ReDSHIFT (The Revolutionary Design of Spacecraft through Holistic Integration of Future Technologies)     


Project Description:

ReDSHIFT will address barriers to compliance for spacecraft manufacturers and operators presented now and in the future by requirements and technologies for de-orbiting and disposal of space objects. This will be achieved through a holistic approach that considers from the outset opposing and challenging constraints for the safety of the human population when these objects re-enter the atmosphere, designed for demise, and for their survivability in the harsh space environment while on orbit. Ensuring robustness into the future, ReDSHIFT will take advantage of disruptive opportunities offered by 3D printing to develop highly innovative, low-cost spacecraft solutions, exploiting synergies with electric propulsion, atmospheric and solar radiation pressure drag, and astrodynamical highways, to meet de-orbit and disposal needs, but which are also designed for demise. Inherent to these solutions will be structures to enhance spacecraft protection, by fracture along intended breakup planes, and re-entry demise characteristics. These structures will be subjected to functional tests as well as specific hypervelocity impact tests and material demise wind tunnel tests to demonstrate the capabilities of the 3D printed structures. At the same time, novel and complex technical, economic and legal issues of adapting the technologies to different vehicles, and implementing them widely across low Earth orbit will be tackled through the development of a hierarchical, web-based tool aimed at a variety of space actors. This will provide a complete debris mitigation analysis of a mission, using existing debris evolution models and lessons learned from theoretical and experimental work. It will output safe, scalable and cost-effective satellite and mission designs in response to operational constraints. Through its activities, ReDSHIFT will recommend new space debris mitigation guidelines taking into account novel spacecraft designs, materials, manufacturing and mission solutions.  


Block diagram showing the interconnections and co-dependencies between the different Work Packages; highlighting the inherent holistic approach of the project and the main outcome of the project: a openly available software for spacecraft mission design with respect to the increasing space debris hazard.

Long-term simulation performed at TUBS / IRAS act as evaluation framework to judge on the effect of mitigation concepts and future technologies. Results can be displayed in comparison plots showing the number of objects in Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) over simulation time. A reference scenario (green with one sigma standard deviation) is compared to various other cases:  Improved success rate for collision avoidance (red), five active debris removal missions per year (dark blue), improved mitigation compliance with reduced residual lifetime (from 25 years to 10 years), the introduction of a large constellation (orange) and the effect of partial collisions (violet).


Project Term:

January 2016 –December 2018


The project is funded through the Horizon 2020 Program of the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (H2020-PROTEC-2015) under REA grant agreement n◦[687500]- ReDSHIFT ( The partners are:

  • Istituto di Fisica Applicata “Nello Carrara” (IFAC), Italy
  • Belstead Ltd. (BRL), U.K.
  • DLR – German Aerospace Center, Germany
  • Deimos Space (DMS), Spain
  • Elecnor Deimos Satellite Systems (EDSS), Spain
  • LUXSpace (LUX), Luxembourg
  • PHSpace Ltd (PHS), U.K.
  • University of Southampton (SOTON), U.K.
  • University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Greece
  • Technical University of Braunschweig (TUBS), Germany
  • University of Cologne (UC), Germany
  • University of Padova (UNIPD), Italy
  • Politecnico di Milano (PM), Italy


  • Schaus, J. Radtke, E. Stoll, A. Rossi, C. Colombo, S. Tonetti, and I. Holbrough, “Results of reference long-term simulations focussing on passive means to reduce the impact of space debris,” in Proceedings of the 7th European Conference on Space Debris, April 2017.
  • Rossi, E. M. Alessi, G. Schettino, J. Beck, T. Schleutker, F. Letterio, J. Becedas Rodriguez, F. Dalla Vedova, H. Stokes, C. Colombo, S. Walker, S. Yang, K. Tsiganis, D. Skoulidou, A. Rosengren, E. Stoll, V. Schaus, R. Poopova, and A. Francesconi, “The H2020 Project ReDSHIFT: Overview, first results and perspectives,” in in Proceedings of the 7th European Conference on Space Debris, 2017.
  • [1] C. Colombo and I. Gkolias, “Analysis of orbit stability in the geosynchronous region for end-of-life disposal,” in in Proceedings of the 7th European Conference on Space Debris, 2017.
  • [1] D. K. Skoulidou, A. J. Rosengren, K. Tsiganis, and G. Voyatzis, “Cartographic study of the MEO phase space for passive debris removal,” in in Proceedings of the 7th European Conference on Space Debris, 2017.




Contact Person:
Dipl.-Ing. Volker Schaus
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+49 531 391-9977