ReDSHIFT is a project aimed at addressing barriers to compliance for spacecraft manufacturers and operators presented now and in the future by requirements and technologies for de-orbiting and disposal of space objects. This will be achieved through a holistic approach that considers from the outset opposing and challenging constraints for the safety of the human population when these objects re-enter the atmosphere, designed for demise, and for their survivability in the harsh space environment while on orbit. There is two Elecnor Deimos companies within the ReDSHIFT team, addressing the domains of space debris removal, spacecraft platform and technologies, and project dissemination.
Deimos Space is mainly involved in three tasks: the review and analysis of current, planned and future debris removal methodologies (active, passive, design for demise, etc.) and policies; the coordination of the software development process aimed at the implementation of an holistic simulator and its integration; the creation and maintenance of dissemination media (twitter, facebook, project web page) and the dissemination of the activities achievements throughout participation to workshops and conferences. The experience of Elecnor Deimos in the fields of Flight Systems and Space Situational Awareness is key to the successful development of these tasks.
Deimos Engineering and Systems contributes with the spacecraft platform and with the technology review, system requirements and system specification at space system integrator level. In addition, Elecnor Deimos Satellite Systems will assume the specification and conduction of the integration of the prototypes, the test campaigns and validation that the spacecrafts must pass in order to achieve a space qualification. Elecnor Deimos Satellite Systems will provide qualified, experienced personnel and facilities for the integration and functional testing of the system.
Ensuring robustness into the future, ReDSHIFT will take advantage of disruptive opportunities offered by 3D printing to develop highly innovative, low-cost spacecraft solutions, exploiting synergies with electric propulsion, atmospheric drag and solar radiation pressure, and astrodynamical highways, to meet de-orbit and disposal needs, but which are also designed for demise.
Inherent to these solutions will be structures to enhance spacecraft protection, by fracture along intended breakup planes, and re-entry demise characteristics. These structures will be subjected to functional tests as well as specific hypervelocity impact tests and material demise wind tunnel tests to demonstrate the capabilities of the 3D printed structures. At the same time, novel and complex technical, economic and legal issues of adapting the technologies to different vehicles, and implementing them widely across low Earth orbit will be tackled through the development of a hierarchical, web-based tool aimed at a variety of space actors.
The tool will provide a complete debris mitigation analysis of a mission, using existing debris evolution models and lessons learned from theoretical and experimental work. It will output safe, scalable and cost-effective satellite and mission designs in response to operational constraints.
Through its activities, ReDSHIFT will recommend new space debris mitigation guidelines taking into account novel spacecraft designs, materials, manufacturing and mission solutions.