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IRAS: Low-cost Constellation Satellite Design, Electric Propulsion and Concurrent Engineering

: Ehresmann, Manfred; Skalden, Jonathan; Fugmann, Martin; Harmansa, Nicholas; Fasoulas, Stefanos; Klinkner, Sabine; Sakraker Özmen, Isil; Stäbler, Tina; Hümbert, Simon; Refle, Oliver

International Astronautical Federation:
International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2018. Proceedings : Bremen, Germany 1 - 5 October 2018
Paris: International Astronautical Federation, 2018
ISSN: 0074-1795
14 S.
International Astronautical Congress (IAC) <69, 2018, Bremen>
Fraunhofer IPA ()
Systemtechnik; Additive Manufacturing (AM); Satellit; Propeller; Low-Cost-System

The Integrated Research Platform for Affordable Satellites (IRAS) is a joint research project by DLR, Fraunhofer, IRS, and industry partners aimed at developing cost-reducing technologies for satellites. This paper describes the various contributions of the IRS to IRAS, such as development of a reference satellite constellation for implementation and demonstration of new technologies. The digital concurrent engineering platform as an IRAS subproject is being described with regards to the envisioned aim and future application for unifying engineering tools from multiple stakeholders. It allows to create an efficient design toolchain to reduce development time and costs. The evolutionary system design converger is a contribution on the level of electric propulsion systems to the platform. It is given as a subsystem example of the capabilities of the digital concurrent engineering platform. Additional examples of analysis and outputs are given for the IRAS use case. Gridded ion thrusters with xenon as propellant are likely to be able to provide an electric propulsion system with the lowest total system mass, whereas an ammonia based arcjet system will allow for the fastest regeneration of the constellation at a reasonable mass fraction. Additive manufacturing with its significant potential for space hardware cost reduction, while maintaining or increasing system performances due to function integration, is explained. An arcjet nozzle with integrated regenerative cooling channels has been identified as promising component. It is being manufactured from tungsten powder through selective laser melting. The advantages of using the know how of the automotive industry and translating it into space is described.