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Improving Low Earth Orbit Security With Enhanced Electric Propulsion

Objective

The total mass of space debris in the low Earth orbit region is estimated to be close to 2,500 tons. About half of this mass is composed by rocket upper stages clustered in high inclination orbital regions. Because they are grouped in a relatively small number of families, acquiring the capability to deorbit just a few upper stage types would lead the way towards the elimination of hundreds of tons of debris material in the future. The goal of the LEOSWEEP project (improving Low Earth Orbit Security With Enhanced Electric Propulsion) is to demonstrate the technological feasibility of a first active removal mission of a Ukrainian rocket upper stage, prove its economic viability, and propose a convincing legal and policy implementation to “kick-start” large-scale active debris removal activities in Ukraine, Europe and other space faring nations in the future.
The recently proposed Ion Beam Shepherd (IBS) concept is employed as the key removal technology where the use of ionic beams provide an efficient and low-risk contactless manipulation of the debris to be deorbited.
In order to prove the feasibility of the proposed solution and prepare for its future implementation a series of key milestones will be achieved: (1) a detailed understanding of the physics underlining the concept, (2) the identification of key technological challenges and concrete solutions (3) the assessment of the concept capability in dealing with large-scale removal operations (4) the development of ground-based laboratory experiments, (5) the definition of a clear technology and policy development roadmap, (6) the pre-phase A design of a small technology demonstration mission and (7) the exploitation and dissemination of the proposal outcomes.
A world-class international team of universities and industrial partners from Europe and Ukraine has been formed in order to perform this study with a high level of theoretical and technical expertise in all relevant fields.

Call for proposal

FP7-SPACE-2013-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project

Coordinator

SENER INGENIERIA Y SISTEMAS SA
Address
Avenida Zugazarte 56
48930 Getxo
Spain
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 369 859
Administrative Contact
Beatriz Moreno (Ms)

Participants (10)

UNIVERSIDAD POLITECNICA DE MADRID
Spain
EU contribution
€ 189 914
Address
Calle Ramiro De Maeztu 7 Edificio Rectorado
28040 Madrid
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Prieto Roberto (Dr)
TransMIT Gesellschaft fuer Technologietransfer mbH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 369 470
Address
Kerkrader Strasse 3
35394 Giessen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Michael Haberland
INSTITUTE OF TECHNICAL MECHANICS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF UKRAINE AND THE STATE SPACE AGENCY OF UKRAINE
Ukraine
EU contribution
€ 249 831
Address
Bul Leshko Popel 15
49600 Dnipropetrovsk
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Anatoliy Alpatov (Prof)
DEUTSCHES ZENTRUM FUR LUFT - UND RAUMFAHRT EV
Germany
EU contribution
€ 186 264
Address
Linder Hohe
51147 Koln
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Kathrin Althaus (Mrs)
STATE ENTERPRISE YUZHNOYE DESIGN OFFICE NAMED AFTER MIKHAIL YANGEL
Ukraine
EU contribution
€ 139 608
Address
Krivorozhskaya 3
49008 Dniepropetrovsk
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Sergii Velychko (Mr)
DEIMOS ENGENHARIA SA
Portugal
EU contribution
€ 149 988
Address
Avenida D Joao Ii Lote 1 17 01-8 B Edificio Torre Zen
1998023 Lisboa
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Baltazar Parreira (Mr)
INTERNATIONAL SPACE LAW CENTER TO THE INSTITUTE OF STATE AND LAW NAMED AFTER V.M. KORETSKY OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF UKRAINE
Ukraine
EU contribution
€ 89 344
Address
Bul Tereschenkivska - Shevchenkivsky District 2
01004 Kyiv
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Nataliya Malysheva (Prof)
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 49 961
Address
Highfield
SO17 1BJ Southampton
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Yan Qiao (Mrs)
CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS
France
EU contribution
€ 40 474
Address
Rue Michel Ange 3
75794 Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Gilles Traimond (Mr)
UNIVERSIDAD CARLOS III DE MADRID
Spain
EU contribution
€ 164 734
Address
Calle Madrid 126
28903 Getafe (Madrid)
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Cristina Velasco (Mrs)