Robert Dick

M.Eng., P.Eng.
P.O. Box 79
Rideau Ferry, Ontario
K0G 1W0


High Purity Germanium Furnace (CSA)
Wind Imaging Interferometer (CSA-WINDII on UARS Satellite)
Waves in Space Plasma (WISP for Space Shuttle
Synthetic Aperture Radar (Radarsat I)
Michelson Interferometer (MIPAS for ESA)
Satellite Design Course (Instructor at Carleton University)


Space is an unforgiving environment. It exposes hardware to extreme conditions in which unprotected humans cannot survive. The initial design work has an imaginative and creative component. After which the application of good engineering principles are applied.

My interest in satellite instrumentation began with the challenge my design team faced when developing the hardware for several satellite payloads for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) that would either fly on the Space Shuttle, or were satellite payloads:

  • Waves in Space Plasma (WISP) for the CSA,
  • Wind Imaging Interferometer (WINDII) for the Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite (UARS),
  • High Purity Germanium furnace (CSA, Space Shuttle),
  • Radarsat I (CSA), and
  • Other optical and microwave instruments.

Although as a hobbyist I have made several telescope mirrors and cobbled together surplus parts for a few spectrographs, so I am not an optician. I leave the finer points to those with the knowledge and tools to make the best possible instrument. However these home projects, and a lot of tinkering, have helped me engineer more reliable products. It also makes the work fun.

As a lead engineer in the Space Exploration Engineering Group at Carleton University in Ottawa, I have the privilege of working with students as they develop micro satellite subsystems and payloads.

Each academic year the class takes a mission statement and refines the requirements and develops preliminary designs. These are past on to students the following year for refinement or redesign.

The dedication of these students to make their project a success keeps me connected with the enthusiasm I have for solving problems. Here is a list of some of these micro satellite projects.

  • Air launched Remote Sensing Micro Satellite System
  • Soil Moisture and Silica Detection and Survey Micro Satellite
  • Forest Inventory and Health Monitoring Micro Satellite
  • Far North Activity Detection Micro Satellite
  • Lunar Polar Penitrator Mission