News Towards sustainable space: the satellite traffic and space-debris challenge - GMV

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News Towards sustainable space: the satellite traffic and space-debris challenge - GMV
No. 82

                                sustainable space:
                               the satellite traffic
                                 and space-debris

         Holger Krag
         Head of ESA's Space Safety Programme
News Towards sustainable space: the satellite traffic and space-debris challenge - GMV
73rd International Astronautical Congress
18-22 de September. Paris, France

The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) will once again be
holding its 73rd International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2021) in Paris
Convention Centre, from September 18 to 22.

Under the title “Space for @ll”, IAC 2021 will offer an extensive and
multidisciplinary technical program of sessions and conferences covering
a wide range of disciplines within the space sector.

As well as running its own stand (J2), GMV will also have a space in
the pavilion of the public business organization ICEX, where it will be
presenting various technical items and giving various presentations.

Come visit us!
More information:
News Towards sustainable space: the satellite traffic and space-debris challenge - GMV
Letter from the president
Problems begin in the movie Gravity           of space debris accumulated for over
when a missile destroys a satellite. Its      60 years now poses a very real danger
fragments collide with other satellites,      to active satellites and even to the
producing more and more fragments that        astronauts in the International Space
end up crashing into the shuttle of the       Station.
astronauts that are the protagonists
of the movie. Space debris proliferation      In order to be able to divert active
in reality happens much more slowly.          satellites that are on a path to
Even so, space debris is a reality, and its   collision, space debris must be very
origins are indeed partly due to satellites   closely monitored. GMV is leading the
destroyed by missiles, although most of       development of space surveillance
it is launcher remains, loose pieces and      systems for several European countries,
inactive satellites that have completed       and we provide collision avoidance
their missions. The first pieces of space     services to over eighty satellites from
debris were produced at very beginning        ten different commercial operators. We
of the space race: Sputnik's protective       also participate in R&D projects of the
layer and launcher coupling parts. The        European Space Agency for hunting
problem is that satellites and space          down inoperative satellites to divert
debris move at very high speeds of            them to the atmosphere, where they are
approximately 10 km/s, 20 to 30 times         destroyed due to the friction heat caused
faster than the bullet of a gun, and          by their extremely high speed. We need
therefore any collision with one of these     to take care of our environment, which
objects, no matter how small it might be,     we are already expanding beyond the
can cause serious damage. The amount          Earth’s limits.

             3    GMV NEWS 82
News Towards sustainable space: the satellite traffic and space-debris challenge - GMV
No. 82


Marta Jimeno, Marta del Pozo

Area Heads
Antonio Hernández, Miguel Ángel Molina, José
Prieto, Javier Zubieta
Alberto Águeda, Juan Miguel Auñón, José
Carlos Baquero, Carlos Barredo, Maria Jesús

Calvo, Maole Cerezo, José Luis Delgado, Carlos
Doménech, Raquel Fernández, Rossana Gini,                           LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Javier Gómez González, Carlos González Bayod,
Luis Grañana, Sara Gutiérrez, Rafal Krzysiak,
Ángel C. Lázaro, David Lora, Ana Isabel Martinez,
Mariasole Melara, Mattia Moscardino, Héctor                     6   ARTICLE
Naranjo, Cristina de Negueruela, Jorge Ocón,                        Towards sustainable space: the
Eric Polvorosa, Maciej Józef Prokopczyk, Óscar
                                                                    satellite traffic and space-debris
Riaño, Freddy Wilmer Rivas, Pablo Rivas, Enrique
Rivero, Miguel Russián, David, Sanz, Tatiana
Teresa, Victoria Toledano, Mihaela Violeta
Gheorghe                                                       12   INTERVIEW
                                                                    Holger Krag
Main Article
Alberto Águeda                                                      Head of ESA's Space Safety Programme

Art, design and layout
Paloma Casero, Verónica Arribas

+34 91 807 21 00

Magazine No. 82. Second quarter of 2021
© GMV, 2022

News Towards sustainable space: the satellite traffic and space-debris challenge - GMV
12                                16                                   36

                                           6                                                                   40                                  52

                                                              70                             76                                                    81

16   AERONAUTICS                                                             58      ITS
     GMV primes the contract to define a new EGNSS service for drones                GMV wins the contract for the management system of Bilbao
                                                                                     and Vitoria’s trams
20   SPACE
     GMV cements its leadership in collision avoidance operations             66     AUTOMOTIVE & MOBILITY
     automation and coordination in Europe                                           Opinion | Management of low-emission zones, urban tolling and
                                                                                     mobility innovation
     The Robotic Digital Twin projects comes through its critical             70     ICT
     design review with flying colors                                                Crop yield prediction using quantum computing

40   DEFENSE & SECURITY                                                       76     CORPORATE INFORMATION
     GMV firms up its position as a tried and tested supplier of the                 Interview to Soledad Cardozo Salazar
     European External Action Service                                                International Strategic Partnerships Manager of the Spanish
                                                                                     ACNUR Committee
     Industrial Cybersecurity: All-in approach in a digital                    81    TALENT
     transformation environment                                                      Boomerang employees: when values come first

     Diagnosing illnesses in outer space

                                                                   5   GMV NEWS 82
News Towards sustainable space: the satellite traffic and space-debris challenge - GMV

News Towards sustainable space: the satellite traffic and space-debris challenge - GMV
Towards sustainable space: the satellite traffic and space-debris challenge

       Towards sustainable
         space: the satellite
    traffic and space-debris
   Space debris poses a stiff challenge for the security and sustainability of future space
                   operations, not only for our generation but also for the ones to come.
             ince the start of the space   the main source of this huge number             orbiting the earth (for which space

   S         race, kicking off with
             Sputnik in 1957, thousands
                                           of objects is collisions between
                                           two orbiting satellites (witness
                                                                                           debris poses a considerable risk) and
                                                                                           ambitious plans now underway to
             of launches have place        the 2009 collision between a US                 develop space tourism.
over 13,000 artificial satellites into     communications satellite and an
orbit. About 6000 of these are still       old Russian satellite at a height of            The likelihood of collision between
active, operating in an increasingly       790 km), satellite explosions                   two objects in space is low but this
congested scenario that endangers          (especially old satellites or final             probability is continually edging up
their current operations and future        launcher stages improperly passivated           with the growing number of objects.
access to space. To make matters           at the end of their useful life) and            Given the current congestion of space
worse, several thousand new satellites     anti-satellite tests such as those              and the number of scheduled launches,
are due to be launched in the coming       carried out by China in 2007 (the               the probability of catastrophic
years, including large, low-orbit          source of the great majority of today’s         collisions is growing too. Such
constellations.                            space debris), by the USA in 2008, by           collisions could imply not only the loss
                                           India in 2019 and, most recently, by            of any mission but also fragmentation
The European Space Agency (ESA)            Russia in November 2021.                        of the objects and the possibility of
estimates that a total of almost                                                           sparking a chain-reaction domino effect
10,000 tons of material is currently       This doesn’t seem to pose a serious             called the Kessler syndrome. This
orbiting our planet, including over a      threat to life on earth. Satellites,            would create a cloud of objects in the
million objects bigger than 1 cm, all      however, depend heavily on our                  affected orbits with the consequent
of which could render any satellite        communication, earth-observation                exponential increase of collision
useless on impact. A constant watch        and navigation capabilities, etc. The           probability, making space much more
is kept on only about 30,000 of these      development of our society is heavily           hazardous to access and operate in.
objects, typically bigger than 10 cm.      space-dependent, so space has to
The other unmonitored objects orbiting     be viewed as an environment to be               By way of analogy, space debris could
our planet make up what is known as        preserved. This is particularly so in           be viewed as a sort of illness of the
space debris.                              the case of low and geostationary               space environment. This illness needs
                                           orbits (the busiest and most coveted),          to be prevented, diagnosed, monitored
Apart from the launched satellites         around which protection zones have              and dealt with in pursuit of an overall
themselves and the final launcher          been defined. Consideration has to be           cure. This is a global problem calling
stages that have placed them in orbit,     given too to the crewed space stations          for global solutions.

                                                       7   GMV NEWS 82
News Towards sustainable space: the satellite traffic and space-debris challenge - GMV

PREVENTION: RULES                           These guides and standards lay
                                            down the activities to be avoided
AND STANDARDS                               by satellite operators to stem the           MONITOR AND
TO CURB THE                                 proliferation of space debris. These
                                            discouraged activities include
                                                                                         CATALOG SPACE
PROLIFERATION OF                            intentionally destroying objects in          DEBRIS
                                            space, while operators are encouraged        Space surveillance operations are
SPACE DEBRIS                                to perform collision-evasion operations,     carried out to monitor the population
As far back as 2002 the Inter-Agency        to passivate old satellites (emptying        of space debris: detection, observation
Space Debris Coordination Committee         their fuel tanks and batteries) and send     and monitoring of these objects by
(IADC), made up by the world’s main         them into graveyard orbits at the end        means of diverse sensors from earth
space agencies, published a series of       of their useful lives. The trouble is,       (radar, telescopes, lasers, etc) or space
space debris mitigation guidelines, the     however, that none of these actions          (especially onboard cameras). A catalog
last update coming in 2021.                 is technically binding, since space is       of orbiting object above a certain
                                            an environment of free access where          threshold size (usually over 10 cm in
Following on from this work, in 2009        no legislation can be enforced on all-       low orbits and 1 m in high objects)
the UN’s Committee on the Peaceful          comers.                                      is drawn up from this monitoring
Uses of Outer Space published                                                            information and regularly updated.
guidelines intended to ensure Long-term     But things are changing: some                These catalogs in turn help to assess
Sustainability of Outer Space Activities.   countries are now beginning to draw          the likelihood of collisions between
These guides have been updated in           up legislative and regulatory mitigation     operational satellites and space debris,
recent years, the latest dating from June   initiatives. Witness France’s Space          maneuvering accordingly to avoid
2019.                                       Operations Act, passed in 2008 and           them. Other services are also rendered
                                            binding on all French satellite operators.   such as detection and analysis of
In 2009 too an ISO standard was             This law includes the famous rule            fragmentations in orbit or forecasting
published on space debris mitigating        whereby the maximum orbital lifetime         uncontrolled reentries.
requirements, updated thereafter in         after the end of any satellite’s useful
2019. ISO is working on a new standard      life is 25 years, by which time it must      The USA has been a trailblazer here,
to ensure coordination of space traffic.    have reentered the earth’s atmosphere.       running a space surveillance system

News Towards sustainable space: the satellite traffic and space-debris challenge - GMV
Towards sustainable space: the satellite traffic and space-debris challenge

first set up during the cold war. Its
ostensible remit is to detect any launches
                                                Space Surveillance and Tracking (EU
                                                SST) for developing Europe’s own space
                                                                                                  CURE AND
of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Under   surveillance system. EU SST is a federated        ERADICATION:
this system telescopes and radars have          system, comprising the national systems
been set up all around the world and they       of several member countries. The initial          REMEDIATION AND
can now be used to catalog these objects.
Part of this information is offered publicly,
                                                consortium members were France,
                                                Germany, Italy, Spain and Great Britain.
                                                                                                  ELIMINATION OF
albeit at times with degraded precision         Great Britain has recently dropped out,           SPACE DEBRIS
and never for space missions deemed to          post Brexit, while other EU countries             But the problem’s still there. Space debris
be critical or classified.                      have been brought into the fold, like             is eliminated only upon reentry of the
                                                Portugal, Poland and Romania. In 2023 the         earth’s atmosphere. Only for objects in
In Europe, way back in the nineties,            consortium is expected to grow to a total         the lowest orbits (usually below 800 km)
ESA developed applications to monitor           of about 15 member countries.                     does this occur naturally in fewer than
and catalog space debris and assess                                                               100 years. Space debris higher than this
any collision risk with its operational         Effectively, in view of the sheer                 will continue going round and round for
satellites. Since 2009, moreover, it has        importance of this problem, the EU has            thousands of years.
been developing an ambitious space              decided to put everything behind these
security program, involving not only space      initiatives. It has recently published its        Space-debris elimination technology is
surveillance technology but also planetary      intention of creating a new European              now being developed and new concepts
defense and space climatology systems.          Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and             explored. Most of these ideas involve
                                                Space Traffic Management (STM) program.           launching a satellite to capture another
Europe’s defense ministries and the main        In the future this new program will have          inactive one (using a net, harpoon or
space agencies are also doing their bit,        to become part of Europe’s major space            robotic arm, for example) and remove
developing national space surveillance          programs, together with the longstanding          it from protected space zones and, if
systems over recent years. Taking its           navigation (Galileo and EGNOS) and earth          possible, effect a controlled reentry of
cue from these national initiatives,            observation (Copernicus) programs and             the earth’s atmosphere in the case of low
Europe also now runs its own space              the new European Union Governmental               orbits.
surveillance system. In 2015 the European       Satellite Communications (GOVSATCOM)
Union unveiled a program called EU              program.                                          Recent missions of this type include
                                                                                                  Northrop-Grumman’s Mission Extension
                                                                                                  Vehicle (MEV), which has recently
                                                                                                  extended the useful life of two Intelsat
                                                                                                  satellites, and the European demonstration
                                                                                                  missions, ESA’s ClearSpace-1 and
                                                                                                  Astroscale UK’s ELSA-d.

                                                             9   GMV NEWS 82
News Towards sustainable space: the satellite traffic and space-debris challenge - GMV

GMV, EUROPEAN                              Software (including object cataloging,
                                           planning of sensors and collision
                                                                                     GMV is also priming several EU
                                                                                     SST-related R&D studies for
LEADER IN DEALING                          service, reentries and fragmentations)    Spain’s Industrial Technology
                                           and also ESA’s Collision Risk             Development Center (CDTI in
WITH SPACE DEBRIS                          Estimation and Automated Mitigation       Spanish initials). For example,
GMV is a world leading light in the        (CREAM) program; it has also designed     GMV is developing Focusear , a
study, monitoring and prevention of        Space-Based Surveillance Systems          passive monitoring system of active
space debris. Its work in this field       (SBSSs) and Guidance, Navigation          telecommunications satellites in
dates back to the late nineties when       and Control (GNC) systems for             geostationary orbits.
it began to work with the European         space-debris-elimination missions.
Space Agency (ESA) on activities of        Worthy of particular note is its         ■ In France GMV has been supporting
object cataloging and in-orbit collision   participation with AVS in the             CNES’s space debris activities since
avoidance.                                 development of the PRINCE concept,        2012. In Toulouse GMV is leading
                                           which will enable the new generation      development and operation of CNES’
In all, over 80 GMV engineers are now      of EU’s Copernicus satellites to be       Simulation and Analysis Bench for
working on space-debris activities         removed from their operational orbits.    Space Surveillance System (Banc
in seven different countries (Spain,                                                 d'Analyse et de Simulation d'un
France, Germany, Great Britain, Poland,    Under the EU SST umbrella and the         Systeme de Surveillance de l'Espace:
Romania and Portugal), making it           national space-surveillance programs      BAS3E), among other projects.
Europe’s biggest space-debris team.        GMV has primed and led contracts in
                                           all the abovementioned countries,        ■ In Germany GMV is leading
Since 2010 the company has worked          pride of place going to the following     maintenance and upgrading of
on over 30 ESA space-safety projects       responsibilities:                         the mission system for Germany’s
from all these countries, acting as                                                  Space Situational Awareness
prime contractor in nearly 20 of them,     ■ In Spain GMV is leading the             Centre (GSSAC) and development
collaborating with more than 40 firms        design, development, integration,       of the basic SSA data processing
and research institutes from the             management and operation of             algorithms (underpinning EU SST’s
whole of Europe. By way of example,          the Spanish Space Surveillance          future space-debris catalog) for
GMV is priming ESA’s SST Core                and Operations Center (S3TOC).          Germany’s space agency (DLR).

Towards sustainable space: the satellite traffic and space-debris challenge

■ In Romania GMV is leading development,    been running Focusoc to provide                  since 2018 in support of the Spanish MoD.
  integration and operation of the          collision-avoidance services for 10              Finally, GMV is taking part in the 3 space-
  Romanian space surveillance operations    commercial operators from around                 surveillance projects included in the 2020
  center for the Romanian Space Agency      the world and over 80 satellites.                call of the European Commission’s EDIDP,
  (RoSA) and is also providing the image-   Drawing on these capabilities, GMV               namely, SAURON (sensors, under the
  processing software of the Romanian       is supporting the Sprint Advanced                leadership of ArianeGroup), INTEGRAL
  telescopes that contribute towards the    Concept Training (SACT) collaborative            (space control and command under the
  EU SST.                                   exercises run by USSPACECOM since                leadership of Leonardo) and ODIN's EYE
                                            2020. To do so GMV works with a                  (early detection from space, under the
■ In Poland GMV has led development         whole set of operational software for            leadership of OHB).
  and integration of Poland’s space         processing space surveillance data,
  surveillance operations center for the    including simulation and visualization,          Last but not least, under the space
  Polish Space Agency (POLSA).              catalog keeping (taking in correlation,          traffic management (STM) heading, GMV
                                            orbit determination and detection of             is leading a major European consortium
■ In Portugal GMV is conducting two R&D     maneuvers), sensor planning and service          for the definition of STM guidelines and
  studies for Portugal’s Defense Ministry   provision (comprising collision, reentry         practices for the European Commission
  in the framework of the EU SST system.    and fragmentation).                              (EUSTM project). GMV also forms part
                                                                                             of the Space Safety Coalition (https://
■ In the United Kingdom GMV has led         In the military arena GMV is providing  and supports the
  eight SST-related studies in the last     the processing software of the space             Net Zero Space initiative (https://
  four years for the UK Space Agency        surveillance center of the German      
  (UKSA), STFC and Dstl as part of GB’s     Armed Forces (Weltraumlagezentrum)               space/), presides over the STM working
  contribution to the EU SST and its        and is supporting the Spanish MoD for            group in EUROSPACE, participates in IAF’s
  national initiatives in this field.       definition and development of Spain’s            Space Traffic Management Technical
                                            space surveillance operations center             Committee TC.26 and forms part of
GMV is no less of a benchmark firm          (COVE). GMV is likewise supporting               Europe’s STM standardization working
in the commercial space surveillance        diverse NATO experiments and                     group in European Cooperation for Space
market. Since 2017, for example, GMV’s      participating in the Global Sentinel             Standardization (ECSS), contributing too
commercial operations center has            exercises coordinated by USSPACECOM              to the corresponding ISO working group.

                                                        11   GMV NEWS 82

Head of ESA's Space Safety Programme

Holger Krag is the head of ESA's Space Safety Programme Office at ESOC in Darmstadt, Germany.

He took his master in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Braunschweig, followed by a 4-year research period at the
Institute of Aerospace System where he focused on space debris modelling and surveillance, which also became the topic of
his PhD (2003).

In 2006, he joined ESA as an Analysist in the Space Debris Office at ESOC. In 2014, he took the position of the Head of the
Space Debris Office, which, among others, provides fundamental support to ESA’s Space Situational Awareness Programme.
In 2019, he took over the position as the head of the programme, and prepared the evolution into the new Space Safety
Programme which was established at the Space19+ Ministerial in Sevilla.

Krag is the author of/contributor to about 200 publications and has been active in education since many years through lectures
at ESA’s training center and Technical Universities in Germany.

Holger Krag

What are the main activities of the          carry, among others, a Coronograph,
ESA office you run?                          Heliospheric Imager and Magnetograph
Our office is responsible for the            and will use its unique viewpoint to
implementation of several programs.          predict the arrival time of coronal            Apart from managing the Space
Firstly, we are managing the SSA             mass ejections and other hazardous             Safety Programme we also
Programme that was established               solar events. It will be the first             implement the tasks that have
in 2009 and is now coming to an              operational mission from deep space            been entrusted to ESA in the area
end. Most of the elements of the             providing near real-time data from a           of Space Weather and Near Earth
SSA Programme will continue in               distance of 150 million km.                    Objects by the EC
the Space Safety Programme which
is significantly larger and wider in         2. Early warnings for asteroids >40 m
scope. We also implement the tasks           about three weeks in advance.
that have been entrusted to ESA
in the area of Space Weather and             For this, we will rely on a network       The space sector’s debris-mitigation
Near Earth Objects by the European           of ground-based wide-field survey         performance has so far fallen well
Commission. Very important for us            systems. A first instrument, the FlyEye   short of is remit. We want to improve
also is the development of the Spanish       telescope with a FoV of about 50          this by aiming at a zero-debris policy
Surveillance and Tracking System (S3T)       square degrees in a novel design, is      for ESA missions. Space system
which is implemented by us on behalf         close to its deployment. Three other      disposal actions would therefore have
of CDTI/MICINN.                              survey systems are to follow. We          to become more reliable and robust.
                                             are also planning an infrared asteroid    Where they still fail, in the future,
All these activities are addressing          detection mission to operate from         active removal must be mandatory. To
three domains through industrial             Earth Sun Lagrange Point 1 called         achieve such an ambitious policy (and
research and development contracts:          NEOMIR.                                   make regulators follow our example),
Space Weather observation and                                                          the required technology must be
warnings, Planetary Defense by which         3. Capability of deflecting asteroids     demonstrated and affordable. Our
we mean the detection and deflection         smaller than 0.5 km (2 years in           flagship is the Clearspace-1 mission
of critical Near Earth Objects, and          advance).                                 which will conduct the first ever
Space Debris detection, mitigation and                                                 active removal of an existing piece
remediation.                                 The deflection of asteroids requires      of space debris. Other technology
                                             knowledge of the composition of the       demonstrations such as de-orbiting
Finally, located as it is in ESA’s mission   body and the effectiveness of the         kits are on their way.
control center, our office is also           momentum transfer of the chosen
responsible for frequency management         mission. Jointly with NASA, with our      Which are the main ESA activities to
of our antennas and spacecraft and for       Hera mission we will conduct the very     tackle the problem of space debris
the safety of our missions in terms of       first demonstration in space using        and growing space traffic?
collision avoidance.                         kinetic deflection on the asteroid        The implementation of a good space
                                             system Didymoon/Didymos.                  debris prevention policy is a high
As head of ESA’s Space Safety                                                          priority for ESA. Related requirements
program, can you give us a nutshell          4. Established European players for       are systematically made applicable
account of this program’s remit and          a growing market of space-traffic         to all ESA missions and are followed
main lines of action?                        technologies and products.                by an independent entity. Only
The Space Safety Programme has 5                                                       when debris prevention is mastered
concrete goals that we want to reach         For too long, we were led to believe      successfully and reliably will other
by 2030:                                     that space-traffic management             actions become meaningful. We
                                             solutions were to be developed,           publish an annual report on the
1. Space Weather early warning system        owned and operated by the public          overall behavior of all spacefarers
tailored to European user needs.             sector. Now, it is very clear that        and we confidently expect this to
                                             a significant market for business-        provide transparency on the situation
Over the past years we have built            to-business solutions and services        and stimulate others to speed
up a pre-operational network of              is opening up in this field. We are       up implementation of mitigation
expert centers that can process Space        working with European industry to         measures.
Weather data into user products. We          de-risk associated business cases and
are starting to generate operational         enter this market.                        As an operations center with about 20
data in Europe via dedicated payloads.                                                 spacecraft operating in Earth-bound
A real flagship in this field will be the    5. Prepare European industry for          orbits, we are confronted with the
Vigil mission that will operate from         a zero-debris policy and a circular       problem every day. Collision avoidance
Earth-Sun Lagrange Point 5. It will          economy in space.                         thus became a normal practice in ESOC

                                                         13   GMV NEWS 82

                                         forward and which we would like to         The increased use of space in recent
                                         foster through the proposed DRACO          years raises the question of a more
                                         destructive re-entry mission.              coordinated use of space. While
                                                                                    other scarce resources (such as the
                                         Of course, active removal will become      frequency spectrum) are coordinated
                                         an important element of “policy”,          and all players strive to make more
                                         when it becomes a mandatory action         effective use of those resources, in
                                         as a result of failure. This will not      space such a coordination is absent.
                                         only stipulate a better success-rate in    The problem is that the use of space
                                         disposing of space systems but also        is less evident and more difficult to
                                         open up a market for the suppliers of      quantify. Once a good and acceptable
                                         removal services.                          quantification scheme is available
                                                                                    this could be used to measure and
                                         What are the main causes and effects       coordinate the consumption of space
                                         of increasing space congestion? What       and stipulate consumption targets for
                                         future challenges does it pose?            future missions.
                                         The increasing congestion in space is a
                                         result of the overall poor performance     Which would you consider likely to
                                         in achieving debris mitigation in the      be the main developments in coming
                                         past and present. We are still recording   years to address these challenges?
                                         about 10 fragmentation events per year     Schemes to measure the consumption
                                         and a few dozen space objects are not      of space are being developed in the
                                         properly disposed of every year. All       academic sector and are now being
                                         this at a time when the use of space is    compared and discussed. They will
about 20 years ago. Today, this task     significantly increasing.                  be deployed and made available in a
is becoming increasingly cumbersome                                                 transparent way. Should the inherent
and resource-intensive.                  This will have two-fold consequences.      logic of the schemes be accepted
                                         A short-term consequence is an             by the international community,
Moving on to the space systems, we       additional burden for operators. The       future mitigation rulings might
need to revisit our platforms in order   number of conjunction alerts received      make use of these to intensify
to make mitigation actions more          for ESA missions has increased             the implementation of mitigation
failsafe. Space system passivation and   significantly. This comes with a cost      measures. Missions posing a risk of
space system disposal must also work     burden, since manpower, station time       long-term environmental impacts will
after the failure of major functional    and propellant are consumed. Today,        show up with a larger computed space
chains onboard. This requires more       there is roughly 1 maneuver every          consumption and would automatically
redundancy or independent onboard        week for the full ESA fleet. A new         have to accept more stringent
devices that provide this additional     difficulty is conjunction warnings         requirements.
redundancy. We focus a lot of effort     between two active spacecraft. Here,
on these technologies. A challenge not   coordination action is a must.             Increasing space-traffic and the
to be forgotten here is the on-ground                                               resulting number of collision warnings
risk, which might have significant       But this still relies on a manual          underline the need also for more
repercussions on spacecraft design.      process a long-term consequence            precise surveillance data. The more
Design-for-demise is an emergency        is the self-sustained degradation          accurate the data is, the more false
technology that we are driving           of the environment due to the              alerts can be avoided. It would be
                                         increased likelihood of collisions         a fine goal for Europe to improve
                                         and resulting contaminating effects        state-of-the-art accuracy by a factor of
                                         (collisional cascading). In the worst      10. This would lower space operators’
                                         case, future generations might not         efforts by the same factor. This also
                                         have the possibility anymore of            shows that there is an inherent
                                         using the portions of space that are       commercial value. High frequency
  The increasing congestión in
                                         ideal for some applications (i.e. earth    ranging or space-based solutions could
  Space is a result of the overall
                                         observation from sun-synchronous           be key solutions. In ESA we are testing
  poor performance in achieving
                                         orbits and communication from lower        the use of ground-based lasers for
  debris mitigation in the past and
  presence                               LEO). In other words, the deployment       ranging to non-cooperative targets.
                                         of the essential space infrastructure      First results are promising.
                                         for our future life will become more
                                         risky and expensive, if not even           The incidence of collision alerts
                                         impossible.                                between two active spacecraft will

Holger Krag

rise in the future and will become a        disposal and more systematic use of        and affordable, so that decision-
significant burden. We are working          active removal. When this becomes          makers and regulators can make use
with industry to propose and develop        the routine, we might also see             of these tools. We want to raise
solutions that provide safe automation      publically funded removal actions on       strong and competitive European
of this task. We believe that a good        objects that have already stranded         suppliers of space traffic management
solution will be used and accepted by       years before and are a particular          solutions for a global market. A group
spacefarers and could be promoted           challenge.                                 of stakeholders convened by ESA
to a de-facto standard. This solution                                                  has shaped a new initiative called
can be owned and operated by private        But we should also think even one step     PROTECT that defines ambitious goals
companies. To me it does not look           further. Space systems that can be re-     for Europe in the area of space traffic
likely that a publically-controlled space   used don’t need to be removed. I believe   management. ESA is willing to fulfill
management system for maneuver              we might indeed witness what we call       its role to achieve these widely shared
coordination will emerge quickly. It        a “circular economy in space”, in which    goals, jointly with member states, the
could well be that we see industrial        spacecraft are refueled and repaired.      European Commission, Industry and
customer-oriented solutions much            The associated in-orbit servicing          all other stakeholders. In this context,
earlier. When they offer a pragmatic        actions have a high commercial value.      the achievements of the Space Safety
service it will attract the spacefaring     They might start out with more simple      Programme could play a meaningful
community and establish a de-facto          services, such as life-time extension      role and future efforts could be steered
standard. A good working standard is        and re-positioning. However, they could    to meet the European goals of a
then often adapted later by regulators.     go as far as in-orbit manufacturing and    strong role in the area of Space Traffic
The necessary “rules of the roads”          recycling one day.                         Management.
could then emerge from working
practice.                                   What role do you expect ESA to play in     Of course, a very important additional
                                            driving these developments?                role of ESA, as a spacefarer. is to act as
Finally, I hope to the see zero debris      The role of a public technical agency      a role model for others, by ambitiously
principles established, which should        like ESA is to make sure that the          paving the way for new technologies
stipulate the use of the technology         technology required to master all these    and using them for the benefit of the
introduced before for more fail-safe        challenges is available, demonstrated      space environment.

                                                        15   GMV NEWS 82


GMV primes the
contract to define a
new EGNSS service
for drones
A GMV-led consortium is carrying out the European
Commission’s EUGENE (European GNSS Service for UAS)

            he use of drones or,            conducive to correct working of

   T        more properly speaking,
            Unmanned Aircraft
                                            the various U-space services
                                            designed for medium-risk operations.
            Systems (UASs) is soaring       This is so because many of them
nowadays. Under current European            will be based on UAS positioning,
regulation the various types of UAS         such as tracking, traffic-information or
and U-space service operations are          conflict-resolution services.
being phased in progressively in
accordance with their respective risk       The project will define the
level.                                      requirements, provision scheme and
                                            UAS EGNSS service implementation
The GMV-led consortium, including           plan. Also factored in will be
also the companies ESSP, VVA and            integration with the services currently
Unifly, are carrying out the European       provided by Galileo and EGNOS
Commission’s EUGENE (European               programs, as well as any future
GNSS Service for UAS) project, which,       upgrades. Furthermore, in order to
kicking off in January this year, aims to   analyze possible benefits from an
define Europe’s UAS-orientated GNSS         economic point of view, EUGENE’s
services. This will involve carrying        outputs will also include a cost-benefit
out medium-risk operations (the             analysis of EGNSS implementation.
operational risk can be classed as low,
medium or high after methodologically       The EUGENE project, under GMV’s
analyzing risks for ground personnel        GNSS leadership and tapping into
and crewed aircraft in the nearby           its UAS expertise built up over
vicinity).                                  recent years, means GMV holds onto
                                            pole position in the development
EUGENE will contribute towards              of Europe’s drone-orientated GNSS
the European Commission’s goal of           programs. EUGENE can be seen a
establishing this service, which, in the    continuation of the forerunner EC
future, will be a key factor for use of     project in this field: SUGUS, also led by
an onboard drone navigation system.         GMV and involving ESSP, Everis, VVA
The UAS EGNSS service will also be          and Unifly, ending in 2021.

            17   GMV NEWS 82

ADM Sevilla 2022
                                                                                 At the beginning of June, a new
                                                                               edition of the ADM (Aerospace &
                                                                               Defense Meetings) was held at the
                                                                               Conferences and Exhibitions Center in

                                                                               Those attending this event were able
                                                                               to learn first-hand about solutions
                                                                               in aeronautics, as well as in defense
                                                                               and security at the GMV stand. Among
                                                                               them, its latest developments in
                                                                               systems for intelligence, surveillance
                                                                               and reconnaissance (ISR) in the area
                                                                               of unmanned aerial systems (UAS). In
                                                                               this regard, GMV shared information
                                                                               on Seeker, one of the unmanned
                                                                               platforms that it designs and
                                                                               develops in collaboration with Aurea
                                                                               In this same area, colleagues from
                                                                               GMV present at the fair also shared
                                                                               information on the U-Space family
                                                                               of products, Dronelocus®, developed
                                                                               by GMV in order to respond to the
                                                                               growing volume of civil unmanned
                                                                               aircraft that will make use of the
                                                                               airspace in the immediate future.

                                                                               During the event, the FCC (Flight
                                                                               Control Computer) flight control
                                                                               system for the long-range unmanned
                                                                               tactical aircraft ATLANTE was also
                                                                               presented; the navigation and
                                                                               synchronization system for vehicles
                                                                               of the Armed Forces, ISNAV, which
                                                                               will equip the VCR 8x8 DRAGON,
                                                                               and the control unit for the A400-M

GMV participates in ISUDEF
The International Symposium on         applications, avionics and radar        GMV took part in the Industrial
Unmanned Systems and the Defence       systems and air defense.                Special Session Speakers Information,
Industry 2022 (ISUDEF) was held in                                             presenting "Artificial Intelligence
hybrid mode from 30 May to 1 June      Researchers presented their solutions   Aided GNC for Autonomous Operation
2022.                                  and insights on topics such as          of RPAs". This paper tackled current
                                       platform design, AI integration,        operational scenarios in which an RPAS
ISUDEF, an international and           robotics and autonomous systems to      might be used, the new conditions
multidisciplinary symposium, aims to   provide groundbreaking solutions to     and threats and new Guidance,
address current issues on unmanned     the challenges facing the domestic      Navigation and Control (GNC) systems
systems and the defense industry       defense industry, along with civil      using trailblazing data sources and AI
in areas such as air, naval and land   applications.                           algorithms to boost GNC performance.


GMV participates in the final SAFETERM
flight tests

   June 8 saw the final flight tests of     remote controller’s control capacity or      The aim of the tests conducted in the
the SAFETERM onboard system in the          autonomy, establishing alternative           experimental station, which proved
ATLAS Experimental Flight Center in         and safe landing areas by means of           to be a resounding success, was to
Villacarrillo (Jaén).                       artificial-vision techniques. This is an     demonstrate system working in a real
                                            extremely complex task, representing         environment, using AERTEC’s TARIS-75
SAFETERM is a European Defence              a notable advance on traditional             aircraft. Two emergency operation drills
Agency (EDA) project being carried out      image-processing technology.                 were conducted on different ground
by GMV in a consortium with AERTEC;                                                      features. The system was shown to
it aims to improve Medium Altitude          Among all the possible artificial-vision     work properly in real time and was
Long Endurance (MALE) RPAS flight           applications, SAFETERM is based on           successfully integrated with flight
termination procedures and systems,         zone recognition: i.e., ascertaining which   control systems, successfully locating
and to explore AI-supported avionics        areas appear in the image and where          viable flight-termination zones.
system certification procedures.            they are located. Another of EDA’s goals
                                            here is to weigh up the challenges of        After the flight a hybrid-mode
SAFETERM’s main remit is to boost           using AI in aviation. Here is where real     workshop was held to present the
the general safety level in managing        avionics software and equipment can          main results and lessons learned from
emergency situations involving a loss or    be developed to evaluate certification       the project. There was also an open
degradation of the command and control      phases for AI-based onboard systems.         discussion on the possible ways of
link, plus other failures. It therefore     This will usher in another important         converting systems of this type into
allows for safe flight termination          aspect of the project: certification- and    usable projects in a wide range of real
in the event of any failure of the          standardization-support activities.          operational systems.

One more edition at the “World ATM Congress”
From June 21 to 23, the "World ATM          including: APRESTA, a tool used for          and flight validation of PBN procedures
Congress"—a benchmark aeronautical          the automatic analysis of ADS-B              based on satellite navigation.
event in the national and international     performance and detection of GPS
community on air traffic management—        interference with ADS-B data;                The Civil Air Navigation Service Providers
was held once more at the IFEMA             Srx-10i, dual-band GNSS jammer               Organization (CANSO) and the Air Traffic
Conference Center in Madrid.                detector; Emil, ground inspection            Control Association (ATCA) collaborate
                                            system for ILS and VOR radio                 in the organization of this event that
GMV featured a stand where it presented     aids; MagicGEMINI, GNSS system               attracts developers, experts, providers
its developments and applications in        performance analysis tool; and               and other public with interests within the
the field of navigation and surveillance,   MagicIFP, a web application for ground       management sector of air traffic.

                                                         19   GMV NEWS 82

    GMV cements its
                                                                            pace is getting congested

                                                                   S        and today, active collision
                                                                            avoidance has become

leadership in collision
                                                                            a routine task in space
                                                                operations, relying on validated,
                                                                accurate and timely space surveillance

avoidance operations

                                                                In this context, and as part of the
                                                                Space Safety Program (S2P), The

     automation and                                             European Space Agency (ESA) defined
                                                                in 2019 a technological cornerstone
                                                                for Collision Risk Estimation and

      coordination in
                                                                Automated Mitigation (CREAM).

                                                                The aim of the CREAM cornerstone is

                                                                the development of technology for
                                                                automated collision avoidance to reduce
                                                                man-power efforts (experts on 24/7,
                                                                extra efforts at ground stations), reduce
                                                                the time between manoeuvre decision
   GMV plays a decisive role in the three activities launched   and close approach, and thereby reduce
                                                                the number of false alerts, i.e. cases
  under the European Space Agency’s CREAM (Collision Risk
                                                                where control teams start an avoidance
Estimation and Automated Mitigation), priming two of them       manoeuvre preparation which in the


end turns out to be unnecessary as         validated with historic conjunction       concept of collision avoidance
updated data indicate a low collision      data from existing collision avoidance    operations as well as a tool for
probability. Optimised manoeuvre plans     processes. This software shall provide    emergency response. Astroscale Ltd
can be uploaded to the spacecraft and      the means for autonomous decision         in the UK is leading this activity (see
allow late decision taking, which is       making based on the use of machine        related press release from Astroscale
further enabled with activities for the    learning and propose an optimum           here) with a very relevant support from
development and testing of emergency       collision avoidance manoeuvre. GMV in     GMV (from Portugal Romania and UK)
command paths. With the launch of          Romania is leading this activity with a   and from OneWeb in the UK.
large constellations, conjunctions         relevant involvement by GMV NSL in the
between operated spacecraft will           UK and Neuraspace from Portugal. The      The third and final activity entitled
occur more frequently. The cornerstone     development is based on GMV’s autoca      “Means for coordination of operators
therefore also encompasses activities to   autonomous collision avoidance system,    and catalogue providers” will develop
coordinate manoeuvre planning.             developed for ESA in the frame of the     a coordination platform providing an
                                           ARTES program and finally accepted in     information exchange architecture
The European Space Agency has started      March 2022.                               allowing for automated coordination
three activities in the framework of the                                             and resolution of a prospected collision
CREAM program, in which GMV plays a        The second activity is devoted to the     event between spacecraft operators
key role as the main contractor in two     “Development and Testing of Late          and space object catalogue maintainers
of them.                                   Commanding Paths and Operations           or collision avoidance service providers
                                           Concepts”. The aim of this activity is    as well as a simulation environment for
The first one aims at the definition       to develop and test concepts for late     performance evaluation. GMV in Romania
of “Automated avoidance manoeuvre          commanding paths which allow for          is leading this activity counting on UPB
decisions and design”. In the frame        late decisions in collision avoidance     from Romania, Solenix from Switzerland
of this activity, a prototype software     processes. Such a mechanism should        and Iguassu from the Czech Republic
is to be implemented, tested, and          be considered as part of the nominal      as subcontractors.

                                                       21   GMV NEWS 82

GMV provides core software for German
Armed Forces’ SSA Center
                                                                                          characterization, SST data simulation, SST
                                                                                          data pre-processing, visualization, and

                                                                                          On top of GMV’s software, OHB DC
                                                                                          will add an operational layer, providing
                                                                                          interoperability to the system.
                                                                                          Additionally, Atos will integrate
                                                                                          the various software and hardware
                                                                                          components into the solution, creating
                                                                                          interfaces with external sensors and
                                                                                          ensuring the operational performance of
                                                                                          the overall system.

                                                                                          With this new project, GMV strengthens
                                                                                          its position as European industrial leader
                                                                                          in Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and
                                                                                          Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST). It
                                                                                          also reinforces GMV’s footprint in Germany,
   The German Federal Office of             the situation in space and protect critical   following the awarding of two relevant
Bundeswehr Equipment, Information           German infrastructure in orbit.               contracts in 2021 by the German Space
Technology and In-Service Support                                                         Agency at DLR for the German Space
(BAAINBw) has recently awarded a            The system will be based on GMV’s             Situational Awareness Center (GSSAC),
contract to Atos and OHB DC to supply the   state-of-the-art COTS software for Space      also located in Uedem. The purpose of
"Space Situational Awareness Center         Surveillance and Tracking (SST) as the core   these contracts is to implement advanced
Expansion Stage 1" (Weltraumlagezentrum,    processing infrastructure. This includes      SST data processing algorithms (BaSSTDa)
WRLageZ, Ausbaustufe 1) to the              the most relevant SST capabilities and        for the development of the future EU SST
German Federal Armed Forces. This           functionalities: object cataloging, sensor    catalog (under German responsibility) and
system, located in Uedem, will enable       tasking, collision avoidance, re-entry        for maintaining and upgrading the GSSAC
the German Armed Forces to monitor          prediction, fragmentation detection and       Mission System (GMS).

GMV holds the EUSTM technical workshop
On May 12, after months of COVID            the EUSTM partners, which later               space sustainable in such domains as in-
restrictions, the EUSTM team was            culminated in a team-building dinner.         orbit servicing, refueling and de-orbiting
finally able to meet up for a technical                                                   satellites.
workshop and discuss technology             Professionals from various organizations
breakthroughs and progress made in          and the EUSTM consortium presented            Technical workshops like this play an
the development of European STM             and discussed technology essential to         important role in defining the future
capabilities.                               developing future European STM.               capabilities of a European STM as several
                                                                                          stakeholders from the industry as well
The technical workshop was                  Various organizations such as GMV,            as the government participated in the
organized by GMV and SpaceTec               SDS, ADS, KRATOS, ClearSpace, D-Orbit,        workshop to swap notes on the best way
Partners on GMV’s Madrid site. Work-        Astroscale, NorthStar, ONERA, FHR,            of developing the potential of various
package leaders were invited to the         LeoLabs, AIUB, ESA, 6ROADS, Numerica,         technologies and the extent to which
workshop site while stakeholders            OKAPI and, COMSPOC showcased their            they might prove to be useful in the
and the rest of the team participated       expertise and presented their work            future. This in turn will allow the various
remotely. The workshop lasted for           in pursuit of the European goal of            stakeholders to converge on a specific
a full day with many interesting            developing STM capabilities. Commercial       approach and move forward with the goal
presentations and discussions from          companies presented their work to make        of developing European STM capabilities.


Collision risk analysis and avoidance
maneuver calculation software for EU
SST users
  GMV European industry leader in         collision avoidance service with their      monitoring statistics regarding the
space surveillance – Space Situational    own conjunction analysis capability, as     conjunction service.
Awareness (SSA has been awarded a         it will also be deployed in their control
new contract by the Centre for the        centers.                                    In addition to the collision messages
Development of Industrial Technology                                                  that the S3TOC and the French center
(CDTI) to develop software for            CONAN will receive messages                 (COO) publish on the EU SST web portal,
advanced collision risk analysis and      containing conjunction data for each        CONAN will also be able to import
avoidance maneuver calculation for        operator’s satellites directly from the     messages issued by the equivalent
European satellite operators              EU SST web portal for analysis. (The        American system (18-SDS, formerly
subscribed to the EU SST system’s         general purpose of this web portal          known as JSpOC). This will allow
collision avoidance service.              is the provision of EU SST services.)       operators to compare the information
                                          It will also make it possible to            published by both sources in order to
The new software, called CONAN            analyze the collision risk calculation’s    make the most appropriate decision in
(CONjunction ANalysis Software), will     sensitivity to uncertainties in the         each case.
have a dual purpose: first, to increase   orbits of the objects involved. Finally,
the capabilities and improve the          it will provide the optimal avoidance       The CONAN software is a new
response times of the S3TOC (Spanish      maneuver for high-risk cases, also          development based largely on Closeap,
Space Surveillance and Tracking           analyzing the effect of the maneuver        GMV’s solution for collision risk
Operations Centre) and secondly, to       on other possible subsequent                calculation, part of the FocusSuite®
provide European satellite operators      conjunctions with the same or other         product line for flight dynamics
subscribed to the EU SST system’s         objects. It will also feature a panel for   operations, also used within the S3TOC.

                                                      23   GMV NEWS 82

The world’s
top space
experts visit
GMV’s site
                                                                                                          rom April 4 to 6, renowned

                                                                                               F          space surveillance experts
                                                                                                          came together at GMV's
                                                                                                          Tres Cantos site in Madrid
                                                                                            to address a wide range of issues
GMV hosted the 3rd Conference on Space Situational                                          relating to the detection, identification,
                                                                                            prediction, tracking, removal and
Awareness (ICSSA) organized by the International                                            disposal of space debris.
Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and the American
                                                                                            ICSSA, a 3-day conference and
Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)                                            international marquee event, comprised


“The ICSSA was a valuable gathering of global experts                  “The conference was really great, giving to the participants
focused on the technical issues related to space situational           the opportunity to share their research with colleagues. I
awareness (SSA). The collaborative environment prompted a              received several suggestions that will help me to improve my
variety of off-line discussions that epitomized the need for           research!”. Antonio Prado. INPE
joint efforts that spanned measurement modalities, national
borders, and stakeholder domains. I personally initiated five          “ICSSA 2022 provided an enriching platform to present our
potential cooperative projects spanning strategic optical/radar        research work to the SSA community. ICSSA gave a great
studies, conjunction mapping database utility investigations,          opportunity to share and learn from innovative work by
and collision hazard assessment methodology exchanges”.                various research scholars from around the world. Many
Darren McKnight. LeoLabs                                               Thanks to the organising team of ICSSA 2022”. Shivshankar
                                                                       Sivaraman. Indian Institute of Science
“Excellent rendezvous of our little family, superbly organized
by GMV! Great discussions over detailed SSA challenges, very           "ICSSA 2022 gave us a wonderful opportunity to meet
enriching. IAA-ICSSA has now become a classic reference with           experts in space situational awareness from all over the
a bright future ahead, unfortunately as long as we’ll have             world and learn about different ideas and initiatives to
such space traffic problems”. Christophe Bonnal. CNES                  overcome the rapidly emerging problem of space debris. It


several panel-based sessions dealing       important as the US Space Force,             technology institutes from the five
with the general issues of orbit           Europe’s ESA, the Spanish Industrial         continents.
determination and prediction, cataloging   Technology Development Center (CDTI
and correlation, monitoring and sensor     in Spanish initials), France’s space         In keeping with is benchmark status in
planning, assessment of collision and      agency CNES, GB’s UKSA, Romania’s            this area, GMV personnel offered five
reentry risks, satellite control and       RoSA and Brazil’s INPE, among                papers focusing on issues of the utmost
evasion maneuvers, orbit proximity         others. Industry also weighed in with        interest such as object cataloging, the
operations, elimination of space debris    participation by LeoLabs, COMSPOC            detection and estimation of satellite
and data governance and policy. Present    Corporation, Astroscale, OKAPI, TNO,         maneuvers, collision avoidance, sensor
on these panels were representatives       Surrey Satellite Technology, among           planning and onboard satellite space-
from space agencies and bodies as          others, plus university researchers and      debris detection systems.

also provided a platform for us to share our innovative            “ICSSA 2022 was definitely a very interesting conference
concept of mitigation of space debris from an Australian           for all aspects related to SSA. Well organized in detail
perspective with the use of a proposed network of mobile           beyond any expectation, it was attended by several young
observatories. We hope to join the 4th conference and be           people, ready and prepared to address the issues discussed
part of this global initiative to make the space around Earth      during the event. Also noteworthy were the keynote
a safer place for our future generations". Muhammad Akbar          lectures, which provided important information on the
Hussain. Mareekh Dynamics                                          state of the art in various areas of SSA. Special thanks are
                                                                   due to the very excellent hospitality by GMV, and to Katie
“I think that ICSSA 2022 was a great success. There were           for her incomparable kindness and ability to coordinate
many high-quality papers covering many SSA themes.                 all aspects of organization". Carmen Pardini, Space Flight
It was nice to see many students and other young                   Dynamics Laboratory
participants at the conference. Most of the student
papers were very good. The conference organizers did a             “After a long pandemic break, meeting leading experts in
marvellous job, and we are all grateful to GMV for making          SSA in Madrid was awesome! For GMV it was a pleasure
their facilities available for the conference". Prof. Arun         to host nearly 100 leading SSA experts from all round the
Misra. Mcgill University                                           world”. Alberto Águeda Maté. GMV

                                                       25    GMV NEWS 82

Power Conditioning and Distribution
Unit for launcher reusability
                                                                                   this activity, GMV has been asked
                                                                                   to put in place all necessary steps
                                                                                   to reach a first important milestone
                                                                                   towards the final MPU, the Themis
                                                                                   PCDU. The Themis PCDU will be
                                                                                   designed with the objective to be
                                                                                   integrated in Themis T1H (Themis
                                                                                   1-engine Hop test) hop-tests.

                                                                                   This new PCDU will present as main
                                                                                   functions the possibility of distributing
                                                                                   power to relevant equipment
                                                                                   with independent buses, providing
                                                                                   housekeeping monitoring’s (voltage,
                                                                                   current, temperature).

                                                                                   Several features are derived from
                                                                                   the main functionalities, such as:
                                                                                   Activation and turn on/off the
   The European Space Agency has         offer a variety of launch services        equipment; control inductive loads like
awarded GMV a contract for the design,   and for contributing to a more            solenoid valves, using PWM control;
manufacturing and qualification of a     eco-responsible space launcher sector.    regulate equipment voltages; ensure
Power Conditioning and Distribution                                                current limitation; safety: no failure
Unit (PCDU) EQM in order to              The Themis PCDU will follow Themis        propagation and high voltage interlock;
demonstrate its readiness for            prototype in its incremental logic. A     modular, configurable, and affordable
integration on Themis TH1 prototype.     Modular Power Unit (MPU) is foreseen      to be able to be integrated on a
                                         to be integrated in Themis T3 (Themis     demonstrator which is incrementally
Themis reusable first stage              3-engine flight test) reusable first      developed.
demonstrator is considered as a          stage demonstrator. The MPU concept
flying test-bench opportunity to         will push towards a modular power         Design phase will be followed by unit
demonstrate some of key enabling         architecture of the avionics functional   manufacturing and a test campaign to
and promising capabilities within        chains, allowing the integration of       verify the functional performance of
the Future Space Transportation          avionics Components-Off-The-Shelf         the unit, as well as an environmental
technologies maturation roadmap for      with different power characteristics,     verification to guarantee Themis
lowering the cost of access to space,    to lower the recurring costs of future    PCDU hardening towards Themis
for increasing Europe’s flexibility to   European launchers. In the frame of       environment.

GMV shares its space-data system expertise at DASIA
In mid May GMV took part in the latest   two papers together with other            operation and maintenance of data
international conference on space        sector professionals: The two papers      processing components for space
systems engineering, DASIA (Data         presented by GMV dealt with “Artificial   and aeronautical command and
Systems In Aerospace).                   Intelligence Techniques in Onboard        control applications, as well as other
                                         Avionics and Software” and “In-Orbit      sectors that share the same features
DASIA is a yearly conference that has    Space-Based Surveillance System by        of great reliability and complexity.
been held by Eurospace since 1996.       high-performance computer-vision          GMV is delighted to take part in
Its remit is to bring together space     algorithms and dedicated HW avionics”.    this event that attracts top-level
data systems specialists for 3 days                                                participation from the space industry,
of networking. DASIA 2022 was held       DASIA addresses technical and             universities, space agencies and
online; GMV representatives presented    managerial aspects of the development,    institutions.

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