Space Concordia’s Spacecraft Division specializes in the design, construction and operation of satellites. The team is comprised of a diverse group of undergraduate students united by their passion of space technology. The satellite division can be divided into two subdivisions: a space segment, dedicated to building and constructing satellites; and a ground segment, tasked to operate and communicate with these satellites from Earth. Furthermore, the team is working on completing 2 satellites within their space segment: Consat-1 and Aleksandr.
For the past years, the team has entered both Consat-1 and Aleksandr in the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC). Because of the team’s dedication and continuous efforts, the team has been awarded 1st place in CSDC1 (Consat-1), 2nd place in CSDC2 (Aleksandr), and finally, 1st place once again in CSDC3 (Aleksandr).
The Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC) is a Canada-wide competition where teams of undergraduate students are challenged to design and build a small satellite known as a “cubesat” or “nanosatellite”. These satellites have dimensions of 34x10x10 cm, and a mass of up to 4 kg.
The competition follows a specific timeline that replicates a typical space program, but spread out in a period of 2 years. Milestones included a project management plan (PMP), a preliminary design review (PDR), a critical design review (CDR) and an environmental test. On each phase, all teams are judged and ranked according to the quality of their work. All in all, the competition can be resumed into 4 major phases: Plan, Design, Build & Test.
Consat-1 is Space Concordia’s first satellite that is tasked to study the radiation patterns of the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA). The SAA is a region where the Earth’s inner Van Allen belt comes closest to the Earth’s surface, and is infamous for causing strange fluctuations in radiation intensity.
Aleksandr is the name of Space Concordia’s second and third entry in the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge. Its mission is to study the long-term performance of a new self-healing material in a microgravity environment. This new technology was developed by Dr Suong. V. Hoa, a professor at Concordia University. This self-healing material is of high interest for the aerospace community due to the benefits it can provide for future spacecraft. If a self-healing shield were to be implemented on a spacecraft structure, it would provide a shield from micro-particle impact, thus dramatically increasing its mission lifetime.
A variety of Harwin products are used in the design. The Aleksandr CubeSat uses Shield Clips and Cans to protect some of the more sensitive items. Datamate J-Tek and Datamate Mix-Tek connectors are used on the communication systems between a number of the stacked PCBs on the CubeSat.
Shield Can in place on upper PCB of Aleksandr
Datamate Mix-Tek with cables