Contributes to Clean and Sustainable Space
There are more than 29,000 known and tracked pieces of space debris (also known as space junk) orbiting Earth, each traveling at about 27,000 km/h. The space junk pose a risk to future space missions, as even tiny pieces could seriously damage or destroy a satellite or spacecraft.
Laura Helene SletbakkCommunication Manager
Demising a Solar Array Drive Mechanism
Simulating the burn-up during atmospheric reentry of one of the bulkiest items aboard a typical satellite using a plasma wind tunnel.This Solar Array Drive Mechanism (SADM) has the essential task of keeping a satellite’s solar wings trained on the Sun, maintaining mission operations.
As part of a larger effort called Managing the end of life of satellites, ESA is developing technologies and techniques to ensure future low-orbiting satellites are designed according to the concept of ‘D4D’ – Design for Demise.