The RemoveDEBRIS Space Harpoon

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A. Hall (2018), JBIS, 71, pp.406-408

Refcode: 2018.71.406
Keywords: Airbus, Space, Debris, Harpoon, RemoveDEBRIS

The European Commission FP7 RemoveDEBRIS mission, successfully deployed from the ISS on the 20th June 2018, is the world's first mission to demonstrate Active Debris Removal (ADR) technologies in orbit. The experiments include a net and a harpoon, as well as other technologies such as visual based navigation and a drag sail to de-orbit the spacecraft. The tethered Harpoon experiment, developed at Airbus in Stevenage, is due to run in February 2019 and will be captured on video with onboard platform cameras. This data will help understand the mechanics of firing a harpoon in space, as well as raise the TRL of the technology for future missions. This harpoon has progressed from the first concept in 2013 through to the flight version used today; it has proved accurate enough for use to capture debris and is currently undergoing final preparations in orbit for activation.

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