John Bennest designed and built a fluxgate magnetometer for use on the Canadian Space Agency’s hybrid satellite.

Scientific device has local connection

John Bennest has a very scientific mind which he has used to design and manufacture specialty scientific instruments.

John Bennest has a very scientific mind which he has used to design and manufacture specialty scientific instruments.

Born and raised in Summerland and valedictorian for the 1965 graduating class, Bennest said,

“It’s useful to get a feel for what you are good at. I am, and have the track record to prove it, really good at certain kinds of electronic design and the hands on manufacturing of such.”

With a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of British Columbia and in association with Dr. B. Barry Narod, the two men have built hundreds and hundreds of magnetometers in their own basements for observatories world-wide.

Bennest designed and built MGF, a fluxgate magnetometer, for the Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (ePOP) on the Canadian Space Agency’s hybrid satellite Cassiope.

The sensors measure the magnetic field, while the satellite’s mission is to observe space weather.

He also invented a new pressure period counter, improving on the standard period counter, used in the oceans to measure water pressure.

“I came up with a very clever scheme on how to measure this signal for a tiny amount of power and very precisely and it is very quiet.  My machine is still the best in the world for doing this,” he said.

Ocean Networks Canada uses these instruments in their observatories, laying them on the ocean floor off the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

Bennest explained that by measuring the water pressure through these sensors they were even able to receive data “in stunning detail” on the 2004 great Sumatra earthquake and tsunami.

Although Bennest says his electronic career started in his early teens, by hauling old radios out of the dump and bringing them home and getting them working again, he is now able to make the following claim.

“I am one of very few people on the planet who can honestly say that I have electronic systems that I have designed and built, functioning simultaneously, in orbit and on the floor of the ocean.”

 

If you know a positive story about someone in our community, contact Carla McLeod at carlamcleod@shaw.ca or contact the Summerland Review newsroom at 250-494-5406.

 

 

Just Posted

Gas thieves using spigots to help themselves again and again

Gas thieves drilling holes in vehicle tanks and inserting spigots or screws

Vee’s captain leads Penticton to 4-1 home-ice win over Merritt

Owen Sillinger leads Vees to victory over visiting Centennials

Okanagan a hot spot for film industry

Despite wet, smoky year Okanagan attracts $30 million in film production

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

Albas takes on mortgage changes in town hall

Conservative MP mostly echoed chamber of commerce concerns but sparred with one attendee on details

What’s happening

Find out about events happening in your community this weekend

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail alleged sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Loaded shotgun found in vehicle during Okanagan Falls traffic stop

Okanagan Falls man facing a number of weapons related charges

Most Read