WINNING ESA CAMPAIGN — “Innovative Mission Concepts Enabled by Swarms of CubeSats”

Sirin Orbital Systems AG wins the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Contract in the “Innovative Mission Concepts Enabled by Swarms of CubeSats” campaign. For this competitive campaign, 74 European entities or individuals generated 74 ideas, 61 of which were carefully evaluated by ESA experts and 13 ideas were chosen for a full proposal phase, after a thorough evaluation. 5 to 7 contracts were awarded at the end.

The “Innovative Mission Concepts Enabled by Swarms of CubeSats” campaign seeks to explore new possibilities in space exploration and Earth observation by leveraging the power of CubeSat Swarms to enable unprecedented scientific and technological advancements.

Sirin Orbital Systems AG and its two Subcontractors, TU Delft in the Netherlands and University of Strathclyde in Scotland, proposed a novel mission concept entitled, “Swarms of CubeSats for kW-scale Space-Based Solar Power (16U4SBSP)“.

The mission concept “16U4SBSP” intends to demonstrate the use of a Swarm of 16U CubeSats for the realization of Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP). The intended mission can supply wireless electricity for space-to-space commercial applications or for space-to-ground purposes. In the proposed demonstration mission, a swarm of CubeSats collaboratively supply a kW-scale power to clients and end-users in different locations, e.g. in-orbit power supply to data-centres or other in-orbit modules with auxiliary power requirements or remote/strategic areas on Earth’s surface. This mission concept is a fundamental technology demonstration step for the realization of GW-scale SBSP, aimed to provide clean and limitless energy from space through wireless power transmission toward the middle of the 21st century. Nonetheless, the original GW-scale SBSP requires large-scale transportation and robotics for the construction of km-scale infrastructure in space, whereas the proposed 16U4SBSP mission can be realized cheaper, faster and easier in a shorter term.

ESA Campaign webpage:
Innovative Mission Concepts Enabled by Swarms of CubeSats