Kiruna, Sweden
Kiruna, Sweden

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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2008.6.2.1.;AAT.2008.6.2.2. | Award Amount: 7.23M | Year: 2009

The current project aims at the investigation and development of technologies and steps necessary for approaches to conquer the grey zone between aeronautics and space in Europe, and thus to set the foundation of a new paradigm for transportation in the long term. The underlying concepts considered are a) a European space plane based on an airplane launch approach to advance European know how in this area, based essentially on a ballistic flight experience using hybrid propulsion, and b) the same space plane envisioned to evolve into suborbital point-to-point long-distance transport in very short times by using high-energy propulsion. An alternative, vertically starting two-stage rocket space vehicle system concept is used to identify technologies required for suborbital ultra-fast transportation. The concepts will be addressed separately and in relation to each other as well as with those considered in other EC projects, exploiting similarities and synergies wherever possible. The concepts can be classified with near term and very long term realisation capabilities, and will be evaluated according to the maturity of underlying technology, inherent risk, sustained operations, and cost. All concepts and technologies will be considered with respect to environmental issues. Some activities concern the leagal issues and those of suitable space ports. Due to the recent agreement with Virgin Galactic, it is quite natural to consider the ESRANGE facility in Sweden an excellent candidate for a starting place of experimental high-altitude high-speed flights.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SPA.2013.3.1-01 | Award Amount: 2.63M | Year: 2013

Nano-satellites are becoming a reality and are being used for increasingly complex missions. However, to facilitate more advanced scientific missions greater capabilities are needed in terms of mission life-time, communication bandwidth and attitude determination and control. Many science applications of nano-satellites are currently being explored for future implementation, especially in the US, and the SEAM project will ensure that Europe develops the required technology to maintain and strengthen our current leading role in the nano-satellite market. The SEAM project has as objective to develop and demonstrate a robust & reliable 3kg satellite platform developed specifically to support science missions. Special emphasis will be put on magnetic cleanliness of the spacecraft, which will allow magnetosphere missions to be conducted with the platform. To meet requirements for magnetic cleanliness new developments are needed for many of the subsystems to be provided by the consortium partners. The project is lead by KTH, Sweden, representing a science customer for a nano-satellite platform and the platform development will be undertaken by a group of leading SMEs in the emerging market for nano-satellites representing both a system integrator (GOM) subsystem developers (AAC, ECM, KAYSER) and payload technology providers (BLE, LEMI). Finally SSC is responsible for the S-band ground network support. The consortium thus represents the complete value chain for a scientific mission and the project will demonstrate a complete scientific mission development and operations process. ECM who has access to launch opportunities in Russia will procure the launch of the satellite. With the result of the project in terms of the SEAM satellite and the proven effectiveness of this platform and associated business network representing the value chain the consortium partners will be in a good position to start offering platforms and turn-key mission solutions to science users.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-ARTEMIS | Phase: SP1-JTI-ARTEMIS-2013-ASP4;SP1-JTI-ARTEMIS-2013-ASP1 | Award Amount: 13.01M | Year: 2014

European manufacturing industry faces increasing product variances resulting as a consequence of frequent innovation, short product lifecycles, small series production, and shrinking production cycles. At the same time, production cost must be continuously reduced. Agile, transformable and re-usable automation and robotics is be a key enabler to manage those trends. However, few robotic components are designed for easy adaptation and reuse. To overcome those shortcomings, R5-COP focuses on agile manufacturing paradigms and specifically on modular robotic systems. Based on existing and newly developed methods for a formal modeling of hardware and software components, R5-COP will support model-based design, engineering, validation, and fast commissioning. Furthermore, using existing interface and middleware standards such as ROS, R5-COP will strongly facilitate integration of components from various suppliers. The proposed modular approach will not only be more flexible than state-of-the-art solutions, but will also reduce design, setup, and maintenance costs. Flexible use of robots naturally includes their close cooperation with humans. Therefore, robustness and safety are crucial requirements which will be assured by dedicated verification and validation methodologies. The formal specification framework will support component suppliers in efficiently verifying and certifying their modules. R5-COP will help to identify and develop reconfigurable key hardware and software components, and to show the feasibility and capability of the approach in living labs in manufacturing and service demonstrator environments. Date of approval by ECSEL JU: 22/07/2015

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SPA.2009.2.4.01 | Award Amount: 741.07K | Year: 2010

The general objective of the current project is to create the necessary conditions for utilizing the existing and emerging potential of the consortium partners in Nordic-Baltic dimension for continuous and sustainable contribution in major on-going and planned European space programmes. There is urgent need in emerging space countries for national space programme. For emerging space countries it could be primarily financed by the ESA PECS Charter but also by key governmental agencies. The NordicBaltSat has mission-oriented approach to build a bridge for successful integration into space industry in Europe. As a result of this project and as an overall impact emerging space countries are expected to raise their space capacities in order to access to ESA and to have contribution to European space programmes in future. There are several specific actions contributing to achieve the objectives of the project. The main actions intend to chart space potential and create joint technology programme; to build capacity and develop cooperation between emerging space countries and ESA; and to shape national space governance systems in emerging space countries. The activities include also dissemination and exploitation. These actions will enhance the potential of FP7 States to make a continuous and sustainable contribution to major on-going and planned European space programs. Capacity building and cooperation promotion between emerging space countries and ESA will strengthen the relationship with ESA and it also gives opportunity for future cooperation and adhesion to ESA. The actions will foster dialogue and debate on space science and research with the public beyond the research community, aiming at embracing a new generation of scientists and engineers.

Whale M.,University of Bern | Murphy A.,National University of Ireland, Maynooth | Murk A.,University of Bern | Renker M.,University of Bern | And 2 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Terahertz Science and Technology | Year: 2013

In this paper, we present a novel technique for the removal of astigmatism in submillimeter-wave optical systems through employment of a specific combination of so-called astigmatic off-axis reflectors. This technique treats an orthogonally astigmatic beam using skew Gaussian beam analysis, from which an anastigmatic imaging network is derived. The resultant beam is considered truly stigmatic, with all Gaussian beam parameters in the orthogonal directions being matched. This is thus considered an improvement over previous techniques wherein a beam corrected for astigmatism has only the orthogonal beam amplitude radii matched, with phase shift and phase radius of curvature not considered. This technique is computationally efficient, negating the requirement for computationally intensive numerical analysis of shaped reflector surfaces. The required optical surfaces are also relatively simple to implement compared to such numerically optimized shaped surfaces. This technique is implemented in this work as part of the complete optics train for the STEAMR antenna. The STEAMR instrument is envisaged as a mutli-beam limb sounding instrument operating at submillimeter wavelengths. The antenna optics arrangement for this instrument uses multiple off-axis reflectors to control the incident radiation and couple them to their corresponding receiver feeds. An anastigmatic imaging network is successfully implemented into an optical model of this antenna, and the resultant design ensures optimal imaging of the beams to the corresponding feed horns. This example also addresses the challenges of imaging in multi-beam antenna systems. © 2011-2012 IEEE.

Krynitz M.,Swedish Space Corporation
Acta Astronautica | Year: 2010

A workshop on the subject was held at SSC Chile in November 2008 at the Santiago Ground Station. Among the 50 participants were twelve space agencies and key individuals from industry. Topics covering frequencies, remote control, communication, LEOP requirements and the future of the commercial market were discussed in separate working groups and reported to the assembly. These findings have been summarised in this paper. One can see a tendency towards Ku-band and in the future Ka-band from X- and S-band. Optical links may be the next logical step. Standardisation processes and de-facto standardised equipment have led to an increase of interoperability between ground stations, but this can be enhanced much further by agreeing on real standards. This affects the preparation phase of the network in a sense that interfaces as well as testing hours are reduced. The result is that prices are dropping in some regions. Overall there is a pressure on all network operators to provide cheaper and faster services without compromising reliability. Agencies are increasingly relying upon commercial sector capacity both for non-routine operations (e.g. LEOPs and backup emergency) and for their daily support needs. Another change is that the commercial sector is consolidating into global networks under private ownership exploiting the synergies that offer one interface and access point. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Bodin P.,Swedish Space Corporation | Noteborn R.,Swedish Space Corporation | Larsson R.,Swedish Space Corporation | Chasset C.,Swedish Space Corporation
Acta Astronautica | Year: 2011

The PRISMA in-orbit test bed will demonstrate guidance, navigation, and control strategies for spacecraft formation flying and rendezvous. The project is funded by the Swedish National Space Board and the prime contractor is the Swedish Space Corporation. The project is further supported by the German Aerospace Center, the Technical University of Denmark, and the French Space Agency. PRISMA was launched on June 15, 2010 and after three weeks of operations, all on-board systems and units have passed an initial commissioning phase. Separation of the two PRISMA satellites from each other is expected by mid-August 2010. PRISMA consists of two spacecraft: MAIN and TARGET. The MAIN spacecraft has full orbit control capability while TARGET is attitude controlled only. The Swedish Space Corporation is responsible for three groups of guidance, navigation, and control experiments. These experiments include GPS- and vision-based formation flying during which the spacecraft will fly in passive as well as forced motion. The three experiments are: autonomous formation flying, proximity operations with final approach/recede maneuvers, and autonomous rendezvous. This paper presents system test results from two of these experiments as obtained with the flight-ready system. The system tests consist of a series of simulations performed on the flight model spacecraft with a large amount of hardware in the loop. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Kemi S.,Swedish Space Corporation
SpaceOps 2012 Conference | Year: 2012

Esrange Space Center located in northern Sweden has during 45 years been a leading launch site for both sounding rockets and stratospheric balloons. We have a unique combination of maintaining both stratospheric balloons and sounding rockets launch operations. Most balloon flights are normally handled inside Scandinavia but since 2005 semi-circular flights are performed with recovery in northern Canada. The Swedish and Russian Governments have signed an agreement for peaceful exploration of space on 9 March 2010, which will permit circumpolar balloon flights. Within this agreement we are able to offer the science community long duration balloon flights in the Northern Hemisphere with durations for several weeks. The balloon operations at Esrange Space Center are yearly expanding. Both NASA and CNES have long term plans for balloon flights from northern Sweden. We have also received requests from Japanese Universities and JAXA for future balloon missions. To handle balloon campaigns with large numbers of payloads or build up for two different campaigns a new big assembly hall was ready for use in April 2011. In total 10 payloads have been flying for 4 to 5 days from Esrange westwards with landing in northern Canada since 2005. The SUNRISE balloon borne solar telescope is one example which made in June 2009 a more than 4 days semi-circular balloon flight from Esrange. The Sunrise project is a collaborative project between the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Katlenburg-Lindau and partners in Germany, Spain and the USA. The first circumpolar flight will take place in the second half of June 2012 with the PoGOLite balloon borne telescope studying the polarisation of gamma-rays from pulsars and will be recovered in Scandinavia after 12-15 days. The PoGoLite project is a collaborative project between Swedish, French, Japanese and US scientific teams. © 2012 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.

News Article | January 15, 2016

ESA organizes regular rocket launches together with the Swedish Space Corporation from northern Sweden in Esrange, Kiruna. The 13th Maser campaign saw experiments being carried 270 kilometers up for six minutes of weightlessness. Experiments in the November flight included looking at how gravity-sensing genes behave in plants, growing metallic crystals and X-raying them as they solidify, and observing chemical reactions with lasers ― all in microgravity. The launch site 145 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle offers amazing views of the Northern lights. Auroras occur when particle radiation from the Sun is channeled by Earth’s magnetic field into the polar regions and hits Earth’s upper atmosphere, making it glow in a greenish-blue light. ESA payload system engineer Neil Melville took this picture between preparing the experiments and the launch. Neil explains: “Sounding rockets offer a unique way for researchers around Europe to experiment in weightlessness, complementing ESA’s range of microgravity facilities, from drop towers and aircraft flights to the International Space Station. “The Esrange facility and surroundings offer many wonderful views. I was taking photos for a timelapse video of the aurora and, by complete chance, a very bright meteor from the Taurid shower was caught in this frame. It left a very rare ‘persistent train,’ meaning that the trail of ionized air was visible for several minutes.” The tower with red lights on the horizon is part of Esrange’s meteorology station that monitors the weather for launches.

News Article | January 6, 2016

ESA organises regular rocket launches together with the Swedish Space Corporation from northern Sweden in Esrange, Kiruna. The 13th Maser campaign saw experiments being carried 270 km up for six minutes of weightlessness.

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