Meet Matthew Foran, a third-year engineering physics student with a fascinating background as a Red Seal certified journeyman electrician and a pivotal member of AlbertaSat since September 2022. Matthew is the co-lead of the DFGM team, which is the team responsible for the Digital Fluxgate Magnetometer. The DFGM team was responsible for the sensor that went on Ex -Alta 1, Ex-Alta 2 and will go on the next satellite, Ex-Alta 3. The magnetometer is used to characterize the AC and DC magnetic fields of Earth’s inner and outer radiation belts. Since Matthew focuses on the sensor, he finds it fascinating how the space physics group has designed such a sensitive magnetometer (ideally +/-10 nT), and he is looking forward to further work on the sensor. 

Matthew’s journey into AlbertaSat was fueled by his interest in the space industry, and it has been a rewarding and challenging experience. The project has exposed him to the intricacies of satellite building, and it also has taught him communication and interpersonal skills as a result of being a co-lead. As Matthew balances his academics with AlbertaSat, he recommends students prioritize and dedicate commitments to both academia and extracurriculars, which turns out to be somewhat easier said than done.

AlbertaSat has proven to be both a club and a platform for networking with academic and industry professionals, such as Matthew’s experience with Dr. Ian Mann’s research group. Matthew’s blend of hands-on electrical work with his theoretical knowledge from engineering physics allows him to bridge the gap between an idea and reality. His journey shows the unique opportunities and learning experiences provided by being a member of AlbertaSat.