In the main events of September’s last week, our members had the opportunity to participate to the Solar Panel Workshop (SPW), held at MDA, and to present the Critical Design Review (CDR) in front of five very qualified judges, as requested by the competition.
The first two days of the week were used for the SPW, where two members of PolyOrbite, Vincent Bougie and Mathieu Lalonde, had the chance to test their soldering abilities by manually assembling spaceproof solar panels while considerably increasing their amount of knowledge in that area. ‘’We had two days to practice what is usually mastered in three to six months in the space industry. We have seldom been that much concentrated.’’ both our members said.
They also enhanced their general understanding of satellite design, assembly and testing after a tour within MDA’s facilities. Senior satellite designer Maarten Meerman came down from Vancouver on his own time to lead the workshop with his valuable knowledge and expertise. On place, our PolyOrbite representatives also had the opportunity to meet the other Canadian university teams’ members participating to the competition, from the University of British Columbia to the Concordia University.
As for the CDR presentation on Thursday the 26th of September, Anthony Buffet, Martin Caron and Olivier Comtois were presenting the Critical Design Review of the nanosatellite in front of five judges heavily specialized in the space industry, including the competition president Mr. Larry Reeves. Our two members in China, accompanied by our associates from the University of Bologna were also participating by videoconference. This crucial phase in the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC) was decisive regarding PolyOrbite’s allowance to pursue the competition. Even though the stress before and during the presentation were nearly unbearable for our members, the judges’ constant questioning was very enlightening and most of all, constructive. One week later, the positive result of the CDR was made public in a certified mail, stating that PolyOrbite officially had passed the CDR.
All the members were very pleased by this news, considering all the invested efforts. Although, the competition is far from the end and much work still has to be done. The construction and testing phases are the next ones to achieve.