Ruggedized Systems for Affordable Space Exploration

The next decade is set to witness the scientific and commercial exploration of more remote and challenging deep space and planetary destinations than ever before, yet with smaller, more affordable systems than have previously been attempted.

Canadensys is developing a number of technologies aimed at supporting this new phase of space development, in partnership with both government and commercial customers. A particular focus is on technologies that will help increase the robustness of small, low-cost missions in the extreme environments anticipated at the surface of the Moon, asteroids and Mars.

Recent examples of development activities at Canadensys include:

Lunar-tolerant Electromechanical Systems
Canadensys supported the development of a TRL6 Lunar Rover Drivetrain Prototype (LRPDP) to TRL6, in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Ontario Drive & Gear and Provectus Robotics. Canadensys was responsible for the flight / TRL6-related design aspects and environmental testing of a lunar rover prototype built by ODG, including integrated lunar dust and thermal vacuum testing in collaboration with NASA in November 2015. For more information see here.

Canadensys also provided similar path-to-flight support to the CSA Small Planetary Rover Prototype (SPRP), co-developed by the same team alongside LRPDP, but aimed at providing a platform to examine various issues related to surface exploration with smaller vehicles. For more information see here.

Low-Temperature Energy Storage & Thermal Management
Energy storage and thermal control are persistent issues for small missions in deep space and on planetary surfaces, and the Moon presents particularly challenging environmental constraints, from searing hot lunar days to cryogenic lunar nights, and highly varying solar illumination conditions that inhibit power generation.

Canadensys is investigating and testing a range of thermal and energy storage technologies that can collectively help small systems survive longer in deep space. The lunar surface is a particular driving case and has been the subject of several technology development projects undertaken in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency since 2014. For more information, see here.