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Bringing innovation to industry

SAIT has partnered with Imperial to help implement unmanned systems at Imperial’s Kearl site in northern Alberta. See how this collaboration is leading the way in how unmanned systems can be used on a regular basis to collect photography and supporting data to inform Imperial's Geoscience team on the site's geology while improving safety, sustainability and operational efficiencies at Kearl. 


As organizations across all sectors explore the applications and capabilities of unmanned systems, SAIT is supporting innovation and new technology development through its Centre for Innovation and Research in Unmanned Systems (CIRUS). Researchers with SAIT's Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS) department, faculty from SAIT's School of Construction, students and industry partners converge in this cross-disciplinary environment to address challenges, create efficiencies, develop and test new products and applications.

CIRUS's ambition is to expand the role unmanned systems play in data acquisition and management and create organizational efficiencies across a variety of sectors and regulatory environments.

Research themes

Infrastructure monitoring

  • construction management
  • building scanning and modelling
  • health and safety inspection
  • oilfield facilities inspection
  • beyond visual line of sight applications for utility and transportation corridors


  • RFID-enabled unmanned systems for hard management

Environmental assessment and management

  • flood risk assessment
  • oil and gas leak detection
  • greenhouse-gas emissions detection and Flux modelling

Other areas

  • film and videography
  • search and rescue

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