Strathclyde partners in €2.8 million spacecraft removal project

Technology for the removal of satellites from space is to be developed in a €2.8 million project involving the University of Strathclyde.

The TeSeR (Technology for Self-Removal of Spacecraft) programme, led by Airbus Defence & Space, with funding from the European Commission, will carry out initial research for the development of a prototype of a cost-efficient but highly-reliable removal module.

The module will ensure the disposal of future spacecraft at the end of their nominal operational lifetime. It may also function as a removal back-up in the event of loss of control of the spacecraft. The goal of this groundbreaking technology is to prevent the generation of space debris and so reduce the risk of collision with space debris.

The two-year project has received funding of more than € 2.8 million from the European Union.

Dr Malcolm Macdonald, Director of the Strathclyde-based Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications, is leading Strathclyde's contribution to the project.

He said: "Satellites play a major role in our economy and in helping us to monitor our environment. However, they do have a finite working life and once this is over, they can become part of the major problem of space debris.

"The TeSeR project is exploring innovative solutions for clearing up space and reducing the risks presented by space debris. Strathclyde has extensive expertise in this field and we look forward to playing a significant role in this research."

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Other partners in the project are: Aalborg University; Beazley Furlonge; D-orbit; GOMspace; HTG (Hyperschall Techologie Göttigen); PHS Space; Universität der Bundeswehr München; University of Surrey; Weber-Steinhaus & Smith. The University of Glasgow is also participating on a sub-contract to Strathclyde.

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