PolyOrbite is a technical society from Polytechnique Montréal. Within it, 75 qualified students at the undergraduate and graduate level work to attend a common goal: build and launch a CubeSat. This year, we are lauching a stratospheric ballon for the CAN-SBX competition organized by SEDS Canada and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). This payload will carry an optical nose developed by the Microphotonic Laboratory at Polytechnique Montréal. We are also working on an autonomous Mars rover for the Canadian International Rover Competition (CIRC). It is also a very experienced organization which has already succeed in large-scale projects. As a matter of fact, Polyorbite rose two times to the podium of the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge.

PolyOrbite was officially recognized by Polytechnique Montreal in 2013 and remains the only technical society within the university specialized in space technologies. We have developed a significant expertise in the design and manufacture of nano satellites.

What is a CubeSat?

CubeSats are the result of the current technology miniaturization; they are made up of Units, which are cubes of 10 × 10 × 10 cm. Launching multiple CubeSats can achieve missions at a lower cost than a traditional satellite. These small satellites provide an opportunity for the scientific community. Indeed, a CubeSat can be used for a wide range of tasks: from terrestrial and meteorological imaging to testing materials’ properties in a microgravity environment. The possibilities are numerous as are the potential economic benefits.

Cubesat Payload: Spacebean

SpaceBean is an incubator designed to study the viability of plant growth in a microgravity environment. This project will test a new soil conditioning and provide data for a model of legumes in microgravity. It is a self-sufficient and autonomous system that will be able to determine the best conditions for the growth of the plant.

Rover Division

The Rover division of PolyOrbite is composed of more than 20 students, with the objective to design and build an autonomous martian exploration rover. The robot will be able to navigate autonomously, to manipulate objects with a robotic arm and to analyze a ground sample. All of these tasks will be coordinated and operated by team members in the control station, situated far from the robot itself.

In August 2020 the Rover division plans to participate in the Canadian International Rover Challenge (CIRC) in Drumheller, Alberta .


International Academic Engagement

Every year, PolyOrbite sends members to the IAC, the international astronautical congress. As students representing the team, we get to present scientific articles every year. Here is a list of the different articles presented over the years.

Guadalajara 2016

Manufacturing Compact Electrospray Thruster to Deorbit a Nanosatellite

Adelaide 2017

Electrical Requirements for Control of CubeSat with Electrospray Ion Thrusters

Bremen 2018

Automation of biological experiment in space,
A Self-Adaptive Data Handling System for Small Satellites and its Impact on Future Satellite Operations

ESA Training

The ESA academy regularly organises and offers week-long formations on a subject related to space engineering. In January 2018, PolyOrbite sent two students to Belgium for a workshop on concurrent engineering for CubeSat projects. They then had the chance to do a feasibility study and a preliminary design as an exercise applied directly to a CubeSat project. This event has been really formative for our students, who then applied their learnings onto our satellite.

Educational Outreach

Our first goal in the education team is, for the youngest public, to bring them the basics of a general knowledge about space. It’s an opportunity for the students to develop an attraction to both space and creative activities. We also present our technical society and its different missions. We show the student the kind of projects they could pursue during school.

In every session, we transmit our passion for space technologies and explanations on the different specialties available at Polytechnique Montréal. We are proud to offer a large choice of activities to fit the various profiles of students.
For any kind of question on the activities, please ask the team at education@polyorbite.ca


Ecole Polytechnique Montreal, local M-3008
2500 chemin de Polytechnique
Montreal, QC, H3T 1J4

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