LUMIO: An Autonomous CubeSat for Lunar Exploration

Stefano Speretta, Angelo Cervone, Prem Sundaramoorthy, Ron Noomen, Samiksha Mestry, Ana Cipriano, Francesco Topputo, James Biggs, Pierluigi Di Lizia, Mauro Massari, Karthik V. Mani, Diogene A. Dei Tos, Simone Ceccherini, Vittorio Franzese, Anton Ivanov, Demetrio Labate, Leonardo Tommasi, Arnoud Jochemsen, Jānis Gailis, Roberto FurfaroVishnu V Reddy Kanupuru, Johan Vennekens, Roger Walker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

18 Scopus citations


The Lunar Meteoroid Impact Observer (LUMIO) is one of the four projects selected within ESA’s SysNova competition to develop a small satellite or scientific and technology demonstration purposes to be deployed by a mothership around the Moon. Themission utilizes a 12U form-factor CubeSat which carries the LUMIO-Cam, an optical instrument capable of detecting light flashes in the visible spectrum to continuously monitor and process the meteoroids impacts. In this chapter, we will describe the mission concept and focus on the performance of a novel navigation concept using Moon images taken as byproduct of the LUMIOCam operations. This new approach will considerably limit the operations burden on ground, aiming at autonomous orbit-attitude navigation and control. Furthermore, an efficient and autonomous strategy for collection, processing, categorization, and storage of payload data is also described to cope with the limited contact time and downlink bandwidth. Since all communications have to go via a lunar orbiter, all commands and telemetry/data will have to be forwarded to/from the mothership. This will prevent quasi-real-time operations and will be the first time for CubeSats as they have never flown without a direct link to Earth. This chapter was derived from a paper the authors delivered at the SpaceOps 2018 conference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Operations
Subtitle of host publicationInspiring Humankind's Future
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9783030115364
ISBN (Print)9783030115357
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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