"At SLAB we believe that advanced multi-satellite systems will help humanity addressing fundamental questions of space science, technology, and exploration. Already today constellations are providing global navigation and communication services, formations are producing accurate digital elevation and gravity field models of the earth, rendezvous and docking missions are routinely conducted to the international space station. Future distributed space missions have been conceived to systematically discover and characterize earth-like planets, to detect gravitational waves, to better understand the earth's magnetosphere, and to study the corona of the sun. We think that on-orbit servicing will become common practice to help reducing the space debris population, to prolong the lifetime of space missions, and to autonomously assemble larger structures in space. In the long term novel architectures such as swarms and fractionated spacecraft will establish powerful networks in space with exceptional characteristics. Heterogeneous wirelessly inter-connected modules will be able to share and utilize resources found elsewhere in the cluster. Ultimately open source interface standards, low-cost commercial hardware, and miniaturization will enable the mirroring in space of the terrestrial internet for the sustained development of future space systems"
"The goal of SLAB is to develop and validate cutting-edge multi-satellite systems’ technologies and embed them into a formation of autonomous micro- and nano-satellites to be deployed in space within the next decade.The SLAB's research and development is focused on the precise positioning of multiple spacecraft, either autonomously or ground-based. It includes spaceborne guidance, navigation, control, and communication technologies and their rigorous validation through high-fidelity emulators and flight demonstrations"
Simone D'Amico, 12/01/2013