Sener Aeroespacial awarded six projects from Horizon Europe in the area of Space
Sener Aeroespacial is currently signing the Grant Agreements for six awarded projects from Horizon Europe (European Commission) in the area of Space, corresponding to the calls for 2021 and 2022 (HORIZON-CL4-2021-SPACE and HORIZON-CL4-2022-SPACE).
Sener Aeroespacial presented proposals for 7 different topics, for which award has been already secured on 6 of them. Sener Aeroespacial leads four of the six awarded projects.
The projects span from modular spacecrafts to flight units for safer launcher trajectories, covering as well new Gallium Nitride (GaN) space applications.
The complete list is the following:
- Smart Avionics for Flight termination SysTems (SAFEST). The project will lead to a demonstrator of a modular Autonomous Flight Termination Unit (AFTU) for micro/small launchers, validated in a representative flight processor (execution) and emulated environment (dynamics), reaching TRL 5-6. This solution will differentiate from other developments tightly linked to a specific launch site, safety regulation and oriented (cost and mass) to institutional launchers. The proposed AFTU segregates the general-purpose sensors and functions (e.g. localisation) from the mission abort rules which are launcher and spaceport dependant, allowing customisation for a given launcher and site. This strategy is deemed a game changer for the reduction of launch service cost, availability, flexibility, enabling a more responsive access to space.
- Space Application GaN transistor (SAGAN). SAGAN addresses a crucial element in future satellite platforms and payloads: GaN devices for power applications and use in Spacecraft Electrical Power Systems (EPS). Power transistors are key elements of electrical units used for example in power conversion. During the last decade, several technological advancements have enabled a new type of transistors based on Gallium Nitride over Silicon. GaN transistors allow a reduction in mass of the equipment that uses them and a reduction in power consumption. Currently, in Europe there is no 650V GaN process suitable for space applications therefore responding to specific requirements in terms of reliability, robustness and compatibility with rush environments. SAGAN will establish a non-dependent supply chain (design, manufacturing, and qualification testing) for GaN transistors and complement other R&D developments supported by the EU focused on low voltage GaN for space applications.
- Space qualified GAN Components for Next generation systems (SGAN-Next). The main objective of SGAN-Next is to develop a fully European GaN on SiC foundry process and demonstrate outstanding performance at high frequency beyond Q-band, through the design of efficient and robust SSPA, LNA and switch devices for flexible LEO/GEO payloads. For this purpose, the project led by Sener as satellite equipment manufacturer, includes an epitaxy manufacturer (SweGaN), an industrial foundry (UMS), a research foundry (FBH) and two Universities (UNIBO and UAB). Moreover, the consortium count on the two main European satellite prime contractors (ADS and TAS) for the conceptual definition of services and the required system to answer market demand.
- Orbital Replaceable Unit (ORU) based on Building blocks for Advanced Assembly of Space Systems (ORU-BOAS). The Orbital Replaceable Unit (ORU) will develop and demonstrate an ORU concept based on the building blocks developed in previous calls of the Union. The main points to be indeed addressed are, among others, an ORU: compatible with different Standard Interfaces (SI), payloads and services; to be used as a PLUG&PLAY module for the In Orbit Demonstration mission (currently as well under development); based on a Satellite Construction Kit for future applications In Space Manufacturing and Assembly missions; finally, a design concept that will include an AppStore and Open-Architecture mentality for the different modules as avionics. The ORU-BOAS consortium is constituted by Sener Aeroespacial (coordinator), Thales Alenia Space France, Thales Alenia Space Italy, ISISPACE and DLR.
- ReuSable strAtegic space Launcher Technologies & Operations (SALTO). SALTO will perform, for the first time in Europe, fly / recover / refly cycles of a reusable rocket first stage demonstrator. Operating a large-scale vehicle at low altitude, consistent with future European strategic needs, and embedding a set of critical technologies, the project will significantly boost the strategic launchers roadmap, enabling the vision of a future launch fleet improving by 50% space access costs and reducing environmental impacts. SALTO is led by ArianeGroup. Sener Aeroespacial will develop the active antenna to enable the communications from launcher to ground.
- European Robotic Orbital Support Services In-Orbit Demonstration (EROSS IOD). Access to Space is now easier and easier, and is not possible anymore to design and launch disposable spacecraft without considering the consequences: On-Orbit Servicing (OOS) is a first step towards this change of paradigm, as the technologies, typically autonomous rendezvous, refuelling, Orbital Replaceable Unit (ORU) exchange, repair and waste management with autonomous robotic tools will be used in future smart, flexible and modular space infrastructures. The growing demand for satellite life extension from commercial customers, making OOS an emerging market, is an opportunity to support those developments. To that purpose, designing in a phase B2/C the right mission and maturing the technologies to enable a go-to-market for future OOS missions is the main goal for EROSS IOD. The objective is to enable the in-orbit demonstration of all the key capabilities: coordinated close rendezvous between two free flying spacecraft comparable in mass and inertia (a first in Europe) and autonomous robotic operations such as capture, refuelling and change of payload with a poly-articulated arm. EROSS IOD is led by Thales Alenia Space. Sener Aeroespacial main contribution is focused on our SIROM Standard Interface.
The projects will be kicked-off during these and the upcoming weeks.