Western partners with Nunavut Arctic College in the Canadian CubeSat Project


Western Engineering News | May 7, 2018

Western University recently announced its partnership with Nunavut Arctic College as participants in a Canadian Space Agency (CSA) project, where teams of professors and students take part in a real space mission. Western received one of 15 CSA-funded grants to build a miniature satellite called a CubeSat.

A total of 15 teams composed of 37 organizations will participate in the CSA CubeSat Project, comprised of inter-regional, inter-provincial and international collaborations that even include universities from Europe, Australia and the USA.

Once tested and ready for space, the 15 cube satellites will be launched and deployed from the International Space Station in 2020–2022.

Western University’s team, comprising of members from the Faculties of Engineering and Science, will flight-test a novel imaging system for engineering technology demonstration with the potential to provide virtual reality-ready images. This imaging system has future applications in Earth observation and space exploration. Western University will collaborate with industry partners Canadensys Aerospace and MDA, who bring considerable expertise to the project.

The CubeSat project aims to enhance the STEM outreach of Western University’s Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX) by taking CubeSat operations into the high school classroom both in Southwestern Ontario and Nunavut. Remote access to the CubeSat will facilitate live demonstrations of satellite communications and interpretation of received data.

Western University, in partnership with Nunavut Arctic College, will organize a Space Camp program for students in Nunavut and bring Nunavut Arctic College students to Western University for training and operations opportunities.

Dr. Jayshri Sabarinathan, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Principle Investigator for the Western University-Nunavut Artic College CubeSat project, will be responsible for the overall success of the CubeSat mission. She will also provide the technical training and support for the CubeSat and ground station communications subsystems.

Eager to get started, Sabarinathan is thrilled at the potential of the CubeSat Project to enhance the space engineering and science education at Western. 

“This is an incredible opportunity for students to gain hands-on-experience by designing and building their own nanosatellite and to participate in the launching and operation of the satellite,” said Sabarinathan.

“The CubeSat development will also facilitate a new avenue towards accelerating student engagement in space science and engineering projects at Western and with our partners.”

To celebrate the launch of the CubeSat Project, CSA held an event at the University of Manitoba on May 4, 2018, where CSA astronaut Jenni Sidey announced the participating teams who joined in via video conference from across the country.

Want more information on the CubeSat project and Western’s mission?

Western University - Nunavut Arctic College CubeSat Project
Canadian CubeSat Project