Geomatics, Geodesy, Space, and Avionics

Geomatics and Geodesy

Fredericton’s world leadership in geomatics and geodesy engineering was established when UNB researchers assisted NASA in mapping the moon prior to the 1969 lunar landing.  More than 50 years later, UNB is still producing game-changing geomatics and geodesy research, software and services.

GPS: World Leading Research

UNB is a world leading centre for GPS expertise and research. UNB has attracted partnerships and working relationships with global GPS players, including NASA, the US National Weather Service, the Canadian Space Agency, and the German Space Operations Centre.

Space Weather Mitigation

Space weather is an increasing focus at UNB.  UNB’s Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Network gathers information from signals recorded by a network of ground-based receivers. Because receivers on low earth orbiting satellites are more effective, UNB, in partnership with the Canadian Space Agency, the University of Calgary and the aerospace industry, designed and developed a GPS instrument to fly on the Canadian scientific satellite CASSIPE launched from Cape Canaveral in 2013.

UNB Space Research

UNB boasts one of the largest group of experts in the world of planetary geology and impact cratering its Earth Sciences and Planetary and Earth Sciences Centre (PASSC). In addition to GPS research on space weather events, Fredericton researchers are collaborating in the search for evidence of life on Mars, using remote sensing technologies to control shipping container gantries, and detecting minute deformations in hydro-electric dams from space.  UNB has received $9.3 million in the last 5 years supporting 23 space-related research projects.

NASA Looks to UNB

In 2015, NASA teamed up with UNB to study irregularities in Earth’s upper atmosphere that can distort GPS signals in hopes of diminishing their effect on communications.  


Featured on the Discovery Channel in 2011, UNB’s Collaboration Based Robotics and Automations (COBRA) has been conducting ground-breaking research in the field of unmanned vehicles, developing unmanned land, aerial, and underwater vehicles.

Pioneering Drones in Forest Management

As just one example of industry use, researchers at UNB are conducting research into the use of unmanned aircrafts in the forestry industry in response to demand for new technologies to measure monitor and manage Canada’s forest resources. Unmanned aircraft, far more than piloted aircraft, can more safely, cost effectively and efficiently provide critical information with respect to forest fire management, insect control, vegetation control, and other services.