14:43 PM

Mohawk College establishes innovative local research area for remotely piloted aircraft

drones w person at globe

Mohawk College has established a new research site for remotely piloted aircraft (RPAS, commonly known as drones) in Hamilton, greatly increasing its capacity to support and promote innovation in multiple industry sectors.

The Unmanned and Remote Sensing Innovation Centre (URSIC) at Mohawk College has established a three-year pilot agreement with the City of Hamilton to use Windermere Basin (105 Eastport Drive, Hamilton) for limited RPAS research-based operations. This location will serve as a regional hub for research, attracting technology companies and RPAS solution developers to the region and advancing innovation in the national RPAS sector.

“Mohawk College is excited to have this new research space and we look forward to expanding our work in this fast-emerging industry,” said Dr. Cebert Adamson, Vice President, Academic at Mohawk College. “Having a designated space that offers a variety of environments will allow URSIC researchers to assist industry partners across a number of important economic sectors. Hamilton is becoming a centre for RPAS innovation and this announcement will accelerate the research and development of RPAS technology in Canada.”

Windermere Basin was selected as the RPAS research site due to its proximity to a variety of environments (transportation networks, water, industrial lands, and harbour) and its designation as uncontrolled airspace, making it compliant with Transport Canada Regulations.

“This program will put Hamilton on the map as a leader in this rapidly evolving field of research,” said Mayor Andrea Horwath. “The City of Hamilton is excited to partner with Mohawk College for this innovative pilot project that will not only bring new opportunities and innovation to our City, it will also help to attract and retain highly-skilled students and scientists to Hamilton.”

As an established research centre in Mohawk College’s IDEAWORKS applied research division, URSIC is a national leader in RPAS applied research, with dozens of industry research partnerships across Canada. The college has also embedded RPAS training and research capabilities in many programs of study, including Building and Construction Sciences, Community Services, Chemical and Environmental Technology, Biotechnology and Communication Arts.

RPAS research undertaken at the Windermere Basin research site may also be applicable to research partners in the areas of wastewater management, by-law enforcement and public safety emergency response (i.e., firefighting incident management response, search and rescue), as well as pollution and air quality monitoring potential.

Research is expected to begin at Windermere Basin this spring.