UVic ECOSat is a student group who has for the past four years competed in the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC) hosted by Geocentrix Technologies, and supported by prominent market partners Boeing, MDA Space, Advanced Robotics, and UrtheCast. The CSDC invites 12 universities from across Canada to compete in the competition to design a cube satellite and its mission. The competition promotes the development of small satellite infrastructure, as well as knowledge and research into the practical and commercial applications of nanosatellite technologies in Canada. Currently, eight universities are involved in the competition (Concordia University, École Polytechnique de Montréal, University of British Columbia, University of Manitoba, University of Toronto, University of Victoria, University of Waterloo and York University). The challenge helps universities structure new research and expertise through the development of a 3U CubeSat measuring 10x10x34 cm with a mass less than 4 kg.
UVic ECOSat is comprised of a diverse group of graduate and undergraduate students, passionate about space technology, and technological innovation in general. Because of the dedicated efforts of ECOSat members, the initial satellite developed by the University of Victoria placed third in the national competition in 2012. Furthermore, with the continued ingenuity of UVic students, ECOSat proudly achieved first place in 2014, securing a launch into Earth’s orbit.
Notably, rather than purchasing existing hardware, and adopting third party software, the command and data handling systems, mechanical construction, payload development, and power system have been designed and developed primarily in-house at the University of Victoria, further distinguishing the projects’ achievements.
The team is working diligently to finalize the ECOSat 2 satellite for launch, while concurrently improving, innovating, and developing the systems for the ECoSat 3. The UVic ECOSat group recognizes an opportunity to develop infrastructure for the sustained success, and practical application and development of all UVic engineering projects. In order to ensure the continued success of this project, and many other UVic engineering projects it is vital that the University of Victoria develops the necessary infrastructure to finalize projects. Furthermore, with regard to the notable successes of UVic ECOSat, and other UVic engineering projects, it is important that prospective UVic students and researchers are able to pursue engineering development and research excellence, unimpeded by infrastructure limitations and dependence on external sources for finalization capabilities. It is imperative that the University of Victoria is able to facilitate the finalization of research projects, in order to maintain and further pursue its position at the leading edge of Canadian development, and as an academic hub of western Canada.