The Satellite Technology And Research Centre (STAR) is set up in National University of Singapore to be a world-class centre for advanced distributed satellite systems using multiple satellites flying in formation, swarm or constellation. The objectives of STAR is to advance the satellite technology and train the manpower to meet the industrial needs.
STAR focuses on building miniaturized satellites that could fly in multiples for formation and constellation flying. It is envision that this will open out new potential applications such as collaborative sensing for the environment, more timely and scalable communication services. Satellite mission of these applications will in general require advanced technology such as active propulsion control of the satellites, highly precise inter-satellite navigation, advanced attitude control etc.
Presently, STAR is building concurrently 5 satellites. The flagship program is a formation flying of 3 satellites named Lumelite-1, -2 and -3. These 3 satellites will be flying with a separation distance between 50 and 200km. These satellites have inter-satellite communication capability, precise clock synchronization, and accurate relative ranging technology. Lumelite-4 is another program demonstrating VDES application for maritime safety and communication. Lumelite-1 to -4 are 12u CubeSat size (approximately 20x20x30cm). Lumelite-5 is a larger 50kg satellite with a dimension approximately 50x50x50cm. It is designed to demonstrate high data rate communication between a low earth orbit satellite and a medium earth orbit satellite.
The Centre has an undergraduate program track on CubeSat programs with a focus on student-centric satellite development. This program provides an opportunity for NUS Engineering and Science (physics) undergraduate students to take up some course works and participate on a team based multi-disciplinary program with realistic engineering challenges. The students will participate in project work in the Centre with mentorship from the research staff. The student team is presently building 2 sets of 3u CubeSat named Galassia-2 and Galassia-3.
STAR is located at the National Wind Tunnel building. The Centre has ESD (electrostatic discharge) control laboratories, a class 100k cleanroom, a satellite mission control room, space environmental test setup such as thermal chamber, vacuum chamber etc.
Professor Low Kay Soon