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De-Orbiting of Satellites using Solar Sails

Objective

The goal of this project is to develop and flight test a novel, low cost/riskdeorbiting device based on a 25-m squared Solar Sail with a total mass (including the satellite platform) of 3 kg. The approach will be to modify Solar Sail deployment technology for use as a satellite and/or rocket upper stage deorbiting system. The effectiveness of such deorbiting device is predicted to be high at altitudes lower than 900 km for minisatellites (20 to 500 kg) if deorbiting time constraints of 25 years are being considered. Recent studies show an increasing probability of collisions between intact spacecraft and debris. If no countermeasures are taken, the number of debris particles will grow with a growth rate in the order of up to 5% per year. The historical practice of abandoning spacecraft and upper stages at the end of mission life has resulted in 8,500 tones of space debris in low earth orbit. The uncontrolled growth of the space debris population has to be avoided in order to enable safe operations in space for the future.However reviews by panels of independent international experts have repeatedly failed to identify a single plan which is both technically feasible in the near-term and economically viable. The consortium will design and develop a state of the art deorbiting system foe LEO satellites and upper stages with a mass less than 500 kg. The deorbiting system will be deployed after the useful time of the satellite/upper stage and will be used to remove/deorbit the object from its orbit within 25 years as required by Space Agency recommendations. An example of the kind of impact this project can have is that if one assumes that all satellites and upper stages with a mass < 500 kg launched after 2013 to 2020 would hypothetically carry the proposed deorbiting system developed by the DEOBRIT-SAIL team space, debris (> 10 cm) will be reduced by 70%.

Call for proposal

FP7-SPACE-2010-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP - Collaborative project (generic)

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF SURREY
Address
Stag Hill
GU2 7XH Guildford
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 508 777,75
Administrative Contact
Maria Sega-Buhalis (Ms.)

Participants (9)

CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGYCORP
United States
Address
East California Boulevard 1200
91125 Pasadena
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Mary Gibson (Ms.)
AIRBUS DEFENCE AND SPACE SAS
France
EU contribution
€ 232 046
Address
31 Rue Des Cosmonautes Zi Du Palays
31402 Toulouse Cedex
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Herve Guenat (Mr.)
DEUTSCHES ZENTRUM FUR LUFT - UND RAUMFAHRT EV
Germany
EU contribution
€ 400 465
Address
Linder Hohe
51147 Koln
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Michael Renker (Mr.)
STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY
South Africa
EU contribution
€ 152 000
Address
Victoria Street Administration B Building
7600 Stellenbosch
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Willem Herman Steyn (Prof.)
PANEPISTIMIO PATRON
Greece
EU contribution
€ 102 000
Address
University Campus Rio Patras
265 04 Rio Patras
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Vassilis Kostopoulos (Prof.)
ATHINA-EREVNITIKO KENTRO KAINOTOMIAS STIS TECHNOLOGIES TIS PLIROFORIAS, TON EPIKOINONION KAI TIS GNOSIS
Greece
EU contribution
€ 235 136
Address
Artemidos 6 Kai Epidavrou
151 25 Maroussi
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Theodore Sarris (Dr.)
MIDDLE EAST TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY
Turkey
EU contribution
€ 80 000
Address
Dumlupinar Bulvari 1
06800 Ankara
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Ozan Tekinalp (Prof.)
Surrey Satellite Technology Limited
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 54 918
Address
Stephenson Road 20
GU2 7YE Guildford
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Richard Atkinson (Mr.)
ISIS - INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS IN SPACE BV
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 232 000
Address
Motorenweg 23
2623 CR Delft
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Jeroen Rotteveel (Mr.)