York Argus team wins 2010 Alouette award for climate sensor

Dr. Brendan Quine Receives the 2010 Alouette Award on behalf of the Space Engineering Laboratory, York UniversityYork University's Argus instrument team has been awarded the Alouette award in recongnition of it's contribution to the Canadian Advanced Nanospace eXperiment (CanX-2). Argus team members include Prof. Brendan Quine (PI), Rajinder Jagpal, Sanjar Abrarov, Hugh Chesser, Harvey Emberley, Alex Ho, Prof. Regina Lee, Dr. Caroline Roberts and Dr. Brian Solhiem. The team is honored to have known team member Clive Midwinter who died in 2008.

Introduced in 1995 by the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) the award recognizes outstanding contributions to advancement in Canadian space technology, applications, science or engineering. This year's award honors the achievement of the CanX-2 spacecraft launched in April 2008. Pioneered by Dr. Robert Zee at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, the mission has enhanced significantly the canadian capability for nano-space utilization. Within an envelope no larger than a shoebox, the spacecraft deployed a range of innovative new space technologies including the Argus micro-spectrometer sensor. 

Members of the CanX-2 mission receiving the Allouette award included Dr Robert Zee and Dr Chris Damarenon behalf of the CanX-2 Team at the UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory, Maj. Frank Pinkney and Dr Brad Wallace on behalf of the Department of National Defence, Dr Alfred Ng on behalf of the Canadian Space Agency, Dr Cameron Ower on behalf of MDA Space Missions, Mr Remy Chabot on behalf of the National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Mr Doug Sinclair on behalf of Sinclair Interplanetary, and Dr Susan Skone and Dr Elizabeth Cannon on behalf of the University of Calgary.  The prize is awarded annually for an outstanding achievement in the field of astronautics.

Argus Spectrometer Under Vibration TestArgus was developed at York and in association with Thoth Technology Inc. The instrument operates in the infrared, observing the radiation leaving the Earth's surface and atmosphere. In the infrared spectrum, absorption by water, clouds and carbon dioxide trap the sun's energy near the surface keeping the planet hospitable for life. Increased industrialization and greenhouse gas utilization is modifying the radiation environment changing the pattern that Earth's absorbs sunlight leading to climate change. Argus has the capability to observe the radiation effect caused by surface pollution plumes. With a spatial accuracy of 1.5km Argus can observe directly large emissions of carbon-dioxide a primary greenhouse gas. Like it's namesake, the multi-eyed greek god, Argus will require a constellation of similar sensors to build up a comprehensive picture on climate change. The Argus technology has therefore been commercialized and is now supplied to research organizations all over the world by Thoth.

Gordon ShepherdProf. Allan CarswellThe event also honored Dr. Allan Carswell, YorkU professor emeritus (shown left), who was awarded the C. D. Howe Award for his outstanding leadership in Canadian aeronautics and space activities.  Previous winners of the Alouette award include Professor Gordon Shepherd (lifetime achievement, 2004, shown right) and York adjunct faculty Dr. Tom McElroy (ACE Mission, MAESTRO Instrument, 2009).


Selected Publications

Rajinder K. Jagpal and Brendan M. Quine, Hugh Chesser, Sanjar M. Abrarov, and Regina Lee. Calibration and in-orbit performance of the Argus 1000 spectrometer - the Canadian pollution monitor, J. Appl. Remote Sens., Vol. 4, 049501 (2010); doi:10.1117/1.3302405.
Jagpal, R. K.; Quine, B.; Abrarov, S. M.; Lee, R.; Chesser, H.; McKernan, E.; Bhattacharya, Y. Carbon Dioxide Retrieval from Space Spectral Data of ARGUS 1000 Spectrometer, American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2009, abstract #A51A-0087.


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(c) Space Engineering Laboratory, 2014