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Slightly technical [clear filter]
Thursday, October 10

14:15 EDT

SGAC: Canada's Space Generation is Moonbound
Developed by Canadian young professionals and students, the titular theme of the UN Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) “Canada’s Space Generation is Moonbound” will explore a fusion of thematic areas representative of today’s space industry and its plurality. It has been prominently developed to provide insights into the growing panoramic view of Canada’s modern space sector including its makeup – an evolving genetic identity highlighting the significance of inclusion and diversity, intermixed with diversity of ideas blending technical and non-technical domains. A major highlight is accessibility to space opportunities for the Canadian youth and international outlook for space exploration through sustainable partnerships. At its heart, the core of the session reflects on Canada's heritage in space and its future: the space generation terra firma ripe of collaborative opportunities, leveraging imagination as a pivot to exploration and innovation.

The outputs generated from the session will be consolidated into a report by SGAC. They will be redirected to key stakeholders, including the Canadian Space Agency Canada's Space Advisory Board, as well as internationally to UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS), among others.

avatar for Joel Gagnon

Joel Gagnon

Special Projects, SG[Canada], Space Generation Advisory Council
Master of Aerospace Engineering student at McGill University.
avatar for Zaid Rana

Zaid Rana

Junior Program Scientist, Canadian Space Agency | SGAC

avatar for Morgan Crowley

Morgan Crowley

PhD Candidate in Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University
Morgan Crowley is a Ph.D. Candidate at McGill University in the Department of Natural Resources. In her research, she fuses classifications from multiple satellite sensors to map and analyze wildfire progressions in Canada. All of her research is done in Google Earth Engine in collaboration... Read More →
avatar for Amy Huynh

Amy Huynh

Brooke Owens Fellow, NASA Ames Research Center
avatar for Bethany Downer

Bethany Downer

Scientist-Astronaut candidate, ESA Hubble Public Information & Press Officer
Bethany Downer was born and raised in St. John's, Newfoundland and currently works around the world in the domain of outreach and communications for space. Based in western Europe, she currently manages the outreach of the Hubble Space Telescope for the European Space Agency and is... Read More →
avatar for The Paraboladies

The Paraboladies

Aerospace Medicine Research Group, Eleonor Frost, Lauren Church, Dr. Nina Purvis and Maia Gummer
We are The Paraboladies - a group of 4 women interested in Aerospace Medicine from avariety of backgrounds including medicine, human sciences, and physics. We formed ourteam to partake in the European Student Aerospace Challenge 2018/19(https://www.esa.int/Education/ESA_Academy/Student_Aerospace_Challenge_2018-2019),after... Read More →

Thursday October 10, 2019 14:15 - 15:45 EDT
Room CR2 ICAO - 999 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3C 5H10

16:20 EDT

Planetary Exploration with Robot Teams
Planetary exploration with robot teams
Since the beginning of space exploration, Mars and the Moon have been explored with orbiters, landers, and rovers. Over forty missions have targeted Mars, and more than a hundred, the Moon. Developing novel strategies and technologies for exploring celestial bodies continues to be a focus of space agencies. Multi-robot systems are particularly promising for planetary exploration, as they are more robust to individual failure and have the potential to explore larger areas; however, there are limits to how many robots an operator can individually control. We recently took part in the European Space Agency’s interdisciplinary equipment test campaign (PANGAEA-X) at a Lunar/Mars analog site in Lanzarote, Spain. 
We used a heterogeneous fleet of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)—a swarm—to study the interplay of systems operations and human factors. Human operators directed the swarm via ad-hoc networks and data sharing protocols to explore unknown areas under two control modalities: one in which the operator instructed each robot separately; and the other in which the operator provided general guidance to the swarm, which self-organized via a combination of distributed decision-making, and consensus-building.

For each condition, we assessed cognitive load via pupillometry and perceived task demand and intuitiveness via self-report. Our results show that implementing higher autonomy with swarm intelligence can reduce workload, freeing the operator for other tasks such as overseeing strategy, and communication. Future work will further leverage advances in swarm intelligence for exploration missions.

avatar for Marcel Kaufmann

Marcel Kaufmann

PhD Candidate, Polytechnique Montreal, MIST Lab
Marcel is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Engineering with the "Making Innovative Space Technologies” Laboratory at Polytechnique Montreal. He is focusing on multi-robot systems, swarm technologies and human-robot interaction. He holds a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. degree in Photonics... Read More →

Thursday October 10, 2019 16:20 - 16:40 EDT
Room CR1 ICAO - 999 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3C 5H10

16:40 EDT

ÉPPÉ: A Microsatellite Mission Concept to Characterize Exoplanets
ÉPPÉ (Extrasolar Planet Polarimetry Explorer / Explorateur polarimétrique des planètes extrasolaires) is a proposed concept for a microsatellite mission that would use time-resolved differential polarimetry to characterize known exoplanets (hot Jupiters, Neptunes, super Earths) and serve as a pathfinder for spectropolarimetric exoplanet biomarker detection. Exoplanet characterization is a top astrophysical science priority as enunciated by the NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program, the CASCA (Canadian Astronomical Society) 2011–2020 Long Range Plan, the Space Astronomy Origins and Planetary Systems Astrobiology topical team reports of the CSEW (Canadian Space Exploration Workshop), and ESA Cosmic Vision 2015-2025.

One of the limitations of current and future precision transit photometry and spectroscopy is that clouds and hazes prohibit spectroscopic feature detection. Vetting of a prospective exoplanet target prior to investing observation resources for detailed spectroscopy is therefore critical. The differential polarimetry capabilities of ÉPPÉ would be uniquely sensitive to polarized scattered light (dust, clouds, haze). So far, ground-based polarimeters have struggled to reach the 1 part-per-million level of precision required to detect scattered light from an exoplanet. By going to a dawn-dusk, Sun-synchronous orbit, we nearly eliminate the two major suspects for uncalibrated instrumental noise in ground-based measurements: the thermal stability of the optical setup and flexure of the optics at different telescope orientations.

The notional ÉPPÉ concept consists of a polarimetry instrumentation payload with a 30 cm aperture operating in the 300-800 nm band from a 180 kg class spacecraft in low-Earth orbit. ÉPPÉ is currently being advanced under a concept study funded by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). In addition to defining the science requirements and developing technical concepts for the mission, spacecraft, and payload, planning for education and public outreach is also an integral component of the study.

avatar for Taylor James Bell

Taylor James Bell

Graduate Student, McGill University
I am a PhD student at McGill university studying exoplanet atmospheres under the supervision of Professor Nicolas Cowan. While I'm an astronomer and primarily use space-based telescopes, I have had little knowledge of space technology and design before a year ago when I started my... Read More →

Thursday October 10, 2019 16:40 - 17:00 EDT
Room CR1 ICAO - 999 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3C 5H10

17:00 EDT

Lunar Technologies - Design Challenges
MPB Communications Inc. has been involved in Space R&D projects for over 40 years, building optical payloads for satellites, rovers and rockets. Currently, MPBC is developing key technologies to aid lunar exploration, notably including two projects: Lunar Cubesat Mission (VMMO “Ice Mapper”) and Dusty Thermal Vacuum Chamber (DTVAC). The VMMO Volatiles and Mineralogy Mapping Orbiter is a low-cost 12U lunar Cubesat being developed with CSA and ESA for mapping water-ice and other volatiles within permanently shadowed craters near lunar south pole using MPBC’s fiber laser technologies at 532 nm and 1560 nm. DTVAC was designed and built as a planetary environment simulator for Canadian Space Agency that simultaneously combines a controlled dust simulant shower in vacuum with simulated solar illumination and thermal control of the test device from below -196°C to above +120°C. The feasibility of liquid-helium cooling of a small platen with lunar regolith to about 40 K was also demonstrated, simulating temperatures relevant to permanently shadowed regions on the moon. Both of these projects present significant design challenges that are discussed in this presentation.

avatar for Piotr Murzionak

Piotr Murzionak

Mechanical Designer, MPB Communications Inc.
Mr. Piotr Murzionak has a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) and a Master’s degree in Space Studies from International Space University (Strasbourg, France). He joined Space Photonics R&D division of MPB Communications Inc. in... Read More →

Thursday October 10, 2019 17:00 - 17:20 EDT
Room CR1 ICAO - 999 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3C 5H10
Friday, October 11

09:20 EDT

Chasing Water on Mars with Lasers
The NASA Curiosity rover recently detected a high concentration of boron for the first time on Mars, in veins within rocks of Gale crater. These veins are possible evidence for groundwater circulation and indicate presence of water in regions protected from cosmic radiations, for longer periods after surface water evaporated, thus expanding the previously perceived window for when life might have existed on Mars. On Earth, borates stabilize ribose, the simple sugar that forms the backbone of ribonucleic acid (RNA). Therefore, borates may have facilitated a key step in RNA formation on early Earth. On Mars, presence of boron in a long-lived hydrologic system suggests that important prebiotic chemical reactions could have occurred in the groundwater. With the recent discovery of organic molecules on Mars, in addition to that of boron, the question of whether life might have originated or existed on Mars is a lot more opportune. In order to better interpret Martian rover data, it is key to study well-understood terrestrial formations similar to Gale crater. The objectives of this project are to investigate borate deposits in California as analogues to explain mobilization of boron in Gale crater and to forward the search for new boron rich regions on Mars. The results of this project are expected to further our understanding of habitability and aqueous processes of Mars, improve analytical techniques on the Curiosity rover and maximize scientific returns of the Mars 2020 mission.

avatar for Debarati Das

Debarati Das

Graduate Student, McGill University
I am a second year graduate student at the Earth and Planetary Science department at McGill University. I am also a member of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory and I work on understanding geochemistry and habitability of Mars using data from the Curiosity rover. A part of my research... Read More →

Friday October 11, 2019 09:20 - 09:40 EDT
Room CR1 ICAO - 999 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3C 5H10

09:20 EDT

RADARSAT-2 Operations – 11+ Years of Good Times
Satellite operations presents a wide range of challenges as an Earth-based team operates and maintains a spacecraft in orbit that they cannot see or touch. Engineers need to respond to new issues in real time as well as anticipate future problems by proactively monitoring spacecraft health and preparing detailed response plans and products. The RADARSAT-2 mission, which has been successfully operated at the Canadian Space Agency for over 11 years, has many examples of how operations staff have responded to and anticipated new challenges. An overview of the RADARSAT-2 operations philosophy will be presented, bringing together a team with various skill sets and various horizon to address challenging issues along with a summary of the most interesting challenges encountered and overcome during the mission thus far.

avatar for Casey Lambert

Casey Lambert

Senior Satellite System Engineer, MDA
Responsible for the system Enginnering of RADARSAT-2 and RCM missions

Friday October 11, 2019 09:20 - 09:40 EDT
Room CR2 ICAO - 999 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3C 5H10

09:40 EDT

RCM Preparation for Launch and Early operation
On June 12 SpaceX launched the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM), a trio of radar earth observation satellites built by MDA for the Canadian Space Agency, continuing Canada’s legacy as a pioneering innovator in synthetic aperture radar technologies. Behind this launch was years of preparation by the satellite operations team, a highly interdisciplinary group of people ranging from spacecraft engineers to software engineers to image scientists. Together they developed and tested software and procedures to control the satellite using a complex system spanning across the globe from the North West Territories to Antarctica (and of course, space). This talk will explain how the operations team prepared for the launch and walk through the early stages of operations leading to the first images on the satellites. It will also detail the particular complexities and challenges faced in the early stages of the mission and explain how the operations team was able to successfully overcome these challenges towards a successful mission.

avatar for Bryn Orth-Lashley

Bryn Orth-Lashley

Systems Engineer, MDA
Bryn is a Systems Engineer on the MDA Flight Operations team that operates the recently launched RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM), a trio of Earth observation satellites built by MDA for the Canadian Space Agency. After entering the space industry in 2015 developing software for... Read More →

Friday October 11, 2019 09:40 - 10:00 EDT
Room CR2 ICAO - 999 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3C 5H10

11:10 EDT

Space Research Facilities and Activities at the Aerospace Research Center of National Research Council Canada
The aerospace industry of Canada is vibrant, innovative and complex, with a rich history and elite reputation on a global stage. The Aerospace Research Center of National Research Council Canada (NRC) supports this important industry with facilities, expertise and industry foresight to develop fresh ideas and new technologies, demonstrate new products and processes that target the market challenges faced by the Canadian and global aeronautics and space sectors.

NRC has significant experience and expertise in R&D of space technologies and systems. This paper presents space related research activities and facilities at the NRC Aerospace Research Center. Facilities for space dynamic environmental simulation and testing include a large reverberant chamber for acoustic qualification of full-scale spacecraft and large satellite structures to the launch noise environment; a 10k lb(f) electromechanical shaker table for vibration environmental testing and qualification of spacecraft structures and components; two aircraft, a Falcon-20 business jet and a T-33 trainer, for simulation of the space microgravity environment through parabolic flights. In addition, NRC Aerospace performs extensive research in space technologies to provide technical support to Canadian space industry. These include advanced capabilities in modal test and analysis of full-scale spacecraft and structures; shock modeling and simulation of spacecraft structures; development of control treatments and approaches to improve noise transmission loss in aerospace composite structures; analysis of the impact probability of spacecraft by micrometeorites and orbital debris in low earth orbit etc.

In summary, NRC Aerospace has the facilities and knowledge for development of novel techniques and approaches to meet new mission requirements in support the programs and needs of Canadian space industry, OGDs as well as international partners.


Eric Chen

Senior Research Officer, Aerospace, National Research Council Canada
Dr. Chen is a senior research officer at the Aerospace Research Center of the National Research Council Canada. He is the test director of the NRC national large spacecraft acoustic facility. His expertise include structural dynamics, vibration analysis and control, acoustics, smart... Read More →

Friday October 11, 2019 11:10 - 11:30 EDT
Room CR2 ICAO - 999 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3C 5H10

14:50 EDT

Black Brant Sounding Rockets: 60 Years of Going Beyond
This year marks the 60th anniversary of Canada’s first venture into space, the inaugural launch of the Black Brant I sounding rocket on September 5th, 1959, which took place three years before the launch of the first Canadian satellite Alouette 1. That first Black Brant was launched from the Churchill Research Range (CRR) in Northern Manitoba, carrying a 100 kg payload to an altitude of 100 km. Since 1962, more than 1,000 Black Brants have been launched with a vehicle success rate of 98.7% (99.4% since 1982) – an extraordinary engineering achievement.

Although there has not been a Canadian sounding rocket mission since 2000, Black Brants remain the suborbital vehicle of choice for interdisciplinary space researchers worldwide. NASA typically flies 12-15 Black Brant rockets annually and has been doing this regularly since 1971. Other potential international users have expressed an interest in the Black Brant for their future suborbital missions, and the rocket motors have been continuously being upgraded to incorporate new materials and novel manufacturing processes, as well to improve the overall performance of the vehicle.

Depending on the configuration, the Black Brant can carry payloads up to 850 kg in mass to altitudes up to 1,500 km and provide up to 20 minutes of microgravity. The vehicle could be used to give cubesat hardware a suborbital flight opportunity, increase the technology readiness level (TRL) of new space technologies, calibrate satellite instruments by taking concurrent measurements, and perform interdisciplinary scientific research such as microgravity experiments, auroral studies, astronomical observations, and other investigations.

Sixty years after its first flight, the Black Brant stands ready to once again provide Canadian engineers and scientists in government, academia, and industry with a responsive and cost-effective platform for suborbital missions to advance interdisciplinary scientific investigations and technology capability demonstrations.

avatar for Eric Choi

Eric Choi

Senior Business Development Manager, Magellan Aerospace
Eric Choi is the senior business development manager for the space business unit of Magellan Aerospace. Over the course of his career, he has held positions of increasing technical and managerial responsibility in both the aviation and space sectors, the latter including work on QEYSSat... Read More →

Friday October 11, 2019 14:50 - 15:10 EDT
Room CR1 ICAO - 999 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3C 5H10

16:20 EDT

Stepping into a Universe of Possibility
The Next Giant leap for mankind: The world will be given a chance to fulfill their space exploration dreams and do something that has not been done since humans first stepped foot on the moon. Mars One will provide this opportunity.

A cutting edge and daring project, that aims to establish the first settlement on Mars. The good news is that the global search for the best candidates is almost over. We will soon be entering phase 3 of this project: Training Staff and the last 100 Candidates for this one-way trip to the Red Planet.

avatar for Raye Kass

Raye Kass

Professor of Applied Human Sciences, Concordia University
Dr. Raye Kass is a Professor of Applied Human Sciences Concordia University, specializing in Leadership, Small Group Behaviour and Human Relations. She is the author of Theories of Small Group Development, co-author of three other books and co-editor of the recently published book... Read More →

Friday October 11, 2019 16:20 - 16:40 EDT
Room CR2 ICAO - 999 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3C 5H10

16:20 EDT

Design and 3D printing of a high performance thermoplastic lunar rover
Mohammad Rafiee, PHD, Clément Broggi, MSc
Design and 3D printing of a high performance thermoplastic lunar rover
3D printing is on verge to become a powerful way of manufacturing. Using a printer, one is able to produce complex parts, optimized for a specific application and thus with a lower mass. The Fused Deposition Modelling process is cheap and allow to produce parts it would be impossible to manufacture using traditional means. However, thermoplastics -commonly used material- do not possess, most of the time, the mechanicals properties required to 3D print structural parts and to be of interest for space applications. Some new high-performance thermoplastic composites could be a game changer.
This talk focus on the design and manufacturing of a lunar rover, printed in a high-performance thermoplastic, in partnership with the Canadian Space Agency. Lunar rovers and space parts in general, are made from aluminium because of its mechanical, thermal, and radiation properties. Composites could be a material of choice to lower the mass of the rover, provide better thermal insulation, and tailor properties to the requirements of the mission.   3D printing could allow designing a structure capable of surviving to the moon environment by reducing the amount of inserts and bolts, therefore reducing mass, but also reducing potential path of heat loss.
After a quick presentation of 3D printing, the design strategy will be explained. Finally, the up to date rover concept will be presented.

avatar for Mohammad Rafiee

Mohammad Rafiee

Postdoctoral Fellow, Polytechnique Montréal
Mohammad Rafiee received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ottawa in 2018. Currently, he is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Polytechnique Montreal in Canada. His research interests are primarily focused on the development of advanced composite materials, smart... Read More →

Clement Broggi

Master student, Polytechnique Montréal
Mechanical EngineeringHe is a french master student at Polytechnique Montréal doing his master at the LM2 (laboratoire de mécanique multi-échelles) on the 3D printing of high-performance thermoplastics for space applications. In France, Clément was an engineer student of Arts... Read More →

Friday October 11, 2019 16:20 - 16:40 EDT
Room CR1 ICAO - 999 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3C 5H10

17:00 EDT

Challenges, Opportunities, and Lessons Learned Conducting a Simulated Lunar Rover Deployment.
In June 2019, the Canadian Space Agency deployed its JUNO rover on a five day simulated lunar sample return mission. This deployment is an interdisciplinary process, requiring collaboration between teams from government, industry, and academia, composed of engineers, scientists, project managers, and robotic operators, all with a diverse set of skills and experience. Testing a rover prototype for a long-term mission in an analogue lunar environment on Earth is cheaper, faster, and less risky than testing on the moon – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy! We’ll share the challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned from planning and deploying a rover prototype in a simulated moon mission. Uniting disparate objectives, generating realistic mission scenarios, and physically transforming a quarry into a lunar analogue terrain are just some of the many challenges that must be tackled to ensure the mission is a success.

avatar for Chelsea Taylor

Chelsea Taylor

Engineer (Development Program), Canadian Space Agency
Ms. Chelsea Taylor graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Manitoba in 2018. Since joining the Engineering Development Program at the Canadian Space Agency over a year ago, she has worked on lunar rover integration and deployment, simulation... Read More →
avatar for Miranda Taylor

Miranda Taylor

Engineer (Development Program), Canadian Space Agency
Miranda Taylor graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University in 2018. During her degree, she had three co-ops in diverse fields, including medical devices, measuring instruments, and the automotive industry. She partnered with NASA’s... Read More →

Friday October 11, 2019 17:00 - 17:20 EDT
Room CR1 ICAO - 999 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3C 5H10

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