This week’s video comes from EPFL in Switzerland, which is working on a novel solution to retrieve one of its own satellites before it becomes space junk.
EPFL’s Clean Space One Project proposes the deployment of a platform fitted with a conical net to capture a SwissCube satellite before destroying it in the atmosphere.
The SwissCube satellite, which has been in Earth orbit for more than five years, has darker and lighter parts that reflect sunlight differently.
According to Christophe Paccolat, a PhD student working in EPFL’s Center for Space Engineering and Signal Processing 5 Laboratory (LTS 5) these variations can perturb the visual approach system, plus the estimates of its speed and distance.
Project leader Muriel Richard-Noca added that a single error in the calculation of the approach would see SwissCube bounce off CleanSpace One.
The following video explains how they will avoid this unwelcome scenario.