TeSeR - technology for self-removal - status of a horizon 2020 project to ensure the post-mission-disposal of any future spacecraft

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenKonferenzaufsätze in FachzeitschriftenForschungbegutachtet


  • Philipp Voigt
  • Cornelius Vogt
  • Ralf Schubert
  • Hedley Stokes
  • Craig Underwood
  • Alexandru Cornogolub
  • Malcolm Macdonald
  • Emma Kerr
  • Roger Förstner
  • Alexandra Wander
  • Kostas Konstantinidis
  • Monica Valli
  • Simone Brilli
  • Tobias Lips
  • Laura León Pérez
  • Leonardo Ghizoni
  • Anders Kristensen
  • Jens Frederik Dalsgaard Nielsen
  • Colin McInnes
  • Denis Bensoussan

One major source of new space debris are spacecraft (S/C) that are not removed from orbit after the end of their operational lifetime. Many regulations (e.g. ISO 24113) require the removal of S/C at the end of operation - known as Post-Mission-Disposal (PMD) - with a compliance rate of 90% to ensure that S/C do not become a new source of space debris. An analysis performed by ESA shows that the success rate of PMD in 2013 was in the range of about 50%-60%. The goal of TeSeR (Technology for Self-Removal) is to take the first step towards the development of a cost-efficient, but highly reliable PMD module. This PMD module is to be attached to the S/C on ground and it shall ensure the PMD of the S/C at the end of the operational lifetime. This PMD module shall be scalable and flexible, thus, enabling the PMD of any future S/C in an Earth orbit. Ultimately, the gap between the required 90% PMD success rate and the current success rate can be closed. The technological enhancements and developments required for successful PMD are addressed and analysed in TeSeR. The project's primary aims are to develop, manufacture and test an on-ground prototype of the PMD module, to develop three different removal subsystems (solid propulsion, electro-dynamical systems and deployable structures) for easy plug-in/plug-out implementation to the PMD module. This is the first step to demonstrate the main aspects of such a PMD module and the required main technologies. The technical activities are supported by non-technical tasks, e.g. investigation of legal issues relating to a PMD module, execution of a market study and consideration of this technology as a leverage to advance ISO norms. This double tracked approach ensures that the technological developments are embedded into the needs of the space community right from the start. Up to now the prototypes of the three removal subsystems have been developed, manufactured and tested with a common interface for implementation into the PMD module prototype. The PMD module prototype will be manufactured until summer 2018. Afterwards the removal subsystems will be integrated via the same interface. Airbus is the coordinator (and potential launch customer) of TeSeR. The project is conducted together with 10 notable institutes and companies from all across Europe with experts who have been working in the space debris issue for many years.

ZeitschriftProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
Anzahl der Seiten14
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 2018
Extern publiziertJa
Veranstaltung69th International Astronautical Congress - IAC 2018: #InvolvingEveryone - Bremen Exhibition & Conference Center, Bremen, Deutschland
Dauer: 01.10.201805.10.2018
Konferenznummer: 69