Ottawa in 2003, Vant was the first chairman of the NATO Research and Technology Organization’s Information Systems and Technology Panel. At the time of his retirement, he was responsible for the strategic direction and operations of the DRDC Ottawa Centre and he acted as DRDC’s scientific advisor for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance.