Publicerad den Lämna en kommentar

RUAG Space provides GNSS-equipped computer for space debris removal

The ELSA-d satellite servicer and client launched March 2021, the team prepares to demonstrate the servicer’s technology and capability to remove the Client debris from this summer. (Image: Astroscale)

Launched in March, the ELSA-d satellite will demonstrate space-debris removal this summer. (Image: Astroscale)

RUAG Space has provided its GNSS-equipped computer to command Astroscale UK‘s ELSA-M Servicer, a spacecraft designed to remove space debris.

Space debris is a growing concern for the space industry. End-of-life services by Astroscale (ELSA) — a spacecraft decommissioning service for satellite operators — will progress to a commercialization phase this year with the ELSA-M. The M stands for multi-client servicer.

The Astroscale ELSA-M spacecraft is designed to de-orbit multiple retired satellites in low Earth orbit, which will then burn up on atmospheric re-entry.

“The ELSA-M servicer will be optimized to remove multiple retired satellites from low-Earth orbit in a single mission,” said John Auburn, managing director of Astroscale UK and group chief commercial officer. The ELSA-M servicer is specifically designed for servicing constellation satellites, such as those launched by GNSS authorities or by the global satellite communications network OneWeb.

The computer from RUAG Space will include a GNSS receiver and interface unit. Based on RUAG Space’s constellation On Board Computer (cOBC), the computer controls the ELSA-M spacecraft, enabling repeated multi-debris removal maneuvers and management of equipment, reaction wheels and magnetometers linked to it. The cOBC is designed to be a flexible off-the-shelf computer with high integration and short lead time, enabling high-volume manufacturing.

The computer system developed in partnership with RUAG Space — with software from Astroscale and hardware from RUAG Space — will support the rendezvous between Astroscale’s servicer spacecraft and the client spacecraft, a retired or defunct satellite.

Photo: RUAG Space

Photo: RUAG Space

Specs of the cOBC’s GNSS receiver

  • Tracks GPS L1 C/A or Galileo L1B / L1C signals and provides position, velocity and time
  • Accuracy down to a maximum error of 3.5 m RMS 3D with use of dynamic filtering
  • Pulse per second (PPS) time error < 1 μs RMS
  • Operation with or without external LNA
Lämna ett svar