Detect to protect: CDIS Sandbox underway at COVE

Detect to protect: CDIS Sandbox underway at COVE

On April 25, the Corrosion Detection in Ships (CDIS) Sandbox kicked off at COVE. The four-week Sandbox will allow Canadian innovators in the ocean tech sector to bring forth and test their solutions to an ongoing challenge facing the Canadian Navy: corrosion.

The Sandbox is an extension of Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS), an access to innovation program for National Defence providing five funding mechanisms to assist Canadian innovators in solving defence and security challenges.

After posting challenges facing the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) through the IDEaS webpage, innovators come forward with their expertise and proposed solutions. Further along the process, the Sandbox allows these innovators to demonstrate their prototypes in a simulated environment.

As Sandbox Integrator for IDEaS, Ryan Glendinning leads the team of data collectors, observers, and scientists who evaluate the innovators’ solutions against the test environment. Ryan’s career has revolved around the issue of corrosion. From his nine years spent with DRDC working with the Navy, to his four years as Lead Corrosion Scientist at Quality Engineering Test Establishment (QETE), to now working with the Canadian Army, Air Force and Navy on corrosion related issues, Ryan has a well-rounded understanding of challenges corrosion is creating.

“Undetected corrosion can cause major issues regarding safety, operability, and cost. Corrosion will shorten the lifespan of marine vessels and eventually lead to the vessel being decommissioned,” said Glendinning. “Naval vessels are in a perfect environment for corrosion to occur, therefore early detection of corrosion can prevent costly overruns while the ship is in dry dock.”

While all ships inevitably rust, earlier detection of corrosion can help eliminate unscheduled maintenance, accurately assess the severity of corrosion ahead of scheduled maintenance, and provide corrosion data into the broader question of a vessel’s seaworthiness.

“We have selected great innovators to demonstrate their solutions and present to DND/CAF,” said Glendinning. “I expect productive conversations between the participants and DND subject matter experts to help move technology forward in detecting corrosion in difficult areas.”

The Sandbox is just one step towards the end goal of successfully deploying the technology in an operational setting. Following the testing, Ryan will write reports for both the Canadian Armed Forces and the participant outlining how the technology performed in the Sandbox.

COVE provides an ideal environment for this exercise, both with the physical space available, and a network of companies who are used to working on things that are different and innovative.

“COVE has been nothing short of fantastic and knowledgeable in accommodating our unique needs for the CDIS Sandbox,” said Glendinning. “Having tenants from academia and industry, COVE can provide a conduit for the experts to help each other and make the ocean sector even stronger.”

The CDIS Sandbox is running at COVE from April 25 to May 20. To learn more please visit

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