ESA's Future Preparation and Strategic Studies Office and its General Studies Programme (GSP) held the first SysNova Workshop on 22nd January 2013 in the Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) at ESTEC (Netherlands). SysNova is a new space concept competition proposed by the European Space Agency (ESA) to compare solutions to given space mission challenges.
Every year GSP will propose several topics related to new technology potentials beyond current ESA programmes and Teams composed of experts from academia, research institutes and industry can submit their proposals and compete for a final prize.
The concepts retained for this round and presented during the workshop were:
The concept BeAST, from GMV, Politecnico di Milano and TAS-I, and the concept KABOOM, from Technical University of Madrid, Astrium GMBH and Deimos, about how to deflect a binary asteroid through a kinetic impact.
Light Touch2, a concept from University of Strathclyde, University of Southampton, Astrium Ltd and GMV-SKY, about contactless deflection of an asteroid with technology based on laser ablation.
MOSAIC, a concept from TUM, Astrium GMBH and Deimos, about contactless deflection of an asteroid with electrical propulsion.
COBRa, a concept from GMV, Politecnico di Milano and TAS-I, about contactless deflection of space debris with chemical propulsion.
And the winner is… The COBRa concept! It was chosen for its innovative aspects that concern the deflection by use of chemical propulsion. A concept of such kind has never been studied before. The award consists of a further assessment to be performed as a CDF pre-phase A feasibility study by a joint team of ESA specialists and COBRa team members. All study teams of the final round will be awarded with financial support for technology development connected to their proposed concept.