Aliena and NuSpace are two new Singapore space startups, both having spun off from research institutions in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) respectively. Aliena was formed in August 2018, and NuSpace in November the same year, and both have so far gained traction within the local and international space communities.
Aliena’s focus is on cubesat propulsion systems, and its first propulsion solution – a product of research done in NTU – is a type of miniature plasma thruster known as a Hall-thruster. Meanwhile, NuSpace will leverage on the team’s experience working on NUS remote sensing cubesat project Galassia, to develop a space-based IoT constellation covering the equatorial belt and beyond.
The two startups have come together to work on a common project: a constellation-management system which they have termed an “integrated avionic suite”. This will offer a complete end-to-end solution for the deployment and management of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations, tailored to suit the users’ needs. For this, the two companies will jointly assemble and integrate cubesats that will be powered by Aliena’s thrusters and NuSpace’s Active Attitude Determination & Control System. The project will begin with a demonstration 3U cubesat, NuX-1, planned for launch in the first quarter 2021.
We spoke with Mark Lim, CEO and Co-Founder of Aliena, and Ng Zhen Ning, Co-Founder CEO of NuSpace, on their avionic suite and the future of Singapore’s space industry.
Read the full interview here.