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Summerer L.,ESA Advanced Concepts Team | Versloot T.,ESA Advanced Concepts Team | Lecuyot A.,ESA Earth Observation Programme | Duvaux-Bechon I.,Paris West University Nanterre La Défense | Signorini C.,Keplerlaan
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2014

Space applications, space technologies and space-based services are omnipresent, though often hidden from view from the end user. On the ground, at sea and in the air, they form an indispensable part of modern everyday life, work and progress. Their gradual and steady integration has made space indispensable, critical and more strategic to modern societies than it ever was. With the maturation of the space sector continuing, its value, role and importance is bound to increase further, opening up entirely new fields for space infrastructure and the services it can provide. At the same time, new space programmes are continuously being conceived and built, making best use of the latest technologies and opening new fields not thought of before. This year, European space celebrates its 50th anniversary, marking 50 years of cooperation within Europe and beyond to build programmes to bring knowledge and provide jobs. Within these programmes, many novel applications have been developed and tested, of which some are now commercially or freely available. Space has become indispensable for modern societies. Looking towards and preparing for the future, it is apparent that integrating space even further into modern societies and economies will be essential to achieving many of Europe's most important policy goals as well as global challenges. Space assets with their inherently global reach constitute one of the tools for developing global answers. Integrating space assets into terrestrial systems poses a number of challenges, linked to the characteristics of space systems, the characteristics of the space sector and way space programmes are traditionally perceived and managed. The space sector has faced these challenges since its inception, though they become increasingly important as the role of space systems increases for modern societies. Successfully addressing these challenges is of prime importance for ESA's "Space for Earth" initiative. The initiative deals with challenges that involve multiple space contributors from a variety of domains and focus on areas with identified needs, including contributions from space science, Earth observation, telecommunication, navigation, human space flight, microgravity, launchers or technology development. Different larger themes have already been identified: Energy, Oceans, Arctic and the Antarctic, each one linking with and benefiting from a variety of space assets types. In this paper, the rationale behind each theme is briefly presented, covering recent activities and potential future developments. The paper further analyses and categorises the type of challenges identified in the integration of space systems into larger terrestrial systems, highlighting trends and how these are likely affecting the attractiveness of space before using the concrete case of space&energy initiative to illustrate the findings.


Pergola P.,University of Pisa | Ruggiero A.,University of Pisa | Andrenucci M.,University of Pisa | Olympio J.,ESA Advanced Concepts Team | Summerer L.,ESA Advanced Concepts Team
62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, IAC 2011 | Year: 2011

The threat represented for space missions by the increasing number of uncontrolled space objects has led to an international consensus regarding space debris mitigation guidelines. Given the naturally increasing debris population, the congestion of some orbits and the risks related to cascading effects following accidental or intentional breakups, systems might be needed to actively remove debris. Concepts for active debris removal have been discussed in the scholarly literature. The present approach is based on a novel, expanding foam system, which serves as a drag augmentation device: the aim is to increase the area-to-mass ratio of debris such that atmospheric drag causes natural reentry from low Earth orbits. The foam-based method realizes the drag augmentation by exploiting the characteristics of foams. These can nucleate almost spherical envelopes around target debris with very limited effort of the spacecraft carrying and applying the foam. The approach offers the advantage over other methods of not requiring any docking systems and the ability to deal with spinning and tumbling debris. The method can also be conceived as a preventive method embedded in future satellites. This paper presents the method and analyses its performance. Special emphasis is given to the key aspects of expanding foams, to the demonstration to specific debris types, leading to sizing of the carrying spacecraft. It is equipped with an electric propulsion system that enhances the performance of the complete mission scenario. With this approach, the specific foam ball radius can be tailored to the debris. Its sizing considers the foam mass, the deorbiting time and the risks related to impact probability of targeted objects. An upper threshold of 10 m radius assures the deorbiting of most of the selected debris within a reasonable time. The approach heavily relies on the foam characteristics, e.g. its density and expansion factor. In this study a low order expanding model is introduced and several assumptions close to state-of-the-art for ground-based foam models are considered. First results demonstrate the feasibility to deorbit up to 1 ton debris within 25 years from 900 km altitude with this method. A high power Hall effect thruster assures to deorbit about 3 ton of cumulated space debris per year. All in all, the study demonstrates the feasibility of the method, even as a relatively short-term application, since most key technology assumptions taken are based on state-of-the-art references. Copyright ©2010 by the International Astronautical Federation. All rights reserved.


Vasile M.,University of Glasgow | Summerer L.,ESA Advanced Concepts Team
61st International Astronautical Congress 2010, IAC 2010 | Year: 2010

This paper proposes the simultaneous optimisation of a combination of a number of ground solar power plants with a space-based solar plant (SPS) delivering electric power for European needs. A simplified mathematical model of the integrated space and ground system is developed and used to quantify the mass in space and the cost of the ground plants. The model takes into account the geographical location of the ground stations, the size of the power storage units as well as the orbital motion of the SPS. An evolutionary algorithm is then used to find the optimal trade-off between size and location of the space segment and cost of the ground segment. The results in this paper provide an insight in the usefulness of the support that an SPS system can provide to a ground-based solar power generation system. Copyright © 2010 by the International Astronautical Federation. All rights reserved.


Summerer L.,ESA Advanced Concepts Team
Acta Astronautica | Year: 2014

This paper presents technological and conceptual visions beyond the traditional planning horizon of space agencies. It relies on the research and reflections within the larger advanced concepts research community created by and around the European Space Agency's Advanced Concepts Team as well as the results of a two-day long symposium in July 2012, including Europe's first space 'un-conference', focussed on re-thinking the future of space beyond the traditional thought boundaries of the space sector. For this purpose it reviews visions and expectations formulated at the creation of the ACT, results obtained and fundamental changes that are expected to shape space activities and the space sector in a 10-15+ years time frame, while relaying these to specific ongoing research activities. © 2013 Published by IAA. All rights reserved.


Barker D.J.,ESA Advanced Concepts Team | Summerer L.,ESA Advanced Concepts Team
62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, IAC 2011 | Year: 2011

The modular design of a fractionated spacecraft is intended to avoid drawbacks inherent to monolithic designs such as subsystem failure, expensive designs, underestimated costs, expensive launches and over-complex systems. Since the power systems represent one of the main mass and volume drivers of spacecraft, one of the key technologies required for truly fractionated architectures is the ability to distribute power wirelessly between spacecraft depending on the respective power needs over time. Investigations on the subsystem aspects of radiative wireless power transmission have been published, including the use of both, laser and microwave frequencies. Near-field wireless power transmission has so far been quickly discarded, mainly due to its apparent limited range. The present paper intends to contribute to this discussion by investigating a method of increasing the range near-field power transmission, which might be sufficient for its use within fractionated spacecraft applications. Copyright ©2010 by the European Space Agency. Published by the IAF, with permission and released to the IAF to publish in all forms.


Summerer L.,ESA Advanced Concepts Team
Acta Astronautica | Year: 2012

Many governmental space activities need to be planned with a time horizon that extends beyond the comfort zone of reliable technology development assessments and predictions. In an environment of accelerating technological change, a methodological approach to addressing non-core technology trends and potentially disruptive, game-changing developments not yet linked to the space sector is increasingly important to complement efforts in core technology R&D planning.Various models and organisational setups aimed at fulfilling this purpose are in existence. These include, with varying levels of relevance to space, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC, operational form 1998 to 2007 and recently re-established), the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency of the US Department of Defence, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Medialab, the early versions of Starlab, the Lockheed Skunk Works and the European Space Agency's Advanced Concepts Team.Some of these organisations have been reviewed and assessed individually, though systematic comparison of their methods, approaches and results have not been published. This may be due in part to the relatively sparse scientific literature on organisational parameters for enabling disruptive innovation as well as to the lack of commonly agreed indicators for the evaluation of their performance. Furthermore, innovation support systems in the space sector are organised differently than in traditional, open competitive markets, which serve as the basis for most scholarly literature on the organisation of innovation. The present paper is intended to advance and stimulate discussion on the organisation of disruptive innovation mechanisms specifically for the space sector. It uses the examples of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts and the ESA Advanced Concepts Team, analyses their respective approaches and compares their results, leading to the proposal of measures for the analysis and eventual evaluation of research for disruptive innovation in the space sector. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Summerer L.,ESA Advanced Concepts Team
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2012

Following their successes in various domains, mainly with the general public, social network sites have been deployed within enterprises and are gradually replacing functions previously served by intranets and email communication. They are known to encourage informal communication between users and contribute to the social capital of the organisation. Such networks furthermore are reported to increase the internal information flow, facilitate or even revolutionise knowledge management, boost innovation levels and create senses of communities especially in organisations spread over different sites and cultures. This paper assesses the potential for such networks for space agencies and reports on the introduction of an internal social network across all ESA sites. It discusses the objectives, scope and technical choices and analyses both quantitatively as well as qualitatively adoption rates, difficulties, and first impacts on the internal organisation. Copyright © (2012) by the International Astronautical Federation.


Wittig A.,ESA Advanced Concepts Team
Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings | Year: 2016

Differential Algebra techniques have been used extensively in the past decade to treat various problems in astrodynamics. In this paper we review the Differential Algebra technique and present four different views of the method. We begin with the introduction of the mathematical definition of the technique as a particular algebra of polynomials. We then give an interpretation of the computer implementation of the method as a way to represent function spaces on a computer, which naturally leads to a view of the method as an automatic differentiation technique. We then proceed to the set theoretical view of Differential Algebra for representing sets of points efficiently on a computer, which is of particular value in astrodynamics. After this introduction to the well known classical DA techniques, we introduce the concept of a DA manifold and show how they naturally arise as an extension of classical DA set propagation. A manifold propagator that allows the accurate propagation of large sets of initial conditions by means of automatic domain splitting (ADS) is described. Its function is illustrated by applying it to the propagation of a set of initial conditions in the two-body problem. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016.


Summerer L.,ESA Advanced Concepts Team
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2012

This paper presents technological and conceptual visions beyond the traditional planning horizon of space agencies. It relies on the research and reflections within the larger advanced concepts research community created by and around ESAs Advanced Concepts Team (ACT) as well as the results of a two day workshop at the occasion of the 10 years anniversary of the ACT, itself focussed on re-thinking the future of space beyond the traditional thought boundaries of the space sector. To this purpose it reviews visions and expectations formulated at the creation of the ACT, results obtained and fundamental changes that are expected to shape space activities and the space sector in a 10-15+ years time frame, while relaying these to ongoing concrete research topics. Copyright © (2012) by the International Astronautical Federation.


Dicaire I.,ESA Advanced Concepts Team | Jukna V.,Ecole Polytechnique - Palaiseau | Praz C.,ESA Advanced Concepts Team | Milian C.,Ecole Polytechnique - Palaiseau | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2015

This paper presents the first proof-of-concept of space-borne laser filamentation for atmospheric remote sensing. Our results indicate that a filament can form at an altitude of 7 km associated with the generation of a white-light continuum resulting from strong pulse splitting and beam collapse. The theoretical model includes a realistic representation of the stratified atmosphere and accounts for multi-species ionisation and the dependence of air density upon the molecule type and altitude profile. A preliminary assessment of the general payload parameters is also performed for a platform orbiting at a 400-km altitude. We find that operating conditions for the proposed space-borne white-light lidar concept are already available with current ground-based mobile laser technology and within reach of future space laser systems.

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