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See detailNvidia Omniverse for Active Space Debris Removal Missions, an Overview
Li, Xiao UL; Richard, Antoine UL; Loumpasefski, Olga-Orsalia UL et al

Scientific Conference (2022, October 13)

Earth orbits have an increasingly worrying space debris pollution problem caused by millions of human-made objects left in space. These are becoming a hazard for current and future space missions. Many ... [more ▼]

Earth orbits have an increasingly worrying space debris pollution problem caused by millions of human-made objects left in space. These are becoming a hazard for current and future space missions. Many solutions to deal with space debris problems have been proposed, including Active Space Debris Removal (ASDR) methods. In this thriving field, various technologies are under development, among them, systems based on tethers, nets, lasers, or robotic arms can be found. However, testing such systems on earth is challenging, recreating space-like conditions, such as accurate contact dynamics under microgravity, is particularly difficult. Nonetheless, it is of paramount importance to offer testing environments for clean space technologies, as space is unforgiving, and space devices must go through thorough evaluation processes to ensure peak efficiency. The HELEN project aims at fulfilling this very need. Building on one of the most advanced simulation frameworks, it will provide photo-realistic rendering, an accurate physical simulation of the space environment, and eventually, through Hardware-In-the-Loop (HIL), simulation of microgravity in ground facilities. This project is the result of the collaboration between SpaceR (University of Luxembourg), and Spacety (Industry). This simulation will be used to test FlexeS, an ASDR capturing system, which is under development. In HELEN, the accuracy of the physics is particularly important, as FlexeS will be validated through simulated HIL scenarios. Hence, a lifelike depiction of the microgravity environment, as well as the collisions, is critical. Moreover, to intercept and grab the debris FlexeS will rely on computer vision algorithms, thus photo-realistic graphics, allowing for lifelike visualizations are required. Furthermore, for future HIL testing, the ROS bridge and real-time communication capacity are crucial to connect the virtual world with the Zero-G robotic facility of the University of Luxembourg. In such a manner, FlexeS will be visualized in the space surroundings while simultaneously undergoing hardware experiments. With all these constraints in mind, Nvidia's Issac Sim was selected to create on-orbit dynamic scenarios. It not only meets all the requirements above but also provides a variety of sensors. Consequently, HELEN is creating on-orbit simulations featuring a CubeSat embedded with FlexeS, and debris circling the Earth. The scenarios showcase the digital twin of the capturing system intercepting debris, corresponding to the approaching phase in ASDR missions. Visually speaking, the RTX render engine allows for photo-realistic image generation. Regarding the motion of these objects, force-based astrodynamics is implemented into the simulation following the gravitational equation. Faithful velocities, position, and contacts are inferred by Nvidia's physics engine, PhysX. Scaled real-life values are used for the mass, as well as the orbital velocity and altitude. Thus, accurate simulations of contact dynamics between the system and the debris can be achieved. In the future, using a ROS bridge, the simulation will be connected to the HIL testing system of the Zero-G facility, amounting to a wholesome ASDR testing framework. Overall, the realistic simulations created with Isaac Sim are promising for analyzing clean space technologies. They combine photo-realistic scenes, accurate physics, and in the future, a means to test real hardware systems. [less ▲]

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See detailEnabling Elements of Simulations Digital Twins and its Applicability for Information Superiority in Defence Domain
Aggarwal, Kapish; Bögel, Elias; La Rosa Betancourt, Manuel et al

Scientific Conference (2022, September 29)

The emerging concept of digital twins is the key enabler for modelling and simulations needs of any future-ready entity. Digital twins enable rapid transformation of requirements into capabilities at much ... [more ▼]

The emerging concept of digital twins is the key enabler for modelling and simulations needs of any future-ready entity. Digital twins enable rapid transformation of requirements into capabilities at much lower costs, compared to conventional methods, through enhancement of modularity and scalability. Elements of a modelling and simulations digital twin are discussed in this paper. These capabilities include, but are not limited to, surrogate modelling, optimization, parallelization, high performance computing, cloud architecture design, etc. These concepts are relevant for the integration of modelling and simulations technologies into a single interface digital twin for rapid prototyping and qualification of engineering systems. Use of these emerging technologies leads to significantly less simulation computation time (reduced from hours/days to seconds or even micro-seconds) compared to the conventional methods. Ease-of-collaboration with all stakeholders, reduced testing time, minimal on-site infrastructure requirements are the key cost-reducing advantages found in this study. Applicability of such intelligent and online digital twins for information superiority to enhance cybersecurity and on-board threat assessment of space-based (defence) services is analysed. The use of these synchronized and interoperable capabilities mitigates both reversible and non-reversible physical and cyber threats to defence space infrastructure. [less ▲]

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