In May 2008, when the Phoenix Lander touched down on Mars, it carried a bit of meteorological ingenuity designed by Carlos Lange, a U of A mechanical engineering professor.
Lange conceived the “Telltale,” a simple device that was used to measure wind speed and direction and was part of Phoenix’s weather station.
The Phoenix explorer and Lange’s device operated for five months—far longer than the anticipated 90 days. Lange and his students are still working with data collected during the mission, modelling dust devils on Mars and their impact on the cycle of water.
Lange is one of the founders of the U of A Institute for Space Science, Exploration and Technology, serving as a member of its executive committee. In this capacity, he helps students follow their curiosity about space exploration and aeronautics. He serves as a scientific director of the University of Alberta AlbertaSat team, which designed and built Ex-Alta 1, Alberta’s first satellite. Ex-Alta 1 was launched in the spring of 2017 and is anticipated to operate as part of a global mission collecting data about space weather until mid-2018.
He has projects in open-source satellites, multi- and hyperspectral imaging, radiation-hardened electronics and testing using the U of A’s cyclotron.