The Project

A CubeSat is a miniature satellite that can be a stand alone unit (1U) or stacked to create a multi unit satellite (up to 24U). Each unit is about the size of 1 Rubik’s Cube. They are often used for testing new instruments, taking measurements from space, conducting research or commercial uses. ESSENCE will be launching a 3U CubeSat to monitor the northern permafrost using a wide angle camera from Canadensys. Ryerson will be conducting an ADCS experiment on board.

Even though CubeSats can be small in size they are complex in their design. ESSENCE is an educational project where undergrads get to work on something that will actually end up in space. How cool is that! It gives students an opportunity to work with professionals in their field of interest or try something new and get a taste for real world projects. Like with any project there comes many challenges which force you to think outside the cube(Sat). Students get to apply theoretical skills learnt in the classroom to an interdisciplinary (STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) large-scale project.

The ESSENCE mission will fly a 3U-CubeSat that will be designed and built by the project team, launched from the International Space Station via a US launching service provider – NanoRacks, and operated by the team via the ground station at York University. The CubeSat is expected to launch sometime in Q4 2022 to Q1 2023.

Communication Parameters

Modulation Scheme: GMSK
Packetisation Standard: ESA PUS (CCSDS Packetisation Derivative)
Framing Standard: AX.25