Canadian Consulting Engineer

New Centre of Excellence launched to help develop natural resources in Canada’s north

A new Centre of Excellence was recently launched in St. John's, Newfoundland to help develop natural resources in Canada's North. The centre, known as "Leading Operational Observations and Knowledge for the North (LOOKNorth)" is an initiative...

March 1, 2011   Canadian Consulting Engineer

A new Centre of Excellence was recently launched in St. John’s, Newfoundland to help develop natural resources in Canada’s North. The centre, known as “Leading Operational Observations and Knowledge for the North (LOOKNorth)” is an initiative of C-CORE, a research and development corporation located at Memorial University.

C-CORE has expertise in radar and vision systems, ice engineering and geotechnical engineering. The initial focus of the LOOKNorth centre will be on the use of Earth observation satellite technology to monitor conditions for assessing opportunities for the oil and gas, hydro and mining sectors in the sub-Arctic and Arctic. To achieve this, LOOKNorth will link the needs of industry with Canadian small businesses that have expertise in remote sensing technologies that have been proven in non-northern environments

According to a Government of Newfoundland & Labrador news release, the idea is for LOOKNorth to become “a catalyst for applying innovative research and technology to explore Canada’s northern region. Through LOOKNorth, researchers will be able to identify potential transportation corridors and offshore development opportunities.”

Another potential project is to gather high-resolution information on the location and strength of mobile sea ice and icebergs to inform shipping decisions, says LOOKNorth executive director Paul Adlakha. Also, a project would be to identify and validate technologies to collect the measurements needed to determine an acceptable level of land reclamation around a mine site after it’s been shut down.

The LookNORTH initiative will receive $7.1 million from the Government of Canada’s Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research program over five years, as well as $2 million from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Industry partners have also committed $2.5 million to date.

LOOKNorth will leverage the Government of Canada’s investments in RADARSAT 1 and 2, and also use additional radar satellites such as ENVISAT, TerraSAR-X, and COSMO SkyMed.

LOOKNorth will identify initial technology validation projects this summer, and plans to issue its first call for proposals before Christmas.

Andrew Safer is a freelance writer based in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

 


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