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First Light Initiative | NexOptic
NexOptic is proud to support the First Light Initiative, a project founded by Spectrum Optix's Senior Systems Designer, Mr. Rob Cardinal.
Elissa Resources Ltd. - Home Page - Fri Apr 3, 2015
- Rob D. Cardinal, B.Sc. Physics and Astronomy, Canadian Space Agency - Senior Systems Designer for Spectrum Optix Inc.
- Oct 2014
Executive Director at the First Light Initiative
Alberta.ca > Aboriginal ...
Alberta.ca > Aboriginal Relations > Rob Cardinal
Aboriginal people have many different and interesting stories that link the sky to the creation of the world.
As a young man, Rob Cardinal
found the stars and galaxy fascinating, but from a purely scientific position.
With a talent to match his interest, he went on to become an accomplished astronomer and astrophysicist, discovering multiple comets and a unique near-earth asteroid.
greatest discovery was much closer to home.
As a successful planetary scientist at the University of Calgary, Rob is driven to explore and discover.
But what motivates him the most, is being a good father.
Born Cree Blackfoot, Rob
was just five days old when his
father forced his
mother to give him up for adoption.
"My birthmother wanted me to have a chance because she
couldn't give me what she
gave me two very important things, she
gave me my grandfather's name, and she
registered me with the band.
two siblings remained in the home but his
father soon abandoned them as well.
At 18 months, Rob
was adopted in Edmonton by a single mother.
mother was keen for him to understand his
recalls feeling disconnected from his
remembers being in the bath tub, trying to scrub his
"I was four or five years old, and already ashamed to be Aboriginal."
adoptive mother had the best intentions, adoption had taken its toll.
At just 15, Rob
began to go off the rails.
By 17 he
had dropped out of high school and was living on the streets, high, drunk, and lost.
hit rock bottom, depressed and physically ill.
was hospitalized for months and went through many more months of treatment programs.
Caught by a social safety net, Rob
recovered and set out to finish high school and was surprised to score high marks in physics and math.
"My plan was to be a carpenter.
But my physics teacher said, 'Rob you've got a talent here - you need to take a science degree'.
The encouragement made a big impression and Rob was soon applying to universities.
Not long after, Rob was attending the University of Victoria.
was taking an overview course in astronomy when he
discovered a keen interest in the unknown.
As awareness of his
discoveries grew, Rob
was called upon to speak at various events.
was speaking at the 40th anniversary of Old Sun College
reserve, when a woman approached and said she
knew who his
For two years she
called and for just as long, he
In 2013, he
finally called her
back and within 20 minutes Rob
knew all about his
life and his
The woman was his
"I had spent my life not wanting to know them; I figured they'd all be dead anyway.
My thought was 'where do you find Aboriginal people: jails, institutions and grave yards'.
But I learned that this was far from the case."
family was one thing, but Rob
knew that in order to understand himself, he
needed to know more.
learned that his
mother had been forced into residential school and the resulting damage ran deep in his
"I hadn't heard the phrase 'intergenerational trauma' until four years ago.
Until then, I never understood what my problem was and why I was so messed up.
But it's in my DNA."
family, history and culture helped to ground Rob
says of his
latest endeavor, which is set to launch late in 2014.
Our People | NexOptic
Rob D. Cardinal
Rob D. Cardinal
As a member of the science team for NEOSSat, a Canadian planetary science microsatellite launched in 2013 for the Canadian Space Agency, Mr. Cardinal currently oversees the development of massively parallel software and high performance computer systems to search for asteroids in the data images returned from the satellite.
developed unique automated moving object detection software for the Near Earth Space Surveillance ("NESS") project with which he
has discovered two comets which bear his
name and one near-Earth Asteroid.
Mr. Cardinal is an expert in photometry, astrometry, image analysis and reconstruction and software development for massively parallel GPU computer systems.
is listed as an author on over 30 publications in astronomical literature.
professional background, he
is ideally suited to make contributions to the advancement of Spectrum's
imaging and non-imaging applications where an efficient method to concentrate electromagnetic energy is required.
Mr. Cardinal previously worked on a wide range of projects including star research at the University of Victoria, atmospheric water vapor content over Mauna Kea, HI, for the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope ("JCMT"), optical sensitivity analysis for Defense Research and Development Canada ("DRDC"), telescope retrofit and refurbishment at the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory ("RAO") and near Earth space surveillance.
Mr. Cardinal holds a B.Sc. in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Victoria, Canada.