In the recent years Stam has developed a strong know-how on technologies for Active Removal of space Debris (ADR) using nets.
In particular Stam – in collaboration with its Polish partners, SKA and OptiNav – was jointly contracted through the ESA Clean Space programme the project ADRiNET “Net parametric characterisation and parabolic test”, aimed at the development of a parametric simulator for active debris removal with nets, and the validation of the ADR concept through a parabolic flight campaign at the National Research Council NRC-CNRC in Ottawa. We successfully developed a unique system composed by: net simulation software, net ejector, capturing net; supported by testing rig and camera acquisition system.
The ADR technology was then further developed, with the key involvement of Thales Alenia Space Italy, in the ADR1EN project “First European System for Active Debris Removal with Nets” – funded by European Commission SME Instrument Phase 2 –, through upscaling, TVTC tests and free-fall full-scale ground experiments, till the commercial exploitation, thanks to the support of Mr Franco Malerba as our Business Coach.
Today there are no active solutions available, which are capable to de-orbit satellites and large space debris.
Our next step forward to the ADR business is the in-orbit demonstration of our net-based debris capturing technology, to validate the complete system in operational environment. We envisage two possible routes: sounding rocket experiment and in-orbit demonstration.