Satellites Space

Airbus has been chosen to conduct research into satellite production in space

The European Commission has chosen Airbus to review spacecraft production as part of the Horizon 2020 project.  The PERIOD project (PERASPERA In-Orbit Demonstration) emphasizes satellite assembly as well as production in space. This $3.6 million A/B1 phase research contract will run two years, with the aim of continuing with an orbiting demonstrator. PERIOD’s “orbital factory” would be the first to manufacture key products like spacecraft components, antenna reflectors, and satellite payload substitutes directly in space.

This is the first step toward the production of massive structures in space in the future. Direct production in space would change the way space systems are planned, constructed, and controlled. It has major advantages over the conventional method, which involves producing something on Earth and then transporting it to space since objects created in space are not subject to the restrictions and conditions of deployment (launcher mass as well as volume limitations, the structural capacity to withstand launch).

To accomplish this objective, Airbus Defence, as well as Space in Bremen, is heading a group of seven European inventors: GMV-SKY, ISISPACE, DFKI, EASN-TIS, GMV, SENER Aeroespacial, and Space Applications Services, who each bring their own experience in domains like robotic operation, virtual reality, as well as in-space assembly. PERIOD will show the importance of in-space maintenance, production, and assembly by justifying disruptive capabilities. It will also assist Europe in developing capability as well as industrial infrastructure that will place it at the forefront of the market for in-orbit servicing as well as production. PERIOD would spur future research and open up new markets, resulting in employment and development in forward-thinking technology.

The future space factory, like the demonstrator, might be launched into orbit and then enabled and began producing as a free flyer. Using ISS facilities as a demo mission will provide more flexibility and at a lower cost. Airbus teams are also working on a range of the other in-space research projects, like Metal3D, the world’s first metal 3D printer, which will be launched into space next year as part of an ESA-funded project, as well as the MANTOS mission, which showed robotically as well as AI-based assembly procedures with the help of the German Space Agency (DLR).

Airbus SE is a global aerospace company based in Europe. In the year 2019, Airbus surpassed rival Boeing as the globe’s largest airliner maker as well as collected the most airliner requests. It develops, produces, as well as sells civil and the military aerospace goods all over the world as well as aircraft in the European Union as well as other nations. Commercial Aircraft (Airbus S.A.S.), Defense and Space, and Helicopters are the firm’s three divisions, with the latter being the biggest in terms of sales as well as turbine helicopter shipments in the sector.

About the author

Andrzej Kowalski