UVic engineering team wins satellite design challenge
Mike McLeodGeneral Aerospace satellite University of Victoria
ECOSat team’s nanosatellite being readied for launch to low Earth orbit.
A team of University of Victoria engineering students have won the latest Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC), a nation-wide competition for teams of university students to design and build a small operational science research satellite known as a cubesat. From among the six Canadian university teams involved, the winning UVic team will have the opportunity to launch their small nanosatellite launched into space.
Now that they’ve won, the team is currently busy making adjustments to the diminutive satellite in preparation for its eventual deployment. Approximately the size of a shoe box, the team’s “P-Pod” nanosatellite measures about 10x10x30cm and weighs less than 4kg. Although small, the cubesat still incorporates all the systems of a larger satellite including power, attitude control and communication.
In addition, UVic’s ECOSat contains a scientific payload and will carry out a number of experiments during its space flight. Chief among them will be to test the satellite’s magnetic torque attitude system which will work in conjunction with a diamagnetic pyrolytic graphite and high powered laser system to influence the pitch and roll of the satellite. In addition, the ECOSat will test the fluorescence and radiation shielding potential of pyrolytic graphite, as well as function as an open source Amateur Radio Relay.