York U space technology team to participate in new Canadian Space Agency initiative


 TORONTO, ON Friday May 4, 2018— Today, at an event hosted by the University of Manitoba, Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Jennifer Sidey unveiled the research teams selected to take part in the CSA Canadian CubeSat Project. A total of 15 teams from across Canada have been selected to participate in the initiative, including a team of researchers from York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering, led by Professor George Z.H. Zhu, York’s Research Chair in Space Technology.

Research Chair in Space Technology at York University, George Z.H. Zhu and team

Professor Zhu has been awarded a $200,000 grant to support the project, which will be used to test a Canadian-developed wide-angle camera that observes snow and ice coverage in Northern Canada. The satellite will be sent to the International Space Station in 2020 and then ejected into orbit approximately 400km above earth.

Canadian space agency cubesat project

Photo Credit: The Canadian Space Agency

Data collected is expected to help map the thawing of Arctic ice and permafrost and give a better picture of the impacts of climate change.

Zhu’s team will operate the satellite from the ground station at York’s Lassonde School of Engineering.

“Our mission could provide a means to conduct earth observation at a much lower cost and higher frequency,” said Zhu, “It will also provide a real flight opportunity for students to design, build and operate a satellite, which has not been possible in the past.”

As part of the project, the York University engineering students will have the opportunity to experience operating satellites and to conduct science experiments in space

“York is a Canadian leader in space engineering and technology, and we continue to build this area of strength, including through the innovative research led by Professor Zhu,” said Rhonda L. Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University. “This grant from the CSA will further enhance our students’ experiential learning opportunities, while supporting Canada’s space mission aimed at better understanding the impacts of climate change.”

York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni.

York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Background: Link to CSA backgrounder

Media contact: Anjum Nayyar, York University Media Relations, 416 736 2100 ext. 44543 anayyar@yorku.ca

Canadian Space Agency, Media Relations Office, (450) 926-4370 ASC.Medias-Media.CSA@canada.ca