um has supplied Altium Designer unified licenses with a market value of US$71,960 to UTIAS/SFL to support the graduate lab's research into novel technologies in space. This graduate training will strengthen the Canadian skills base in space systems engineering, dramatically speed up the development of space systems and lower the cost of space missions.
“Altium Designer allows us to develop custom electronics quickly, efficiently and with fewer errors. This tool has been very valuable in keeping the cost of development as low as possible,” says the Director of UTIAS/SFL, Dr. Robert E. Zee.
Altium continues to develop the concept of unified electronics design, in which board layout, schematics design and embedded software, and the flexible functionality inherent in programmable hardware such as FPGAs, are managed as a single design environment.
The UTIAS/SFL students will use the unified embedded design tools and board-level design tools in Altium Designer to design a range of computer and radio boards for its CanX satellite program.
These programs employ nanosatellites (very small satellites under 10 kilograms) for high-performance space missions. The latest satellite—CanX-2—will test a new propulsion system, custom radios, computers, attitude sensors and actuators, and a dual-band GPS receiver. The mission will provide valuable insight and data into novel technologies planned for use in BRITE Constellation (CanX-3, a space astronomy mission) and the CanX-4/-5 precise formation flying mission.