In-orbit Spacecraft Manufacturing: Near-Term Business Cases Individual Project ReportReportar como inadecuado

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1 ISU - International Space University 2 Initiative for Interstellar Studies

Abstract : The recent developments in space commercialization and the entry of new private entities of various size has re-opened the question of in-space manufacturing. This report examines the viability of a broad set of initial use cases for in-orbit manufacturing around the Earth in particular, involving technologies with a time horizon of 3-5 years. These include large aperture spacecraft or components, components for traditional satellites, standards-based components and nano-satellites such as cubesats, and serial production commercial satellite use cases among others. The definition of manufacturing used extends to any activity involving some or all of three main parts of the value chain including fabrication, assembly, and integration. It also covers cases where testing, deployment, maintenance, repair, upgrades, recycling, and re-deployment have significant inclusion related to the mentioned areas. Pre-fabrication and 3D printing of components in orbit are considered across a number of sub-systems, including solar panels, support structures and truss elements, communication antennae, mirrors, radiation panels and other thermal components, propulsion and fuel elements, and standardized electronics, among others. A classification, evaluation, and selection methodology is provided. The initial broad set of use cases is analyzed and filtered based on factors such as technical feasibility, technology readiness level, potential market, costs, trade-offs and alternatives, and long term use case sustainability. The resulting short list is treated to a preliminary high-level business case analysis and existing project case studies are examined. Lastly, recommendations on the prospects for further investigation are provided.

Autor: Ruslan Skomorohov - Chris Welch - Andreas Makoto Hein -



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