The Clean Space industrial days will cover the following topics:
Ecodesign: embedding environmental sustainability within space mission design
Space debris mitigation: developing technologies to prevent the creation of future debris
On-Orbit servicing and Debris Removal: enabling the first active debris removal mission as the cornerstone for a vital new business providing inorbit servicing such as repairing, refuelling or even recycling.
Design for Removal
On-Orbit Manufacturing, Assembly and Recycle (OMAR)
1. Ecodesign for Space
The Clean Space initiative started now almost 10 years ago when an ESA team was asked to investigate the environmental impacts of a spacecraft. This led to the creation of an environmental LCA (life-cycle assessment) method applicable to space missions and a guideline for its use. Applying LCA to a space mission is indeed still today way more complex than to any existing sector.
After having the results of your LCA study, you must carry on with reducing the environmental impacts of your missions. This topic is known as EcoDesign for space missions. Its objective is to use new materials and manufacturing processes and design which will have a lower environmental impact on Earth – and in the meantime, that will be compliant with European environmental legislations such as REACH.
It is no surprise that both environmental LCA and ecodesign for space missions are of high interest to European space actors. We indeed live in the region which is the most active in fighting the climate change.
2. Space Debris Mitigation technologies – or the CleanSat project
The CleanSat project aims at minimising the production of space debris and support the European space industry to comply with the Space Debris Mitigation existing and upcoming legislations.
Design for Demise will be a prominent topic during the CSID. A lot is happening in Europe regarding the development of new technologies that will demise during re-entry, and these advancements will be discussed during sessions focusing on diverse technologies/materials.
Other topics will be covered within the CleanSat sessions such as post-mission disposal, passivation, and even a managing the end-of-life of small satellites and cubesats.
3. On-Orbit Servicing and Debris Removal
In 2019, ESA challenged the European space industry to come up with a service to remove one or more ESA object(s) whilst also demonstrating in-orbit functionalities required for future on-orbit services that industry foresees based on the market need. By acting as pioneers on the first debris removal service, European industry will have first mover advantage towards new potential markets within on-orbit servicing.
Such a mission is technically demanding, and as such the Clean Space Industrial Days is an opportunity to get to up-to-date on the latest technology developments in the areas of:
rendezvous (sensors and controllers)
capture (strategies and technologies)
4. Close-Proximity Operations
Activities carried out to develop technologies for approaching, grasping and manipulating spacecraft on orbit helped identified knowledge gaps of major importance for rendezvous and capture.
These gaps mean that there is a particular lack of technical requirements and verification methods for ensuring that rendezvous and proximity operations are conducted in a sustainable manner.
A workshop on ‘Close Proximity Operations’ aims at triggering discussions with the European space actors to define requirements and guidelines to ensure safe rendezvous and capture operations.
5. Design for Removal
It is also an opportunity to get an update on the technology developments designed for satellites that will be launched in the future which will simplify the rendezvous and capture process in the event a satellite is unable to perform the disposal / end-of-life manoeuvres. Therefore, a specific session on Design for Removal will cover:
standardised capture interfaces
detumbling techniques for non-operational satellites
Design for Removal for Earth Observation satellites
Design for Removal for megaconstellations
6. On-Orbit Manufacturing, Assembly and Recycle (OMAR)
For decades we assumed that on-orbit assembly and recycling was a concept too futuristic. Some kind of Science Fiction. Today ESA decided to seriously these subjects. Indeed, they could change the way space systems will be designed and operated in the future.
In 2019 ESA invited the industry to explore these concepts and to come up with proposals. The results of these studies should gather some fascinating discussions among space actors.
Thus, this session will cover the system aspects and technology developments needed for future services (in Earth orbits) such as: