Within the project “SimMoLib” and under the guidance of the DLR facility “Simulation and Software Technology”, in collaboration with the department Navigation and Control Systems and the “Space Flight Technology” department of the German Space Operation Center (GSOC), a library is developed which files reusable simulation models systematically. Therefore, these models can be accessed throughout DLR more easily. Already existing and to be developed models are documented, validated and made accessible for user groups by a user-friendly interface. A focused database and quick access to simulation and calculation models enables a high level of time and cost savings, especially within the Concurrent Engineering Facility, where short term estimations and statements on possible design changes are essential. The merging of this expertise of the entire DLR and the enhancing of quality by using systematically checked models are only two of the main goals of this project.
AISat follows the aim to build, start and operate a nano satellite for receiving signals of the AIS (Automatic Identification System). This project is managed by the department “Orbital Systems and Safety” of the Institute of Space Systems. The distinctive feature of this mission, compared to satellites already in orbit, lies in the use of a high-gain helical antenna, which enables the reception of AIS-signals, especially on highly frequented sea areas, where signal collisions often lead to non-decodable data. The contribution of the department “System Analysis Space Segments” is the design of hardware components of the antenna structure as well as the coordination of their manufacturing and integration. The necessary mechanisms for fixation and release of all flexible antenna parts are of particular focus in the design work.In order to validate the deployment of such a filigree construction under zero gravity conditions, it was tested in March 2010 during the 15th parabolic flight campaign of DLR in Bordeaux. For this purpose the department SARA developed a dedicated test rack in cooperation with other DLR-institutes and accompanied the tests on board the Novespace A300 Zero-G. All deployment tests with varying antenna parameters were accomplished successfully. Based on the determined results under zero gravity conditions, the deployment concept was verified and parameters for the in-orbit operation of the antenna could be determined. Within the post-processing of the parabolic flight campaign the deployment tests are reproduced by non-linear finite element analyses. Based on these simulations, further optimizations will be worked out and integrated into the construction.
From mechanical point of view, the CLAVIS concept focuses on a modular structural composition and from electrical point of view, on the realisation of plug&play features. These overall characteristics shall severely reduce the time from a customer request to the ready-to-launch space vehicle and thus reduce development and mission costs. Therefore CLAVIS is ideal for the use of standard payloads which can be operated in the NanoSat-class and it is suitable for technologies demonstration purposes (payloads or bus-components).SARA’s contributions to the cross-departmental Institute project are in the areas of conceptual design, accommodation, structural design and verification, as well as mission analysis. In the beginning different concepts and architectures were evaluated and based on the evaluations, a detailed accommodation and structure concept was worked out. Within the further elaboration of the design, structural mechanical simulations were and are performed using the finite element method. The results of these simulations are used for a further structural mechanical optimization of the design. The mission analysis deals with the analysis of power generation and ground station contact times. In addition to these activities there is a stringent management requirement, which is fulfilled with the database system DOORS.
Climate Monitor / Carbon Monitor
Within the feasibility studies for earth observation missions, Climate Monitor and Carbon Monitor projects were conducted. The idea to let a specific scientific payload fly on a compact satellite was checked on its practicability. This idea is particularly interesting due to financial reasons, since finances play an essential part in space mission projects. The scientific payload was adapted to the so-called standard satellite bus (SSB), which is based on DLR expertise with regard to past or parallel projects such as BIRD, TET and AsteroidFinder. The technical as well as the economical side were analysed in detail and recommendations on the realisation were worked out.
Knowledge Capitalization in a Concurrent Engineering Environment (KnowCap)
KnowCap is a completed ESA project, which analysed and evaluated special knowledge management (KM) capacities within the CE environment. A software prototype was developed from the analysis work, which was implemented in the CE-process at DLR, as well as in the CE-process at ESA. The programmed support tool was called S.P.O.C.K. standing for Software Platform for Organizing and Capturing Knowledge. The KM software supports engineers and experts in the CEF when they design space systems. Study specific CE-knowledge is captured, refined and provided for future CE-teams.
VELOX – Oxygen Production on Moon
Within the studies on the topic of ISRU (In-situ Resource Utilization) system analyses are conducted in the field of „lunar oxygen production.“ Moon dust, called regolith, consists of approx. 45% oxygen which appears to be bound to different metallic oxides. In cooperation with the “Exploration Systems” department and the Institute of Materials Physics in Space, the “System Analysis Space Segments” department deals with the set up of a small Earth demonstration facility. Here, the production of lunar oxygen will be verified.
Via electric energy supply moon dust is simulated and different minerals are heated (Fig. 7 on the right) and passed through by gaseous hydrogen. This process led to a reduction of the mineral probe and produced water vapour which was cooled and segmented into hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis. Several test campaigns within the project are supposed to quantify the potential rate of return under different conditions (e.g. temperature, pressure and process duration) more precisely and to define clear requirements for a lunar application. The process’s optimization by a rotating facility and the associated changes in the reduction attitude of the single mineral elements are in the spotlight as well.
DLR-AMSAT P5 – Concept Study on Moon and Mars satellites in cooperation with AMSAT-DL
Based on the AMSAT-satellite P3-D in orbit, the successfully completed DLR-Study has proven that a German mission to Moon and Mars with specific DLR-payloads is theoretically feasible.
As an intermediate step to Mars, a satellite to the Moon has been designed. This satellite can analyse silicates, temperatures and meteorite impacts on the lunar surface and it can send HDTV movies from the Moon and spectacular mission phases (launcher separation, manoeuvres) to Earth. Its video signal can be received live with commercial off-the-shelf hardware (1.2 m dish antenna, TV-receiver). Additionally, an innovative technology for planetary navigation can be tested with this satellite.
Furthermore, a satellite has been designed specifically to explore the Mars moon Deimos, as well as the other Mars moon Phobos and Mars itself. Here, two high-definition cameras and a spectrometer are employed which can partially generate three-dimensional pictures in different frequency ranges.
For the first time this mission would enable a detailed analysis of Deimos, including its formation, its core parameters (e.g. mass, orbit) and possible landing missions. Concurrently, the Mars cloud and atmosphere dynamic can be observed in lower latitudes. Both satellite designs represent high mission attractiveness for the public and planetary science. At the same time, the intermediate step of a Moon mission in 2015 appears to clearly facilitate a following mission to Mars (Deimos), but it does not seem to be mandatory.
In the course of the study it has been shown that despite the different working habits of AMSAT-DL and DLR, a highly constructive collaboration has developed. Additionally, a possible separation of responsibilities concerning the given realisation of one or both missions up to the mission operation has been worked out and strived for.
The cost calculation has demonstrated that the chosen approach to launch the missions as secondary payloads into the GTO and to construct the satellite bus under the guidance on AMSAT-DL, has brought a clear benefit in comparison to similar exploration missions. The study has displayed that an international innovative and lucrative mission to Moon and/or Mars in a consortium consisting of AMSAT-DL and DLR is possible even within the small-scale collaborative effort to design an Earth satellite.
BERT (Manned European Space Transportation)
The aim of the BERT-study of DLR under contributions of EADS Astrium (ATV Evolution) was to gain a statement on the feasibility of an autonomous European manned access to space.
Autonomous here means the predominant use of technology that is available or will be available in Europe, so far as the cost calculation proves it feasible. The far reaching use The first step was the development of a manned prototype capsule, which is, by its technical basic concept, able to be enhanced for different permanent operation scenarios (LEO-station, Moon missions). The commercial operation of Ariane 5 should be impacted as less as possible.
In this study the department SARA has taken over the responsibility for cost modelling and for the capsule and the orbital technology. Therefore, the design of the capsule and the service module with orbital propulsion, as well as the human-machine-interface, have been coordinated with input by EADS Astrium and have been critically questioned by the use of mass models. Moreover, an overview of possible docking devices has been worked out as well as the reachability of the Lagrange point between Earth and Moon has been analysed with the mission analysis software “Satellite Tool Kit”.
Light-weight structures, which can also be used in space missions, are possible to be exposed to high dynamic impacts (vibrations) that can affect the structure in term of mass and life span.
The patent DE 101 38 250 describes a very simple possibility to reduced dynamic impacts for bigger sandwich-panels by artificial intern attrition. For more details: