Airbus pioneers first satellite factory in space

(11 March 2021 – Airbus) Airbus has been chosen by the European Fee to review spacecraft manufacturing in area via the Horizon 2020 Programme.

The PERIOD (PERASPERA In-Orbit Demonstration) venture focuses on satellite tv for pc meeting and manufacturing in orbit. This A/B1 section examine contract, price € three million, will two years, with the target to proceed with a demonstrator in orbit.

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The “orbital manufacturing unit” envisioned by PERIOD. (courtesy: Airbus)

Producing immediately in orbit will revolutionise the best way area are designed, constructed and operated. It has important benefits over the standard strategy – the place every part is produced on Earth and subsequently transported to area – since objects made in area are free of the constraints and necessities of launch (launcher mass and quantity limitations, structural energy to resist launch). (courtesy: Airbus)

The “orbital manufacturing unit” envisioned by PERIOD will pioneer building of main elements corresponding to antenna reflectors, meeting of spacecraft elements and satellite tv for pc payload replacements, immediately in area.

That is the precursor to manufacturing of enormous buildings in orbit. Producing immediately in orbit will revolutionise the best way area programs are designed, constructed and operated. It has important benefits over the standard strategy – the place every part is produced on Earth and subsequently transported to area – since objects made in area are free of the constraints and necessities of launch (launcher mass and quantity limitations, structural energy to resist launch).

To realize this purpose, Airbus Defence and Area in Bremen, is main a crew of seven European innovators, bringing their very own experience in fields corresponding to operation, digital actuality, and in-space meeting: DFKI, EASN-TIS, GMV, GMV-SKY, ISISPACE, SENER Aeroespacial and Area Functions Companies.

By validating disruptive capabilities, PERIOD will reveal the worth of in area servicing, manufacturing and meeting. It should additionally assist Europe develop functionality and industrial to place it at the forefront of the in-orbit servicing and manufacturing market. PERIOD will stimulate future analysis and generate new market alternatives, resulting in jobs and progress in forward-looking expertise.

The longer term area manufacturing unit, in addition to the demonstrator, might be orbited by a launcher and would then activate and begin producing in orbit as a free flyer. An alternate demonstration mission, providing extra flexibility and for a decrease price, can be to make use of ISS infrastructure.

“Airbus has been engaged on in-orbit manufacturing applied sciences for greater than a decade and the PERIOD programme will assist Europe transfer its mixed technological know-how to the subsequent stage,” stated Silvio Sandrone, head of Area Exploration future initiatives at Airbus. “Future massive scale area programs can solely be manufactured and assembled in orbit, so it’s essential that Europe is on the forefront of this key functionality.”

Airbus groups are already concerned in various different in-space analysis programmes together with Metal3D, the primary ever metallic 3D printer because of be deployed to area subsequent 12 months, in a venture funded by the European Area Company (ESA), and the MANTOS venture, which demonstrated robotic and AI-based meeting operations with the assist of Area Company (DLR).

About PERIOD

Aiming at constructing a useful satellite tv for pc in a robotized orbital manufacturing unit, PERIOD (PERASPERA In Orbit Demonstration) is a European Fee Horizon 2020 venture on Area Robotics applied sciences. Led by Airbus, the consortium contains DFKI, EASN-TIS, GMV, GMV-SKY, ISISPACE, SENER Aeroespacial and Area Functions Companies. PERIOD is a and constructing on the heritage of the EU’s Strategic Analysis Cluster in area robotic applied sciences for On-Orbit Servicing, Meeting and Manufacturing.

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