OHB Sweden AB, a subsidiary of the space and technology group OHB SE, and the European Space Agency ESA, today signed a contract to work on autonomous and optimised orbit control management of large satellite constellations.
Satellite constellation sizes are growing with numbers from a few hundred to thousands. Operating such constellations whilst minimizing fuel and operational effort whilst maximizing availability is becoming an increasing challenge. This work will focus on the design, development and test of the necessary onboard algorithms to perform a number of autonomous specific orbit control tasks in space such as orbit initialization (phasing) after LEOP, station-keeping and collision avoidance.
The industrial team led by OHB Sweden consists of four members. OHB Sweden will act as study prime, system integrator and overall responsible for validation of the algorithms in a flight like environment. OHB System will be responsible for the flight dynamics algorithms which will be relying on embedded and real-time optimisation from DLR and machine learning techniques from Luleå University of Technology.
OHB Sweden with its extensive experience of over three decades in the design, development and testing of low-cost small satellite missions will use its successful heritage InnoSat platform and simulation environment for the development of this technology. This technology will hence contribute to OHB Sweden’s constellation future and enable it to scale up to large constellation solutions.
Benoit Mathieu, MD OHB Sweden:
“…autonomy not only reduces the operational cost, but it also increases the safety and reliability of future space assets and hence contributes to a sustainable usage of space…”
Deputy Managing Director OHB Sweden