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ESA Open Invitation to Tender: 1-11172
Open Date: 06/10/2022 12:59 CEST
Closing Date: 06/01/2023 13:00 CEST

The objective of the activity is to develop and evaluate by test a design guideline for Small Satellites (>50 kg and <150 kg) that allow efficient stacking inside large launch vehicle fairing. The design guideline will allow common design approaches for compatibility with heavy launch vehicles and demonstrate high volume packing efficiency. Targeted Improvements: Creating a European satellites tacking solution capable of accommodating more than 5x the aggregate satellite mass in heavy launch vehicles compared to the current state of the art. Description: Small satellites currently do not stack efficiently inside large launch vehicle fairings and dedicated small satellite launch campaigns have not been able to pass on the efficiencies possible from using heavy launch vehicles, exhibiting up to a tenfold price multiplier for a small satellite payload. This is in part due to the incompatible external interfaces requiring separation of the satellites from each other. Recent demonstrations of the stowage of constellation satellites show the benefits of allowing physically connected and densely stacked satellites in both the reduction of adaptor/dispenser mass and the total number of satellites able to be accommodated in a single launch. Without considering established telecommunication constellations, there are currently more than 2,250 micro satellites as part of twenty-five global telecommunications constellations planned for the near future, a third of which are in ESA Member State countries. Many are targeting dedicated communications services and IoT/M2M services using microsatellite platforms, and would benefit significantly from faster development times, lower launch costs and large deployments. Additionally, there are more than seven different European and Canadian small satellite system integrators that could benefit from a small satellite standard that enables efficient constellation deployment. Currently there is no accepted standard for small satellites with a mass higher than 50 kg. Below this value, however, there are a number of established and accepted standards(CubeSat, pocket cube, chipset). Consequently, for the larger classes of small satellites there is a lack of standardisation for structures, sub-systems and interfaces, leading to an increase in the complexity and the non-recurring effort required for developing small satellite missions. Additionally, due to the varied approaches and designs resulting from a lack of standardisation, there is little possibility for implementing efficient stacking/packing configurations within heavy lift launch vehicles. This activity will create design guideline allowing satellites from different manufacturers to stack satellites both vertically and horizontally inside thelaunch vehicle. The expected design guideline will encompass aspects of small satellite design such as:- Dimensional constraints-Contact points and physical external interfaces- External data and power interfaces- Environmental loads- Release mechanisms- Displacement mechanismsA structural breadboard embedding the external interface that conforms to the developed design guideline shall be produced and critical functions tested. All outputs of the activity will be available for a future European standard enabling multi launch from heavy lift launch vehicles.

Directorate: Directorate Telecom Integrated Applica
Estabilishment: ESTEC
ECOS Required: No
Classified: No
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Authorised Contact Person: Audrey Ferreol
Initiating Service: TIA-TTS
IP Measure: C1
Prog. Reference: E/0534-01G - CC-AT 4.0.1
Tender Type: Open Competition
Technology Keywords: 20-A-I-S/C Design and Design Tools
Products Keywords: 2-N-all.1-h-Other

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