Back to top

Environmental and Northern Remote Sensing Laboratory

The Environmental and Northern Remote Sensing Laboratory (TENOR) offers the expertise, software, and instruments needed to develop Earth observation applications, with special emphasis on the cryosphere (snow, ice, frozen ground), water, and northern environments.

Earth observation is the gathering of information about planet Earth’s physical, chemical and biological systems for the purpose of monitoring and assessing the status of, and changes in, the natural and human-made environment. Remote sensing satellites, aerial platforms such as drones, and in-situ instruments are the primary Earth observation tools.

The TENOR Lab has a digital component consisting of a series of computers used for processing and analyzing satellite images and geographical information.

It has full educational licences for the following specialized software: Geomatica, Ecognition, ArcGIS, and Matlab.

It also has instruments for measuring environmental parameters and calibrating and validating satellite images, including:

  • RTK GPS system (Trimble 5800) with horizontal accuracy of 1 cm and vertical accuracy of 2 cm
  • Ground penetrating radar system (SIR-3000) with 400 and 900 MHz antennas
  • Metric snow samplers (Federal Snow Sampler)
  • Kovacs Mark II ice coring system (9 cm diameter)
  • Kovacs ice auger (5 cm diameter)
  • Ramsonde and snow measurement kits (Snowmetrics)
  • Campbell Scientific weather station
  • Tidbits temperature sensors (Onset)
  • HOBO 30 water level sensors (Onset)
  • HOBO H21 data loggers (Onset)
  • Decagon EC-5 soil moisture sensors (Onset)
  • TMB temperature sensors (Onset)
  • 120 cm corner reflectors


The TENOR Lab operates and develops the CAIMAN network of cameras in Nunavik and the associated data portal Caiman .

The Laboratory for Environmental Remote Sensing By Drone (TED Lab), which is affiliated with the TENOR Lab, possesses a light airborne system for hyperspectral remote sensing, including several drones (helicopter and multirotor) with a payload capacity of up to 12 kg. The system can be fitted with different types of sensors: hyperspectral cameras covering the 400 to 1700 spectral range, thermal infrared cameras, multispectral cameras, and a digital cameras. All additional systems needed to operate the airborne equipment are also in place: telecommunications, data processing and storage, and a preparation and storage shed.

The TENOR Lab is available to faculty, students, and staff of the Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre for their research projects.

Lab resources can also be used for external collaborations and research and development contracts. Please contact us for more information on the services available.

Here are some of the themes the lab is currently addressing in projects that make use of satellite imagery:

  • Wetland mapping and inventory
  • Crop mapping and monitoring
  • River and sea ice characterization and mapping
  • Snow cover characterization and spatio-temporal monitoring
  • Flood and ice jam risk management and analysis
  • Cyanobacteria monitoring in Quebec lakes
  • Landslide detection
  • Wave characterization
  • River discharge estimation
  • Seasonal frost and soil moisture mapping
  • Precision agriculture
  • Development of teaching tools with Inuit communities

The laboratory was created in 1998 through a grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). It has subsequently grown through various projects and partnerships.


Karem Chokmani
Professor and Scientific head
Phone: 418 654-2570

Saeid Homayouni
Phone: 418-654-2687

Monique Bernier
Honorary Professor
Phone: 418-654-2585

Yves Gauthier
Research Officer
Phone: 418-654-3753

Jimmy Poulin
Research Officer
Phone: 418-654-3729 

Environmental and Northern Remote Sensing Laboratory (TENOR)

Institut national de la recherche scientifique 

Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre

490 rue de la Couronne

Québec City, Quebec  G1K 9A9


View on the map