The Geovation Group


Dr Hay’s long-term research program is titled “The Remote Sensing of Urban Energy Efficiency.” It involves the use of high-resolution (25 cm-1m) Thermal Infrared (TIR) imagery, geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA), machine learning, GIS and geo-spatial analysis to accurately define urban energy efficiency from space.

Problem: The world wastes more energy than it uses – every year, with billions of gigajoules of wasted heat energy escaping from millions of buildings in thousands of cities worldwide [1]. Although energy-efficiency (EE) programs exist worldwide, most only measure energy consumption – not waste energy [2]. This is because waste-energy is invisible to the human eye, and challenging to quantify – and it’s difficult to measure, monitor, or manage something that we can’t see. Yet, waste-energy is responsible for an estimated 50% of urban energy demand, but is missing from urban energy efficiency equations. 

Solution: In order to solve these challenges, Dr Hay’s long-term goal is to evaluate whether high-resolution airborne thermal infrared (TIR) imagery acquired by the Canadian made TABI-1800 (Thermal Airborne Broadband Imager) can be used to quantify, map and monitor urban energy efficiency over time, at the resolution of individual houses, and the scale of a large Canadian city with over 1 million residents. 

Proposed Research Projects

This is an example of projects either underway, or potentially available for students to work on that involve high-resolution (25 cm-1m) TIR imagery, geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA), machine learning, GIS and geo-spatial analysis.

TIR Derived Urban Energy Efficiency

Potential PhD Project

The Role of Anisotropy on TIR Waste Heat

Potential PhD Project

Auto-Roof Extraction from TIR Imagery

Potential MSc Project

TIR Hot-Spot Stability over Time and Space

Potential MSc Project

Machine Learning to Generate 3D Results from 2D TIR Imagery

Potential MSc Project

Diagnostic Machine Learning of TIR Heat-Loss Patterns

Potential MSc Project

Thermal Hyper-spectral Assessment of Roof Materials with the TASI-600

Potential MSc Project

Defining Roof Materials with RGBi Imagery

Potential MGIS Project

Research Project

References:[1] International Energy Agency. (2017). Energy Efficiency 2017. Retrieved from publications/ freepublications/ publication/ Energy_Efficiency_2017.pdf [2] Hemachandran B., et al., 2018. Chapter 11. Urban Remote Sensing 2nd edition. (Editor Q. Weng). Taylor and Francis Catalogue ISBN: 978-1-138-05460-8. pp 235 – 270.