Research Topic

On-Orbit Servicing and Active Debris Removal: Enabling a Paradigm Shift in Spaceflight

About this Research Topic

Robotic on-orbit servicing and space debris removal has the potential to be transformational to the way spacecraft are designed, built, and operated. The scope of these activities ranges from on-orbit inspection over refueling, repair and upgrade or removal to full-scale in-orbit construction of spacecraft and space structures. The availability of an operational on-orbit servicing and space debris removal infrastructure can reduce the risk of space missions, increase their capability and lifetime, and thus increase the return-on-investment for entrepreneurs and operators.
The challenges are manifold. They include developing robust and reliable control algorithms and control systems for autonomous or telerobotic rendezvous, capture, and manipulation of non-cooperative space objects; and developing space situational awareness and debris environment models to facilitate target selection and mission planning. To achieve an operational infrastructure, all these challenges must be tackled in unison.
This Research Topic encourages researchers in the fields of spacecraft robotics theory, space systems technology, space situational awareness, and space debris to share their research results.
We welcome submissions of original articles on research, reviews, descriptions of missions and technologies, descriptions of methods and procedures in:
- autonomous and teleoperated spacecraft formation flight, rendezvous, and capture;
- autonomous and teleoperated robotic manipulation in space;
- telepresence in space;
- space situational awareness;
- modelling and simulation of the debris environment.
The focus should clearly be on the challenges of creating an operational on-orbit servicing and space debris removal infrastructure.


Keywords: Space robotics, autonomous rendezvous and docking, space situational awareness, spacecraft maintenance, telerobotics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Robotic on-orbit servicing and space debris removal has the potential to be transformational to the way spacecraft are designed, built, and operated. The scope of these activities ranges from on-orbit inspection over refueling, repair and upgrade or removal to full-scale in-orbit construction of spacecraft and space structures. The availability of an operational on-orbit servicing and space debris removal infrastructure can reduce the risk of space missions, increase their capability and lifetime, and thus increase the return-on-investment for entrepreneurs and operators.
The challenges are manifold. They include developing robust and reliable control algorithms and control systems for autonomous or telerobotic rendezvous, capture, and manipulation of non-cooperative space objects; and developing space situational awareness and debris environment models to facilitate target selection and mission planning. To achieve an operational infrastructure, all these challenges must be tackled in unison.
This Research Topic encourages researchers in the fields of spacecraft robotics theory, space systems technology, space situational awareness, and space debris to share their research results.
We welcome submissions of original articles on research, reviews, descriptions of missions and technologies, descriptions of methods and procedures in:
- autonomous and teleoperated spacecraft formation flight, rendezvous, and capture;
- autonomous and teleoperated robotic manipulation in space;
- telepresence in space;
- space situational awareness;
- modelling and simulation of the debris environment.
The focus should clearly be on the challenges of creating an operational on-orbit servicing and space debris removal infrastructure.


Keywords: Space robotics, autonomous rendezvous and docking, space situational awareness, spacecraft maintenance, telerobotics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

08 December 2017 Manuscript
12 January 2018 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

08 December 2017 Manuscript
12 January 2018 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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