Research Innovation Prize Winners – CROSS

ARC Training Centre for CubeSats, UAVs & Their Applications

CUAVA Students win Innovation Challenge with their new generation satellite navigation system, CROSS.

Engineering and science students Joshua Critchley-Marrows, Dominic Albertson, Julian Guinane, Benjamin Jarvis and Matthew Suntup have won the Research Innovation Prize, which includes $5,000 in cash and a three month membership to the Sydney Knowledge Hub.

Their project, CROSS (Calculated Reference Of Stellar System), is a new-generation star tracker system for use in small-satellites being developed within the University’s School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering in collaboration with the ARC Training Centre for CubeSats, UAVs & Their Applications.

Star trackers measure a satellite’s precise orientation in space, which enables the satellite to accurately perform complex tasks such as communication and imaging.

An Australian-made and Australian-owned space system capability built to serve the emerging Australian space sector, CROSS is a high-precision attitude determination device used in satellite pointing systems. Attitude determination is achieved by comparison of the known positions of stars to an image’s calculated positions. Designed for Small Satellites, this system will provide high-precision attitude determination to pico- and micro-satellites, such as the CubeSat and up to the 50 kg classes. The majority of star trackers available today are designed for large satellites, hence have significantly larger mass, volume, and cost. The CROSS project will develop a competitive and accessible star tracker platform to grow Australia’s space capability through Sydney University researchers and students.

“CROSS is a platform that has earned significant national and international interest,” says team member Julian Guinane, who is studying a Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Aeronautical Engineering) and Bachelor of Science (Advanced). “We are truly excited by the potential of the system and aim to see it operational in space next year. This prize makes a tremendous impact on the project, helping us to source space-grade equipment.”

Congratulations to the CROSS team!