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iBOSS-2 – intelligent Building Blocks for On-Orbit Satellite Servicing
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The DLR-funded project “iBOSS-2” aims at the development of a concept for modular satellites enabling autonomous maintenance and servicing using robotic systems. Such a fractionated satellite system designed for on-orbit servicing activities will consist of standardized building blocks that contain its subsystem components. One of the most important aspects of the research conducted, is the development of interfaces for mechanical docking as well as the transfer of power, data and heat between the single building blocks.

The blocks of the iBOSS-concept shall be designed to support a reconfiguration of the entire satellite. This results in requirements such as reusability and a possible rotation by 90° for the interfaces of a building block.

Based on research conducted in iBOSS-1 three main objectives will be pursued within iBOSS-2:

  1. Advancement of the previous basic concepts of modular satellite and platforms, which resulted from the iBOSS-1 project. In this context one of the main objectives is to increase the technology readiness level of the developed hardware to 4-5.
  2. Furthermore, autonomous satellite servicing, in particular the interaction between servicer and target satellite, will be investigated. Since robotic manipulation plays a key role, handling and servicing of complex modular building block architectures will be simulated based on predefined reference missions. Requirements and constrains resulting from these simulations, the structural design and the modular satellite system itself need to be taken into account.
  3. An analysis of the economic feasibility and sustainable ways of commercialization for modular spacecraft will be conducted.

The contribution of the TU Berlin primarily concentrates on the design of the modular space segment. This includes the following key developments:

  • Development of interfaces enabling

    • the transfer of heat
    • the wireless and contact-free transfer of data
    • the wireless power transfer
    • the transfer of fuel

  • Development of  electronics for building blocks and concepts enabling the operation of building blocks as a distributed fragments of a modular system

  • Assembly of a hardware-in-the loop test bed for the simulation to demonstrate the interaction of a building block within a modular satellite system
  • Simulation based demonstrations of modular subsystems for attitude and orbit control as well as thermal and power contro


  • Rießelmann, J.; Weise, J.; Brieß, K. (2013). Thermal Architectures and Interface Ideas for Modular Servicable Satellites. 64th International Astronautical Congress, 23.-27. Sept, Beijing, China.
  • Dornburg, L.; Weise, J. (2013). Analyse von Bausteingeometrien für die Gestaltung modulare Satelliten. 62. Deutscher Luft- und Raumfahrtkongress, 10.-12. September, Stuttgart, Deutschland.
  • Meschede, T.; Riesselmann, J. (2013). Simulation modularer Energieversorgungs- und Thermalsubsysteme für Rekonifugierbare Satelliten. 62. Deutscher Luft- und Raumfahrtkongress, 10.-12. September, Stuttgart, Deutschland.
  • Rießelmann, J.; Weise, J.; Brieß, K. (2013). Thermal concepts for modular serviceable satellites. Spacecraft Thermal Control Workshop, 25.-27. March, El Segundo, USA.
  • Weise, J.; Brieß, K.; Adomeit, A.; Reimerdes, H.-G.; Göller, M.; Dillmann, R. (2012). An Intelligent Building Blocks Concept for on-Orbit-Satellite Servcing. i-SAIRAS: International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space, 4-6 September, Turin, Italy.
  • Weise, J.; Brieß, K.; Adomeit, A.; Reimerdes, H.-G.; Göller, M.; Dillmann, R. (2012). Modulare Satelliten für On-Orbit-Servicing. 61. Deutscher Luft- und Raumfahrtkongress, 10.-12. September, Berlin, Deutschland.

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Prof. Dr.-Ing. Enrico Stoll
Tel. +49 30 314-21339
Room F 515

Grant No.:

50 RA 1200