University of Victoria satellite builders in top spot

National competition will send winning satellite into space

A team of students from the University of Victoria are sitting pretty heading into next spring’s final round of the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge.

The members of the UVic club ECOSat recently placed first in the critical design review portion of the competition, in which seven university teams are competing.

The UVic students, who have spent the last two-and-a-half years designing and constructing a nanosatellite, have until spring 2014 to improve their creation’s design before the final review and environmental testing occur.

Each university team had a goal to build a “3U” cube satellite – 10 centimetres by 10 cm by 33 cm and weighing about four kilograms.

It would be large enough to house a payload of real experiments and wired to receive and transmit data, generate its own juice from solar panels and be tough enough to be punted from a rocket carrying a large satellite into orbit. The winning satellite will be launched into space after the final design review.