Training the next generation of Space and Earth Science Engineers and Scientists through student design and development of an Earth Observation Nanosatellite, AlbertaSat-1
This presentation addresses the design and developmental process of a Nanosatellite by an interdisciplinary team of undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Alberta. The Satellite, AlbertaSat-1, is the University of Alberta's entry in the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CDSC); an initiative to entice Canadian students to contribute to space and earth observation technologies and research. The province of Alberta, while home to a few companies, is very limited in its space industry capacity. The University of Alberta reflects this fact, where one of the major unifying foci of the University is oil, the provinces greatest resource. For students at the U of A, this lack of focus on astronautical, aerospace and space/earth observational research limits their education in these industries/disciplines. A fully student operated project such as AlbertaSat-1 provides this integral experience to almost every discipline. The AlbertaSat-1 team is comprised of students from engineering, physics, chemistry, earth and atmospheric science, business, and computer science. While diverse in discipline, the team is also diverse in experience, spanning all levels from 1st year undergraduate to experienced PhD. Many skill sets are required and the diverse group sees that this is covered and all opinions voiced. Through immersion in the project, students learn quickly and efficiently. The necessity for a flawless product ensures that only the highest quality of work is presented. Students participating must research and understand their own subsystem as well as all others. This overall system view provides the best educational tool, as students are able to see the real impacts of their work on other subsystems. As the project is completely student organized, the participants gain not only technical engineering, space and earth observational education, but experience in operations and financial management. The direct exposure to all aspects of the space and earth science industry through a student satellite development program is one of the best methods of developing the next generation of space and earth science engineers and scientists.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2011
- 0810 EDUCATION / Post-secondary education;
- 0850 EDUCATION / Geoscience education research