Research & Development

The objective of the LOOKNorth R&D program is to address the current and future information requirements identified in LOOKNorth’s Sector Assessment process by sourcing technologies that can meet those needs and supporting their development through to a commercial ready state.

The LOOKNorth R&D team will work closely with its established network of other Centres of Excellence, academic and public research facilities as well as the private sector to identify technologies that have the potential to meet articulated sector needs and have been developed beyond the proof-of-concept stage, but that may require additional development to reach operational maturity.  LOOKNorth’s R&D program aims to advance development and integration of space-based, terrestrial and subsea technologies to meet the monitoring needs of the Northern resource sector, with an initial focus on space-based Earth-observation technologies.

Three specific themes have been identified as target areas for research.

  • Ice roads may offer significant cost advantages over other modes of transportation such as marine or air and can be an important economic enabler for Northern oil and gas and mining operations. Route planning, particularly to optimize ice road use during freeze-up and break-up is an important issue.
  • Icebergs can present hazards to marine transportation and offshore operations in ice-prone areas. Early detection and classification of icebergs and life cycle monitoring through to their deterioration can lead to safer marine operations and lower the cost of ice management.
  • Oil spill life cycle monitoring encompasses the detection and characterization of spills, forecasting and hindcasting of trajectories, spill breakdown and monitoring of environmental impact.  Each aspect of the life cycle monitoring is considerably more challenging for oil spills in ice environments.

The R&D program at LOOKNorth was established with the support of the Research and Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador.