Astroscale Collaborates with RUAG to Launch Space Debris Removal Service

7th Jul 2021
Astroscale Space Debris

More and more rocket launches are causing space debris to accumulate in Low Earth orbit. There’s a growing concern that this will have lots of effects in the coming future.

ELSA (End-of-Life Services by Astroscale) is a mission that will help take care of this issue. Its purpose is to offer satellite decommissioning services to different companies, governments, and organisations. More satellite operators will benefit from the commercialised phase of ELSA-M (ELSA Multi-Client Service).

Once it’s operational, the work of ELSA-M will be the removal of space debris, including outdated satellites. That’s why it’s a multi-client servicing spacecraft. Astroscale intends for it to work especially with constellations. A good example of such is OneWeb’s satellites.

Such an ambitious goal calls for a high performing On Board Computer (OBC). RUAG Space is delivering a computer system that has a GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) receiver. The GNSS receiver will be in the same box with an interface unit.

The Mission of the Astroscale Craft

When the craft reaches LEO, the computer system will direct ELSA-M to remove multiple space debris. At the same time, it will be in charge of controlling equipment. The whole system is designed for efficiency and flexibility with timely operations.

Astroscale is currently in a partnership with RUAG to develop the system. RUAG is in charge of the hardware while Astroscale works on the software needed for the operation.

Astroscale’s Managing Director John Auburn explained that the operations need to be seamless and require the best robotics technology. Simultaneously, the entire operations will need the right onboard systems for the vehicle. That’s the only way to ensure safe and effective removal of space debris which is the purpose of the service.

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