Centre for Sensors and System Integration (CSSI)

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), Edmonton, Alberta
What the facility does

Applied research and project development that deliver a new product, an improved service, or a more efficient process through prototyping activities.

Areas of expertise

NAIT’s Centre for Sensors and System Integration (CSSI) is a Technology Access Centre (TAC) staffed with professional researchers and technologist to support businesses on applied research and project development that deliver a new product, an improved service, or a more efficient process. From electronic, optical and sensor development to additive manufacturing and material testing.

Businesses across all major Alberta industry sectors have identified digital transformation as being the critical next step in their operational evolution. The Technology Access Centre for Sensors and System Integration (TACSSI) helps address parts of these digitization challenges through prototyping activities in preparation for later commercialization, which in turn enhance a company’s productivity, competitiveness, and innovation. From automating a manual process, trialing the use of existing technology in an innovative way, to sourcing an idea from another industry and developing a device to meet the application. Our team thrives from building new technology to adapting an existing capability to meet our clients needs.

CSSI is a fully equipped centre of 9,000 sq. ft. over three labs. Our high-tech labs are complemented with an expert team of applied scientists, engineers, technologists and students. CSSI staff work in collaboration with the small, medium and large organizations over various industry sectors. Specializing in research and development, academia, and third-party innovators, we take technological ideas from concept to physical design and implementation.

Research services
  • Sensor development
  • Prototyping, fabrication, and installation services
  • Embedded system design
  • Concept or process validation
  • Technology workflow consultation
  • Project management
  • Business mentorship
  • Early-stage business development
  • Non-destructive inspection (NDI)
  • System performance monitoring
  • Materials testing and characterization
  • Environmental testing
  • Sample analysis and testing
  • Literature reviews
  • Field trials / simulations
  • Technology evaluation / validation
  • Additive manufacturing
Sectors of application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Clean technology
  • Energy
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Forestry and forest-based industries
  • Information and communication technologies and media
  • Manufacturing and processing
  • Mining, minerals and metals
  • Professional and technical services (including legal services, architecture, engineering)
Specialized labEquipmentFunction
Micro/Nano technology LabTESCAN VEGA3 LMU Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)SEM is used to produce images of a sample by scanning the surface with a focused beam of electrons. This system is intended for both high- and low-vacuum operations. It also has a variety of imaging modes with valuable capabilities.
Micro/Nano technology LabMulti-Target DC Metal sputter deposition systemDC Sputtering is a thin-film PVD-coating technique where the coating is bombarded with ionized gas molecules causing atoms to be “sputtered” off into the plasma. It is used extensively in the semiconductor industry to create microchip circuitry on the molecular level.
Materials alteration/machining labUniversal Testing Machine TribometerA Universal Testing Machine (UTM) Tribometer is used to test the tensile strength, friction, and wear of a diverse range of materials, components, and structures to several ASTM test standards. 
Materials alteration/machining labSentek L0620M-PAS106/AIF/DMF Vibration Test SystemThis test system is ideally suited to vibration-test small electronic parts, connectors, hand-held units, and mechanical assemblies. It simulates real-world industrial environments. The system is designed to endure severe vibration and shock forces and extreme temperature conditions while testing.
Materials alteration/machining labStratasys F370 Plastic 3D PrinterThis plastics-based 3D printer is used for rapid prototyping for the manufacturing or medical devices industries.  It uses FDM technology where parts are built layer by layer by heating and extruding thermoplastic filament. The F370 prints in multiple plastics (ABS, PLA, ASA, PC ABS, FDM TPU 92A) in extremely precise 0.005 in. layer thicknesses, and features a medium build size of 355 mm x 254 mm x 355 mm.
Materials alteration/machining labArtec Space Spider 3D scannerThis high-resolution 3D scanner is based on blue-light technology. It accurately captures small objects or the intricate details of larger industrial objects in high resolution, with steadfast accuracy and brilliant color. Each scanned 3D point has an accuracy of 50 um with a minimum geometry resolution of 100 um. The minimum size for an object to be scanned is 5 mm.
Materials alteration/machining labStratasys Polyjet 3D Printer

The PolyJet printer is a powerful 3D printer that uses technology similar to inkjet printing, where the print head jets liquid photopolymer onto the build tray and then cures it with UV light.  This technology produces smooth, accurate parts, prototypes and tooling.


With microscopic layer resolution and accuracy down to 0.1 mm, it can produce thin walls and complex geometries using the widest range of materials including precise plastic prints. It has a part build-area of 294 mm x 192 mm x 148 mm.

Electronics and Lasers Lab

High/low speed data acquisition setup for test, characterization:  MCC DAQ USB-201

National Instruments PCI-5122 National Instruments PCI-6115

Oscilloscope Devices are flexible, software‐defined instruments that are versatile enough for both time‐ and frequency‐domain measurements. They are used to display, analyze, and log the waveform of electronics signals from components or circuits for troubleshooting or characterization purposes.  This test suite can accept a variety of input types: thermocouples, analog voltages, 4-20mA currents, digital I/O, etc.
Electronics and Lasers LabFilmetrics Profilm3D Optical ProfilerThis thin-film and surface-topography profiler uses state-of-the-art white light interferometry (WLI) to create detailed 3D images of a surface. It features a film thickness range of 50 nm to 10 mm, with vertical feature resolution of 50 nm.
Electronics and Lasers LabHigh precision 7.5 Digit Keithley DMM7510 multimeterThis multimeter provides High-precision readings for sensitive electronic measurements such as 4-point probe tests for resistivity.
Electronics and Lasers LabTektronix MSO54 Mixed Signal OscilloscopeA Mixed Signal Oscilloscope is used to measure voltage or current signals over time in an electronic circuit or component to display amplitude, frequency, rise time, etc. Applications include troubleshooting, production test, and design. It has 4 FlexChannels with extended 125M/channel record length, 2 GHz Bandwidth, including serial triggering for automotive, embedded, computer, and USB applications.
Electronics and Lasers LabIBL SV260 Vapor Phase reflow oven and surface mount rework stationThe IBL SV 260 is an easy to use vapour phase soldering machine for circuit boards. The temperature profiles are adjusted by a variable heating power control. It is ideal for low to medium volume production and prototype work.  
Electronics and Lasers LabElectronic test and characterization equipmentElectronic test equipment is used to test components and electronic devices to determine if they are functioning correctly. The inventory includes: A triple channel DC supply, arbitrary function generator, benchtop and handheld multimeters, high voltage DC supply, and inductance/capacitance meter.
Electronics and Lasers LabLabVIEW Professional SoftwareLabVIEW is a system engineering software package for applications that require test, measurement and control. Capabilities include custom user interfaces, high speed data acquisition, data output, low-level control, and the ability to compile standalone executable programs.
Electronics and Lasers LabRockwell PLC SoftwareUsed to program and control Rockwell Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), this software package provides the user the ability to include Ladder logic and function block diagrams with networking capabilities and to interface between PLC and HMIs. It also includes industrial controls with interlocks and fail-safes.
Electronics and Lasers LabMathworks MATLAB SoftwareThis software provides an Image processing toolkit, image acquisition toolkit, and compiler. It is used to plot functions and data, implement algorithms, and create user interfaces.    
Electronics and Lasers LabFLIR T640 Thermal CameraThis high-resolution thermal imaging device is operated by our in-house certified Thermographers. The T640 can produce imaging of temperature ranges from -40 to 2000 Celsius. 
Electronics and Lasers LabClass 3B and Class 4 Laser lab setupThis suite of tools and protective equipment allows staff to safely work with Class 3B and Class 4 laser systems. It includes blinds, protective equipment, beam profilers, laser power meters, optical components, breadboards, alignment targets, and test/characterization tools to perform tests on laser-based systems such as thermal stress tests, long-term operation tests, and baseline laser noise tests.
  • Tech-Access Canada
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
  • NAIT The Clean Technologies Team
  • NAIT The Centre for Culinary Innovation
  • NAIT The Centre for Grid Innovation
  • NAIT Technology Access Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability
  • Red Deer Polytechnic