The Smart Water Systems Laboratory is a Centre for Hydrology facility that supports the Global Water Futures Program. The following have made significant contributions to the laboratory.

  • Western Economic Diversification Canada
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada 
  • Canada Foundation for Innovation 
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada


  • Data Collection (UAV/Sensors)
  • Data Processing and Storage
  • Electronics Research, Design and Production
  • 3d Printing and Scanning
  • Multiple workstations for students and researchers


  • Improved measurements for predicting water quality and quantity
  • Increased support for forecasting the threat of disaster from floods and droughts
  • Information for communities and industries to reduce and manage their flood risk
  • Information for farmers and ranchers to manage drought impacts on agriculture
  • New environmental technologies for sustainable development in Canada

The SWSL has multiple workstations and tremendous electronic facilities for sensor design research. The lab supports the deployment of airborne drones equipped with sophisticated sensors for mapping and diagnosis of land surface processes.  Novel ground-based sensors support environmental monitoring and hydrological process studies. These sensors include UAV-based and terrestrial LiDAR, Multispectral, Hyperspectral, Optical, Thermal and IR imaging radiometers, Field spectrometer and traditional survey equipment.


Main room


 Lab Equipment

  • 3 Permanent workstations (Students, Researchers and Scientists)
  • Novatel Base station (roof mounted continuous operation) (PwrPak7)
  • Stratasys 3d Printer (Model F370)
  • Portable 3d scanners (Artec 3D Spider and Eva models)
  • Espec Environmental Chamber
  • Custom Computer and Server systems 
  • Portable diagnostic electronics station
  • Reflow Oven and Stencil printer
  • Virtual Reality (VR) devices (x3)

Latest News

Science & Research

 Field Research Site Locations

Location  KML Coordinates
Clavet, Saskatchewan Google Maps 51°, 56', 25.2816" N, 106°, 22', 47.0712" W
Rosthern, Saskatchewan Google Maps 52°, 41', 45.6612" N, 106°, 27', 42.1569" W
Peyto Glacier, Alberta Google Maps 51°, 41', 1.1561" N, 116°,  32', 36.2469" W
Marmot Creek Research Basin, Alberta Google Maps 50°, 57', 21.4812" N, 115°, 10'53.8644" W
Fortress Mountain Research Basin, Alberta Google Maps 50°, 50',  8.8116" N, 115°, 13', 22.9044" W
Wolf Creek, Yukon Territory Google Maps 60°, 31', 40" N,  135°, 31', 14" W
Forêt Montmorency, Quebec Google Maps 47°, 19',  20.1" N,  71°, 08', 49.6" W
Boreal Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Sites (BERMS) Old Jack Pine Site, Saskatchewan Google Maps 53° 54' 57.6" N, 104° 41' 31.2" W

A number of UAVs are available for mapping of landscapes during the snow-covered and snow-free seasons.  The UAVs owned and operated by the SWSL are deployed at field sites in the Prairies and Rocky Mountains.  UAV platforms manufactured and configured by DJI International, SenseflyDraganFly  and Freefly systems are available for use in research projects.  


SWSL Drones and Associated Sensors


Drone Sensor(s) Sensor Description Wavelength
DJI  M600 Pro Riegl Mini Vux-1, Sony RGB Lidar Mapping unit with Integrated Sony 24mp camera 905nm, 380nm-740nm
DJI  M600 Pro Corning Hyperspectral Camera  Push-broom Line Imaging Spectrometer 400nm – 1000nm
DJI Mavic 2 Pro RGB camera Hasselblad 20mp camera 400nm-700nm
eBee RTK  Soda Aerial RGB Photogrammetry camera 380nm-740nm
eBee X 3D Soda, Duet T and S110 NIR   Gimbal Aerial RGB Photogrammetry camera, Dual Aerial RGB Photgrammetry camera and thermal mapping camera / 12mp Canon near infrared (NIR) band camera 380nm-740nm, 7.5µm – 12.5µm, G-550nm R-625nm NIR- 850nm
eBee X Duet T Dual Aerial RGB Photogrammetry camera and thermal mapping camera 7.5µm – 12.5µm
Draganfly Commander RGB, FLIR 20mp Aerial Camera paired with a FLIR long wave infrared camera 380nm-740nm, 7.5µm – 12.5µm
ALTA X  Riegl MiniVux-2UAV/ Sony Alpha 7RIII /TetraCam Multispectral with thermal Camera  Lidar Mapping unit with Integrated Sony 42mp camera and a Multispectral 6 narrow band camera array with thermal camera option 905nm, 380nm-740nm/450nm – 1000nm / 7.5 µm to 13.5 µm
ALTA X  Medusa Gamma Ray MS1000 UAV Gamma Ray detection system  

Drone in the field

DJI m600 with Riegl MiniVux1


ALTA X with M1000 Medusa Gamma Ray Spectrometer


 eBee X with Duet T 








Core Research Personnel 

Associated Faculty