Cubesat image courtesy of the Canadian Space Agency

A CubeSat is a square-shaped miniature satellite (10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm – roughly the size of a Rubik’s cube), weighing about 1 kg. A CubeSat can be used alone (1 unit) or in groups of multiple units (maximum 24 units).


Alex Voisine, VE9REX
Alex Voisine, VE9REX

Alex Voisine, VE9REX, of VIOLET (UNB/UDM/NBCC);

I was born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick and spent my youth mostly playing sports. When I started at the University of New Brunswick (UNB), I was initially interested in the Science department and spent the first two years of my degree in Physics before switching to Electrical and Computer Engineering the following year.

I was introduced to Amateur Radio in my final year when I took an Electromagnetics course that offered the Basic Amateur Radio Examination as its first lab.

After starting my Masters program with Dr. Brent Petersen, VE9EX, I completed the Advanced course as well. Since then, I have participated in Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) in 2019 to connect Scouts across Canada and teach them about Amateur Radio, and I helped run the RAC booth at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in 2019. I don’t have my own Amateur Radio setup yet, but I plan to have one in the near future and hope to see you on the air.


CubeSat NB is a joint venture between the University of New Brunswick, l’Université de Moncton, and the New Brunswick Community College. It is a part of the Canadian CubeSat Project which provides post-secondary institutions with an opportunity to engage students in a real space mission to design, build, test and launch a CubeSat.

A CubeSat is a miniature satellite measured in 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm cubes called units (U). CubeSat NB’s CubeSat is a 2U CubeSat which we’ve named VIOLET after New Brunswick’s provincial flower. VIOLET will support two missions throughout its lifetime: the GNSS Receiver for Ionospheric and Position Studies (GRIPS) and the Spectral Airglow Structure Imager (SASI).

GRIPS will be receiving signals from global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), such as GPS, as they travel through the ionosphere and are affected by it. Researchers will be able to use this GNSS 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 systems and electrical grids. SASI will be imaging the redline atomic oxygen layer of the ionosphere using a narrowband filter to capture airglow events. These images will be used to examine the varying density of atomic oxygen throughout the ionosphere.

Apart from its main missions, VIOLET will also be providing several services to Amateurs across the globe. VIOLET can be communicated to by Amateurs in three different modes: a VHF/UHF packet transmission, a VHF/UHF transponder, and an S-band playback mode. VIOLET is currently in its assembly, integration and testing phase and we are currently planning for a launch in Summer 2022.

For more information visit:


Julian Mentasti CubeSat ALEASAT
Julian Mentasti

Julian Mentasti, VE7UDP, of ALEASAT (SFU/UBC); Payload Developer and Captain at UBC Orbit

Julian Mentasti, VE7UDP, is a Software Developer for the ALEA Satellite. He is formerly the Co-Captain of UBC Orbit, a student design team focused on the innovation, design and development of satellites.

An Amateur since 1991, his interests include satellites, distributed systems and telecommunications. 

He recently graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Computer Science and is currently a Software Developer II at Google.


The student-built ALEASAT satellite is a joint initiative between Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the University of British Columbia (UBC), and will provide images of Earth on an on-demand basis to any Amateur Radio operator.

The project originated from the fifth Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC), where teams all around Canada were challenged to build a CubeSat that, when contacted, takes and transmits a picture of the point of contact.

In addition to the opportunity for university students to develop and launch a spacecraft, the project will bring real value to the community. Canadian operators will have a satellite at their disposal for on-demand imagery to assist in disaster monitoring.

“We have two payloads for this satellite. The first is a camera that can take pictures of the Earth from orbit. The primary attraction of this camera is any Amateur Radio operator could send a signal to our satellite and request a picture of their area. Our second payload is a miniaturized human centrifuge.

With SFU Aerospace we are developing a full-size human centrifuge at Aerospace Physiology Laboratory at SFU BPK department. Sending a miniaturized version of this into space will allow us to see the effects the centrifuge would have on a spacecraft. SFU Aerospace Physiology Laboratory is designing the first completely Canadian Short-Arm Human Centrifuge which will be re-designed for long-term space missions and will be fitted to successfully fly on board of commercial spacecrafts for Lunar and Martian missions.”

Web-based modules and live sessions will also be available for those looking for an introduction to satellite communications and what they can expect when interfacing with ALEASAT.

For more information about ALEASAT visit: