Munich | Bucharest

For the Sake of Safety and Sustainability in Space: OKAPI:Orbits´ AI now available as Assistance System to ADEO Deorbit Sail for Satellites

Juni 2023

Germany´s leading collision avoidance system reliably predicts the perfect slot for descent through tons of debris and space traffic.

When, after two, five or more years of operation, a satellite is supposed to leave its orbit and re-enter Earth, it’s a ride on the skyway to hell in two respects: first, for the satellite which is destined to burn up in the atmosphere, but also for other satellites as well as for an encounter with scrap parts that could hit it like unguided missiles – and produce even more junk. Satellites equipped with the ADEO braking sail from HPS are already in automatic descent mode. From now on, however, this can be upgraded by the Collision Avoidance system from industry-leading German startup OKAPI:Orbits. The company emerged as a spinoff from Braunschweig University of Technology in 2018 after over 40 years of intensive research. This Collision Avoidance System minimizes the collision risk during the de-orbit trajectory by figuring out the situation even ten days in advance. Appropriate maneuvers are also recommended for the satellite’s control system. This is made possible by the unique AI behind OKAPI:Orbits.

“Picture a distant view of 6.72 million kilometers of orbits on which about 10,000 satellites, 1,000,000 large and medium objects and 130,000,000 small ones exist that are not currently trackable. This is how complex computing operations is. Now, we should also take into account their velocity of 20,000 to 30,000 kilometers per hour. To any human sensibility, this is pure chaos, which the artificial intelligence behind our Collision Avoidance Software handles with aplomb,“ says OKAPI’s company CEO Kristina Nikolaus.

Ernst K. Pfeiffer, CEO of HPS, a medium-sized innovation company, adds, „Our ADEO braking system not only performs the fastest possible passive descent even under adverse conditions – for example, when the satellite is already dead – it is also the deorbit solution with the largest safety reserve directly on board. Customers who don’t want to rely solely on their own software to control their satellites will find a unique safety architecture for the deorbit of almost all satellites with ADEO’s optional assistance systems for position tracking (Aviosonic) and optimal descent prediction (OKAPI:Orbits) at HPS.“ ADEO is under discussion as a deorbit subsystem for the satellites of Europe’s coming constellation IRIS2 and “together with the features of Aviosonic and OKAPI:Orbits it levers the constellation to the most secure and sustainable one also after satellites’ nominal lifetime.”

During descent, the combination of all three technologies onboard the satellites will increase significantly the orbit determination and prediction, which is a unique advantage also for other satellites, constellations and stakeholders like owners, operators, and insurers.

HPS Joins Net Zero Space Initiative to Drive Sustainable Space-Tech Innovation

June 2023

HPS Joins Net Zero Space Initiative to Drive Sustainable Space-Tech Innovation

[Munich-Bucharest-Paris, June 12th, 2023] – HPS GmbH, a leading technology company specializing in cutting-edge solutions, is pleased to announce its membership in the Net Zero Space Initiative, an ambitious global movement dedicated to supporting sustainable practices and innovations in space.

The Net Zero Space Initiative brings together industry leaders, organizations, and experts from various sectors to collaborate on finding concrete solutions to combat space debris, thus preserving not only the economic and scientific benefits of outer space, but also its strategic potential in addressing urgent challenges such as climate change. By joining this esteemed network, HPS reaffirms its commitment to environmental stewardship and especially to a sustainable development of space infrastructures.

As a member of the Zero Space Initiative, HPS GmbH will actively contribute to the collective efforts aimed at developing sustainable technologies and practices across its operations. The company will leverage its expertise and its political as well as its industrial network to drive transformative change.

HPS drives advanced technology solutions like the world market leading deployable deorbit sail “ADEO” which enables quick decay of satellites until re-entry, reducing the risk of in-orbit collisions. By joining the Net Zero Space Initiative, the company aims to accelerate these efforts, collaborating with like-minded partners and leveraging collective knowledge to drive greater impact.
„We feel that as a part of the Net Zero Space Initiative we are with the right people,“ said Dr. Ernst K. Pfeiffer, CEO of HPS. „At HPS, we believe that sustainability is both, a responsibility and an opportunity for innovation.
By collaborating with the Net Zero Space Initiative, we can amplify our efforts in developing and implementing sustainable solutions, contributing to a “greener” future in space and for our planet.“

As an advocate for sustainability, HPS GmbH Germany, as well as its affiliate HPS S.R.L. Romania, remain committed to driving positive change through its products, services, and operations. The company’s membership in the Net Zero Space Initiative represents a significant milestone in its sustainability journey.

HPS is Prepared to Provide ADEO Special Stealth Sail Edition for Europe´s IRIS2 Constellation Satellites

Mai 2023

HPS is Prepared to Provide ADEO Special Stealth Sail Edition for Europe´s IRIS² Constellation Satellites

The ever-growing number of satellites orbiting Earth presents a significant challenge in terms of space debris management. As space agencies and private companies deploy increasing numbers of satellites, finding effective and sustainable solutions for their safe disposal has become paramount. In this regard, the ADEO Deorbit Sail, developed by HPS offers a groundbreaking technology that enables controlled and efficient satellite deorbiting for mitigating space debris and ensuring long-term sustainability in space. By harnessing the natural forces present in space, such as solar radiation pressure and atmospheric drag, the sail facilitates controlled reentry of satellites into Earth’s atmosphere at the end of their operational life.

ADEO has already reached ESA´s hightest level of maturity, TRL 9 and proven its reliability on a number of spaceflights; getting ready to serve Europe´s new constellation IRIS2 its NewSpace-team at HPS, Munich, take it even one step further and introduce the ADEO special “stealth” sail edition. While irritating reflections and view blocking effects of conventional constellations like Starlink cause a permanent nuisance to other users of space like astronomers during flight and deorbit, the constructors of Europe´s constellation IRIS2 are going can count on to receive from HPS an exclusive offer for a special version: the ADEO Stealth Sail –invisible, fully transparent and also available for most satellite types and operational orbits.

As HPS-CEO Ernst K. Pfeiffer explains: “Our ADEO deorbit system already presents numerous benefits and applications in satellite end-of-life management like cost- & mass-effective and sustainable deorbiting, compliance with current and future Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines, flexibility and adaptability. Now, with the special stealth version for dedicated to the architects of Europe´s IRIS2 constellation we take the decisive step to let Europe set yet another standard in space sustainability”.

3 – 2 – 1 – Nächster Liftoff für das HPS-Weltraumsegel ADEO-N3 auf dem Satelliten-Carrier ION des italienischen Missionsproviders D-ORBIT

Januar 2023

3 – 2 1 – Nächster Liftoff für das HPS-Weltraumsegel ADEO-N3 auf dem Satelliten-Carrier ION des italienischen Missionsproviders D-ORBIT

Bereits in der Hitze des vergangenen Sommers liefen bei HPS in München die Vorbereitungen für die dritte Mission des innovativen Weltraumbremssegels der ADEO-N-Serie, welches sich automatisch am Ende der Mission entfaltet und „seinen“ Satelliten zum Verglühen in die Atmosphäre treibt. So vermeidet diese Technik bereits am Boden die Entstehung von neuem Weltraumschrott und macht auch Raumfahrt endlich nachhaltig.

An Bord einer Falcon 9 ist der Satellitenträger ION mit ADEO-N3 mit seiner Segelfläche von 5qm seit dem Bilderbuchstart am 31. Januar 2023 vom Raumfahrtbahnhof Vandenberg, Kalifornien, nun auf dem Weg zum Zielorbit auf 270 bis 500 km Höhe bei 53 Grad Inklination. Voraussichtlich Ende 2023 wird ADEO-N3 dann wie schon auf vorangegangenen Flügen – darunter auch bereits einer mit ION auf Falcon 9 – den Bremsfallschirm ausfahren und das ION Satellite Carrier Vehicle (SCV) vielfach schneller als bisher üblich rückstandslos aus dem Orbit entfernen. Mit bis dahin angesammelter Flight Heritage läutet das ausgereifte ADEO-System ein „grünes“ Raumfahrt-Zeitalter ein. Denn zumindest für europäische Missionen bzw. Missionen von Europa aus wird es dann in aller Wahrscheinlichkeit keine Starts mehr ohne Deorbit-Tech an Bord mehr geben: Der Green Deal der EU gilt dann auch für „clean-green missions“ im Raum.

Auf dem aktuellen Flug fungiert ADEO-N3 für HPS als weitere Reifebestätigung.

Was bei nominaler Mission dann hoch über der Erde passieren wird, haben D-Orbit und HPS bereits beim letzten Flug als historisches Zeugnis auf Video gebannt:

Video ist frei zur Veröffentlichung

Das beigefügte Video, aufgenommen direkt vor Ort mit der Bordkamera des ION-Satelliten des italienischen Kooperationspartners D-Orbit, liefert live den Beweis: mit dem nach zwölfjähriger Entwicklung mit großer Unterstützung von ESA, DLR und bayerischer Landesregierung nunmehr serienreifen Produkt des Hauses HPS beginnt ein neues Zeitalter der Verantwortung im All. ADEO wird von HPS an seinen Standorten München und Bukarest in Serie vorrangig für Konstellations-Satelliten hergestellt. Verfügbar sind ADEO-Produkte für Satelliten bis 2.500 Kilogramm Gewicht auf Flughöhen bis zu 800 km. Auch noch höher fliegende Satelliten können mit ADEO bedient werden, wenn sie zuvor mit eigenem Antrieb ihre Bahn entsprechend abgesenkt haben. HPS-CEO Ernst K. Pfeiffer: „Mit ADEO an Bord werden Satelliten erst gar nicht zu Weltraumschrott. Und das zu Konditionen, die IMMER wirtschaftlicher sind als alle anderen Optionen.“