Oberländer, Jan; Uhl, Klaus; Pfotzer, Lars; Göller, Michael; Rönnau, Arne; Dillmann, Rüdiger (FZI - Forschungszentrum Informatik, Germany)
Modular satellite systems offer significant benefits for future space activities: They facilitate the commercial production of satellite components and improve life expectancy by providing an easy way to replace individual modules in orbit or even to reconfigure a system completely to suit a new mission. In this paper, we discuss a new concept for a completely modular satellite system based on reusable building blocks with standardised hardware and software interfaces. We outline the on-board IT infrastructure requirements and present software components which detect the satellite system’s physical configuration and collect status reports from all satellite modules during runtime. Finally, we explore scenarios for servicing and reconfiguring such modular satellite systems in orbit using robotic manipulators.