Space Tech Expo Europe 2015
The SLA had the opportunity to present the results of the joint project iBOSS-2 (Intelligent Building Blocks for On-Orbit Satellite Servicing) at the first edition of the Space Tech Expo in Europe, held in Bremen from November 17th to 19th. Together with other exhibits from all project partners the SLA showcased two standardized, space specific building block structures, presented for the first time, and the highly integrated Intelligent Space System Interface (ISSI).
The exhibition featured 6,000m² of floor space and was visited by over 2,600 attendees from 50 countries. More than 200 companies and leading research institutes showed actual space components, systems, test methods and innovative products as well as the latest space technology trends.
As main structural part of the envisioned modular spacecraft system, the SLA showed two space specific cube structures which, based on a building block approach, enable servicing, upgrading and repowering of orbital space systems. A key component for this concept to work was the design and use of a multifunctional interface that allows coupling and decoupling the different building blocks in orbit. Therefore, the ISSI was development which combines the ability to transfer mechanical loads, thermal and electrical energy as well as data signals. In order to mature the used technology the mechanical part of the interface was already tested on a breadboard level and subjected to vibration tests and functional tests at temperatures between -40°C to +70°C. This way a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 4 could already be reached.
Currently, the novel modular satellite architecture and its high requirements regarding a suitable manufacturing supply chain, handling and integration of standardized building blocks and components are the main research topics of the consecutive joint project iBOSS-3 which is also carried out at the SLA among others.