The BIOINSPACED (BIOINspired solutions for SPACE Debris removal) project aims to find bionic solutions for novel space debris removal technologies. Here, a catalog of biologically inspired solutions will be compiled, analyzed and the most promising concepts will be elaborated. The final goal is to design and build a simple demonstrator of one of these concepts to show the potential of bionic technology for space exploration and to make bionics visible within ESA.
Due to the ever-increasing use and capture of space by satellites, rocket traffic and probes, the number of Earth-orbiting objects has increased sharply in recent years, reaching about 25,300 objects at the end of 2019. The problem is that about 69% of them are decommissioned or defective units or consist of smaller fragments generated by collisions. This accumulation of so-called space debris poses a significant risk to new missions and rocket launches, as even small objects can cause a great deal of damage in a collision.
While the space industry is increasingly concerned with sustainability issues regarding end-of-life of active satellites and probes, there is a lack of actionable concepts and workable solutions for space debris removal. BIOINSPACED analyzes the feasibility of bionic technologies as a contribution to the elimination of space debris by means of the work packages 1) requirements analysis, 2) catalog of possible bionic solutions, 3) concept development, and 4) demonstrator construction.
Role of the CML in BIOINSPACED:
The CML manages the project and executes all work packages. A subcontract has been awarded for requirements analysis and concept evaluation support.
Fraunhofer CML (with TU Braunschweig as subcontractor). BIOINSPACED is funded by ESA (European Space Agency) under the EXPRO+ category.