RETINA - BEXUS 34/35

Hi Everyone!


We are the RETINA team from the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Sapienza University of Rome. Our team is made up of 14 students from Bachelor, Masters and PhD programs.


Having recently been selected for the European Space Agency's REXUS/BEXUS program, our laboratory's team is being given the opportunity to launch a stratospheric balloon experiment aboard BEXUS 34/35!


The RETINA (Real Time Experiment for Thermal management, Inertial Navigation and Attitude determination) experiment aims to test 4 different innovative technologies in order to increase their Technology Readiness Level (TRL). The experiments will tackle:


  • Low cost attitude determination using a distributed array of COTS sensors and advanced data fusion algorithms
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms for attitude determination
  • A miniaturized mechanically pumped two-phase cooling system to control heat exchanges for on-board computers
  • The first in flight demonstration of a Flexible Time Triggered Ethernet (FTTE) network for communication speeds up to 1Gbps between end terminals.



Having successfully passed our Preliminary Designed Review (PDR) we are now working hard performing the first tests of each experiment's components, to ensure a successful Critical Design Review (CDR) in May and to plan ahead for final assembly and integration of the whole system this summer.


Given the complexity of the system, a number of custom designed PCBs will need to be implemented in order to support the distributed sensors array and to correctly distribute power to all experiment components. Due to the short time frame in which we need to realize our mission, we can't wait to get our hands on them to begin the testing phase and to validate our designs!

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Mar 27,2024
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