GreenOPS is the General Studies Programme's initiative that addresses a sustainable use of outer space. Studies encompass the field of "space operations" in a wide sense, ranging from analyses of the environment to smarter spacecraft operations. The overarching objective is to preserve the space environment by analyzing and supporting strategies to ensure space accessibility and reduce costs and complexity associated with daily spacecraft operations.
The GSP is currently working in collaboration with Industry, Academia and Research centers in order to supply internal knowledge gaps through carrying on studies and developing tools that will help to preserve space environment and maintain space accessible.
Current work supported by industry, academia and European research centers is addressing:
- Space debris mitigation
- investigating novel de-orbiting solutions
- studying active space debris removal (ADR) concepts
- identifying appropriate targets for an ADR mission
- Assessment of spacecraft collisions consequences on the environment and of the dynamical evolution of debris clouds.
- Improving our understanding of spacecraft vulnerability models and a calibrating break-up models in particular in the case of catastrophic disruption
- Define optimal disposal strategies throughout all space regions (LEO, MEO, GEO, HEO, LPO) taking into account environmental evolution and orbital interaction
- Investigate concepts for smart telemetry analysis in order to identify patterns anticipating potential off-nominal situations
- Identify potential in orbit demonstration concepts to be performed before satellite decommissioning for innovative TT&C and ground-station operations with the objective of reducing overall costs.
- Define simplified models for spacecraft vulnerability and re-entry analyses to be used in the frame of mission feasibility studies by means of concurrent engineering methods
The outcome of these activities will provide new engineering models to help spacecraft designers put forward innovative solutions for exploiting outer space in a more sustainable way. These solutions will naturally serve as input to future GSP and Clean Space activities.