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Ryerson University awarded Canada Research Chair in Space Systems Engineering

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November 14, 2005

Source: Ryerson University:

Ryerson University awarded Canada Research Chair in Space Systems Engineering

TORONTO, November 14, 2005 -- Ryerson University has been awarded a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Space Systems Engineering, supporting study into micro satellites.

Professor Krishna Kumar of the Department of Aerospace Engineering will be the University's newest - and sixth -- CRC. The five-year appointment, including $500,000 for the new chair, was announced Nov. 10 by Minister of Industry David Emerson, part of $102.2 million in new funding for 126 Canada Research Chairs across the country.

"Space exploration is one of the most exciting frontiers of study for our students and faculty," said Sheldon Levy, President of Ryerson University. "I am gratified and honoured that Ryerson has been awarded this Chair. It will enable Dr. Kumar and his graduate students to investigate groundbreaking space technologies."

Emerson stressed the importance of supporting research in space technology and other key areas in Canadian universities such as Ryerson University. "One of Canada's most important assets is its greatest minds," said the minister, who is responsible for the Canada Research Chairs Program. "By empowering the most talented university researchers, the Chairs Program has become the keystone of the government's strategy to invigorate Canadian research, innovation and know-how."

As CRC, Kumar will work with graduate students, researchers at Ryerson and other universities, and scientists in space-related laboratories to analyze, develop and control the movement of micro satellites, including pico-satellites, which weigh between 0.1 and one kilogram, and their lighter cousins, femto-satellites, weighing less than 100 grams. The researchers' goal is to work with the Canadian Space Agency to launch a group of both types of satellites, roughly the size of a cell phone, into space where they will exchange data and take photos. The data and photos will be transmitted to a ground station for analysis by Kumar and other scientists. Their task will also be to ensure that the satellites don't collide while they are orbiting in space.

Kumar, who joined Ryerson in August, has extensive knowledge in spacecraft dynamics and control. He has conducted research on tethered satellite systems (two satellites connected to each other by a cable), micro satellite systems, the orientation and orbit of satellites and satellite formation flying.

Ryerson University is Canada's leader in career-focused education, with more than 80 graduate and undergraduate programs in the Faculties of Arts, Business, Communication & Design, Community Services, and Engineering and Applied Science. Founded in 1948, Ryerson has full-time graduate and undergraduate enrolment of 20,000 students. With more than 61,000 registrations annually, The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education.

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