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Wednesday, February 3 • 14:40 - 15:00
University of Alberta Ex-Alta 1 CubeSat for the QB50 Mission

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Ex-Alta 1, the Experimental Albertan #1, is the pioneer cube satellite from the AlbertaSat team at the University of Alberta and will be the first built-in-Alberta satellite. This three-unit (3U) cube satellite is designed and assembled primarily by volunteer undergraduate students at the University of Alberta, with guidance from several researchers and faculty members. Once in orbit, Ex-Alta 1 will study space weather using a range of miniature scientific instruments. This flight will also be used to qualify the first model of a new suite of open source cube satellite subsystems being developed at the University of Alberta.

Ex-Alta 1 is one of two Canadian satellites participating in the QB50 mission, coordinated by the Von Karman Institute in Brussels, Belgium. Ex-Alta 1 joined the QB50 mission in mid 2013. Over the past two years the AlbertaSat team has met QB50’s design, payload, and testing criteria while operating within a schedule that leaves little room for error. In July of 2016 all participating cube satellites in the QB50 mission, including Ex-Alta 1, will be transported to the International Space Station. Astronauts will use the NanoRacks deployer to deploy them into low earth orbit at a later specified date.

Ex-Alta 1 is equipped with three scientific payloads. The Multi-Needle Langmuir Probe experiment, developed at the University of Oslo, will study variations in ion densities in low earth orbit, as well as the effects of the lower thermosphere as the orbit decays. A miniaturised Digital Fluxgate Magnetometer developed and built by a PhD Candidate at the University of Alberta will be deployed at the end of a 60 cm boom to study the Earth’s magnetic field in low Earth orbit. Finally, a radiation dosimeter onboard Ex-Alta 1 will measure variation in radiation levels in low Earth orbit.

The Athena on-board computer for cube satellites is part of the open source Open CubeSat Platform (OCP), and was designed and built by senior undergraduate students at the University of Alberta. It will be tested and qualified on the Ex-Alta 1 mission, and will then form the foundation for future cube satellite projects carried out by the AlbertaSat team.

avatar for Larry Reeves

Larry Reeves

Director, The Canadian Satellite Design Challenge Management Society

avatar for Tyler Hrynyk

Tyler Hrynyk

Deputy Project Manager, AlbertaSat

Wednesday February 3, 2016 14:40 - 15:00
Provence Room 45 The Esplanade, Toronto, ON M5E 1W2

Attendees (4)