Canadian student satellites launching in space; get more grants

 Canadian student satellites launching in space; get more grants

Image courtesy: CCP

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has announced that it is awarding nine further grants worth CA$3.15 million to various Canadian post-secondary institutions. The CubeSats Initiative in Canada for STEM (CUBICS) is providing these grants, under the Canadian CubeSat Project (CCP) to build Canadian student satellites.

CUBICS is a government initiative dedicated to promoting space and aerospace education and research in Canada. The organization supports and encourages the use of CubeSat technology in research and educational institutions across the country.

CubeSats are small, standardized satellites that can be launched in low Earth orbit for scientific experiments and other research purposes. Essentially, the initiative works towards advancing essential space science and technology while preparing the next generation of space experts.

Through this grant program, CSA allows post-secondary institutions to let their highly-capable student groups create functional CubeSats. Moreover, students can test their satellites before they are launched into earth’s orbit. CUBICS offers these inexperienced students an incredible opportunity of designing CubeSats right from scratch until operationalization. CSA expert teams provide support throughout every stage of process from mission planning up until launch day or even afterward during operations phase when necessary.

Also read: Government funds Stromcore Energy to boost clean tech sector

List of nine new student team awardees

Students from following universities have received the latest nine grants for varied projects:

  • University of Alberta, Edmonton: Measuring ice and snow coverage
  • Concordia University, Montreal: Integrating AI for satellite image processing and improving performance and robustness of CubeSats
  • Dalhousie University, Halifax: STEM engagement through satellite development and observations
  • University of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Making space accessible for Arctic climate change research
  • McMaster University, Hamilton: For spectrometry of charged particles
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s: For ocean monitoring in support of climate change adaptation
  • University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon: New radiation mitigating technologies for computer hardware in space
  • Western University, London: For next-generation tracking of migratory wildlife
  • University of Victoria, Victoria, BC: Space-based Earth, oceans and atmosphere imaging

Third batch of Canadian student satellites launched by CSA & NASA

Earlier in June, NASA launched into space five miniaturized satellites designed and built by students participating in CCP. A Cygnus supply spacecraft from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility located in Virginia, US, launched the CubeSats to the International Space Station. The payload accompanying the satellites also included materials needed for CARDIOBREATH, an experiment conducted by CSA. The experiment studies changes occurring on astronauts’ cardiovascular and respiratory systems, as well as their blood pressure control while they are out in space.

This was the third launch of student-built miniature satellites under the CCP. The teams finished preparing their CubeSats at CSA in March. The five CubeSats included one each designed by students from Concordia University, University of Manitoba, University of Saskatchewan, York University, and Western University.

Since the CCP started in May 2018, these projects have grown exponentially due to high levels of interest seen among post-secondary students. Hundreds of micro-satellite proposals across many fields are being submitted for selection every year.

CCP has shared the complete list of selected student teams on its website.

Also read: Rental industry startup by school kid gets US$1M funding now


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