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RemoveDEBRIS / DebrisSat 1, 2


DebrisSat 1 [SSTL]

DebrisSat 2 [SSTL]

RemoveDEBRIS is a microsatellite built by SSTL to perform key Active Debris Removal (ADR) technology demonstrations (e.g capture, deorbiting) representative of an operational scenario during a low-cost mission using novel key technologies for ADR.

Several organisations from several countries are involved:

  • University of Surrey , UK, is the project coordinator, CubeSat development and de-orbit technology development
  • Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), UK, is the satellite platform provider and conducts satellite operations
  • Airbus Defense and Space (AD&S), Germany, France, UK, performs mission and system engineering, net development, vision-based navigation development, harpoon development
  • Innovative Solutions in Space BV (ISIS), The Netherlands, is responsible for the CubeSat deployers and subsystems
  • Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique SA - Recherche et Development (CSEM), Switzerland, provides the LiDAR camera
  • Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA), France, develops the VBN (Vision Based Navigation) algorithms
  • Stellenbosch University Electronic System Laboratory (ESL), South Africa, provides CubeSat ADCS hardware and software

SSTL is designing and manufacturing a satellite platform, based on the SSTL-50, that will release, capture and deorbit two space debris targets, called DebriSATs, in sequence using various rendezvous, capture and deorbiting technologies thus demonstrating in orbit, key ADR technologies for future missions.

RemoveDEBRIS will demonstrate following technologies:

  • capturing the DebriSat 1 target cubesat with a deployable net. The battery powered DebriSat 1 will deploy an inflated structure in the shape of an octahedron tensegrity.
  • perform a harpoon test with a target deployed on a boom (HTA, Harpoon Target Assembly).
  • perform vision based navigation with the solar powered DebriSat 2 target cubesat.
  • deploy a DragSail to increase atmospheric drag at the end of the mission.

The satellite will be likely launched on the Dragon CRS-13 or Dragon CRS-14 cargo transporter to the ISS in late 2017 or 2018, from where it will be deployed.

Nation: UK
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: University of Surrey, SSTL et al.
Contractors: SSTL (prime)
Configuration: SSTL X50 (RemoveDEBRIS); CubeSat (2U) (DebrisSat 1, 2)
Power: Solar cells, batteries (Remove DEBRIS); batteries (DebrisSat 1); solar cells, batteries (DebrisSat 2)
Mass: ~100 kg
Orbit: 400 km × 400 km, 51 (typical)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
RemoveDEBRIS - 2017 CC Falcon-9 v1.2 with Dragon CRS-x, DebrisSat 1, DebrisSat 2
DebrisSat 1 - 2017 CC Falcon-9 v1.2 with Dragon CRS-x, RemoveDEBRIS, DebrisSat 1
DebrisSat 2 - 2018 CC Falcon-9 v1.2 with Dragon CRS-x, ?, RemoveDEBRIS, DebrisSat 2