Our small business focuses on innovative low-cost space science and applications. We have a proven track record of delivering working flight systems, including our recent Perseus-M and Lightsail missions.
Mission-centric systems engineering, detailed design and flight integration and test of capable nanosatellites
Integrated chemical propulsion systems for Δv exceeding 2+ km/sec in Cubesat form factor
Exceeding industry standards in energy and current density for small satellite power generation, storage and distribution
Dr. Tomas Svitek has a broad history in the field of aerospace systems engineering and management. Starting with a PhD in planetary science and applied physics from Caltech, he was a systems engineer for several low-cost small satellite projects for Orbital, AeroAstro, Digitalglobe, and NASA JPL. Specifically, he was an instrument manager for SeaWiFS (ocean color mapping mission for NASA GSFC), a payload manager for MicroLab-1 (with two instruments -- GPS/Met, the first GPS occultation experiment, and Optical Transient Detector) and the project manager for the AFRL Bitsy nanosatellite (the first miniaturized 1-kg complete satellite). He was also the camera team lead for EarlyBird-1 imaging satellite at Digitalglobe. He provided the instrumental contributor to the Mars Micromission concept and implementation, including several phases of Mars Surveyor and Mars Scout programs. Along the way, he was also the project manager for the BlastOff! L-1 lunar lander project, the team lead at Blue Origin, and the chief engineer for the Raytheon’s Mars and lunar lander efforts.
In 2001, he founded Stellar Exploration Inc, focusing on technology development and systems engineering for innovative and breakthrough aerospace projects, primarily for NASA, AFRL, DARPA and commercial customers. The company key skill is adopting state-of-the-art commercial technology for challenging aerospace applications. The major focus over the past few years has been on the low-cost Cubesat-class spacecraft components and subsystems (deployable structures and antennas, propulsion stages, etc). Under the Tomas’ leadership, Stellar developed the Lightsail solar sail project for The Planetary Society. Between 2012-14, Dr. Svitek was the CEO of Canopus Systems, a joint venture of Stellar with several investors. Canopus developing multiple Cubesat satellites in 6U configuration (two AIS sensing satellites were launched in 2014 and two more optical remote sensing small satellites are schedule for the 2017 launch).
Most recently, Stellar has been involved in several microsatellite system developments — some of the next (challenging) frontier in miniaturization of satellite systems. We are involved in two flight projects — agile nanosatellite with the significant propulsion capability (>2 km/sec) and a wide-swath maritime surveillance system and a spotbeam higher resolution commercial system.
Along the way, Tomas published or contributed to 37 scientific and technical papers and presentations on various aspects of space science and aerospace engineering.
Stellar developed these short-range targets, while supporting a major aerospace prime contractor
Large deployable structures (8 meters tip-to-tip in this case) are essential for future growth in microsatellite capabilities. Lightsail, developed by Stellar, and just launched on Atlas 5 on behalf of The Planetary Society, has largest deployable ratio ever attempted in space (80:1)
A major focus of the Stellar team is developing technology foundations for implementing microsatellite SAR. Several intended niche applications cover maritime and weather domains
Two AIS satellites were launched in June 2014. Stellar team was responsible for project leadership and design, systems integration and early on-orbit mission operations, under contract with Dauria Aerospace. Satellites were launched in unprecedented 8 months since the project authorization
Stellar provided essential know-how, system architecture, and design & test expertise for several low-cost optical remote sensing projects (e.g. Landsat-class imaging in 3U Cubesat and ~2 m class GSD imager in 12U Cubesat)
Developed and tested radar systems for various niche aerospace applications, spanning L-Band to Ka-Band frequencies and variety of signal waveforms
Two Lightsail satellites were designed, integrated and fully tested by Stellar, under contract with The Planetary Society, well under 2 years and within $1.5M budget
102 Cross Street Suite 110, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Phone: (805) 316-0352