When the next SpaceX spacecraft blasts off from Cape Canaveral on June 28 en route to the International Space Station (ISS), a little bit of Waterloo, Ontario technology will be on board in the form of a spectrometer made by P&P Optica.

Canada has a proud history of involvement in various space initiatives dating right back to 1839 when the first magnetic observatory was set up at the University of Toronto to study how the Northern lights were formed. Since then Canadian technology has been a vital part of a number of NASA missions the most famous of which was the debut of the Canadarm on the space shuttle Columbia in 1981, which paved the way for other Canadian technologies.

Olga Pawluczyk, CEO of P&P Optica says the sophisticated optical imaging equipment will be used by scientists aboard the ISS as part of a number of educational experiments. Bjarni Tryggvason, one of the pioneering Canadian Astronauts who has flown two space missions in 1992 and 1997, personally chose P&P’s technology for the mission.

“We were honoured when Bjarni asked if a P&P Optica spectrometer could be used during the mission,” Pawluczyk said. “We are still uncovering ways for spectroscopy to be used creatively here on earth in applications ranging from mineral mapping to chemical detection, so who knows what it might uncover in space as part of the experiments.”

The actual science of spectroscopy is outside the expertise of most lay people but essentially it is used to measure the properties of light over a specific portion of the electro magnetic spectrum and can for example detect whether water or other liquids that aren’t supposed to be there contaminate a sample of crude oil.

The flight on June 28 will see the SpaceX CRS7 deliver several tons of supplies to the ISS for use by the crew as well as several new science experiments and technology research.

About P&P Optica
P&P Optica is your partner for optimized spectral imaging systems. We take pride in developing systems with our customers, and bridge the gap between “custom” and “turn-key” solutions. Our spectrometers provide a more sensitive, faster, and more accurate tool for use across a variety of industries and applications, including the recycling, oil and gas, food, and biomedical industries. Through innovative design and components P&P Optica spectrometers provide sensitivity unprecedented for optical spectrometers, so that less time or illumination is required to reach the same levels of sensitivity as other systems on the market. The flexibility of our design allows for an application-optimized system while considering your project’s specific needs. To find out more call us at 1-800-706-3811 or visit our website: www.ppo.ca.