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CASTOR has been designed and developed in a decade-long partnership between academia, industry and government agencies. CASTOR’s leadership and science team are described below. Both are evolving as the mission transitions through a Phase 0 study and prepares for launch in the late 2020s.




Science Working Groups

The CASTOR Science Team is responsible for high-level science planning and optimization, including overall mission science requirements. The team is organized in eight Science Working Groups (SWGs) addressing topics ranging from the Solar System to Cosmology. The Canadian leads of each SWG are aided by three co-leads, one from each of CASTOR’s prospective international partners, and by team members that include preeminent experts in each field.

    • Hum Chand (CUHP)

    • Jason Rhodes (JPL)

    • Catherine Heymans (Edinburgh)

    • Sebastien Fabbro (NRC-HAA)

    • Kyle Finner (IPAC/Caltech)

    • Yashar Hezaveh (Montreal)

    • Eric Huff (JPL)

    • Dustin Lang (Perimeter)

    • Surhud S More (IUCAA)

    • Will Percival (Waterloo)

    • Laurence Perreault Levasseur (Montreal)

    • Marcin Sawicki (SMU)

    • Bryan Scott (UC Riverside)

    • Robert Sorba (SMU)

    • André Zamorano Vitorelli (CEA Saclay/JPL)

Katie Mack

Perimeter Institute


    • Kuntal Misra (ARIES)

    • Daniel Stern (JPL)

    • Matt Nichol (Birmingham)

    • Yuyang Chen (Toronto)

    • Kristen Dage (McGill)

    • Nicole Ford (McGill)

    • Morgan Fraser (Dublin)

    • Daryl Haggard (McGill)

    • Renee Hlozek (Toronto)

    • Bethany Ludwig (Toronto)

    • Takashi Moriya (NAOJ)

    • Nayyer Raza (McGill)

    • John Ruan (Bishop’s)

    • Greg Sivakoff (Alberta)

    • Aaron Tohuvavohu (Toronto)

    • Nick Vieira (McGill)

Maria Drout

University of Toronto

Time Domain Astrophysics

    • Vivek M (IIA)

    • Andreas Faisst (IPAC)

    • Poshak Gandhi (Southampton)

    • Laura Ferrarese (NRC-HAA)

    • Daryl Haggard (McGill)

    • John Hutchings (NRC-HAA)

    • Viraja Khatu (Western)

    • Madeline Marshall (NRC-HAA)

    • Gordon Richards (Drexel)

    • John Ruan (Bishop’s)

    • Aaron Yung (NASA/Goddard)

Sarah Gallagher

University of Western Ontario

Active Galactic Nuclei and Supermassive Black Holes

    • Kanak Saha (IUCAA)

    • Anahita Alavi (IPAC)

    • Harry Teplitz (IPAC)

    • Sean McGee (Birmingham)

    • Toby Brown (NRC-HAA)

    • Ivana Damjanov (SMU)

    • Vince Estrada-Carpenter (SMU)

    • Cameron Lawlor-Forsyth (Waterloo)

    • Denis Leahy (Calgary)

    • Deborah Lokhorst (NRC-HAA)

    • Allison Man (UBC)

    • Cameron Morgan (Waterloo)

    • Thibaud Moutard (LAM)

    • Gaël Noirot (SMU)

    • Joel Roediger (NRC-HAA)

    • Erik Rosolowsky (Alberta)

    • Samir Salim (Indiana)

    • Marcin Sawicki (SMU)

    • Robert Sorba (SMU)

    • Matt Taylor (Calgary)

    • David Thilker (JHU)

    • Aaron Yung (NASA/Goddard)

Michael Balogh

University of Waterloo

Galaxies and Cosmic Star Formation

    • Smitha Subramanian (IIA)

    • Pat Morris (IPAC)

    • Vicky Scowcroft (Bath)

    • Ruben Sanchez-Janssen (STFC)

    • Jo Bovy (Toronto)

    • Ray Carlberg (Toronto)

    • Nolan Dickson (SMU)

    • Gwendolyn Eadie (Toronto)

    • Denis Leahy (Calgary)

    • Ting Li (Toronto)

    • Alan McConnachie (NRC-HAA)

    • Julio Navarro (Victoria)

    • Federico Sestito (Victoria)

    • Jeremy Webb (Toronto)

Vincent Henault-Brunet

St. Mary’s University

Near-Field Cosmology

    • Annapurni Subramaniam (IIA)

    • Pat Morris (IPAC)

    • Boris Gaensicke (Warwick)

    • Arka Chatterjee (Manitoba)

    • Ryan Cloutier (Harvard/McMaster)

    • Patrick Dufour (Montreal)

    • Jeremy Heyl (UBC)

    • Doug Johnstone (NRC-HAA)

    • Denis Leahy (Calgary)

    • Yaël Nazé (Liège)

    • Sally Oey (Michigan)

    • Harvey Richer (UBC)

    • Carmelle Robert (Laval)

    • Sarah Rugheimer (York)

    • Samar Safi-Harb (Manitoba)

    • Greg Sivakoff (Alberta)

    • Kim Venn (Victoria)

    • Tyrone Woods (Manitoba)

Simon Blouin

University of Victoria

Stellar Astrophysics

    • Thirupathi Sivarani (IIA)

    • Jessie Christiansen (IPAC)

    • Suzanne Aigrain (Oxford)

    • Ryan Cloutier (Harvard/McMaster)

    • Stan Metchev (Western)

    • James Sikora (Bishop’s)

    • Yanqin Wu (Toronto)

Jason Rowe

Bishop’s University


    • Shashkiran Ganesh (PRL)

    • Cyrielle Opito (Edinburgh)

    • Wes Fraser (NRC-HAA)

    • Paul Wiegert (Western)

    • Yanqin Wu (Toronto)

JJ Kavelaars


Solar System

Mission Partners


The National Research Council’s Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre provides supplementary expertise in detectors and opto-mechanics. NRC-Herzberg is responsible for operation and instrument design for Canada’s astronomical observatories, and has a long and distinguished history in the design and fabrication of instruments for JCMT, CFHT, ALMA, Gemini and other leading facilities.

Points of Contact

    • Melissa Amenouche

    • Toby Brown

    • Greg Burley

    • Sebastien Fabbro

    • Laura Ferrarese

    • Deborah Lokhorst

    • Madeline Marshall

    • John Pazder

Patrick Côté

John Hutchings

Canadian Space Agency

CASTOR contracts are managed by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), which also contributes programmatic, technical and scientific expertise to the development of the mission.

Points of Contact

    • Oleg Djazovski

    • Nasar Khan

    • Joel Roediger

Martin Bergeron

James Doherty

Canadian Space Agency

Honeywell Aerospace

Past engineering and technical work for CASTOR has been carried out by an industrial team led by Honeywell Aerospace, which has been responsible for the high-level mission architecture and implementation plan. Honeywell has extensive experience in mission analysis, design and implementation, having most recently designed, built and tested the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) and NIRISS instrument for the James Webb Space Telescope, a partnership between NASA, CSA and ESA.

Alan Scott

Point of Contact

    • John Appenzeller

    • Jeff Cain

    • Peter Cameron

    • Matt Kozun

    • Mike Smith

    • Warren Soh

    • Sheng Hai Zheng

Magellan Aerospace

Magellan Aerospace has led efforts focused on the satellite bus, launch options, and altitude determination and control subsystems. Magellan has a rich and distinguished history in the design and manufacture of aerospace systems and components. Most recently, Magellan was responsible for the satellite bus of the Radarsat Constellation Mission that was launched in 2019 — a major component of Canada’s space plan.

Paul Harrison

Point of Contact

    • Diane Kotelko

    • Ryan McKenzie

ABB Aerospace

ABB Aerospace has led development of the optical chain and ground support network. ABB specializes in custom optical instrumentation for space, military and research applications, and recently delivered the SITELLE — the world’s premier hyperspectral imager for astronomical applications — to the Canada France Hawaii Telescope.

Alain Cournoyer

Point of Contact

    • M.-E. Duplain

    • E. Gauthier

    • Frederic Grandmont

    • J. Lariviere

    • Jean-Francois Lavigne

    • P. Lemarche

    • S. Levesque

    • Simon Paradis

    • Natasha Philippi

Outreach and Communications

Outreach Coordinator

Université de Montréal

Nathalie Ouellette


Science Leads

Principal Investigator and Science Lead


Patrick Côté

Science Co-Lead


John Hutchings

Science Co-Lead and Science Planning Tools Lead

University of Manitoba

Tyrone Woods

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Additional work on detectors and electronics is being provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which is also contributing scientific, programmatic and operational expertise. JPL is arguably the world’s foremost research facility for robotic space and Earth science missions.

UK Space Agency

The UK Space Agency (UKSA) has approved participation in CASTOR through a new bilateral program in space science in 2023. The UKSA is developing a partnership plan with the Canadian Space Agency including work on detector qualification, testing, coatings, and electronics; the active secondary mirror; passband filters; and the data reduction and analysis pipeline.

International Participants

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