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AOCS COTS hardware fostering AOCS architecture and functions innovation

Programme Reference
Prime Contractor
Airbus Defence and Space GmbH
Start Date
End Date
To investigate the AOCS architectural and functional solutions to mitigate the failures and degradations introduced by the use of COTS hardware for low-cost missions (Earth Observation, Science, Telecom, IOD)
The use of equipment based on COTS for small/constellation/low-cost platforms is impacting the reliability, availability, performance and robustness of the commonly used AOCS [Attitude and Orbit Control System] equipment (e.g. Gyros, star trackers, GNSS receivers). This activity explores innovative solutions at AOCS functions and architecture level (incl. AOCS FDIR) to mitigate the changes introduced by the use of COTS hardware for AOCS equipment.
European Hardware (HW) will be considered. Performance and functionality of some of these equipment show reasonable degradation and are attractive for small/low-cost missions. Solutions at AOCS level to accommodate this type of equipment would benefit to ESA small mission as well as favouring European competitiveness in terms of performance/cost for low-cost missions.
The following topics needs to be studied:
- review of specific impacts of the use of COTS components for standard AOCS equipment: failure risk, availability degradation, performance degradation, environment robustness degradation, end-of-life degradation, cost reduction and miniaturisation
- assessment of promising techniques/tools to overcome above listed issues (e.g. Optimisation of HW redundancy scheme and on-time, . On board autonomous detection of HW failure/degradation, On board autonomous reconfiguration of AOCS HW under constraints of mission/service continuity)
- preliminary validation of updated architectures/functions for 2 types of missions, including contingency
This activity encompasses the following tasks:
? Analysis of the performance and robustness of AOCS COTS-based (EU) HW for EO/SCI/TEL/IOD types of mission
? Techniques survey to overcome at AOCS subsystem level (architecture, functionality, FDIR, autonomy,...) The specific issues introduced by the use of COTS-based AOCS hardware, in the frame of small/low cost/constellation missions.
? Application of the most promising techniques identified to use cases based on EO/SCI/TEL/IOD missions: definition of use cases, design/tuning, justification of the proposed new items
? Prototyping simulator development and validation of the expected benefits from the architecture/functional studied updates
? Conclusion and recommendations
Application Domain
Generic Technologies
Technology Domain
23 - Electrical, Electronic and Electro-mechanical (EEE) Components and Quality
5 - Space System Control
Competence Domain
3-Avionic Systems
Initial TRL
Target TRL
Achieved TRL
Public Document