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Faculty of Engineering
UNB Fredericton

Back to Geodesy & Geomatics

GGE research

Facts | Current research | Technical reports

Facts

  • #1 UNB research ranking every year
  • National and international research awards every year
  • Over $1 million research funding yearly
  • Four fellows
    • David Coleman
      • Fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering, (2005-present)
      • Fellow of Royal Canadian Geographical Society (2014-present)
      • Fellow of Engineers Canada (2016-Present)
    • Richard Langley
      • Fellow of the Institute of Navigation
      • Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation
      • Fellow of the International Association of Geodesy
    • Marcelo Santos
      • Fellow of the International Association of Geodesy
    • Yun Zhang
      • Fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering
  • Two research chairs
    • Monica Wachowicz
      • Cisco Innovation Chair in Big Data, NSERC/Cisco IRC in Mobility Analytics
    • Yun Zhang
      • Canada Research Chair in Advanced Geomatics Image Processing
  • Four spin-off companies

Current research

Big data | Remote sensing | Geospatial information | Geodetic research: Gravity | Geodetic research: GNSS | Ocean mapping | Geodetic engineering

Big data: People in Motion lab

We are a multidisciplinary team consisting of mathematicians, engineers, physicists, computer scientists, and statisticians: all of us interested in learning the technical skills and advancing curiosity-driven research in Data Science. Our vision is that cities are rapidly adopting the Internet of Things which will change how and where people interact, gather and share large volumes of data, and consume information in real-time.

We are currently working in collaboration with other universities, government and industry, who are looking for radically new business models, tools and services for improving our understanding of human mobility behaviour. Our research interests include: Internet of Things, edge-fog-cloud computing, machine learning on graphs, mapping for machine learning, streaming analytics and visualization, and process mining.

Remote sensing & photogrammetry

Our research in advanced remote sensing image processing and digital photogrammetry has resulted in breakthrough technologies that are used by Google, NASA, US Geological Survey, Natural Resources Canada, and others. Our research accomplishments have won international and national awards, such as one of 100 internationally outstanding university technologies (other winners include MIT, Stanford, and Yale); international award for significant enhancement of the applications of photogrammetry, remote sensing, or spatial information sciences (one recipient every four years); and NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation (awarded by the Governor General of Canada).

Geographical and geospatial information

Geographical Engineering Group

Geodetic research: Gravity

The main research topic of what is informally called the Geodesy Group is the geoid, the horizontal surface that best approximates the sea level, to and the reference surface for meaningful heights. A horizontal surface is easy to visualize, particularly at the sea or a lake level, but it is considerably more difficult to determine it over land, where a heights reference are usually needed. The first Canadian geoid of decent accuracy was produced by our group back in 1985 based on the Stokes-Helmert theory of geoid determination. Our implementation of this theory has been improved and developed into one of the most accurate approaches worldwide. Hand in hand with the problem of a reference surface for heights comes the problem of the definition of heights to be used. These "practical heights above sea level," must be derived from observed heights or height differences at the Earth’s surface. In this area, we have formulated the rigorous orthometric heights. The group has also carried out some research related to geodynamics.

Geodetic research: GNSS

The research satellite CASSIOPE on a test platform at the Canadian Space Agency's David Florida Laboratory. Photograph courtesy of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.


The research satellite CASSIOPE hosts the GPS Attitude, Positioning, and Profiling (GAP2) instrument designed by GGE researchers. It is one of eight instruments making up the Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe platform on the satellite. CASSIOPE was launched in September 2013 into an elliptical, near polar orbit and continues to provide a wealth of scientific data. The four white antennas on the left-facing side of the spacecraft feed separate GPS receivers whose data is used to determine the position, velocity, and attitude of the spacecraft while the antenna on the upper side, feeding an additional receiver, is used to profile the ionosphere’s electron density. Graduate students in the Geodetic Research Lab as well as researchers elsewhere are analyzing GAP2 data to better understanding the ionosphere and its interaction with solar activity and the Earth’s magnetic field.

Ocean Mapping Group

The Ocean Mapping Group is focused on developing new and innovative techniques and tools for the management, processing, visualization and interpretation of ocean mapping data. The group specializes in the areas of seafloor mapping, hydrodynamic numerical ocean modelling, marine habitat mapping, acoustic water column interpretation, and evaluating autonomous mapping platforms. The group works to gain a better understanding of the marine environment using acoustics and to minimize uncertainty in ocean mapping products.

Canadian Centre for Geodetic Engineering

The research at CCGE concentrates on development of integrated analysis of structural and rock mass deformations arising during extraction and processing of raw materials. The growing global demand for raw materials and energy leads to mining under difficult geological condition with increased complexity of operations. At the same time there are growing demands for environmentally safe mineral extraction and energy production processes. Integrated analysis involves multidisciplinary development of physical and mathematical models of complex deformation processes together with geodetic and geotechnical monitoring techniques. The basic characteristic of the analysis is a fusion of the results of deformation monitoring surveys with results of deterministic modeling of physical phenomena occurring during the processes using finite element method.

Technical reports

Access GGE's technical reports from 1970 to present.