ALPHA is an Italian Space mission involving a 1U CubeSat, to be launched on VEGA-C maiden flight, by end of 2020.

Main goals are to perform scientific experiments to deepen the knowledge of our Solar System, and to demonstrate innovative technologies to enhance the quality of life on Earth.

ALPHA is an all-Italian collaborative mission led by ARCA Dynamics, in partnership with NPC Spacemind, H4 Research, GP Advanced Projects and the National Research Council (CNR). The value chain is completed thanks to NEXT – Ingegneria dei Sistemi, the Ground Segment partner with the NCS suite, and Cybera, the Cyber Security partner.

The mission will take place in a Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), at approximately 15 times the altitude of the International Space Station (ISS). At this altitude, 6.000 km circa, ALPHA will be in an extremely harsh radiative environment, called the inner Van Allen belt, where the Earth’s magnetic field traps harmful solar wind and cosmic rays radiations.

Under these conditions, ALPHA will perform scientific experiments to better understand magnetosphere related phenomena, such as Northern lights andsouthern aurora, and the demonstration of innovative technologies designed and developed to mitigate the effects of radiations:

  1. an experimental radiation sensor – National Research Council (Cnr)
  2. innovative fluid-dynamics based devices – ARCA Dynamics
  3. a radiation hardened Electrical Power System (EPS) board – H4 Research
  4. an ultra-compact On-Board Computer (OBC) – GP Advanced Projects
  5. a cutting-edge deployable solar sail – NPC Spacemind

On-board experiments and technologies have a direct impact on the well-being of society on Earth:

What can enable the development of biomedical machines that deal with radiations if not a radiation hardened technology demonstrated in Space?

How do we keep Space clean if not with deorbiting devices such as solar sails?

Moreover, green renewable energy can benefit from the exploitation of safe and reliable fluid-dynamics devices, whereas the novel OBC will contribute to the development of IOT infrastructures in harsh environments.

AIPAS would like to congratulate CNR and all the enterprises involved in the mission. Members of all the Italian space industry associations are involved in this mission, including AIPAS Member Companies ARCA DynamicsGP Advanced Projects:


  • ARCA Dynamics is an Innovative Start-up active in the field of Space technology R&D. The company provides enabling technologies for Space proximity operations (collision avoidance, rendezvous, docking, undocking, berthing, capture, etc.) while increasing Space automation. ARCA Dynamics is participating in the European Space Agency (ESA) Business Incubation Centre Lazio.
  • GP Advanced Projects, is an Innovative small company located in Brescia. The company is active in the development of nanosatellite system and subsystems for IOV/IOD and IOT activities within the CubeSat standards. In addition, it helps companies in entering the Space field, and provides support in designing and developing Space components and systems.


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