Jon Grebe inspects a spectrometric instrumentWinSAT team member Jon Grebe inspects a spectrometric instrument in preparation for the design review.

UWindsor satellite design leading student competition

A team from the University of Windsor received top marks from the judges in the design review portion of the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge, in October in Quebec City.

The competition requires students to develop a satellite that can take a photo from space when commanded to do so by amateur radio operators around the world. It is intended to advance space education in Canada, inspiring students to pursue science and engineering educations and careers.

The satellites will undergo full launch and space environmental qualification testing, with the goal of launching the winning satellite into orbit.

In Quebec, teams conducted 2.5-hour presentations to a panel of industry experts.

Cole Nadalin, vice-president and business lead of the University of Windsor Space and Aeronautics Team (WinSAT), says the early results bode well for the school’s first-ever entry.

“Placing first in Canada for our CubeSat design is an incredible achievement for the University of Windsor,” he says. “Having collected valuable information from the competition judges, the team now needs to fabricate and test a functioning satellite.”

Team president Atilla Saadat says the multidisciplinary pursuit requires students from many disciplines, including engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry, biology, business, and earth sciences.

“If you are a UWindsor undergraduate or graduate student interested in joining WinSAT — especially for your capstone project — check out to read the requirements and submit your application,” says Saadat.

Faculty advisor Afshin Rahimi says he has enjoyed helping the students with an extraordinary experiential learning experience outside of the classroom, but they will need backing to complete their journey.

“The WinSAT team has come a long way with the limited amount of funding it has secured to date,” says Dr. Rahimi. “What has achieved so far is great, but to win the competition and truly put the University of Windsor on the map for aerospace studies, a lot more support is required from both academic and industrial institutions.”

Nadalin says members hope to bring local expertise in advanced manufacturing to national attention, and will seek in-kind donations of materials and services.

Find details of WinSAT’s needs at