UPEI to design, build toaster-sized space satellite

UPEI to design, build toaster-sized space satellite

Students on the University of Prince Edward Island will quickly be participating in an upcoming space mission.

UPEI was one in every of 15 post-secondary faculties throughout Canada chosen to participate within the Canadian Space Agency’s CubeSat challenge.

Students from these faculties will design and build satellites that shall be deployed from the International Space Station between 2020 and 2021.

UPEI’s satellite, known as SpudNik-1, shall be used for “precision agriculture” that can look on the state of fields on P.E.I., says Nicholas Krouglicof, the affiliate dean of the School of Sustainable Design Engineering at UPEI.

“We’re going for a fairly difficult application because ours is an imaging application — we want to get images of the surface of the Earth with a suitably high resolution,” he mentioned.

We’re going for a reasonably tough utility as a result of ours is an imaging utility.— Nicholas Krouglicof

SpudNik-1 will take photographs of fields throughout the province that can give information on things like crop harm, illness and infestations, the effectiveness of herbicides, irrigation plans and extra.

Big desires, small toaster

The greatest problem going through college students is probably not the science behind all of it, Krouglicof mentioned, however stuffing an entire lot of high-tech tools right into a satellite the scale of a small toaster.

The SpudNik-1 crew from left, Dr. Grant McSorley, Dr. Nicholas Krouglicof, Dr. Aitazaz Farooque, Dr. Bill Whelan, Dr. Nadja Bressan. (Submitted)

“Our big challenge is we’re trying to get two-metre resolution on the ground, that’s going to pose a lot of challenges fitting that into a CubeSat,” he mentioned.

Power, communications, every thing that is wanted to make the satellite work — “We have to squeeze all that into the small toaster,” he mentioned.

Graduate and undergraduate college students from the physics division and college of engineering will take the reins on the challenge within the coming years, with totally different teams of scholars creating components for the satellite every semester.​

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