Space Technology


Project Facts

Project NameiBOSS-3 – intelligent Building Blocks for On-Orbit Satellite Servicing and Assembly
Contact PersonPhilipp Wüstenberg
Funded byFederal Ministry for Economy and Technology
Grant No.50 RA 1500

The research project “iBOSS” (Intelligent Building Blocks for On-Orbit-Satellite Servicing) examines and develops potential concepts for standardization and modularization of future satellite systems enabling autonomous maintenance and servicing using robotic systems. These concepts focus on performing sustainable on-orbit-servicing operations such as maintenance repairs, module upgrades or on-orbit-assembly with the aim to increase the lifespan and the performance of a space system. The modular design has positive effects on the overall mission effectiveness. This includes a great flexibility in satellite development and productions as well as rapid-developing-on-demand capabilities. The iBOSS approach does not only focus on the hardware aspects of modular space systems but also on the development of dedicated Software such as computer aided satellite design, reconfiguration planning and detailed spacecraft simulations which also helps to reduce development time and costs. The positive economic effects resulting from increased sustainability of space missions are also accompanied by ecological benefits such as the reduction of space debris.

Within the project iBOSS and in the course of a cooperation of the TU Berlin, FZI Karlsruhe, RWTH Aachen and the RIF Institut für Forschung und Transfer e.V. a concept for a modular and reconfigurable Satellite was developed. Based on the results of iBOSS-1 and iBOSS-2 the iBOSS concept and its embedded technologies were further improved. In this connection important key aspects were identified and realized: the multifunctional interface for mechanical coupling, power, heat and data transfer, propulsion systems, software applications for computer aided satellite design, reconfiguration planning and detailed modular spacecraft simulations, concepts for robotic servicing scenarios as well as software architecture and components for the operation of modular space systems. These key features were merged into a consistent concept for modular space systems.

Building up on these results the following central objectives shall be achieved within iBOSS-3:

  • Top priority is to increase the technology readiness level of the iBOSS hardware developments to 5-6.
  • The concepts regarding the modular spacecraft systems shall be improved with regards to decentralized intelligence and responsibility within the modular building blocks, robotic servicing, mission and maintenance scenarios, operation concepts of modular satellite missions and utilization as well as economic potentials which results from the overall iboss approach.


iBOSS Concept Video