The Canadian Satellite Design Challenge held its second workshop on Feb. 20 and 21, in Toronto. The workshop was attended by 60 representatives from the 14 participating universities, making it the largest CSDC workshop ever held (which could have been aided by the fact that it was Reading Break for most of the participating universities).

The workshop consisted of a number of presentations on several topics concerning satellite engineering and development, as well as a tour of the York University spacecraft engineering laboratory and testing facilities, and an opportunity for attendees to write their Amateur Radio operator licence.

Team “Preliminary Design Review” Presentations
Each of the teams gave a short presentation (nominally considered as a Preliminary Design Review) on their planned mission objectives and design. The mission ideas were impressive and varied:

  • York U.: Measure the concentration of methane and atomic oxygen at the orbital altitude.
  • U. Windsor: Track, plan, and predict naval routes and shifting ice cover in the Canadian Arctic
  • U. Waterloo: Arctic ice monitoring using GPS reflectometry.
  • U. Victoria: Photometric source to calibrate atmospheric effects on ground-based observatories.
  • U. Toronto: Evaluate changes in the virulence of a fungi inherent to the human gut flora.
  • Simon Fraser U: Payload to calibrate the CHIME radio telescope to facilitate precision measurements.
  • Queen’s U: Survey and characterise the material properties of orbital debris.
  • U. Manitoba: Test whether Panspermia, the theory that life can travel interplanetary, is possible.
  • McGill U: A miniaturised X-ray Spectrometer for stellar observation.
  • École Polytechnique de Montréal:Development of an ion thruster; development of an incubator payload.
  • Concordia U: Study the long-term performance of a self-healing composite material.
  • Carleton U: microbolometer and telescope apparatus to detect forest fires.
  • U. British Columbia: early forest fire detection and prevention using image recognition.
  • U. Alberta: obtain wildfire prediction and effects data for Alberta.

CSDC Toronto Workshop

Guest Presentations

The workshop included the following guest lecturers, who gave presentations on various aspects of spacecraft design and project management:
Satellite Communications – Hugh Chesser, Lassonde School of Engineering, York University)
Program Management for “Real World Engineering” – Matt Cannata, Microsat Systems Canada Ltd.
Practical Design Considerations for Spacecraft – Matt Cannata, Microsat Systems Canada Ltd.
The OSIRIS-Rex Mission – Kristin Cote, York University graduate students (and former AlbertaSat member)
Cubesat De-orbit Tether Mission – Dr. Franz Newland, Lassonde School of Engineering, York University

Amateur Radio Operator’s Exam
Amateur radio is frequently used by university cubesats for communicaitons (uplink and downlink); however, in order to operate a ground station using amateur bands, the operators must be licenced. Thanks to Ori Siegal, an accredited Amateur Radio examiner, many of the attendees (those who didn’t already have their licence) were able to write their Beginner’s certification test (and one at the Advanced level).

Finally, we would especially like to thank Hugh Chesser of York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering for his outstanding help and support in preparing this workshop, and hosting us at York University.

For more information about the CSDC, please contact: