Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

SPACEPLAN 2020 Report Summary

Project ID: 312768
Funded under: FP7-SPACE
Country: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - SPACEPLAN 2020 (Space Research Road-mapping and Planning for Europe)

Executive Summary:
SpacePlan 2020 (SP2020) is a 3 year European Commission (EC) FP7 funded project that responds to the SPA.2012.3.5-02 theme of the FP7 Space 2012 call which request proposals for the definition of research agenda’s and research activities for a European Research framework program.

The scope of SP2020 is to concentrate only on five key areas. The five core areas examined are:

1. Small Satellites
2a. Launch Vehicles (Propulsion)
2b. Launch Vehicles (Avionics & Systems)
2c. Launch Vehicles (Structures & Materials)
3. GNC
4. Propulsion
5a. Space Exploration
5b. Robotics

SP2020 Process
SP2020 has developed a technology assessment methodology that can be followed to assess the importance and development paths of different technologies. The process consists of 4 stages:

A. Technology Down-selection
B. Metric Selection
C. Dedicated Expert Workshops
D. Technology Assessment (technology strategy, themes and roadmaps)

A reduction of technologies to a manageable number is performed in A and then selection of the metrics to be used for assessment is done in B. In C, a series of expert workshops (one for each SP2020 area) are hosted, allowing a series of technologies to be scored and ranked. In each workshop, experts worked through a series of down-selected technologies and provided scoring and justification for each technology. A list of post-workshop technologies is then collated.

In the first part of the assessment process, D1, roadmaps throughout Europe and beyond were examined and to identify gaps in the roadmaps which could be filled with the technology developments identified in the expert workshops. The analysis includes: EC work programmes (H2020), the SRC calls, critical space technologies for European strategic non-dependence, ESA 2015 harmonisation (including European Space Technology Master Plan, ESA CleanSpace and ESA FLPP), NASA 2015 roadmap series and Technology Area Breakdown Structures. The analysis leads to the categorisation of the technologies into a series of ‘themes’ and providing a final list of technologies for SP2020.

In the second part of the assessment process, D2, the 8 developed themes are explored:

1. Development of Exploration Technologies for Moon and Mars
2. Deep Space Missions with Microsatellites and Nanosatellites
3. Earth Observation (EO) and Applications Missions with Microsatellites and Nanosatellites
4. Development of Space Debris Removal and On-Orbit Servicing Technologies
5. More Affordable Launcher Architectures and Technologies
6. Cleaner Launcher Technologies
7. Higher Performance Launcher Technologies
8. Key Non-dependent or Critical Technologies for Europe

Each theme cuts across multiple technology domains and draws together several technologies. For each finally recommended technology a justification as to why the technology needs development, or what might be the current limitations of existing technology is provided. In addition, a roadmap for the technology showing the development path up to and sometime beyond 2020 is produced.

The approach to SP2020 throughout has been at a “technology level” using a “bottom-up” approach. The technology level approach means core recommendations can be directly made to select areas without consideration of exactly what mission the technology is being used on. SP2020 therefore does not intend to map any proposed in-flight demonstrations to current launch dates.

SP2020’s scope does not include estimation of the finances required to develop any of the recommended technologies. Although the cost of developing a technology is dependent on various factors (e.g. background of the developer and timescales), these roadmaps are developed on the assumption of “what may be deemed a realistic timescale based on the current developmental progress in that area” and not on whether funding is likely to be available in that timeframe to fund the development, or who would provide such funding.

Contributions to European Space Strategy
SP2020 has tackled niche space technologies, researched existing roadmaps, engaged with experts and decision makers in the space domain, conducted space technology workshops, and developed a rapid and low cost complementary technology assessment approach.

It has helped to:

• Identify potential gaps in existing roadmaps from space agencies, in particular technologies which align with the outputs from the assessment workshops.
• Identify disruptive technologies and those which appear to currently receive less attention in the space community, but could have very large impact in the longer term.
• Identify technologies that make Europe dependent on other countries and entities and technologies which, if developed, could contribute to having a European in-house capability.
• Construct roadmaps for key technologies (37 in total, out of 41 technologies) in order to scope both vision and development paths for highlighted technologies.

SP2020 doesn’t compare with ESA or NASA harmonisation programmes as the project is a one-shot effort for fixed time duration (not an on-going process) and is constrained by far fewer resources. By proposing the low cost assessment process, SP2020 aims to have a small, yet useful, contribution to roadmapping and technology development in Europe.

SP2020 tried to identify which promising technologies are maturated in FLPP, and which ones are missing, in order to help to determine how Europe maintains and strengthens its independent access to space into the long-term. The outputs from the SP2020 have so been harmonised with FLPP and thus complementary technologies are recommended overall in the launcher domain. The SP2020 results benefited from the on-going efforts of the FLPP. This increases the value of both FLPP and SP2020 from a launcher technology perspective.

In addition, the SP2020 outputs have been designed to feed into the H2020 space programme and to future call development.

Project Context and Objectives:
Space is part of our everyday life. Without the use of space assets many applications which are integral to our lives (communications, meteorology, navigation, science and agriculture) would suffer. In order to successfully and sustainably exploit the benefits of space the available technologies need to be robust, reliable and low cost. The evolution and development of space technologies requires careful consideration and planning to ensure future needs are met with minimal strife.

SpacePlan 2020 (SP2020) is a 3 year European Commission (EC) FP7 funded project that responds to the SPA.2012.3.5-02 theme of the FP7 Space 2012 call which request proposals for the definition of research agenda’s and research activities for a European Research framework program. SP2020 fills a gap which exists in the European community on providing research and technology roadmaps up to 2020 for key space technologies using inputs from multiple stakeholders in Europe and internationally while fostering dialogue and collaboration.

The SP2020 project will answer various questions towards the EU mandate to develop a robust and sustainable space research capability in Europe such as:

• What space technologies need to be further developed and how?
• What should be the space technology agenda in Europe towards 2020?
• Can technology roadmaps be drawn with strong European and complimentary international inputs?

Scope
The scope of SP2020 is to concentrate only on five key areas. The five core areas examined are:

1. Small Satellites
2a. Launch Vehicles (Propulsion)
2b. Launch Vehicles (Avionics & Systems)
2c. Launch Vehicles (Structures & Materials)
3. GNC
4. Propulsion
5a. Space Exploration
5b. Robotics

Project Results:
SP2020 Process
SP2020 has developed a technology assessment methodology that can be followed to assess the importance and development paths of different technologies. The process consists of 4 stages:

A. Technology Down-selection
B. Metric Selection
C. Dedicated Expert Workshops
D. Technology Assessment (technology strategy, themes and roadmaps)

A reduction of technologies to a manageable number is performed in A and then selection of the metrics to be used for assessment is done in B. In C, a series of expert workshops (one for each SP2020 area) are hosted, allowing a series of technologies to be scored and ranked. In each workshop, experts worked through a series of down-selected technologies and provided scoring and justification for each technology. A list of post-workshop technologies is then collated.

In the first part of the assessment process, D1, roadmaps throughout Europe and beyond were examined and to identify gaps in the roadmaps which could be filled with the technology developments identified in the expert workshops. The analysis includes: EC work programmes (H2020), the SRC calls, critical space technologies for European strategic non-dependence, ESA 2015 harmonisation (including European Space Technology Master Plan, ESA CleanSpace and ESA FLPP), NASA 2015 roadmap series and Technology Area Breakdown Structures. The analysis leads to the categorisation of the technologies into a series of ‘themes’ and providing a final list of technologies for SP2020.

In the second part of the assessment process, D2, the 8 developed themes are explored:

1. Development of Exploration Technologies for Moon and Mars
2. Deep Space Missions with Microsatellites and Nanosatellites
3. Earth Observation (EO) and Applications Missions with Microsatellites and Nanosatellites
4. Development of Space Debris Removal and On-Orbit Servicing Technologies
5. More Affordable Launcher Architectures and Technologies
6. Cleaner Launcher Technologies
7. Higher Performance Launcher Technologies
8. Key Non-dependent or Critical Technologies for Europe

Each theme cuts across multiple technology domains and draws together several technologies. For each finally recommended technology a justification as to why the technology needs development, or what might be the current limitations of existing technology is provided. In addition, a roadmap for the technology showing the development path up to and sometime beyond 2020 is produced.

The approach to SP2020 throughout has been at a “technology level” using a “bottom-up” approach. The technology level approach means core recommendations can be directly made to select areas without consideration of exactly what mission the technology is being used on. SP2020 therefore does not intend to map any proposed in-flight demonstrations to current launch dates.

SP2020’s scope does not include estimation of the finances required to develop any of the recommended technologies. Although the cost of developing a technology is dependent on various factors (e.g. background of the developer and timescales), these roadmaps are developed on the assumption of “what may be deemed a realistic timescale based on the current developmental progress in that area” and not on whether funding is likely to be available in that timeframe to fund the development, or who would provide such funding.

Potential Impact:
Contributions to European Space Strategy
SP2020 has tackled niche space technologies, researched existing roadmaps, engaged with experts and decision makers in the space domain, conducted space technology workshops, and developed a rapid and low cost complementary technology assessment approach.

It has helped to:

• Identify potential gaps in existing roadmaps from space agencies, in particular technologies which align with the outputs from the assessment workshops.
• Identify disruptive technologies and those which appear to currently receive less attention in the space community, but could have very large impact in the longer term.
• Identify technologies that make Europe dependent on other countries and entities and technologies which, if developed, could contribute to having a European in-house capability.
• Construct roadmaps for key technologies (37 in total, out of 41 technologies) in order to scope both vision and development paths for highlighted technologies.

SP2020 doesn’t compare with ESA or NASA harmonisation programmes as the project is a one-shot effort for fixed time duration (not an on-going process) and is constrained by far fewer resources. By proposing the low cost assessment process, SP2020 aims to have a small, yet useful, contribution to roadmapping and technology development in Europe.

SP2020 tried to identify which promising technologies are maturated in FLPP, and which ones are missing, in order to help to determine how Europe maintains and strengthens its independent access to space into the long-term. The outputs from the SP2020 have so been harmonised with FLPP and thus complementary technologies are recommended overall in the launcher domain. The SP2020 results benefited from the on-going efforts of the FLPP. This increases the value of both FLPP and SP2020 from a launcher technology perspective.

In addition, the SP2020 outputs have been designed to feed into the H2020 space programme and to future call development.

Post-Project Activities
The SP2020 project ended on the 31st December 2015. In the interests of both consortium and the EC, some post-project activities were performed or are envisaged. The consortium considers:

1. Engaging with the EuroSpace organisation and briefing them on the final project results.

2. Continuing to progress development on the ESA FLPP from which SP2020 benefited from:
a. The ESA launcher directorate were met as part of the ESA Launcher Day in Paris on 17th February 2016, where several themes were considered around Europe’s low cost access to space. Themes included: FLPP results of technologies proposed for future development, the future of Vega C and Ariane 6, the LEE (launcher evolution element).
b. It is proposed a meeting is organised with programme manager of the FLPP at the ESA Launcher Directorate, Paris in March for a full SP2020 briefing.
c. These activities and FLPP form part of the strategy of Airbus DS / Airbus Saffron Launchers in terms of future launcher projects.

3. Continuing on the survey journal paper in preparation for Acta Astronautica.

4. From an Athena SPU perspective, the recommendations made with respect to radiation hardened components form part of the key strategy for future work for Athena.

5. SP2020 will ideally provide inputs to the H2020 work programme.

List of Websites:
More information on the SpacePlan-2020 project can be found at:

http://www.spaceplan2020.com/

The following are the contact details for the project:

1. Dr Jason Forshaw, Surrey Space Centre Project Manager, j.forshaw@surrey.ac.uk
2. Professor Guglielmo Aglietti, Director of Surrey Space Centre, g.aglietti@surrey.ac.uk

Related information

Reported by

UNIVERSITY OF SURREY
United Kingdom
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