THE ALFACRUX MISSION
The package routing solution will allow forwarding of received messages back to Earth to support communication and messaging between radio amateurs (digital QSO), store it on-board, and transmit it to the ground station. Data collected will be available through internet and can be used for several applications: study of different methods for low-data rate communication, characterization of interference sources, atmospheric propagation effects, communication capability in terms of data rate, and link performance in terms of bit error date (BER) and signal to noise ratio (SNR). Finally, all the passages will be monitored through the LODESTAR command and control ground station with the support from the amateur radio community. The telemetry information will be shared to the radio amateurs and networks before launch. The AlfaCrux is planned to be launched in Q1 2022 (date and local TBD) into a SSO at 550km.
BEHIND THE NAME: THE MEANING OF ALFACRUX
The name Alfa Crux is after the Alpha Crucis star, the brightest star in the southern constellation Crux (the Southern Cross), and among the brightest stars in the sky. The motivation to choose Alfa Crux as the mission’s name comes from the fact that the Southern Cross is the best-known constellation of those we can see in the southern hemisphere. It has a special importance in navigation and orientation, being known since the ancient Greeks time.
The Alpha Crucis star appears in the Brazilian flag, and in the Brazilian coat of arms. It is a synonymous of guide, reference, and consequently responsibility and excellence. In this sense, it summarizes the general goals of this space mission: become a reference of excellence and dedication, and an example to be followed as an approach for the advance of the space activities in the new space era.