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Dr Andrew Ratcliffe

Andrew Ratcliffe is ENS UK R&D Coordinator and Principal Systems Engineer within the Future Programmes Group in ENS at Airbus Defence and Space in Stevenage. Andrew has had a long involvement in the space debris topic having originally designed the harpoon for the RemoveDebris mission and acted as a system engineer on the Design for Demise activities. Andrew is also currently the Project Manager for the ESA Clean Space Harpoon Development Activity which is aimed at designing, developing and testing a Harpoon breadboard capable of capturing large debris items.

Designing for the Future Space Environment: A Review of Space Debris Related Activities at Airbus Defence and Space
Establishing a sustainable space environment is a clear and present challenge for all those involved in the space industry. All of Airbus’s missions must ensure compliance to strict space debris regulations and this compliance can have significant impacts on the design of our spacecraft. Recognising this, Airbus Defence and Space is both leading and supporting a number of projects which aim to mitigate the future impacts of space debris on the space environment. These projects range from the development of technology needed to capture large space debris items to redesigning our spacecraft to maintain compliance to international regulations while meeting the challenging and ever more demanding requirements of our customers. This paper will provide insight into a number of the activities Airbus are involved in and importantly show how these projects fit together to ensure Airbus is one of the industrial leaders in space debris remediation activities.

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