Team of undergraduate students wins Canadian Satellite Design Challenge
A team of undergraduate students from Concordia University are over the moon thanks to their win of the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC). The announcement was made on September 29, at a gala event in Ottawa marking the 50th anniversary of the launch of Alouette, Canada’s first communications satellite.
This Canada-wide competition challenged university students to create innovative satellite designs. After a grueling two-year process, the team from Space Concordia emerged victorious. They can now look forward to their grand prize: seeing their satellite launched into outer space.
Nick Sweet, leader of the Concordia team, is “ecstatic about winning the Challenge. Two years of hard work has paid off and I am so incredibly proud of my team and so happy to have been part of this competition.”
Concordia University president Alan Shepard is thrilled, noting “this is a fine example of the astounding work our students are in engaged in. It takes them far beyond the lab or the classroom.”
Robin Drew, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science agrees. “The Faculty was very supportive of this initiative, and the team’s mentor, Scott Gleason, was a source of inspiration to these future engineers.”
The Concordian satellite will be launched into orbit in 2013, in order to conduct scientific research into the mysterious inner workings of the South Atlantic Anomaly. This area of intense radiation over Antarctica has long caused strange readings and system failures for unmanned spacecraft.
The CSDC was sponsored by Canadian satellite manufacturing company, Geocentrix. Its president, Larry Reeves, has been following the competition every step of the way. “It has been incredibly rewarding to witness the energy, dedication and capability that the teams brought to this competition. The students have expressed overwhelming support for the competition and the experience they have gained from it,” says Reeves.
The Concordia team beat out entries from across Canada, including those from strong engineering schools such as Carleton, Queen’s, UBC, and the Royal Military College. Finalists in the competition received a special commendation from the House of Commons, on September 28.
“The fact that we’ve come this far and that the Government of Canada is recognizing our efforts is absolutely astounding. Well done to those involved – we’ve done something incredible,” says Sweet on behalf of the Space Concordia team.