Outcomes of the PERIOD project on In-Space Manufacturing, Assembly and Refuelling TechnologiesStéphane Estable; Ingo Ahrns; Ralf Regele; Marko Jankovic; Wiebke Brinkmann; Jeremi Gancet; A.M. Barrio; Pierre Leiter; Francisco J. Colmenero; Annelies Ampe; others; Björn Ordoubadian; Apostolos Chamos; Romain Caujolle; Daniel Silveira; Isabel Soto; Mark Shilton; Torsten Vogel; Sebastian Bartsch; Marc Manz
In: Journal of Physics: Conference Series (JPCS), Vol. 2526 - 12th EASN International Conference on "Innovation in Aviation & Space for opening New Horizons" 18/10/2022 - 21/10/2022 Barcelona, Spain, No. 1, IOP Publishing, 6/2023.
Traditionally, satellites and other space-specific assemblies (e.g., antennas, spacecraft, etc.) are built on Earth and then sent into orbit. New approaches are pursuing direct on-orbit manufacturing and assembly using robotics, autonomy, and modularity. The advantages are many, ranging from virtually unlimited overall volume and design of large satellite antennas to numerous options for building larger space infrastructures such as large reflectors and modular space stations. In addition, in-space manufacturing and assembly (ISMA) technologies can enable the upgrade and repair of existing spacecraft and satellites already in orbit, promoting the sustainable use of space through plug-and-play modularity. The PERIOD project is pursuing a concept in which an orbital demonstrator is being developed for satellite manufacturing and assembly, as well as docking and refuelling experiments. This paper describes the background of the development, the PERASPERA building block technologies ESROCOS (European Space Robotics Control and Operating System), ERGO (European Robotic Goal-Oriented Autonomous Controller) and InFuse (Data Fusion) used, the test setup of the demonstrator and first results. The successful implementation and validation of ISMA technologies will lead to the generation of independent European capacities allowing Europe to build future orbital infrastructure and to be competitive on the ISMA markets