This paper describes the activities performed by Aviospace in the frame of CADET (CApture and DE-orbiting Technologies) R&T project, whose objective is the preliminary development of enabling technologies required for Active Debris Removal from LEO orbits. The project focuses in particular in-space capture concepts for large space debris, such as upper stages of elderly launchers or decommissioned satellites. For these, a non-collaborative rendez-vous and capture procedure, to be performed by a robotic spacecraft (namely “chaser”), is required.
Such enabling technologies include:
techniques for orbital recognition of the target debris, based on images obtained in-situ by the chaser spacecraft via optical sensors
technologies of autonomous guidance, navigation and control for phases of close rendez-vous, final approach and capture
technologies, strategies and concepts for target capture and solidarization
For such technologies, current level of development – at least on the national scenario - is TRL 2 and it is planned to reach of TRL 4 through the development of an integrated demonstrator and the associated test setup to be adopted for functional validation.
CADET project started in January 2013; it is co-funded by Regione Piemonte according to: POR FESR 2007/2013 – linea di attività I.1.1. “Piattaforme innovative” – AEROSPAZIO FASE II.