CubeSat NB

New Brunswick’s first CubeSat satellite

CubeSat NB is a partnership among the University of New Brunswick, Université de Moncton, New Brunswick Community College.

CubeSat NB plans to launch New Brunswick’s first CubeSat satellite from the International Space Station in 2021.

What is a CubeSat?

CubeSats are miniature satellites that are revolutionizing access to space. These “faster, smaller, smarter and cheaper” satellites provide a platform for low-cost technology development and scientific research (source: Canadian Space Agency).

CubeSats typically weigh about 1 kg and are about the size of a softball (10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm).

New insights into Earth’s ionosphere

CubeSat NB will provide new insights into the behaviour of Earth’s ionosphere.

CubeSat will receive signals transmitted by global navigation satellite systems, such as GPS, as they travel through the ionosphere and are affected by it.

Researchers will be able to use the data to further study how the ionosphere changes from place to place over time, as well as how it responds to space weather. Significant space weather events can interfere with communications system and electrical grids.

Three cameras on board

Two cameras will allow researchers to study the distribution of oxygen in the upper atmosphere, capturing images of the red and green light oxygen atoms given off during aurora and airglow events. The images from these spectral cameras will be used to examine the varying composition of the ionosphere.

The third camera will be used to take images of the Earth’s surface for earth science and meteorological applications.

Why create CubeSat NB?

Building and operating CubeSat NB will:

  • engage a large number of engineering, science and technology students in New Brunswick
  • advance student understanding of the technology, construction and operation of satellites
  • contribute to the pool of New Brunswick talent in the aerospace industry


Troy Lavigne, Project Engineer
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of New Brunswick

Brent Petersen, Associate Professor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of New Brunswick