Presenter Information

Dylan Vogel, University of Toronto Aerospace TeamFollow
Avinash Mukkala, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Kimberly Ren, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Lorna Lan, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Yong Da Li, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Eric van Velzen, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Bruno Almeida, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Cassandra Chanen, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Adyn Miles, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Ali Haydaroglu, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Abdullah Gulab, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Addy Bhatia, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Alejandro Duque, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Alireza Nickooie, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Ambrose Man, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Americo Barros, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Amna Zulfiqar, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Amy Shi, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Ana Quilumbango, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Andrew Uderian, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Andy Xie, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Arash Nourimand, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Arfa Saif, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Atharva Datar, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Atharva Dighe, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Aurora Nowicki, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Avelyn Wong, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Ben Kwashigah, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Ben Makarchuk, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
Benjamin Nero, University of Toronto Aerospace Team
et al.

Session

Pre-Conference Workshop Session 2: Next on the Pad - Research & Academia

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

Long-duration deep space missions pose a significant health risk for both humans and their resident microorganisms. The GeneSat, PharmaSat and O/OREOS missions have previously explored biological questions regarding the effects of spaceflight on S. cerevisiase, B. subtilis, and E. coli. However, there currently exists both a knowledge and an accessibility gap in small satellite biological experiments. These payloads require precise instrumentation and complex platforms that are usually reserved for large research organizations. This makes it difficult for smaller organizations to perform biological research in low Earth orbit (LEO). To address these challenges, the University of Toronto Aerospace Team (UTAT) Space Systems Division is currently developing the HERON CubeSat. HERON houses a payload platform which measures the effects of the LEO environment on the gene expression and drug resistance of Candida albicans, a yeast commonly found in the human gut microbiome. Previous research has suggested that C. albicans might display increased pathogenicity and drug resistance in response to microgravity, which has important implications for long-duration human spaceflight. The yeast cells are housed in custom acrylic microfluidics chips containing 32 wells with channels for media and drug delivery. A measurement printed circuit board (PCB) contains custom optics capable of measuring minute changes in cell fluorescence. The entire payload stack is then housed in a temperature- and humidity-controlled 2U pressure vessel. Space Systems as a whole is an undergraduate student-led and student-funded design team, dedicated to the development of small satellite missions with a focus on education and undergraduate learning. HERON is scheduled to launch Q1 2022 into a Sun-synchronous orbit via a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at an altitude of approximately 550 km. Our platform is open-source and can serve as a low-cost template for future biological CubeSat missions. This paper serves as a technical and scientific description of the platform, along with the lessons learned during the payload design, assembly, and validation processes.

Available for download on Saturday, August 07, 2021

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Aug 7th, 12:00 AM

HERON: Demonstrating a Novel Biological Platform for Small Satellite Missions

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Long-duration deep space missions pose a significant health risk for both humans and their resident microorganisms. The GeneSat, PharmaSat and O/OREOS missions have previously explored biological questions regarding the effects of spaceflight on S. cerevisiase, B. subtilis, and E. coli. However, there currently exists both a knowledge and an accessibility gap in small satellite biological experiments. These payloads require precise instrumentation and complex platforms that are usually reserved for large research organizations. This makes it difficult for smaller organizations to perform biological research in low Earth orbit (LEO). To address these challenges, the University of Toronto Aerospace Team (UTAT) Space Systems Division is currently developing the HERON CubeSat. HERON houses a payload platform which measures the effects of the LEO environment on the gene expression and drug resistance of Candida albicans, a yeast commonly found in the human gut microbiome. Previous research has suggested that C. albicans might display increased pathogenicity and drug resistance in response to microgravity, which has important implications for long-duration human spaceflight. The yeast cells are housed in custom acrylic microfluidics chips containing 32 wells with channels for media and drug delivery. A measurement printed circuit board (PCB) contains custom optics capable of measuring minute changes in cell fluorescence. The entire payload stack is then housed in a temperature- and humidity-controlled 2U pressure vessel. Space Systems as a whole is an undergraduate student-led and student-funded design team, dedicated to the development of small satellite missions with a focus on education and undergraduate learning. HERON is scheduled to launch Q1 2022 into a Sun-synchronous orbit via a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at an altitude of approximately 550 km. Our platform is open-source and can serve as a low-cost template for future biological CubeSat missions. This paper serves as a technical and scientific description of the platform, along with the lessons learned during the payload design, assembly, and validation processes.