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Towards a Standardized Grasping and Refuelling On-Orbit Servicing for GEO Spacecraft

Medina, Alberto and Tomassini, Angelo and Suatoni, Matteo and Avilés, Marcos and Solway, Nick and Coxhill, Ian and Paraskevas, Iosif S. and Rekleitis,, Georgios and Papadopoulos, Evangelos and Krenn, Rainer and Brito, André and Sabbatinelli, Beatrice and Wollenhaupt, Birk and Vidal, Christian and Aziz, Sarmad and Visentin, Gianfranco (2015) Towards a Standardized Grasping and Refuelling On-Orbit Servicing for GEO Spacecraft. 66th International Astronautical Congress, 12.-16. Okt. 2015, Jerusalem, Israel.

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Abstract

Exploitation of space must benefit from the latest advances in robotics. On-orbit servicing is a clear candidate for the application of autonomous rendezvous and docking mechanisms. However, during the last three decades most of the trials took place combining extravehicular activities (EVAs) with telemanipulated robotic arms. The European Space Agency (ESA) considers that grasping and refuelling are promising near-mid-term capabilities that could be performed by servicing spacecraft. Minimal add-ons on spacecraft to enhance their serviceability may protect them for a changing future in which satellite servicing may become mainstream. ESA aims to conceive and promote standard refuelling provisions that can be installed in present and future European commercial geostationary orbit (GEO) satellite platforms and scientific spacecraft. For this purpose ESA has started the ASSIST activity addressing the analysis, design and validation of internal provisions (such as modifications to fuel, gas, electrical and data architecture to allow servicing) and external provisions (such as integrated berthing fixtures with peripheral electrical, gas, liquid connectors, leak check systems and corresponding optical and radio markers for cooperative rendezvous and docking). This refuelling approach is being agreed with European industry (OHB, Thales Alenia Space) and expected to be consolidated with European commercial operators as a first step to become an international standard; this approach is also being considered for on-orbit servicing spacecraft, such as the SpaceTug, by Airbus DS. This paper describes in detail the operational means, structure, geometry and accommodation of the system. Internal and external provisions will be designed with the minimum possible impact on the current architecture of GEO satellites without introducing additional risks in the development and commissioning of the satellite. Endeffector and berthing fixtures are being designed in the range of few kilos and linear dimensions around 15cm. A central mechanical part is expected to perform first a soft docking followed by a motorized retraction ending during a hard docking phase using aligning pins. Mating and de-mating will be exhaustively analysed to ensure robustness of operations. Leakage-free valves would allow for the transfer of fuel to the serviced spacecraft. The validation of the ASSIST system through dedicated environmental tests in a vacuum chamber together with dynamic testing using an air-bearing table will allow for the demonstration of concept feasibility and its suitability for becoming a standard of the on-orbit space industry.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/99929/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Towards a Standardized Grasping and Refuelling On-Orbit Servicing for GEO Spacecraft
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Medina, AlbertoGMVUNSPECIFIED
Tomassini, AngeloGMVUNSPECIFIED
Suatoni, MatteoGMVUNSPECIFIED
Avilés, MarcosGMVUNSPECIFIED
Solway, NickMOOGUNSPECIFIED
Coxhill, IanMoogUNSPECIFIED
Paraskevas, Iosif S.NTUAUNSPECIFIED
Rekleitis,, GeorgiosNTUAUNSPECIFIED
Papadopoulos, EvangelosNTUAUNSPECIFIED
Krenn, RainerRainer.Krenn (at) DLR.deUNSPECIFIED
Brito, AndréOHBUNSPECIFIED
Sabbatinelli, BeatriceOHBUNSPECIFIED
Wollenhaupt, BirkOHBUNSPECIFIED
Vidal, ChristianTAS-FUNSPECIFIED
Aziz, SarmadESAUNSPECIFIED
Visentin, GianfrancoESAUNSPECIFIED
Date:2015
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:On-Orbit Servicing; Satellite Refuelling; Standardization
Event Title:66th International Astronautical Congress
Event Location:Jerusalem, Israel
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:12.-16. Okt. 2015
Organizer:International Astronautical Federation
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Technology
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R SY - Technik für Raumfahrtsysteme
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt OOS-E2E
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of System Dynamics and Control > Space System Dynamics
Deposited By: Krenn, Rainer
Deposited On:30 May 2016 16:29
Last Modified:16 Jul 2019 16:44

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