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Italy’s D-Orbit Selected By OneWeb For Active Debris Removal In ESA Project Sunrise Framework

Artist’s rendering of a OneWeb satellite. Image courtesy of OneWeb.

OneWeb has awarded a subcontract to D-Orbit SpA for the development of an active debris removal (ADR) mission in the frame of European Space Agency (ESA) Project Sunrise.

Project Sunrise is a public-private partnership (PPP) between OneWeb, currently developing a world-wide communications network based on a proprietary satellite constellation, and the European Space Agency’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems programme (ESA/ARTES), an ESA initiative to help private partners pursue valuable research and development connected to their businesses that will benefit the industry as a whole.

As part of this PPP, OneWeb will research space and satellite-related key to support the integration and deployment of their first-generation telecommunications satellite system and to enable the development and operations of the next generation.

One of the key technologies to study and define is a low Earth orbit ADR solution that meets the operational and regulatory demands of current and future OneWeb systems. D-Orbit, with the support of Politecnico di Milano, will develop the Phase A feasibility study for an ADR solution based on proprietary technology and heritage.

“Active debris removal has always been a priority in our roadmap,” says Renato Panesi, D-Orbt’s CCO. “This contract will enable us to deliver solutions based on years of research we have conducted internally while developing our decommissioning technologies.”

The work related to the contract will start by the end of October, to be completed by May 2020.

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