A local technology company is getting a once in a lifetime trip.
Canadensys Aerospace Corporation, alongside Quebec-based company NGC Aerospace LTD, is being supported with funding to conduct a technology demonstration on the Moon.
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is committing $3.3 million to support the two companies in the first ever trip to the Moon for a Canadian technology demonstration in lunar orbit.
Canadensys Aerospace Corporation works and supports exploration missions organized by both the government and commercial organizations by providing systems specifically tailored for extended performance and longevity in the lunar environment, from long-range mobility and enhanced situational awareness to lunar night survival and shadowed region operations.
“Canadensys Aerospace Corporation is a space systems and services company with a focus on high reliability missions from Earth orbit out to the Moon, Mars and beyond,” said Canadensys founder and CEO Christian Sallaberger. “Canadensys also provides robust high-performance spacecraft systems to international commercial customers.”
$2.4 million is being awarded to the local aerospace company, who is planning to develop a 360-degree camera that will capture images of the Moon’s surface, while $840,000 is going to the Quebec company for their planetary navigation system demonstration.
The camera will be able to capture images and videos, as well as being able to live monitor and inspect the lunar surface for future guidance and instruction for any rovers to prepare for human missions.
“These cameras are very compact but also very robust and capable. They have been designed to survive lunar night, which is colder than -200 degree Celsius. We test each of them in our cryogenic test chambers in our Caledon facility. On top that, they have to withstand the high radiation environment on the Moon,” explained Sallaberger.
The cameras are tested for radiation at the University of British Columbia, who also look into the camera’s ability to withstand abrasive dust, and the image processing and compression to ensure successful transmission of images and videos back to the team here on Earth.
Sallaberger added, “As it happens, the moon has just about one of the harshest environments in the solar system, so if a system can survive lunar night, it is almost bullet-proof in environments such as low-earth orbit. For this reason, we have quite some demand for our lunar designed cameras, computers, and other systems from customers that want very robust and high-performance systems for their satellites and spacecraft in earth orbit.”
Canadensys Aerospace is excited for the opportunity and grateful for the funding from the government to be able to provide growth and lunar exploration through imagery, and to continue the dedicated work of exploring the lunar orbit.
“We feel very privileged and humbled to have been selected for this funding contribution by the Canadian Space Agency,” he said. “The camera technology we are launching to the Moon build on Canadian innovation and know-how developed thanks to the past vision, commitment, and support of both the Canadian Space Agency’s space exploration program and Canadian Department of National Defence’s IDEaS innovation program.”
These two technologies are stated to allow new commercial opportunities as well as advance Canadian space industry for future Moon exploration. CSA is consistently working alongside those in the space community to continue research and development and space innovation.
The launch is planned for April 2024.
“In supporting the Canadian space sector, our government is committed to the growth and career development of tomorrow’s industry leaders. Not only will this funding put Canada on the Moon, but it will also help strengthen Canada’s R&D capabilities, advance our scientific knowledge, and put Canada in a prime position for further space exploration,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
The funding to support these two companies comes from the CSA’s Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP), in which $150 million is being invested over the next five year to assist new technologies to develop and be tested out in the lunar atmosphere.
“We couldn’t be prouder and more excited to be able to deliver a return on the government’s investment while also ensuring that Canadians will now have a way to share in the journey as the world goes back to the Moon,” said Sallaberger.
For more information on Canadensys Aerospace and the work they do, please visit canadensys.com.
Alyssa Parkhill, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Caledon Citizen