UW Orbital is a student design team at the University of Waterloo participating in the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC) - a competition that involves a dozen universities from across Canada and runs every two years. Teams design a 3U CubeSats with unique missions and payloads, and attempt to pass launch readiness evaluations such as vibration testing. The competition offers to fund the launch costs for the winning team.
What are CubeSats?
CubeSats are low-cost, small-footprint alternatives to traditional multi-million dollar satellites which carry specialized science, communications, or biological payloads. The affordability of CubeSat allows for more simplified designs and rapid development timelines, providing a path for student organizations to get involved in the space industry. CubeSats often "piggyback" with larger satellites during launch, and once in the correct orbit, are released via springloaded "dispensers".
Our primary payload is a "Selfie-Sat" camera that provides Amateur Radio Operators (AROs, also known as ham radio operators) to communicate with the CubeSat and retrieve a picture of a given set of coordinates, all in pursuit of furthering amateur radio education.
The team is also working with a company named QEYnet to launch a prototype for an infrared laser beacon that the company is developing in pursuit of a novel approach to post-quantum computing key distribution methods. Learn more about QEYnet here.