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OUR PROJECTS

These are the projects that our team is working on. Space Missions, Small SAT Simulator and High-Altitude Ballooning are our main focus.

SPACE MISSIONS

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Alfacrux

The AlfaCrux mission is an educational and technological in orbit demonstration of narrowband communication solutions. It is a 1U university CubeSat satellite developed by students and professors from the University of Brasilia, Brazil. It is the first space mission financed by the Government of the Federal District of Brazil through the Federal District Research Support Foundation (FAPDF), that also counts with the support of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB). Come and be part of it!

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WormSail

A 2U CubeSat, the WormSail is a university satellite developed by students and professors from the University of Brasilia (UnB), Brazil, and the University of Nottingham (UoN), UK. The main mission is educational: to provide a hands-on experience to the students in the complete process of developing and operating a space mission. It aims to demonstrate in orbit a flight software algorithm to perform packet routing, a set of observation subsystems to collect images and data from on-board sensors, and a new subsystem for attitude maneuvers including a 3-axes magnetorquer and a passive deorbiting mechanism based on Origami-like structures and atomic oxygen corrosion. Get in touch and help WormSail be a great success!

Comming soon
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Glee

The Great Lunar Expedition for Everyone, GLEE 2023, is a mission to the surface of the Moon that will conduct science and test technology with hundreds of 5-gram LunaSats built by students from all around the world. The LODESTAR is proud to be one of the organizations currently involved. Check more information on the GLEE website!

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Glonass

The LODESTAR Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) station is a Russian system collocated with a GNSS receiver with the first ranging session performed in May 2014. The system consists of a monostatic telescope setup with a Gregorian refractor of 0.25 m aperture. The laser system consists of a Nd:YAG laser at 532 nm wavelength with a pulse energy of 2.5 mJ, a typical pulse width of 200 ps and a repetition rate of 300 Hz. The system is tracking all satellites up to GNSS satellites under daylight conditions. On August 2018 the NASA International Laser Ranging Service (ILRS) accepted the station as a contributing system to the ILRS network. Considering the impact of the SLR technique in the establishment of the Global Geodetic Reference Frame and the Global Geodetic Observing System, improvements at technical level are essential for consolidating the regional network, which includes the human resources capabilities. It is the first permanent SLR station in Brazil and the LODESTAR team is proud to be coordinating it in the last years with the recognition of its contribution for the LARGE-4 mission of the ILRS, as well as professional approach, high standard project management and significant contribution to the GNSS Glonass spacecraft laser tracking.

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SMALL SAT SIMULATOR

Simulator

Attitude simulators are a great resource for designing and testing attitude determination and control algorithms for spacecraft. They have been used for decades equipped with different sensors and actuators to reproduce the operational conditions of a satellite in space and to experimentally validate hardware and algorithms. The LODESTAR facility provides to the user a magnetic field simulator paired to an air-bearing platform that can simulate the attitude motion of a nanosatellite in orbit. The aim of this system is to provide a hardware-in-the-loop facility for attitude determination and control systems of nanosatellites for several applications, such as testing of algorithms, sensors, and actuators, as well as satellite functional tests. Come to validate your ideas and be part of this team!

Comming soon

HIGH-ALTITUDE BALLOONING

LAICAnSat

The high-altitude scientific platform developed at LODESTAR, called LAICAnSat, is a project that started in 2013 as an initiative to stimulate the study of aerospace systems and to provide a low-cost platform for hands-on aerospace education. The first flight tests took place in 2014 (LAICAnSat-1 and LAICAnSat-2) and allowed to test early hardware solutions. Other four launches occurred in 2017 (LAICAnSat-3, LAICAnSat-4, LAICAnSat-5 and LAICAnSat-5.1). LAICAnSat-3 and LAICAnSat-4 were launched to validate a new mechanical structure fabricated in accordance with the CubeSat standard and using rapid prototype technologies based on 3D printer manufacturing, the new PC/104 standard PCB with the on-board computer and embedded sensors, as well as two 360º spherical cameras.

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Kuaray

The main mission of the LAICAnSat platform took place at Idaho, USA, in 2017. The goal was to record the total solar eclipse from the stratosphere using a 360º degree camera, reproducing the flight experience up to the stratosphere during the total solar eclipse of August 2017 in North America, as well as to provide a vertical meteorological mapping of the whole flight path. It was a new achievement in the world, to the best of our knowledge never seen before! The LODESTAR team, and its partners Mutum Ham Radio Expedition team and the Brazilian Astronomy Club, DF, Brazil, are proud for having been a member of the NASA Space Grant Eclipse Ballooning Project. The LAICAnSat-5 (CubeSat 3U standard) and LAICAnSat-5.1 (Cube-Sat 1U standard) launch and the mission were a great success! Check this adventure and come to be a partner!

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