RetroSpace - active space debris removal (ADR): “Business engineering driving system and operations”
Kreisel, Joerg ; Castronuovo, Marco ; Covello, Fabio ; et al.
Jun - 2013
DOI: 10.1109/RAST.2013.6581157
ISBN : 978-1-4673-6396-9

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type: Conference Proceedings

As in recent years space debris evolved as one of the key issues in the context of future space activities and satellite operations in LEO in particular, numerous measures are being developed around the world to remove, reduce and avoid space junk at various levels. One subset is active (space) debris removal (ADR), which comprises robotics-based and other physical means as well as contactless solutions, all of which are still to be demonstrated and realized in space. ADR involving robotics relate to principles promoted for on-orbit servicing (OOS) creating technological and programmatic synergies between the two areas. Technological challenges exist and will take time to be mastered, while legal and regulatory and business aspects, especially financing schemes currently represent much higher hurdles and raise numerous questions. Much work has been invested in recent years to develop system functionalities for ADR and associated efforts are expected to increase in the nearand mid-term globally. However, current focus is short in terms of addressing non-technical issues that eventually will drive feasibility and realization. This paper elaborates on options for alternative ADR system solutions and architectures. Special focus is given to trade-offs geared around business (framework, structure, implementation, operations, financing, etc.) and the identification of business engineering drivers to determine systems and operational concepts, which are technically feasible and economically viable. The work presented relates to the reference case “RetroSpace” developed during the 12th SpaceTech [8] post-graduate master program on space systems and business engineering by TU Delft - first presented in 2010 - as well as to generic strategic and economic trade-offs for future OOS and ADR concepts by JKIC. RetroSpace - an end-to-end system solution and business case - has been referenced by several recent studies focused on active space debris removal services- (ADRS) and proposes an integrated financing scenario involving multiple stakeholders [7].

keywords : AD 2010,ADR system solutions,Active Debris Removal Services (ADRS),Active Space Debris Removal (ADR),Business Engineering (BE),Concept of Operations (ConOps),Finance,Government,High-Level Requirements,LEO satellite operations,LEO space activities,On-Orbit Servicing (OOS),Orbits,Profitability,Propulsion,RetroSpace,Satellites,Space debris,Space vehicles,SpaceTech,Stakeholders,Sustainability,Systems Engineering (SE),active space debris removal,aerospace engineering,aerospace industry,artificial satellites,business engineering drivers,feasibility,on-orbit servicing,realization,robotics,space junk