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Wednesday, February 3 • 15:55 - 16:15
Online Platform for Collaboration between Open Source Microsatellite Projects

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CubeSats have become tremendously successful in recent years; according to Science Magazine, 132 CubeSats were launched in 2014 alone. The success of these microsatellites is largely owed to their high degree of modularity which makes designs of essential subsystems reusable on multiple missions. A common challenge in microsatellite projects is implementing these essential subsystems. Specific interfacing limitations and high costs of proprietary commercial CubeSat subsystems make them impractical or impossible to implement on many projects. These challenges have led many design teams to independently create their own set of subsystems, which end up being nearly identical to others, aside from whatever unique features were required. This needlessly takes a significant amount of time and resources away from implementing the payload and primary mission objectives and increases risk due to unproven components. Open-source licensing is a natural solution to this problem and many groups around the world are designing subsystems with plans to make them publically available under open-source licenses. To facilitate communication between these design groups and make it easier for open-source subsystems to be implemented in CubeSat missions, we have created an online community where users and creators of open source CubeSat subsystems can collaborate and share their work.

The main purpose for our online platform was originally to share the Open CubeSat Platform (OCP): a set of open source subsystems and software for CubeSats being developed at the University of Alberta. We created it to provide an easy way for groups around the world to procure open source files and use them on their own CubeSat missions. Open source projects depend heavily on community collaboration. Problems encountered by one team’s development might have already been solved by another team. As a result, an expanded hosting platform that provides a centralized community for cooperation between open source satellite projects could lead to quicker and lower cost development of a microsatellite. Collaboration will also improve mission success and reliability as proven components are shared between teams. Our centralized, community driven file hosting system will make it easier to use open source CubeSat subsystems and make space exploration more accessible to scientists around the world.

avatar for Larry Reeves

Larry Reeves

Director, The Canadian Satellite Design Challenge Management Society

avatar for Stefan Damkjar

Stefan Damkjar

Student, University of Alberta

Wednesday February 3, 2016 15:55 - 16:15
Provence Room 45 The Esplanade, Toronto, ON M5E 1W2

Attendees (3)