Open Space Innovation Platform
Enabling & Support

Innovative ideas to mould our future in space

21/10/2019 486 views 8 likes
ESA / Enabling & Support / Preparing for the Future / Discovery and Preparation

After the recent success of our hunt for ideas to monitor plastic marine litter using space technology, we are happy to announce two new Campaigns on our Open Space Innovation Platform (OSIP). By imparting your ideas, you will contribute to future space activities, and could receive funding to develop your idea further.

Off-Earth manufacturing and construction

Human space exploration is bound for missions beyond low Earth orbit, with robotic missions to the Moon and Mars paving the way for human visits. It would be difficult and expensive to take all the required materials and equipment to the surface of the Moon, and even more so to another planet, so for long-term exploration we are interested in using local resources for in situ manufacturing.

“We are seeking ideas for technologies that will enable construction, manufacturing and maintenance of space infrastructure on planetary surfaces themselves,” explains Campaign Manager Advenit Makaya. “These technologies could, for example, shield crews and equipment from the harsh environment, help them move around the surface, generate electricity and communicate with Earth.”

The deadline for submitting ideas under this Campaign is 30 November.

A Moon based under construction.
A Moon based under construction.

Model-based system engineering

ESA has recently published its ambitious Technology Strategy, with targets such as a 30% decrease in spacecraft development time by 2023, and improving cost efficiency by an order of magnitude with each space system generation. Reaching these targets requires more than just technology improvement; a change in the development process is also required.

“Model-based system engineering is a set of technologies that ensure digital continuity throughout a mission’s life cycle, across disciplines and throughout supply chains,” explains Campaign Manager Jean-Loup Terraillon. “Like the transition from analogue to digital, the transition from documentation to models will enable space projects to be ten times more efficient.”

Model-based system engineering. (Credit: Sparx Systems)
Model-based system engineering. (Credit: Sparx Systems)

Space systems are becoming ever more complex to manage via traditional methods. For this reason, over a decade ago we started engaging in developing model-based system engineering tools and building blocks. Now it is time to speed up this process, apply these tools and benefit from new ideas and actors. We are therefore seeking ideas for model-based system engineering.

The deadline for submitting ideas under this Campaign is 12 January.

What will happen to my idea?

Submitted ideas can be made visible only to ESA or also to others; in the latter case, ideas can be improved via comments and contributions from others before the evaluation phase begins. After the closing date of each Campaign, ideas will be evaluated by a team of experts, and the most novel will be carried further along one of three paths: research at PhD or post-doctoral level co-funded by ESA, early technology development activities, or system studies.

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