The small cube satellite was created by members of AlbertaSat, a student club that designs, builds and operates satellites
A small satellite designed at the University of Alberta is on it's way into orbit, from where it will help to track wildfires around the globe.
On Tuesday evening, a SpaceX rocket launched from Florida’s Cape Canaveral, carrying a small cube satellite created by members of AlbertaSat, a student club that designs, builds and operates satellites.
The Satellite, Ex-Alta 2, is designed to orbit the planet and keep an eye on wildfires — a project inspired by the 2016 Fort McMurray blaze, said Pundeep Hundal, deputy systems team lead on the project.
“It’s really exciting for us to see that satellite, which was just a design on paper two years ago, getting to a point where it’s actually operational,” said Hundal, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student at the university, with it finally being put into space, we can now move on to the next stage of this mission.”
The two-kilogram satellite, about the size of a loaf of bread, is equipped with a multispectral imager, which functions as a kind of camera that captures data from Earth using infrared and visible light.
The imager, called “Iris,” will track high-risk zones for clues about where wildfires could start, watch smoke to identify active fires, and monitor burned zones for vegetation growth to glean data about post-fire recovery.