CAN-RGX : Canadian Reduced Gravity Experiment

The Canadian Reduced Gravity Experiment Design Challenge (CAN-RGX) is a competition hosted by the non-profit group, SEDS-Canada (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space), for post-secondary students in Canada to design, build, and test a small experiment to be flown on board the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Falcon 20. This aircraft allows for reduced gravity experiments with the CSA where competitors will fly and test their experiment.


CMD-SAT is a sub-team of AlbertaSat that is led by current AlbertaSat members, brand new members, and current high school students! Many of our members have already participated in STEM, academic, and professional events such as FURCA and the 2024 Canadian Space Conference.


CMD-SAT’s main goal for this experiment is to develop a compliant hinge for solar panel deployment on EX-ALTA 3, with the aim of simplifying hinge design for CubeSats and lowering associated costs.


The purpose of our experiment is to analyze and evaluate compliant hinges based on range of motion, torsional stiffness, parasitic motion, and strain relief in microgravity, so we can compare the effectiveness of compliant and traditional hinges.

Before compliant mechanisms, the aerospace industry struggled with manufacturing, assembly, and mechanical failures in space applications. Traditional pin-style hinges in spacecraft components were and still are  complex to assemble, prone to wear, and lack a degree of reliability and performance.

Our team has initiated a thorough examination of compliant hinges as a superior alternative to traditional pin-style hinges in aerospace applications. Further experimentation with compliant hinges could lead to streamlining the assembly process of space mechanisms, increasing reliability, and reducing mechanical wear and failure in space environments. In the future, compliant hinges could be a preferable solution for actuating spacecraft components when placed on satellites and space stations.


Why Hinges?

As technological progress has transformed the field of aerospace mechanics,  traditional pin-style hinges used in spacecraft components still require complex assembly processes and are prone to wear and failure, reducing overall reliability and performance.  These constraints present critical risks to vital spacecraft systems and efficiency.

Why Compliant Hinges?

A compliant mechanism is a single-body machine element consisting of thin flexure regions that substitute the moving parts of traditional hinges, making it a viable option in the aerospace industry. In the future, the objective is for the research and advancement of compliant hinges to achieve a high level of quality, establishing them as a superior option to traditional hinges.

Why Microgravity?

A microgravity environment is needed to test the forces on the net and pieces of scrap material. If there are any forces acting on the scrap material or on the net, our team will not be able to analyze the interaction between the net and debris in all coordinate planes. This emphasizes the importance of having no other forces acting while the data is obtained to analyze how the net will interact with the debris in all degrees of freedom.


Recent Events

Follow us here for more info and updates!