ISRO Missions and Discoveries

Starberry-Sense: A low cost Star Sensor


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Starberry-Sense

Mains level: Not Much


Researchers at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) have developed a low-cost star sensor for astronomy and small CubeSat class satellite missions.

What is Starberry-Sense?

  • Based on commercial/off-the-shelf components, this star sensor costs less than 10% of those available in the market.
  • It is made from a single-board Linux computer called Raspberry Pi, which is widely used among electronics hobby enthusiasts.

Benefits of Starberry-Sense

  • Starberry-Sense can help small CubeSat class satellite missions find their orientation in space.
  • The instrument can be used for CubeSats and other small satellite missions in the future.
  • The position of stars in the sky is fixed relative to each other and can be used as a stable reference frame to calculate the orientation of a satellite in orbit.

Successful test

  • The star sensor has successfully undergone the vibration and thermal vacuum test that qualifies it for a space launch and operations.
  • These tests were conducted in-house at the environmental test facility located at the CREST Campus of IIA in Hosakote.


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