Three More Canadian CubeSat Project Satellites to Launch in January (Update)

Canadian CubeSat Project team members from Université de Sherbrooke, University of New Brunswick and Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador at the Canadian Space Agency for the integration of their CubeSat's. Image credit: Canadian Space Agency.

Three more Canadian CubeSat Project teams have delivered their CubeSat’s to the Canadian Space Agency for integration ahead of an anticipated launch in early March.

Teams from the Université de Sherbrooke, University of New Brunswick, and Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador were on hand in late November for the integration.

All three CubeSat’s will be launched on the SpaceX CRS-30 Commercial Resupply Mission to the International Space Station (ISS) where they will be deployed using the Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer. The launch is currently scheduled for no earlier than January 29 and no date has been set yet for their deployed from the (ISS)

The three CubeSat’s will join 11 others from the Canadian CubeSat Project to be launched and deployed since December 2022. There is only one project which has not launched, Spudnik-1 of the University of PEI (UPEI). According to the CSA the “UPEI team worked very hard on their CubeSat and ground segment. Unfortunately, they will not benefit from the last CCP batch launch due to technical issues during the final assembly phase of their CubeSat. However, according to the PI (Grant McSorley), some UPEI students continue to work on the SpudNik subsystems such as the ADCS. They are treating them as academic R&D projects.” We’ll be reaching out to the UPEI team to ascertain if and when the CubeSat might be ready for launch. It should be noted that the University of PEI is a collaborator on the Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador CubeSat.

The three CubeSat’s heading to the ISS are:

Université de Sherbrooke team members. Image credit: Canadian Space Agency.
Université de Sherbrooke team members. Image credit: Canadian Space Agency.

QMSat – Université de Sherbrooke

Themes: Space weather, communications system.

  • Conduct one of the first demonstrations of a quantum sensor in space. Quantum sensors use the unique and often strange behaviour of matter at very small distances to perform ultra-sensitive and robust measurements. This quantum sensor uses nitrogen-vacancy defects in a tiny piece of diamond to measure the intensity and orientation of the magnetic field in space. Such measurements are useful to study the effect of solar storms on radio communication, GPS or electrical grids, or the flow of magma under Earth’s crust, for instance. Quantum technologies, such as this magnetometer, will lead to smaller, more energy efficient, and more sensitive sensors for space applications.

Academic collaborators: École nationale d’aéronautique (QC).

Industry collaborators: MDA (QC).

Samiha Lubaba, Noah Lydon, Joudi Al-Lathqani, Brent Petersen, Dhyan Baruah and Quynh Nguyen, at the Canadian Space Agency with VIOLET, November 27, 2023. Image credit: Canadian Space Agency.
Samiha Lubaba, Noah Lydon, Joudi Al-Lathqani, Brent Petersen, Dhyan Baruah and Quynh Nguyen, at the Canadian Space Agency with VIOLET, November 27, 2023. Image credit: Canadian Space Agency.

VIOLET – The University of New Brunswick

Themes: Space weather, meteorology.

  • VIOLET will provide new insights into the behaviour of Earth’s upper atmosphere including the ionosphere. Its GNSS Receiver for Ionospheric and Position Studies (GRIPS) will receive signals transmitted by global navigation satellite systems, such as GPS, as they travel through the ionosphere and are affected by it. Researchers will be able to use the data to further study how the ionosphere changes from place to place over time as well as how it responds to space weather. Significant space weather events can interfere with communications systems and electrical grids. GRIPS will also accurately determine the position, velocity, and acceleration of VIOLET as the satellite’s orbit evolves over time.
  • VIOLET will also carry three cameras. Two cameras will allow the team to study the distribution of oxygen in the upper atmosphere, capturing images of the red and green light oxygen atoms given off during aurora and airglow events. The images will be used to examine the varying composition of the ionosphere and its response to solar storms. The third camera will be used to take images of Earth’s surface for Earth science and meteorology applications. Knowledge of Earth’s oceans is critical to the understanding of climate change.

Academic collaborators

  • University of Moncton (NB).
  • New Brunswick Community College, Saint John Campus (NB).
Killick development team members (front row) Desmond Power, Victoria Vaters, (back row) Matthew Fewer, Daniel Dolomount, and Cameron King. Image credit: Canadian Space Agency.
Killick development team members (front row) Desmond Power, Victoria Vaters, (back row) Matthew Fewer, Daniel Dolomount, and Cameron King. Image credit: Canadian Space Agency.

Killick-1 – Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

Themes: Earth observation, climate change, environment.

  • Test an existing technology designed to monitor oceans (sea-ice detection and sea-ice concentration estimation) and fit it on the smaller CubeSat frame, which could lead to cheaper solutions to monitor and collect data on our oceans.

Academic collaborators: University of Prince Edward Island (PEI).

Industry collaborators: C-CORE (NL).

UPDATE Dec. 20, 2023 – The launch of the CubeSat’s will not be on the Northrop Grumman Cygnus NG-20 as previously reported. And we added information relating to the University of PEI effort.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

Leave a Reply