Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




MICROSAT BLITZ
Big Science From Canada's Smallest Satellite
by Staff Writers
Toronto, Canada (SPX) Mar 09, 2009


The Canadian Advanced Nanospace eXperiment 2 (CanX-2) nanosatellite

The Canadian Advanced Nanospace eXperiment 2 (CanX-2) nanosatellite is nearing the completion of its first year in orbit. Having been developed on a shoestring budget, nearly 100 times cheaper than a traditional satellite of similar capabilities, the 3.5 kg, milk-carton-sized satellite continues to perform well in low Earth orbit.

Launched on 28 April 2008 on board Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C9 from India, CanX-2 carries a number of miniature satellite technologies that have been demonstrated to work well in space.

"Within only three months of on-orbit operation, we were able to verify the performance of all the technologies on board CanX-2," says Dr. Robert E. Zee, Director of the Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) at the University of Toronto.

"We are now well into the second phase of the mission, performing atmospheric science experiments. This is an unprecedented milestone achievement for Canada. CanX-2 is Canada's smallest operational satellite in history."

CanX-2 is much more than its tiny size would suggest. Among a suite of custom, low power electronics, it carries a novel propulsion system developed at SFL that will be used to support a formation flying demonstration mission involving two satellites, CanX-4 and CanX-5 in the near future.

A commercial GPS receiver on board CanX-2 has also been shown to work well. In addition to providing precise updates on the satellite's position in orbit, the GPS receiver is being used by Professor Susan Skone at the University of Calgary to perform radio occultation experiments - measurements of delays in GPS signals through the atmosphere to infer atmospheric properties such as water vapor and total electron content. CanX-2 is likely the smallest satellite to perform such scientific investigation from Earth orbit.

In addition to Professor Skone's experiment, CanX-2 carries a compact spectrometer developed by Professor Brendan Quine at York University, that measures concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

At present, the satellite is alternating between the two science experiments, gathering important data about our planet, while demonstrating leading edge satellite technology. Indeed, the experiments would not be possible without CanX-2's barrier-breaking miniature attitude control system that enables three-axis stabilization of the satellite to within a few degrees.

"We have an outstanding student apprenticeship program, but the key to low-cost is not the involvement of students. Though we do train students at SFL to be the satellite engineers of tomorrow, the key to low-cost is SFL's use of the 'microspace' philosophy," says Zee.

The microspace approach to building satellites allows SFL to achieve low-cost through reduced formality, tightly integrated design teams, and the judicious use of commercially available parts. Such parts are similar to those you would find in your cell phone or personal data assistant.

"We've had some great customers, including Defence R and D Canada and the Canadian Space Agency, who are willing to trust us to get the job done according to our microspace experience," adds Zee. "Often large agencies will be tempted to protect their investment by getting involved in the design decisions or development approaches themselves. Our customers know that the contractor is already motivated to do a good job."

The Space Flight Laboratory also builds custom separation systems, or the devices that eject satellites from their launch vehicles. The XPOD developed by SFL is a customizable separation system that can accommodate a wide variety of satellite sizes and shapes. SFL uses its XPOD separation systems to support low-cost launches of multiple nanosatellites arranged through its Nanosatellite Launch Service (NLS) program.

CanX-2 is a project supported by Defence R and D Canada (Ottawa), the Canadian Space Agency, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), MDA Space Missions, and the Ontario Centres of Excellence.

.


Related Links
Space Flight Laboratory
Microsat News and Nanosat News at SpaceMart.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





MICROSAT BLITZ
Iran building seven new satellites: minister
Tehran (AFP) Feb 12, 2009
Iran is building seven new satellites, including three for high orbit positions, the communications minister said on Thursday, a week after Iran launched its first satellite amid international concerns. "Four low-orbit satellites weighing under 100 kilograms are under design and construction," Mohammad Soleymani was quoted as saying by the state broadcaster's website. The other three wil ... read more


MICROSAT BLITZ
China To Land Probe On Moon At Latest In 2013

Help To Define A Lunar Lander

What Is The Story Behind The Dark Side Of The Moon

Obama's First Budget Backs Core Lunar 2.0 Goals

MICROSAT BLITZ
Mars500 Crew Locked For 105 Days In Simulator

Mars Rover Spirit Faces Circuitous Route

Mars Odyssey Mission Status Report

Rice Study Hints At Water - And Life - Under Olympus Mons

MICROSAT BLITZ
Mission Madness Tournament To Vote On Greatest Mission

Japanese gadget controls iPod in blink of an eye

China Selects Taikonauts For First Space Station

U.S. might loose technological leadership

MICROSAT BLITZ
China's Shenzhou-8 Spacecraft To Carry Bio Sample For ESA

China Plans To Launch Shenzhou-8, Shenzhou-9 Spacecraft In 2011

Shenzhen To Build 4 To 5 Satellites Every Year

Long March 5 Will Have World's Second Largest Carrying Capacity

MICROSAT BLITZ
New ISS Crew Announced At Russia's Star City

Japan astronaut to try flying carpet in space lab: official

JAXA Selects Astronaut Candidates For Future ISS Crew

Second ATV Named After Johannes Kepler

MICROSAT BLITZ
The Case Of The Fairing That Would Not

NASA Kepler Telescope To Launch Aboard Delta II Rocket

DPRK Shows Tough Stand On Satellite Launch

Russia Set To Put US Telecom Satellite Into Orbit

MICROSAT BLITZ
Kepler Mission Rockets To Space In Search Of Other Earths

Texas Astronomer To Aid Search For Earth-like Planets

NASA launches telescope to seek Earth-like planets

With March 6 Kepler Launch, Work Begins For Berkeley Astronomers

MICROSAT BLITZ
Russian General Says US May Have Planned Satellite Collision

Outside View: Radar shield at risk

Hit videogames have stories to tell

Microsoft goes intercontinental via cloud and Surface




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement