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Satnews Daily
May 22nd, 2014

Canadian Space Agency + The Canadian Government—Building + Analyzing Via Stratospheric Balloons (Grant)

[SatNews] Rob Anders, Member of Canada's Parliament for Calgary West, announced support for the University of Calgary of $250,000 over three years for a space science and technology project.

The three-year grant will offer opportunities for graduate students to acquire hands‑on experience in designing, building, testing and flying scientific instruments and technologies on high-altitude balloons and analyzing the resulting data. During space weather events, high-energy particles from Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts can rain down into the upper atmosphere over Canada. To better understand how these particles can be monitored from the ground, the instrument will be launched on stratospheric balloons. The project will help students investigate innovative space technologies and give them the training to keep Canada at the forefront of space research.

This investment is aligned with the “Inspiring Canadians” principle of working with industry, universities and colleges to recruit, support and retain highly qualified personnel, which was outlined in Canada’s Space Policy Framework, released in February 2014. This news release is the result of an Announcement of Opportunity published on the CSA’s website on November 8, 2013. Total funding for all recipient projects at universities across Canada, including the University of Calgary, is $2 million.

  • This investment will fund new instruments to monitor the Van Allen belt particles
  • This project will involve launching three high-altitude stratospheric balloons
  • The balloons will watch for X-rays produced by high-energy electrons, while ground-based radio instruments simultaneously watch from below

"Through this investment, our government is creating opportunities for hands-on experience that graduate students need to take the next step in their careers. Thanks to the Canadian Space Agency, the University of Calgary will continue to position itself at the leading edge of space science and technology."—Rob Anders, Member of Parliament for Calgary West

The CSA solicited proposals for this opportunity under the Flights for the Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST 2013) Announcement of Opportunity.