The CanX-2 Mission is the second nanosatellite within the Canadian Advanced Nanospace eXpermiment (CanX) program at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, Space Flight Laboratory (UTIAS/SFL). CanX nanospacecraft push the envelope of what can be achieved in space with small, low-power devices. With a focus on aggressive experimentation, CanX missions use the latest commercial technologies and manage moderate risks in exchange for low cost and quick turnaround.
At 3.5 kilograms and the size of a carton of milk, CanX-2 will be a pathfinder mission that will launch on April 28, 2008 to evaluate novel technologies that will be used on the CanX-4 / CanX-5 dual satellite mission in 2008 to demonstrate controlled formation flying in space. Formation flying technology will open the door to larger missions for high resolution Earth observation and interferometric imaging that can also be used for space astronomy. The technologies to be tested include a novel propulsion system, custom radios, innovative attitude sensors and actuators, and a commercial GPS receiver.
In addition to evaluating these miniature technologies, the satellite will also perform experiments for other university researchers across Canada. These include a GPS radio occultation experiment to characterize the upper atmosphere (Calgary), an atmospheric spectrometer to measure greenhouse gases (York), a network communications experiment (Carleton), and a space materials experiments (Toronto).
UTIAS/SFL is part of an international community of nanosatellite developers that share common launches to reduce costs. CanX-2 is scheduled to launch on April 28, 2008 at 03:53 UTC as part of NLS-4 aboard an Antrix PSLV.