Press Release

P&P Optica Continues Proud Tradition of Canadian Technology In Space

By SpaceRef Editor
July 14, 2016
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When the SpaceX-9 spacecraft blasts off from Cape Canaveral on July 18th 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. “Our spectrometer was aboard the SpaceX-7 in 2015 and we were all disappointed when that launch ended in the spacecraft breaking apart in flight. That being said, we’re excited again for this upcoming launch.

“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. For example, it can be used to detect foreign materials in a food processing workflow, whether crude oil has been contaminated with water, and much more.

The flight on July 18 will see the SpaceX-9 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 in the food processing, recycling, oil and gas, 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:


SpaceRef staff editor.