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Thread: Why not have AAA for spacecraft? It's coming.

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Why not have AAA for spacecraft? It's coming.

    If you don't want to be an asteroid miner or space-junk remover, then you can set up a business to repair and refuel "dead" satellites and bring them back to life.


    https://phys.org/news/2018-11-space-...n-orbit_1.html

    New space industry emerges: on-orbit servicing
    November 17, 2018 by Ivan Couronne

    Imagine an airport where thousands of planes, empty of fuel, are left abandoned on the tarmac. That is what has been happening for decades with satellites that circle the Earth. When satellites run out of fuel, they can no longer maintain their precise orbit, rendering them useless even if their hardware is still intact.

    "It's literally throwing away hundreds of millions of dollars," Al Tadros, vice president of space infrastructure and civil Space at a company called SSL, said this month at a meeting in the US capital of key players in the emerging field of on-orbit servicing, or repairing satellites while they are in space.

    In recent years, new aerospace companies have been founded to try and extend the lifespan of satellites, on the hunch that many clients would find this more profitable than relaunching new ones.In 2021, his company will launch a vehicle—as part of its Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program — that is capable of servicing two to three dozen satellites in a distant geostationary orbit, some 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) from Earth where there are about 500 active satellites, most in telecommunications. This unmanned spacecraft will be able to latch onto a satellite to inspect it, refuel it, and possibly even repair it or change components, and put it back in the correct orbit. Tadros describes it as "equivalent to a AAA servicing truck in geostationary orbit." And "it's financially a very, very big opportunity," he adds.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  2. #2
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    If they are able to program on the fly so to speak, this could be a very successful venture. IIRC NASA looked at robotic missions to repair satellites, such as Hubble, but while applauding the program most scientists were apprehensive of a repair Hubble mission "first". I like the idea and wish them luck in any and all the projects that may be visioned.

  3. #3
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    On-orbit servicing

    Looks like the next big commercial business in space is going to be on-orbit servicing. Already there are a few companies actively developing the technology. It will be three or four years before we do see it in operations.

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Ne...icing_999.html

    When satellites run out of fuel, they can no longer maintain their precise orbit, rendering them useless even if their hardware is still intact.

    "It's literally throwing away hundreds of millions of dollars," Al Tadros, vice president of space infrastructure and civil Space at a company called SSL, said this month at a meeting in the US capital of key players in the emerging field of on-orbit servicing, or repairing satellites while they are in space.

    In recent years, new aerospace companies have been founded to try and extend the lifespan of satellites, on the hunch that many clients would find this more profitable than relaunching new ones.
    I am because we are
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  4. #4
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    Merged two threads on the same topic
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  5. #5
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    And yet another paper on the same topics...

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1901.11121

    End to End Satellite Servicing and Space Debris Management

    Aman Chandra, Himangshu Kalita, Roberto Furfaro, Jekan Thangavelautham (Submitted on 25 Jan 2019)

    There is growing demand for satellite swarms and constellations for global positioning, remote sensing and relay communication in higher LEO orbits. This will result in many obsolete, damaged and abandoned satellites that will remain on-orbit beyond 25 years. These abandoned satellites and space debris maybe economically valuable orbital real-estate and resources that can be reused, repaired or upgraded for future use. Space traffic management is critical to repair damaged satellites, divert satellites into warehouse orbits and effectively de-orbit satellites and space debris that are beyond repair and salvage. Current methods for on-orbit capture, servicing and repair require a large service satellite. However, by accessing abandoned satellites and space debris, there is an inherent heightened risk of damage to a servicing spacecraft. Sending multiple small-robots with each robot specialized in a specific task is a credible alternative, as the system is simple and cost-effective and where loss of one or more robots does not end the mission. In this work, we outline an end to end multirobot system to capture damaged and abandoned spacecraft for salvaging, repair and for de-orbiting. We analyze the feasibility of sending multiple, decentralized robots that can work cooperatively to perform capture of the target satellite as a first step, followed by crawling onto damage satellites to perform detailed mapping. After obtaining a detailed map of the satellite, the robots will proceed to either repair and replace or dismantle components for salvage operations. Finally, the remaining components will be packaged with a de-orbit device for accelerated de-orbit.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  6. #6
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    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  7. #7
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    From:
    https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/10/0...dy-for-launch/

    "The approaching spacecraft has a stinger that reaches into the apogee rocket engine’s nozzle from about 3 feet (1 meter) out, and mechanical fingers will reach out and grab the target craft to pull the two satellites together."

    OUCH!
    That gives me bad vibes--looks like there is an app for that:

    https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/N...lites_999.html
    That might also help with Sat rescue....

  8. #8
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    I have to confess that when I saw the thread title, I assumed AAA meant "Anti Aircraft Artillery".
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  9. #9
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    ack!

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