Alfa Crux satellite, supported by Alén Space, has been successfully launched from Cape Canaveral

April 1, 2022

The Alfa Crux satellite is already in orbit. Today the CubeSat 1U of the Alfa Crux mission of the University of Brasilia (UnB) has been launched, a project in which Alén Space has collaborated with its technology and hands-on training.

The launch took place at 06:24 pm (Spanish time) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base (United States), as part of the Transporter-4 mission of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Alfa Crux shared the flight with 40 other commercial and scientific satellites on its way to Earth orbit. As planned, a few hours later, the first telemetry signals from the satellite were received.

The mission is supported by the Fundação de Apoio a Pesquisa do Distrito Federal (FAPDF), the Fundação de Empreendimentos Científicos e Tecnológicos (FINATEC), the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) and the Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações (ANATEL), in addition to Alén Space’s collaboration.

Technology and training: Alén Space’s role in the Alfa Crux mission

Alén Space has provided the necessary technology for the development of the Alfa Crux mission. In addition, this company has delivered an intensive Hands-on Training Programme to the team of Brazilian students from UnB in charge of the development of this CubeSat project.

Alén Space’s training has included everything from a mission design phase to the operation and manufacturing of the satellite, with the integration of subsystems and payload. Now that it is in orbit, the students will be able to carry out operational tests with the help of Alén Space’s professionals.

The technology provided by Alén Space includes a 1U platform with all essential systems for a small satellite mission and a TOTEM payload, a Software Defined Radio (SDR) designed for communications missions.

Previously, through its GS-Kit solution, Alén Space also provided the Alfa Crux mission team with a ground station for tracking and control, which has already been installed in Brasilia.

Alfa Crux goals

The name of the mission comes from the Alpha Crucis star of the coat of arms of Brazil. Its main objective is to research and experiment in the field of communications of the Internet of Things (IoT), such as characterization of interference sources or atmospheric propagation effects, as well as studying the effects of space climate on satellite communications at equatorial latitudes.

In the past, the technical team of Alén Space, UnB and AEB had worked together on the SERPENS project, which ensured mutual trust for future collaborations.

Alberto González, Alén Space’s CTO, highlights the mutual understanding with the University of Brasilia: “Previous collaborations have opened the door for us to continue working in a country and with institutions very involved in New Space projects. We are very happy to have been able to contribute with our experience and technology to this project.”