A team of researchers at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) is celebrating 25 years of designing advanced micro- and nanosatellites for a broad range of missions — from scientific to commercial and government applications.
“Our laboratory engages in experimental technology research tied to real space missions,” says Professor Robert Zee, Director of the Space Flight Laboratory (SFL).
“We have many satellites under development at any given time to deliver innovative spacecraft for new and emerging applications worldwide.”
SFL employs what Zee calls a ‘teaching-hospital’ model. This approach enables graduate students to work as apprentices designing and building low-cost satellites that are 3 to 500 kilograms in size, which are then implemented in sponsor-driven space missions with critical implications.
Since the laboratory’s inception in 1998, SFL researchers have launched 69 distinct micro- and nano-class satellites, with 27 additional projects currently under development or awaiting launch.