In-Orbit Demonstration and Validation (IOD/IOV) is a Union initiative enabling new technologies to be tested in orbit by providing aggregation, if needed, launch services and operations. This initiative enables to give flight heritage.
The IOD/IOV European initiative has several expected benefits:
- The global competitiveness of the European space sector: IOD/IOV allows technologies to be effectively tested in orbit, while reducing the time it would otherwise take to bring them to market. In doing so, the IOD/IOV initiative contributes to space entrepreneurship CASSINI
- EU non-dependence: IOD/IOV supports EU non-dependence by providing a cost-effective services based on EU solutions both for the spacecraft and for the launch services;
- A European Higher Education system: IOD/IOV aims to provide a generation of European engineers with hands-on experience in real-world space programmes.
through the first Call for Expression of Interest for IOD/IOV experiments in April 2018. This Call attracted 57 applications from various entities across Europe from SMEs to large companies, universities and research organisations. There were 26 successful applications related to technology innovation for Earth Observation, telecommunication, space science, navigation and space environment.
In September 2020, the first selected IOD/IOV experiment, UPMSat-2, was successfully launched on board of the Vega SSMS Proof of Concept flight.
About IOD/IOV initiative
The IOD/IOV initiative started under the Horizon 2020 programme Research and Innovation Programme. It countinues to be funded by the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation programme. Horizon Europe enables the space R&I community to develop innovative space technologies and operational concepts from idea to demonstration in space, and to foster the use of space data for scientific, public, or commercial purposes.
The In-Orbit Demonstration and Validation initiative (IOD/IOV) will allow academia, research organisations, SMEs and larger industrial companies to effectively test new technologies in orbit, reducing the time it would otherwise take to bring them to market. It will also contribute to the EU space skills agenda by exposing students to activities required for designing, building, testing, integrating, and operating a satellite.
It will positively impact the competitiveness of European space research, the space industry and further demonstrate the capability of European organisations. These missions will contribute to maintaining Europe’s place as a global space leader, while shaping solutions for the future
Main steps, from experiment selection to flight
- March - May 2022Call for Expression of Interest and IOD/IOV Experiments pre-selection
This process is handled by the European Commission with the support of ESA. The call closed on 31/05/22.
- Q2 - Q3 2022Procurement action for aggregation services and launch services and operations
This process is handled by ESA on behalf of the European Commission. The tender action has been issued for CASSINI IOD/IOV Service (Horizon Europe) IHE1-1 CubeSat Project and is available on the ESA-Star portal.
Deadline: 30/09/2022 13:00 CEST.
- 2023 - early 2024IOD/IOV Experiment delivery for aggregation on spacecraft
- 2023 - 2025Launch and operations
CASSINI IOD/IOV Service (Horizon Europe) IHE1-1 CubeSat Project
The IHE1-1 Cubesat Project will provide the Horizon Europe Cassini In-Orbit demonstration/Validation (IOD/IOV) service with carriers based on European cubesats platforms, with a volume of 3U or 6U format. The IHE1-1 Cubesat Project contractor will be responsible to specify and deliver all elements required to accommodate a set of experiments selected by the European Commission, in order to bring them into space and to allow for demonstration and/or validation purposes.
These activities include:
- System studies, at ground and space segment levels, including accommodation analysis of the IOD/IOV Experiments on the IOD/IOV Carrier and the compatibility analysis with the available launch solutions;
- Input to the launch mission analysis for the launch service provider;
- Manufacturing, assembly, integration and test of the whole IOD/IOV spacecraft on the basis of EU manufactured solutions including the selected experiments;
- Ground segment capabilities (facilities and operators) to operate the IOV/IOV mission;
- Management of interfaces between the different IOD/IOV experiments and the IOD/IOV carrier;
- Input to launcher interfaces;
- Operations of the IOD/IOV spacecraft taking into account the specific needs of the experiments;
- Delivery of the experiments inflight data to the experiment providers, with a right to use for ESA and EU.
This project is funded by the European Union.
Deadline for tender submission: 30/09/2022 13:00 CEST on ESA-Star portal.