Athabasca University GeoSpace Observatory

Athabasca University, Athabasca County No. 12, Alberta
What the facility does

Auroral research (Northern Lights) using optical, magnetic, magnetotelluric, and radio techniques. Monitoring and technology testing.

Areas of expertise

The Athabasca University GeoSpace Observatory is Canada’s most comprehensive auroral research facility including instruments from major international guest investigators. Our dark sky location on the southern edge of the auroral zone has allowed us to specialize in phenomena such as proton auroras and “STEVE”. Our new geoelectric monitoring facility is unique in Canada.

Research services

We can test and prototype geophysical, astronomical, and space surveillance equipment needing dark sky conditions and have good internet access and support facilities. We have prototyping and testing capability and experience with microcontrollers. Additionally, we have modeling and analytical capability, mostly involving C and Unix.

Sectors of application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Defence and security industries
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Information and communication technologies and media
  • Professional and technical services (including legal services, architecture, engineering)

Specialized lab




Sky and weather monitoring


Dual observation site for AUGSO


Keo Sentry EMCCD Allsky camera

Aurora monitoring in multiple wavelengths


FESO proton line scanner

Meridian monitoring of Hbeta emissions: most sensitive such detector in the work (twin in Lucky Lake SK)



DSLR-based astronomical instrument


DSLR and small imager based instruments

Multiple instruments testing low-cost imaging