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MISSION: Models in Space Systems - Integration, Operation, and Networking

Funded by: European Union (MSCA RISE)
Duration: October 2021 until September 2025


Project summary

Spacecraft must work robustly in the presence of uncertainties such as random hardware faults, operator mistakes, space debris, and radiation. Classic space missions address uncertainty via large safety margins and bult-in redundancy, leading to a spiral of increasing cost and complexity. A recent trend is the small-business commercialisation of space using commercial-off-the-shelf components for networked constellations of small satellites. This "New Space" approach reduces component weight, size, price, and lead time, and makes innovation increasingly driven by software. This pertains especially to resource management and data handling, while simpler components and new interactions increase uncertainty, and come with less reliable parts. Thus, overall mission connectivity, efficiency, dependability and safety in the New Space needs to be achieved on a system level - for which there is no systematic approach yet. This is partly rooted in the empirical focus of many teams, and partly in a lack of easy-to-use methods to model, analyse, and guarantee system-level dependability. This interdisciplinary project sets out to solve this space engineering problem by exploiting highly advanced techniques from the forefront of computing science research, especially model-based algorithmics. We strive for sound and efficient software tools for the development of dependable, networked, and resource-aware New Space missions. For this, the MISSION project will develop an integrated model-based technology to establish and maintain system-level properties of critical space mission parameters. A strong consortium of excellent academic and industrial partners in Europe, Argentina, and China has agreed on a joint research and knowledge sharing agenda that will foster a shared culture of research and innovation, to finally deliver an ecosystem of easy-to-use methods and software tools to the New Space industry.

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