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Leading Operational Observations and Knowledge for the North - LOOKNorth

$10.6 million for 2011-20
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Leading Operational Observations and Knowledge for the North

Number of partners

Partner contributions
$8 million

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Managing Director
Paul Adlakha Paul Adlakha

Board chair
David J. Oake David J. Oake
President, Invenio Consulting Inc.

Promoting safe and sustainable development of Canada's northern natural resources

The opportunity

Canada’s vast North is a treasure-trove of largely untapped natural resources. It also contains some of the world’s most pristine and fragile ecosystems, and plays a crucial role in the global climate system. As interest increases in Canada’s (and the world’s) northern resources, there is an urgent need for accurate and continuous environmental monitoring to ensure responsible and sustainable development. A national effort is underway to coordinate, consolidate and build on Canada’s leadership and expertise in monitoring technologies by helping small- and medium-sized enterprises demonstrate and commercialize new technologies and expand into new market sectors, such as offshore oil sands and transportation.

How LOOKNorth is seizing the opportunity

Leading Operational Observations and Knowledge for the North (LOOKNorth) works with industry, researchers and communities to identify and validate industry-relevant technologies that have been developed beyond the proof-of-concept stage, but may require additional development to reach operational maturity. LOOKNorth ensures alignment of technology development with end-user needs through ongoing consultation with the sectors of interest (mining, oil and gas, hydro-power and transportation), as well as with land management authorities. The centre’s primary goal is to enable safe and sustainable resource development in Canada’s North.

Among the results

  • LOOKNorth’s Technology Validation Program has advanced 34 technologies along the Technology Readiness Level continuum and commercialized 21 Canadian remote sensing products and services.
  • LOOKNorth network members C-CORE and GHGSat are collaborating with Boeing Phantom Works to develop remote sensing solutions that go beyond Boeing’s current satellite platform business. C-CORE is designing and building ground stations for downlinking data from the emerging generation of small Earth observation satellites. The first imagery will be received from GHGSat’s nanosatellite Claire, whose greenhouse gas sensor was validated by LOOKNorth’s Technology Validation Program in 2013.
  • LOOKNorth and the University of Lethbridge’s Alberta Terrestrial Imaging Centre are commercializing the results of a collaborative project that is developing and validating a web-based system to monitor and assess the success of reclamation activity in Alberta’s native prairies and forested areas.
  • LOOKNorth is partnering in a European Space Agency project to validate Landsat 8 and Sentinel 2 satellite imagery captured over high latitudes, using the Mer Bleue bog east of Ottawa as a surrogate for an arctic wetland. LOOKNorth is bringing industry information requirements to the evaluation process and is being positioned to assist industry in future use of the products.

Connect with LOOKNorth


Monitoring greenhouse gases from space
June 22, 2017
Managing carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases (GHG) is not just good for the environment. Read more
Canadian technology slashes cost of detecting iceberg hazards
March 13, 2014
Oil and gas exploration companies and transport vessels now have access to a more affordable and efficient tool to guard against icebergs in harsh ocean environments. Developed through LOOKNorth (Leading Operational Observations and Knowledge for the North), the Altimeter Iceberg Detector (AID) has already been used to help with oil exploration and a round-the-world yacht race. Read more