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Small Integrated Navigator for PLanetary EXploration

Project Reference: 284433
Activity Code: SPA.2011.2.1-02, SPA.2011.2.2-01
Coordinator:German Aerospace Center (DLR)


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 projects objectives are: (a) the development of a integrated novel navigation subsystem architecture, (b) the production of a breadboard and (c) 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.

Project Details:

Start Date: 2012-01-01
End Date: 2013-12-31
EU Contribution: EUR 1 998 619
Total Costs: EUR 2 614 981
Programme Acronym: FP7-Space
Subprogramme Area: SPA.2011.2.1-02,SPA.2011.2.2-01
Contract type: Small or medium-scale focused research project
Administrative Contact Person: Ines SANDER (Ms.)
Project Website: www.sinplex.eu


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  • Aac Microtec AB, Sverige
  • Cosine Research B.V., Nederland
  • Systematic Design BV, Nederland