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GRBAlpha celebrating its second birthday in space!



GRBAlpha celebrating its second birthday in space!

We asked  Norbert Werner, the lead astrophysicist for a statement for GRBAlpha's second birthday: 

"Other countries and institutions are developing GRB-detecting CubeSats, but GRBAlpha is the first such dedicated mission and opens the way for other projects."

GRBAlpha success was featured in, which made for a fantastic second birthday present!

The article in featured the GRBAlpha nanosatellite, which played a crucial role in determining the peak intensity of the brightest gamma-ray burst ever seen. The event swept over Earth in 2022 and dazzled all of NASA's flagship gamma-ray missions. GRBAlpha, however, managed to take an accurate measurement of the burst's peak intensity. Gamma-ray bursts are the most powerful explosions known to happen in the universe, arising when giant stars collapse into black holes at the end of their lives.

GRBAlpha, an experimental CubeSat built on a tiny budget, as a joint effort of institutions and companies from Slovakia, Hungary, Japan, and Czechia, and led by a scientific consortium assembled by prof. Mgr. Norbert Werner, Ph.D., detected over 27 gamma-ray bursts since it reached orbit two years ago. The satellite is the world's first 1U CubeSat capable of detecting gamma-ray bursts. The gamma-ray burst of Oct. 9, officially named GRB 221009A, was so bright because the energy of the jet was focused into a very narrow-angle. The burst generated on average 400 photons per second on GRBAlpha's innovative detector, whereas the "bump in the light curve" counted 22,000 photons per second.

The detector on the 1U CubeSat is by design much smaller than those on NASA's flagship gamma-ray burst spotters Fermi and Swift, or the European Space Agency's Integral. Therefore, the detectors on these spacecraft were overwhelmed by the enormous brightness of GRB 221009A, while the data obtained from GRBAlpha was unsaturated, allowing scientists to measure the peak brightness of this extraordinary burst accurately. The success of GRBAlpha has paved the way for a more ambitious international endeavor that plans to develop an entire constellation of gamma-ray burst-detecting CubeSats, which could revolutionize the field of gamma-ray burst astronomy.

Spacemanic was responsible for project management, mission design, and necessary satellite simulations. Spacemanic also built and integrated almost all the components, such as the electrical power system, solar panels, on-board computer and GPS receiver module, attitude sensor module, and passive magnetic stabilization system with necessary calibration. Spacemanic has also coordinated the payload development team and integrated the satellite into a 1U structure with great success. Spacemanic's team also developed the software for their components like OBC and GPS modules. Spacemanic also worked on the "ground segment", including project documentation and ground support equipment. Further, Spacemanic provided development and expertise on the ground radio station and took care of all necessary environmental testing connected to a satellite launch including necessary transportation and integration to the deployment system. GRBAlpha is currently operated by Spacemanic ground solutions.