SENER Aeroespacial in the consortium to develop first in-orbit satellite factory22/03/2021 (International)
SENER Aeroespacial, a company of the SENER engineering and technology group, is part of the European consortium for PERIOD (PERASPERA In-Orbit Demonstration) Project. Funded by the European Commission as part of its Horizon 2020 Programme and part of the 3rd call of the Strategic Research Cluster (SRC) on Space Robotics Technologies, the project will last two years, with the objective to continue with a demonstrator in orbit.
The “orbital factory” envisioned by PERIOD will pioneer construction of major components such as antenna reflectors, assembly of spacecraft components and satellite payload replacements, directly in space. This is the precursor to future manufacturing of large structures in orbit.
Producing directly in orbit will revolutionize the way space systems are designed, built and operated. It has significant advantages over the traditional approach – where everything is produced on Earth and subsequently transported to space – since objects made in space are freed from the constraints and requirements of launch such as launcher mass and volume limitations or structural strength to withstand launch.
SENER Aeroespacial will contribute to the mission requirement definition, focused on the Standard Interconnect (SI) solution, taking advantage of its extensive experience in modular reconfigurable system interfaces. SIROM technology developed by SENER Aeroespacial will play a key role in the benchmarking among the different SI solutions with the objective of becoming the preferred standard interface for future modular spacecraft space missions. SENER Aeroespacial will also lead the Receiving Service System Definition including the attachment and refuelling module concept definition.
Airbus Defence and Space is leading a team of seven European innovators, bringing their own expertise in fields such as robotic operation, virtual reality, and in-space assembly: SENER Aeroespacial, DFKI, EASN-TIS, GMV Spain, GMV Portugal, ISISPACE and Space Applications Services.
The future space factory, as well as the demonstrator, could be orbited by a launcher and would then activate and start producing in orbit. An alternative demonstration mission, offering more flexibility and for a lower cost, would be to use ISS infrastructure.