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Slightly Technical [clear filter]
Thursday, October 18


Smallsat system for energy providers and consumers
There is a need to improve energy distribution and usage to become a more sustainable civilization. Energy providers depend heavily on accurate weather forecasting in order to determine supply and demand requirements.  Understanding human interaction with power is a crucial element for analyzing demand. On the supply side, the renewable energy sector is particularly vulnerable to the inaccuracies of weathering forecasting predictions. In order to move towards a more sustainable energy sector, weather prediction must be more accurate.  
In the International Space University, a team of space professionals has analyzed the market to understand the need of more accurate weather predictions, specifically in the renewable energy sector, and how the use of weather forecasting can be optimized and improved to serve the needs of the energy sector.  Most current weather forecasting data is obtained using observations made by satellites, providing a possible solution to supply/demand problems. In weather forecasting, a large number of satellites have a sustained competitive advantage over fewer satellites, based on the current demand by energy providers for high spectral and temporal resolutions in small local areas. Therefore, using small sats to collect accurate weather parameters for specific industries heavily reliant on weather forecasts would appear to be a viable solution.

avatar for Jan Clarence Dee

Jan Clarence Dee

Space Studies Program Alumnus, International Space University
Jan Clarence Dee is currently employed as a consultant for Euroconsult. On his spare time, he serves as one of the organizers of the Montreal Space Symposium and a member of the Montreal chapter of the Canadian Space Society.Jan is a graduate from Concordia University (Canada) in... Read More →

Thursday October 18, 2018 11:00am - 11:20am
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


Discover the Next Generation of Design for Aerospace
Demand for new aerospace products continues to rise. Customers require the highest levels of performance, quality and reliability, and aerospace products must adhere to stringent contract and regulatory requirements. The aerospace global design and manufacturing supply chain must solve significant design and collaboration challenges while at the same time being under great pressure to meet these demands with products that get to market faster. Ensuring proper authoring of product 3D definition and consumption of that definition is key to a globally distributed product development environment.

Join us to explore how organizations are using tools & solutions to enable the creation of a complete digital twin providing a virtual representation of the product and its performance essential to shortening program schedules and reducing development costs.

avatar for Yafus Siddiqui

Yafus Siddiqui

Computational Fluid Dynamists and Thermal Analyst, Maya HTT
Yafus Siddiqui is currently a CFD/Thermal Analyst at MAYA Heat Transfer Technologies. He obtained his Masters of Engineering at McGill University and Bachelors of Engineering at University of Nottingham. He has had experience in the CFD combustion team at Siemens Dorval, Fluid Dynamics... Read More →

Thursday October 18, 2018 11:20am - 11:40am
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


Satellite detection: A birds-eye view of industrial emissions
GHGSat is a leader in greenhouse gas emission detection. Using satellite technology gives us unparalleled birds-eye view of entire industrial facilities. We are able to monitor these facilities for compliance with regulatory standards or to help them simply understand and quantify what their actual emissions are and where they are coming from.
Why a satellite?
  • Economies of scale: Each satellite can measure any site in the world, every two weeks
  • Ease of deployment: Can measure any site in the world within a few days of request, as many times as needed, with no deployment cost
  • Consistency, transparency: Same method used for all sites, everywhere, for anyone
  • Performance: Can detect and quantify significant portion (by volume) of industrial methane releases globally
GHGSat is a proudly Canadian company, based in Montreal, that believes that space technologies can empower us to make informed decisions on how to manage climate change for the years to come.

avatar for Stéphane Germain

Stéphane Germain

President of GHGSat, GHGSat
Stéphane Germain founded GHGSat in 2011 to answer a market need for consistent, high quality measurements of greenhouse gas emissions from industrial facilities worldwide.Mr. Germain has over 25 years of experience in aerospace engineering, project management, and business development... Read More →

Thursday October 18, 2018 11:40am - 12:00pm
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


QMSat : The diamond based QuantumMagnetoSatellite
Quantum technologies promise to disrupt multiple fields of technologies, including high performance or intractable problems with quantum computing, unbreakable communication channels with quantum cryptography and sensors with unmatched sensitivity. For example, quantum gravimeters also hold the promise to detect the tiniest change in Earth gravitational field, such as the ones created by buried metallic pipes. Already, a few quantum satellites missions have been launched, including the teleportation of quantum states across 1200 km by Chinese mission Micius. In Canada, mission QEYSSat from Institute for Quantum Computing at Waterloo aims to distribute quantum keys between two distant networks, establishing a secure link protected by quantum states. By its CASPA mission, Teledyne e2v will also perform the first demonstration of a quantum gravity sensor based on cold atoms to monitor changes in polar ice mass and ocean currents.

The QMSat mission will launch in 2021 a promising room temperature quantum sensor based on nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond. An advantage of the sensor is its absolute vector magnetic field and the possibility to use novel quantum algorithms to enhance sensitivity, while eliminating limitations of traditional atomic vapor magnetometers (AVMs). However, NV centers laboratory scale proofs must reach a higher level of integration to enable on-the field demonstrations. Through its quantum engineering program, the Institut quantique Qmag project is developing a compact NV magnetometer including laser/microwave sources, compact photodetection and FPGA data processing.

In this talk, I will review the basics of NV center diamond based magnetometry and the quantum engineering challenges related to prototyping the technology for deployment in a 2U cubesat .

The study of magnetic phenomena is the foundation of a wide range of applications : geophysical surveys, ionosphere magnetic phenomena, Earth’s dynamo effect, surveillance and search and rescue operations. For example, through Earth magnetic field anomaly detection, submarines or planes can be detected underwater at a distance of a few kilometres. This type of studies is typically conducted with AVMs which possess a sensitivity of 1 pT/√Hz. However, target classification and sensor guiding require three AVM devices to measure the vector magnetic field. Further, their size, power consumption and temperature compensation restrict their uses in harsh environments and their integration into cubesat platforms. The vector magnetic field capability offered in a space compatible environment would allow the deployment of cubesat constellations, enabling the geolocalization of magnetic phenomena such as lightnings and solarstorms, which can affect the reliability of GPS and power distribution networks.

avatar for Dr. David Roy-Guay

Dr. David Roy-Guay

Payload Client, QMSat - Institut quantique, Université de Sherbrooke
David Roy-Guay is a postdoctoral student at Institut quantique and client of the payload team for mission QMSat, to be launched in 2021. Following his PhD in diamond based magnetometry, he has prototyped the magnetometer over the last two years together with a team of electrical engineers... Read More →

Thursday October 18, 2018 2:15pm - 2:35pm
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


Data Visualization for Exoplanet Instrument SPIRou
Launched in April 2018, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will soon be releasing its first data. The mission will provide us with the largest sky survey of transiting exoplanets. To confirm these planets and find their characteristics the SPIRou spectrograph operating at the Canada-France Hawaii Telescope will acquire information about the planet's mass through velocimetry. TESS, SPIRou and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) are meant to compliment each other in the study of exoplanets. Data visualization tools are therefore crucial for the observation planning of these ground-based and space-based missions. Throughout a summer internship at the Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx), several tools were developed to facilitate the data visualization and data analysis with TESS and SPIRou.

avatar for Mariya Krasteva

Mariya Krasteva

Physics student, Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx) / Canada-France Hawaii Telescope (CFHT)
Co-op BSc student in honours physics at Concordia University. For my 4th internship I worked at the Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx) where I worked both at the University of Montreal and the Canada-France Hawaii Telescope.

Thursday October 18, 2018 2:15pm - 2:35pm
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


Opening up Space with Opensource: A Modular, Opensource Cubesat Structure
Hear the story of UVic satellite Design's struggle with planning, designing, and integrating the Homathko Satellite in time for the Canadian Satellite Design challenge, and the innovations which were born of this struggle, namely, a modular cubesatellite structure and bus which are soon to be open sourced.

Cubesatellite structures are often built specifically for the payload they will be carrying. This attempt to optimize space in the satellite often leads to reduced accessibility of the bus during the prototyping, testing, and integration stages of the spacecraft's development. A new structure was designed with the purpose of being used for multiple missions regardless of their payload, increasing the accessibility of internal components, and greater ease of subsystem integration. 

avatar for Bryce Edwards

Bryce Edwards

Student Project Manager, University of Victoria Center for Aerospace Research
Bryce Edwards is an Economics student from the University of Victoria who gets a kick out of building cool things with cool people.

Thursday October 18, 2018 2:35pm - 2:55pm
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


HiCIBaS: A pilot project for imaging exoplanets from the stratosphere using high-altitude balloons
The High-Contrast Imaging Balloon System (HiCIBaS) is a proof-of-concept balloon-borne telescope project that had four objectives: develop and test a custom low-order wavefront sensor (LOWFS), measure and gather data on wavefront instabilities and errors at high altitudes in the visible spectrum, develop and test a sub-milli-arcsecond pointing system, and give high-altitude flight heritage to the LOWFS, deformable mirror (developed by Iris AO) and EMCCD cameras (provided by Nüvü Cameras). It was developed by Université Laval, along with numerous collaborators, and was launched under the CSA’s STRATOS program in August of 2018 from Timmins, Ontario. The “big picture” goal of this project was to characterize the atmosphere and validate the instruments, techniques and concepts used so that they can be employed for future exoplanet-studying missions.

avatar for Deven Patel

Deven Patel

Master's Student, Université Laval
Deven is pursuing a Master’s degree in Physics from Université Laval and is a graduate from Concordia University in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in Aerospace and Propulsion. During his time at Concordia, Deven completed internships at Bombardier Aerospace and CAE and largely... Read More →

Thursday October 18, 2018 2:35pm - 2:55pm
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


Monitoring New and Known Atmospheres with SPORE: The Subatmospheric Probe for Organic Research and Exploration
Atmospheric monitoring in remote or hazardous areas requires compact systems capable of acquiring multiple types of information for thorough atmospheric characterization. Parameters of interest in the atmosphere include not only physical characteristics such as temperature and humidity, but also the existence, quantity, and types of biological specimens present. A deployable system with capability of recording physical and biological information is valuable on Earth for acquiring information about the atmosphere of remote areas. It could also be employed as a planetary science and exobiology payload for characterization of atmospheres of other planets, especially planets where there is potential for finding life. A low cost, compact, and robust design allows it to be easily deployed on Earth or as a secondary payload on interplanetary missions. Airborne biological specimens, often called bioaerosols, have been acquired and analyzed from altitudes beyond 10 km in Earth’s atmosphere. These specimens include but are not limited to bacteria, fungal spores, and pollen. Collection of bioaerosols on Earth is usually conducted with planes or balloons; however, the compact size of the CubeSat structure can serve as an advantage for experimentalists. SPORE, the Subatmospheric Probe for Organic Research and Exploration, is an atmospheric monitoring suite contained in a 0.8x0.8x2.4U CubeSat structure. Equipped with a sensor suite containing altitude, temperature, humidity, UV, IR and visible light sensors, as well as a vacuum pump bacterial collection system, it is capable of recording physical characteristics of the atmosphere and collecting biological specimens during descent.

SPORE was deployed at the 2018 Spaceport America Cup, however was unfortunately not recovered. The talk will focus on preliminary testing done for the experiment, lessons learned from the actual launch and an outlook into the future

avatar for Daniil Lisus

Daniil Lisus

Captain, McGill Rocket Team
I am a fourth year mechanical engineering student at McGill University and am passionate about furthering Canada’s space industry. This has led me to become involved in the McGill Rocket Team where I held the position of Payload Lead and am one the team Captains for the upcoming... Read More →

Thursday October 18, 2018 2:55pm - 3:15pm
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


A Virtual Tour of the James Webb Space Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a flagship observatory whose launch is now scheduled to the spring of 2021. The unprecedented light gathering power of JWST, with its 6.5-meter foldable primary mirror, will enable the study of extremely faint objects such as first-light galaxies and transiting exoplanet atmospheres. Its four science instruments are designed to observe in the infrared spectrum from 0.7 to 28 microns in about 17 different imaging and spectroscopic observing modes. Canada, through the Canadian Space Agency, is responsible of the Fine Guidance Sensing (FGS - the guider) and its piggy-backed science instrument, the Near-Infrared imager and slitless spectrosgraph (NIRISS). I will give an overview of the observatory and give a project status.

avatar for Dr. Loïc Albert

Dr. Loïc Albert

Instrument Scientist (research associate), JWST/NIRISS | Université de Montréal
I am an astronomer specialized in observational astronomy and astronomical instrumentation. Starting with the Ph.D. thesis, I have always combined work on infrared instruments with science projects involving brown dwarfs or exoplanets. After a B.Sc. in Physics at McGill, an M.Sc... Read More →

Thursday October 18, 2018 2:55pm - 3:15pm
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


An integrated thermo-structural approach applied to the High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI) spacecraft
In the spacecraft industry, strong coupling between thermal and structural analysis is critical to the success of the mission. Antennas and cameras are particularly affected by thermal distortion. Maya Heat Thermal Transfer has recently been involved in various projects where accuracy was of paramount importance, e.g. the cameras on the ESA ExoMars rover where thermal distortion means that the two lenses can point in slightly different directions, or the star camera of a satellite.
Due to the complexity of the spacecraft models, detailed thermal analyses are usually performed to determine temperature profiles and gradients, followed by structural analyses. This involves a lot of manual and tedious non-recurring mapping work.
In this presentation, the High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI) spacecraft will be used as an example to illustrate a fully integrated multi-physics approach. This minimizes the risk of errors, speeds up considerably the analyses, and allows engineers to focus on the design. 


Dr. Christian Semler

P.Eng., Ph.D. Product Manager Thermal & CFD, Maya HTT
Dr. Christian Semler completed his Ph.D. at McGill University in 1996 in the field of “fluid-structure interaction”. After a few years in the aerospace industry performing research on landing gear shimmy and stress analysis, he joined a software and service company as a senior... Read More →

Thursday October 18, 2018 3:45pm - 4:05pm
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


Challenges and Complexities in Designing Robust, Fault-tolerant Electronics for use in Space Environments
For more than half a century, MDA’s electronics group in Montreal has designed complex electronics for use in space. These systems have been used in a variety of different applications, from robotics, communications and radar imaging to constellations and rovers. MDA is at the heart of new advancements in space from digital payloads, in-orbit servicing and mega-constellations. This session will provide an overview of the various challenges and complexities in designing robust, fault-tolerant electronics for use in an unforgiving space environment. 

avatar for Giovanni D'Aliesio

Giovanni D'Aliesio

Director of New Business, Electronics, MDA
Giovanni D’Aliesio has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from McGill University and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Concordia University. He joined MDA in 1999 as a Digital Engineer and has held various positions from electronics hardware designer... Read More →

Thursday October 18, 2018 4:05pm - 4:25pm
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


Martian lava tubes as a microbial haven: Characterizing life in Earth analogs and developing a mission concept to explore them on Mars
Space agencies and private corporations around the world have made sending missions to Mars a key priority. One of the keys to such missions is finding an environment which would allow for ease of access while providing a compelling site to do science. Scientists have hypothesized that evidence for life on Mars, either as biosignatures (substance providing evidence for life) or extant life could be found in the Martian subsurface. This would be made possible by providing would-be Martian microbes a source of water in the form of ice, ample protection both from space-based radiation, and harsh temperature changes. Martian lava tubes are hypothesized to provide these protections while additionally providing an access point to the subsurface. To determine suitable landing sites for a mission to a Martian lava tube, imagery from the Hi-RISE database, provided by the University of Arizona was analysed. Regions selected for study included Tharsis Montes and Syrtis Major due to their hypothesized high density of lava tubes. Analysis of the images confirmed this hypothesis, as we found several sites with a high concentration of sinuous formations, which are usually indicative of these structures. Using this imagery, the presence of lava tubes and identification of entry-points to the subterranean structures was confirmed with the help of experts in Martian geology. Final selection of the landing site was determined by addressing engineering constraints surrounding spacecraft delivery. From these criteria, several possible sites were selected, ranging in location from Olympus Mons to Syrtis Major. However, before a mission to Martian lava tubes can occur these habitats need to be studied extensively in analog environments here on earth; to suggest how microbes could survive on Mars and identify biosignatures. For this we visited Lava Beds National Monument to collect ice samples from within the lava tubes. Advanced cultivation and molecular techniques were employed to determine the total biomass and functional/taxonomic diversity of the microbial communities. The microbial communities within the ice are cold adapted and taxonomically diverse with dominant phyla belonging to Actinobacteria (19 – 49%), Proteobacteria (25 – 32%), and Bacteroidetes (7 – 31%). Preliminary results have identified biochemical pathways within our samples for methanogenesis, sulfur metabolism, nitrogen fixation, and carbon fixation by the reductive citric acid pathway which suggest the community is made up in part by chemolithoautotrophs. Alternative forms of primary production such as these may help to sustain the community in such a limiting environment and are no doubt essential if life were to persist on Mars today where the concentration of organic nutrients is low. Through this research we hope to define future missions to Martian lava tubes and provide a basic understanding of microbial community dynamics within lava tube ice and how these communities interact with the surrounding geology, so we may better determine the habitability of this environment on Mars and propose biosignatures indicative of past life.

avatar for Chris


Organizer, McGill University
Second year McGill Engineering student participating in Martian Mission Planning/ Simulation Project funded by the Canadian Space Agency's and collaborating with NASA Ames Laboratory and SETI. I hope to one day work in the space industry and develop colonization and habitation technology... Read More →
avatar for Brady O'Connor

Brady O'Connor

Master's Student, McGill Space Institute/McGill University
I am a master's student at McGill University in Dr. Lyle Whyte's cryomicrobiology lab. My research focuses around astrobiology and characterizing the microbial community in lava tube ice as it's an analog environment to Mars and may help us understand if life ever did exist in Martian... Read More →

Thursday October 18, 2018 4:25pm - 4:45pm
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1
Friday, October 19


Exploration of Mars with the Curiosity rover
NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, featuring the Curiosity rover, has been exploring a part of Gale Crater on Mars for the past six years.  This amazing mobile laboratory, with innovative chemical instruments like the Canadian alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) and the laser-firing ChemCam instrument suite, has been characterising the rocks, soils and atmosphere to try to piece together the past geologic and climate history of Early Mars.  Curiosity’s primary objective if to search for, and characterise, habitable environments – places where the conditions necessary for life could have existed sometime in the distant past, or even today.  Curiosity has already found evidence for extensive ancient lakes that could have supported life as we know it, diverse and complex organic molecules in ancient rocks, and seasonal cycles of atmospheric gases even today.  The Mars 2020 rover, NASA’s next rover, will go a step further and seek out biosignatures – or indicators of possible life in ancient rocks.  It will even collect samples that will be brought back to Earth at a later date for more detailed study and to possibly answer the question “Are we alone?”.  This presentation will summarise how we explore Mars with a rover, some of the key findings from Curiosity and may use lessons learned to better prepare for future robotic and human missions to Mars.

avatar for Dr. Richard Léveillé

Dr. Richard Léveillé

Adjunct professor, Earth and Planetary Sciences, McGill University | McGill Space Institute
Planetary scientist and geology professor at McGill University and John Abbott College. Mars Science Laboratory Participating Scientist. Founding member and co-lead of the Canadian Astrobiology Network. Former Canadian Space Agency research scientist. Searching for life on Mars and... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 9:30am - 9:50am
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


Influence of Lunar Rover on Lunar Surface Temperature
The lunar regolith is a very poor thermal conductor. As a result, the temperature of the surface can fluctuate quickly as the environment changes.  For terrestrial applications it is common to assume that the planet’s surface is fixed at an appropriate temperature. The properties of the lunar regolith indicate that this approach may not be valid for a lunar rover which will experience a varying radiative environment resulting from the presence of the rover itself.
This paper demonstrates the implementation of a published lunar regolith model in NX SST and investigates the influence of a simplified lunar rover on the surface temperature and the impact of these changes on rover thermal performance.

avatar for Dr. Chris Pye

Dr. Chris Pye

Vice President, Maya HTT
Dr. Pye has been with Maya HTT for over 30 years and has been involved in the Space industry for even longer. He has worked on over 20 space missions for Canadian and other customers, mostly in the area of thermal control. During his time at Maya HTT he has also worked as a software... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 9:50am - 10:10am
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


3D vision studies for EuroMoonMars 2018 campaign
There is an increased need for interdisciplinary involvement and public input and awareness for future space missions. The International Lunar Exploration Working Group is a public forum for the world's space agencies to support international cooperation towards developing strategies for exploration and utilization of the Moon. To support this goal, since 2008 ILEWG has been developing a research program called EuroMoonMars for research, technology, field work and training with a robotic lander test bench (ExoGeoLab) and mobile laboratory habitat (ExoHab) at ESTEC. Several field studies and tests have been done to develop systems, share knowledge, and collaborate to progress further on the way to the MoonVillage. This past summer a stereo vision system prototype was developed to perform 3D mapping of unknown terrains in order to help assist in navigation and identification of science opportunities. In addition, collaboration between rotorcraft and ground based-systems for more efficient exploration were investigated. This paper will discuss the recent work performed by the EuroMoonMars group with emphasis on newly developed vision systems and results.

avatar for Sandro Papais

Sandro Papais

ILEWG EuroMoonMars Trainee, European Space Agency (ESA/ESTEC)
Sandro Papais is a mechanical engineering student at McGill University. He was an intern with the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) at the European Space Agency (ESA/ESTEC) under the supervision of Prof. Bernard Foing. He previously worked at Pratt & Whitney Canada... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 10:10am - 10:30am
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


Moon Express Commercial Lunar Missions: Developing a cis-Lunar Space Economy
Moon Express’ vision is to open the lunar frontier with turn-key payload, data and services for missions to the Moon for a wide range of customers globally, including governments, NGO’s, commercial enterprises, universities, and consumers.
Like the Earth, the Moon has been enriched with vast resources through billions of years of bombardment by asteroids and comets. Unlike the Earth, these resources are largely on or near the lunar surface, and therefore relatively accessible. Moon Express is blazing a trail to the Moon to seek and harvest these resources to support a new space renaissance, where economic trade between countries will eventually become trade between worlds. All Moon Express expeditions will prospect for materials on the Moon as candidates for economic development and in-situ resource utilization.
One of the greatest practical space discoveries of our generation is the presence of vast quantities of water on the Moon. Water not only supports life but its constituents, hydrogen and oxygen, are energetic and clean rocket fuel. The discovery of water on the Moon is a game changer, not just for the economic viability of lunar resources, but for the economics of humans reaching Mars and other deep space destinations. Water is the oil of the solar system, and the Moon can become a gas station in the sky to fuel human space exploration, development and settlement of the solar system. Moon Express will begin prospecting for water resources on the Moon with its very first expedition.
Moon Express has developed a family of flexible, scalable robotic explorers that can reach the Moon and other solar system destinations from Earth orbit. The MX spacecraft architecture supports multiple applications, including delivery of scientific and commercial payloads to the Moon at low cost using a rideshare model, or charter science expeditions to distant worlds.
Designed for Scout Class exploration capabilities starting from low Earth orbit, MX-1 delivers flexibility and performance to revolutionize access to the Moon and cis-lunar space.
Dual stage flexibility drives more payload to the lunar surface or extends the reach to deep space. Compatible with existing and emergent launch vehicles, the MX-2 delivers Scout Class possibilities for exploration and commerce at low cost.
Designed as a workhorse that can deliver 150kg to low lunar orbit from low Earth orbit, with a range of configurations to support lunar landing and cis-lunar operations, the MX-5 can also be outfitted with MX-1 or MX-2 staged systems that can bring the entire solar system within reach. Available in orbiter, lander, deep space probe and sample return configurations.
Designed for Frontier Class exploration capabilities, MX-9 will support robust lunar sample return operations. Like it’s MX-5 little brother, the MX-9 can also be outfitted with MX-1 or MX-2 staged systems that can deliver over 10kms ΔV and extend its reach to span the solar system, and beyond.

avatar for Dr. Alain Berinstain

Dr. Alain Berinstain

VP Global Development, Moon Express Inc
Alain Berinstain was born and raised in Montreal and worked at the Canadian Space Agency for 17 years. Among other responsibilities, he was Director of Planetary Exploration and Space Astronomy as well as Director of Science and Academic Development at CSA. He now is now Vice President... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 11:40am - 12:00pm
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


Bringing Interstellar Travel Down to Earth
Recent advances in photonics and related fields have driven the development of technologies that may make interstellar flight a reality for people alive today. Specifically, the development of low-cost fiber-based lasers, which have followed a Moore’s Law-like growth in recent decades, would enable millions of lasers to be built in a modular fashion and then phase-locked together and act as a single optical element, able to focus their power onto a reflected sail (lightsail) that can be accelerated to 20% the speed of light in a matter of minutes.  Other technologies, such as low absorptivity materials (originally developed for fiber optic telecom) and the incredible miniaturization of sensors, gyros, etc., driven by the smartphone wars, means that an interstellar spacecraft massing just one gram could be sent to flyby nearby exoplanets and then beam HD-quality images back to earth in a 20-year mission. A number of technical challenges exist, however, ongoing work in the lab seeks to drive down the technological uncertainties. In this talk, a nascent research program at McGill University to examine the engineering aspects of this concept—focused on the dynamics of the light sail material and its response to dust grain impacts—will be presented, and intersections between laser-driven starflight and more down-to-earth technologies will be explored. 

avatar for Dr. Andrew Higgins

Dr. Andrew Higgins

Professor, McGill University
Professor of Mechanical Engineering, performing research on ultra-high-speed dynamic phenomena with application to advanced spaceflight concepts.

Friday October 19, 2018 2:55pm - 3:15pm
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


The use of GPS/GNSS on Earth and in space
Today, the Global Positioning System (GPS) developed by the U.S. Department of Defense is essential for countless applications. Of course, it provides good positioning (~m) for vehicles or pedestrians, but it can also provide very precise positioning (~dm or cm) for surveying or agriculture. Not forgetting the transmission of a very accurate time (~ns) for communication systems or financial networks.
Also, from almost the beginning of the GPS, the question of its use in space was studied, but it took some time and experience before its actual use. Today, it is common to find GPS receivers on board low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, and a lot of research and development is going on regarding its use in higher orbits, even above the GNSS constellations. To date, the farthest position obtained thanks to GPS was at an altitude around 150 000 km.
Now, with the availability of three other global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), namely GLONASS (Russia), Galileo (Europe) and BeiDou (China), and the availability of civilian signals on several frequencies, the use of navigation satellite systems will continue growing, offering better performance and better security.
In this talk, we will first present the GNSS, with a brief history, the current status of the different systems, a summary of their applications, a description of the space segment, and an introduction to the GNSS signals and the basic operation of a GNSS receiver.
In a second part, we will focus on the use of GNSS in space, describing the different challenges, namely the very weak signals, the unfavorable geometry and the high dynamics.


Dr. Jérôme Leclère

Research professional, ÉTS
Jérôme Leclère received his Ph.D. in the GNSS field from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, in 2014. Since 2015, he is with the Laboratory of Space Technologies, Embedded Systems, Navigation and Avionic (LASSENA), at École de Technologie Supérieure... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 3:45pm - 4:05pm
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


Launch Capability Panel
avatar for Bachar Elzein

Bachar Elzein

CEO & CTO, Reaction Dynamics
Founder, CEO & CTO of Reaction Dynamics. Research associate at the multiphase and reactive flows lab in propulsion & combustion dynamics. Mechanical engineering at Polytechnique.

David Nagy

Co-Founder, Aphelion Orbitals
David Nagy is a founder and shareholder at Aphelion Orbitals, a small launcher company he helped found in early 2016, during his sophomore year of high school. They currently have their offices in Union City, New Jersey, and have carried out successful liquid and solid propulsion... Read More →
avatar for Adam Trumpour

Adam Trumpour

President, Launch Canada Rocketry Association
Adam is a rocket and gas turbine propulsion professional with broad involvement in the industry. He is a turbine engine concept designer at Pratt & Whitney Canada and a founding partner of Continuum Aerospace, a small company devoted to engineering consulting and developing innovative... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Room AB Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


Space Autonomy and Making Mobile Vehicles Intelligent
In the past, the navigation, guidance and control of Earth satellites relied extensively on human intelligence at the ground station instead of computer intelligence on-board the spacecraft. With recent developments in powerful space-qualified microcomputers, model-based design techniques, automatic code generation and failure-detection-identification techniques, there is now a trend to transfer some of the decision-making to the on-board system, transforming the ground operations from detailed task planning to higher-level supervisory activities. In contribution to this trend, the European Space Agency (ESA) initiated the PRoject for On-Board Autonomy (PROBA) series of satellite missions, with the objective to demonstrate the benefits of on-board autonomy, in particular, in the area of Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC). This presentation will describe the PROBA design and operation philosophy, and highlight the various GNC innovations that were demonstrated in orbit. Then, this talk will present how this design philosophy is extended to the development of autonomous GNC technologies for planetary exploration vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), such as hazard detection and avoidance, vision-based navigation, real-time mobile mapping, autonomous or pilot-assisted guidance and control for UAV. Ultimately, these technologies are making mobile vehicles intelligent, by increasing their autonomy, performance, reliability and safety while, at the same time, reducing their operational costs. 


Pamela Woo

Guidance, Navigation and Control Engineer, NGC Aerospace Ltd.
Pamela Woo is a Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) Engineer at NGC Aerospace. Her expertise is in the development of Attitude and Orbit Control System (AOCS) software for satellites. She is currently working on the spacecraft GNC software for the ESA PROBA-3 formation flight mission... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 4:05pm - 4:25pm
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1


Modern Challenges in Orbital Mechanics
Orbital mechanics is the field of study of orbits and trajectories for celestial bodies and spacecraft. It plays a key role in the design of any space mission. Many tools and methods are available to the industry and researchers nowadays to help them perform these calculations. However, the space sector is changing and this brings innovitative new ideas and new requirements on the table for space mission design. To keep up, the approaches used in orbital mechanics must also change. This presentation attempts to be a brief introduction to the field of orbital mechanics and to present some of the most important challenges that the discipline of orbital mechanics faces in this modern era of space travel.

avatar for Alexandre Levert

Alexandre Levert

Alumnus, Cranfield University
Graduate from a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering at Polytechnique Montreal and from a Master of Astronautics and Space Engineering at Cranfield University. Expertise in Spacecraft and Mission Analysis and Design. Performed research on numerical methods for computation of periodic... Read More →

Friday October 19, 2018 4:25pm - 4:45pm
Room CD Concordia Conference Center, MB Building 9th floor, 1450 Guy St, Montreal, QC H3H 0A1