The E.T.PACK Initiative
Developing electrodynamic tether technology for the sustainable use of space.
The E.T.PACK team was established in 2019, when the European Innovation Council (EIC) granted the FET-OPEN project “Electrodynamic Tether technology for PAssive Consumable-less deorbit Kit“. Its goal, i.e. the development of a deorbit device based on ElectroDynamic Tether (EDT) technology with TRL 4, was achieved by the team in 2022. It represented the first stone towards the main objective of the team: the preparation and commercialization of a set of products based on EDT technology. Among the envisaged applications of these products one finds the deorbiting space debris, the reboost of spacecraft, in-orbit servicing, and enable missions at very low orbits. All of them benefit from the propellant-less character of EDTs.
Recent and on-going projects
o E.T.PACK (European Commission) – development and construction of a compact electrodynamic tether system for deorbiting satellites at their end of life using Lorentz forces
o Iperdrone.1 (ASI & CIRA) – study of a non-conductive tethered system for the release of a reentry capsule from the International Space Station
o Bare Photovoltaic Tether (ESA) – development of novel thin-film solar arrays deployed from a spacecraft in the form of long tapes.