Introducing DECA STAR

Photo of the founding members of Deca Star

From stratospheric probes coordinated by artificial intelligence to nanosatellites monitoring space debris: the DECA STAR team came together and solidified through "Space it Up," a program by the Italian Trade Agency (Agenzia ICE) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) that brought innovative Italian startups to the epicenter of the global aerospace industry in Houston, USA, for five weeks of training and networking with investors and industry stakeholders to advance their international expansion process.

DECA STAR (Decarbonization and Environmental Conservation in Aerospace and Space Technologies Advancing Research), the pioneering partnership that brings together six leading startups in the aerospace sector, is delighted to announce its mission to promote decarbonization and environmental conservation through space and innovation. The core of the DECA STAR initiative encompasses a wide range of applications, with particular focus on space, land, maritime, and infrastructure monitoring using advanced remote sensing technologies.

Involve Space, one of the founding partners of DECA STAR, will employ Stratostats, a revolutionary pseudo-satellite platform. Using emissions-free stratospheric balloon-lifted probes controlled by sophisticated artificial intelligence algorithms, Stratostats can reach and maintain altitudes of 30-40 thousand meters above sea level. The probes carry payloads for land monitoring and pseudo-satellite data collection.

ARCA Dynamics will use its constellation of Cubesats to monitor space and maritime traffic to enhance safety in both space and at sea. Delta Space Leonis will use its picosatellites for low-cost IoT applications, while 2NDSpace will produce technologically advanced nanosatellites enabling the proposed solutions. The satellites can be tested on board Stratostats before being launched and operating, providing satellite data. Finally, Novac's innovative solid-state supercapacitor technology will be tested, ensuring reliable and optimized power, while the collected data will be processed through Nabu's sensor services.

DECA STAR aims to create advanced solutions for remote monitoring of air and soil quality, safeguarding terrestrial orbits and marine ecosystems to conserve and protect our planet's valuable resources. Advanced remote sensing and data processing technologies will be crucial to achieving this goal.

The partnership not only seeks to create a sustainable future for our planet but is actively committed to developing cutting-edge solutions to address critical global challenges. With an unwavering focus on decarbonization and environmental conservation, DECA STAR represents the future of innovation in the aerospace sector.

From left to right: Andrea Magnano (Nabu), Davide Nejoumi (Delta Space Leonis), Davide Rastelli (ARCA Dynamics), Matteo Bertocchi (Novac), Jonathan Polotto (Involve Space)

Founding companies:

2NDSpace | | Faenza

2NDSpace specializes in developing cutting-edge nanosatellite platforms and separation systems, with the aim of being a one-stop shop for the customer: from satellite development to launch, ensuring reduced lead times and high flexibility in platform customization. With a proven track record in designing and building satellite systems for a variety of applications, the team brings extensive expertise and innovation, with the vision of becoming a leader in providing "Satellite as a service."

ARCA Dynamics | | Rome

ARCA Dynamics offers space traffic monitoring and Earth observation services using proprietary nanosatellites. They develop state-of-the-art satellite-based maritime traffic monitoring solutions and have patented an orbital space debris monitoring system, even in small sizes. ARCA Dynamics is an alumni of the batch#1 Takeoff accelerator.

Delta Space Leonis | | Rome

Delta Space Leonis provides low-cost space services using picosatellites (<1kg). The company is designing its own constellation that will offer monitoring services in sectors such as agriculture, energy production, transportation, and environmental protection. Keeping costs affordable will be achieved through the use of proprietary deployers. The company will also develop miniaturized ground stations to communicate with satellites and a transmission module to make the constellation compatible with existing equipment. The company is currently seeking investments to launch into orbit within a year. A first stratospheric test was carried out in 2022, validating data collection and transmission predictions.

Involve Space | | Como

Involve Space develops Stratostats, a pseudo-satellite platform consisting of a probe lifted by zero-emission stratospheric balloons capable of reaching and maintaining altitudes of 30-40 km. The probe, which is recovered upon return to Earth, can carry various payloads to meet Earth observation, testing, remote sensing, and telecommunications missions. The company has also developed intelligent software, Neurostar, capable of autonomously coordinating the trajectories of one or more probes. The company currently has an open investment round. Involve Space is part of the Plug&Play network and has received investment from Takeoff.

Nabu | | Turin

Nabu integrates data and information into a single platform that optimizes irrigation processes in agriculture. The system combines satellite images and sensor readings, streamlining the management of water and energy resources. The platform also allows for remote management of irrigation systems, creating predictive patterns for maintenance activities. Since January 2023, it has been part of the ESA-BIC (European Space Agency) incubation program, realized in financial cooperation with ASI.

Novac | | Modena

Novac develops modellable solid-state supercapacitors for high performance. Supercapacitors can integrate with electric vehicle batteries to allow for immediate energy release. Novac's solution is modellable and adaptable to vehicle shapes and can be used in extreme environmental conditions, such as in space. The solid-state nature also ensures higher safety standards. The startup raised investments in 2022 and in 2023 joined the ESA-BIC/ASI incubation program. A new investment round is planned for 2024, with industrial production set to begin by the end of the year.

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