The satellite designed and constructed by the student-led team is anticipated to launch from the International Space Station at the end of 2021 and will orbit the earth for one year.
It will be Saskatchewan’s first cube satellite in space and will be able to capture images of the province. Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) have also collaborated on the project.
“It’s been interesting. As students, none of us have really designed anything like this before,” said Christopher Elash, RADSAT-SK HR and outreach project manager.
A radiation sensor is being developed on RADSAT-SK, along with a radiation shield building compound. There is a lot of radiation in space and being able to detect it can help protect astronauts as they venture further into space.
This technology is more affordable than past methods of radiation detection, which has impressed the science community. USST recently won Saskatoon’s Regional Economic Development Authority’s (SREDA) outstanding initiative award in Science, Technology, Innovation and Collaboration.
RADSAT-SK is the only entirely student-designed cube satellite in the country. The award recognizes the team’s commitment to enhancing science in the Saskatoon region, as well as inspiring future scientists.
“It was amazing to receive the SREDA award because we’re a student group at the university. We’re competing against projects and companies from all over Saskatoon; tech companies that have people working fulltime on them and are developing amazing products,” said Connor Schentag, RADSAT-SK technical project manager.
The young team still has a lot of work ahead before the launch but said they are on track. The preliminary design was just presented to the CSA. A more detailed design is in the works, and more models and tests will be done before RADSAT-SK is complete.