Project

The main goal of the SINPLEX project is to develop an innovative solution in order to reduce significantly the mass of the navigation subsystem for exploration missions which include a landing and/or a rendezvous and capture or docking phase. It is a contribution to the strengthening of the European position for space exploration. It targets increasing the scientific return of exploration missions, enabling new types of missions and targets, and reducing launch cost and travel time.

Several planned international space exploration missions target the Moon, asteroids, comets, planets and planetary moons. They will bring robotic vehicles to these targets and will provide the capability to return samples to Earth. In general for all space mission but in particula for this kind of missions, mass is one of the most critical factors. Therefore reducing the mass of components or complete subsystems of an exploration vehicle is a key enabling factor for the future exploration of our solar system and beyond.

The mass reduction — while still creating a good navigation performance — is achieved by

  1. applying functional integration of the different sensors,
  2. utilizing micro and nanotechnologies for compacting electronics, and
  3. using sensor hybridization approaches to improve the performance of the complete navigation subsystem.

The project’s objectives are

  1. the development of a integrated novel navigation subsystem architecture,
  2. the production of a breadboard and
  3. the demonstration of its applicability for object relative robotic navigation for space applications (TRL 4).

The first phase of the project will focus on elaborating the requirements and defining an architecture of the navigation system. This will be followed by design phase, a manufacturing phase and a verification phase where the produced beadboard hardware and software will be tested in terrestrial test benches and test facilities.

Consortium

Participant Short
Name
Country Logo & Website
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. DLR Germany German Aerospace Center (DLR) Logo
NEDERLANDSE ORGANISATIE VOOR TOEGEPAST NATUURWETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK - TNO TNO Netherlands NEDERLANDSE ORGANISATIE VOOR TOEGEPAST NATUURWETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK - TNO Logo
Cosine Research B.V. cosine Netherlands Cosine Research B.V. Logo
AAC MICROTEC AB AAC Sweden AAC MICROTEC AB Logo
SystematIC design bv SystematIC Netherlands SystematIC design bv Logo

Workplan

Work Package Overview

WP # WP Title Lead Partner Goals
1 Legal, Financial and Administrative Management DLR
  • effectively monitor the project, in administrative and financial terms and to ensure strategic and everyday management
  • guarantee adherence to the project plan, available resources and schedule
  • interface with EC services and external actors
  • ensure high quality project results and guarantee that project development will align with existing standards and guidelines
  • guarantee that all ethical and legal issues related to the project are properly considered and any relevant conventions are respected
  • cope with relevant gender issues
  • identify and mitigate project risks using effective risk management
2 System Definition DLR
  • select landing and rendezvous scenarios that will drive the complete design and outline technical requirements of the navigation system and test facilities
  • define key requirements for the selected scenario and specifications of the navigation system
  • define test procedures and conditions for representative dynamic tests at ground test facilities
3 System Design TNO
  • define the overall system architecture of the SINPLEX navigation system
  • select sensor architecture options and system elements
  • define interconnections and element interfaces and provide subsystem specifications
4 Navigation Algorithms DLR
  • build a simulation environment including sensor models to develop and test navigation algorithms and analyze performance
  • design and implement navigation and image processing algorithms in the simulation
  • test functionality of navigation and image processing algorithms in the simulation
5 Altimeter cosine
  • detailed system design (optics, mechanics, electronics, software) of the laser altimeter
  • laser altimeter prototype realization
  • Functional test of laser altimeter
6 Optical Sensors TNO
  • detailed system design (optics, mechanics) of the optical sensor
  • optical sensor prototype realization
  • functional test of optical sensor
7 Inertial Sensors AAC
  • detailed requirement analysis of the inertial sensors
  • selection of inertial sensor and front-end electronic prototype realization
  • functional test of inertial sensor and front-end electronic
8 Electronics AAC
  • detailed system design (mechanics, electronics, software) of electronic system
  • electronic system prototype realization
  • electronic system functional test
  • support other electronics miniaturization
9 Assembly and Integration TNO
  • assembly and integration of complete system
10 Testing DLR
  • requirements definition of test bench
  • specification and execution of test bench adaption
  • test bench and navigation system assembly
  • test execution and evaluation
11 Dissemination DLR
  • promote SINPLEX contribution to space GNC/robotic technology in the GNC, micro and nano technology and exploration systems communities
  • guarantee the impact on the European economy through the planning and management of exploitation
  • distribute the project’s results to all interested parties and follow-on activities
  • ensure the results are exploited and to investigate the market potential
  • ensure wide dissemination of the project’s results to all potential interested parties
12 Technical and Scientific Management DLR
  • effectively monitor the project, in technical and scientific terms
  • ensure high technical quality project results and guarantee that project development will align with existing and emerging GNC standards and application guidelines

Deliverables

No. Deliverable Name Nature Level Delivery Month
D1.1 Management Board, Technical Board and Advisory Board members list O CO 1
D1.2 Management and Technical Board meeting minutes R CO 24
D1.3 Quality management plan R CO 1
D1.4 Risk management reports R CO 18
D1.5 1st year report R PP 13
D1.6 Final project report R PP 24
D1.7 Annual reports on risk of dual/improper use of project results R PP 12
D2.1 Mission requirements compilation document R CO 1
D2.2 Navigation system specification - version 1 R CO 2
D2.3 Navigation system specification - version 2 R CO 5
D2.4 Navigation system test procedure in ground test facilities R CO 6
D3.1 Navigation system design report R CO 6
D3.2 Functional test plan R CO 6
D4.1 Simulator and sensor model description R CO 6
D4.2 Navigation and image processing algorithms description R CO 6
D4.3 Navigation and image processing software interface description R CO 12
D4.4 Navigation and image processing software user guide R CO 15
D4.5 Navigation and image processing algorithm functional test results R CO 15
D5.1 Laser altimeter description R CO 6
D5.2 Laser altimeter interface description R CO 12
D5.3 Laser altimeter user guide R CO 12
D5.4 Laser altimeter functional test results R CO 12
D6.1 Optical sensor description R CO 6
D6.2 Optical sensor interface description R CO 12
D6.3 Optical sensor user guide R CO 12
D6.4 Optical sensor functional test results R CO 12
D7.1 Interial sensor description R CO 6
D7.2 Interial sensor interface description R CO 12
D7.3 Interial sensor user guide R CO 12
D7.4 Interial sensor functional test results R CO 12
D8.1 Electronic system description R CO 6
D8.2 Electronic system interface description R CO 12
D8.3 Electronic system user guide R CO 12
D8.4 Electronic system functional test results R CO 12
D9.1 TRR Datapack R CO 15
D9.2 SINPLEX prototype integrated and ready for testing P CO 15
D10.1 Testbench requirements definition report R CO 6
D10.2 Testbench adaption definition R CO 6
D10.3 Testbench adaption report R CO 15
D10.4 Testbench evaluation R CO 24
D11.1 Preliminary exploitation plan R PP 8
D11.2 Preliminary project web site description R PP 4
D11.3 1st web site version up and running O PU 6
D11.4 Exploitation plan R PP 18
D12.1 Technical Quality Assurance Plan R RE 1
Nature codes Dissemination level codes
R Report PU Public
P Prototype PP Restricted to other programme participants (including the Commission Services)
D Demonstrator RE Restricted to a group specified by the consortium (including the Commission Services)
O Other CO Confidential, only for members of the consortium (including the Commission Services)

Dissemination

Journals & Magazines

To be updated...

SINPLEX related publications

Publicity material

To be updated...

Conferences & Workshops

Events & News

Conferences

Date Conference Lecture Title Lecturer(s)
September 23 – 27, 2013 64th International Astronautical Congress, Beijing, China SINPLEX: A Small Integrated Navigation System for Planetary Exploration Laan, Erik; Esposito, Marco; Monna, Bert; Conticello, Simon Silvio; Stelwagen, Frank; Theil, Stephan; Steffes, Stephen; Dumke, Michael; Heise, David; Sagliano, Marco; Oosterling, Han; Nijkerk, David; Duivenvoorde, Tom; Berkhout, Joris; Yanson, Yuriy; Schulte, Jan; Skaborn, Daniel; Durkut, Murat
September 10 – 12, 2012 Deutscher Luft- und Raumfahrtkongress 2012, Berlin, Germany Filter Design for Small Integrated Navigator for Planetary Exploration D. Heise
February 1 – 6, 2013 36th Annual AAS Guidance and Control Conference SINPLEX: A Small Integrated Navigation System for Planetary Landers Stephen Steffes, Stephan Theil (DLR German Aerospace Center, Institute of Space Systems), Erik Laan, Murat Durkut, Tom Duivenvoorde (Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)), Jan Schulte, Daniel Skaborn, Stefan Söderholm (Ångström Aerospace Corporation), Joris Berkhout, Marco Esposito, Simon Conticello (Cosine Research B.V.), Richard Visee, Bert Monna (SystematIC Design B.V.)

International Workshops

Date Workshop Lecture Title Lecturer(s)
October 23 – 25, 2012 ESA Workshop on Avionics Data, Control and Software Systems (ADCSS), ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands Small INtegrated Navigator for PLanetary EXploration (SINPLEX) Stephen Steffes

Project Events

Date Event Location Info
2012/01/26 Kick-Off Meeting Brussels
2012/03/01 System Requirements Review Teleconference successfully passed
2012/05/03 Preliminary Design Review Leiden successfully passed
2012/10/16 Critical Design Review Uppsala successfully passed
2013/01/24 1st year review Brussels successfully passed

Project News

Hardware integration started (June 25, 2013)

All subsystems are ready for integration. The images show some more parts as well as some subsystems integrated into the housing.

SINPLEX prototype housing after casting and mounting surfaces machining and anodizing treatment Navigation Camera Lens barrel Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) PCB with the tetrahedron shaped construction with the gyros/accelerometers The Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) integrated into the SINPLEX prototype housing Laser module, SPAD detector and NavCam lens barrel SINPLEX prototype Star Tracker mirrors. The chosen solution for the star trackers is a patented reflective design called the Multi Aperture Baffled Star tracker DPCU-1 PCB OBC-lite printed circuit board

1st Hardware has been produced (April 26, 2013)

After passing CDR in autumn 2012 the components and subsystems of SINPLEX are in production. The first elements already arrived and undergo a unit testing. The images show the aluminum casted housing and the detector board (where the HAS2 detector is covered).



Contact

Project Coordinator

Dr.-Ing. Stephan Theil
German Aerospace Center (DLR) · Institute of Space Systems · GNC Dept. (RY-NR)
Room 2.08 · Robert-Hooke-Str. 7 · DE-28359 Bremen
Phone: +49-(0)421-24420-1113 · Telefax: +49-(0)421-24420-1120
E-Mail: stephan.theil@dlr.de · Internet: http://www.DLR.de/irs/en/

Administrative Contact

Ines Sander
German Aerospace Center (DLR) · Auftragsadministration Nord
Robert-Hooke-Str. 7 · DE-28359 Bremen
Phone: +49-(0)421-24420-1169 · Telefax: +49-(0)421-24420-1120
E-Mail: ines.sander@dlr.de · Internet: http://www.DLR.de/irs/en/

Website Responsible

M.Eng. René Schwarz
German Aerospace Center (DLR) · Institute of Space Systems · GNC Dept. (RY-NR)
Room 2.10 · Robert-Hooke-Str. 7 · DE-28359 Bremen
Phone: +49-(0)421-24420-1165 · Telefax: +49-(0)421-24420-1120
E-Mail: rene.schwarz@dlr.de · Internet: http://www.DLR.de/irs/en/

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