First European System for Active Debris Removal with Nets


The project aims to catch the business opportunity generated by the need of increasing safety of space infrastructures with respect to the threat posed by the huge number of space debris lost in space.

Our objective is to validate by testing and qualify for space a scaled-up demonstrator of the First European System for Active Debris Removal with Nets (ADR1EN) and develop the necessary business and commercialisation plans to reach the market.

After extensive feasibility and development work performed since 2012, to adapt this concept to the peculiarities of a space mission, the goals of ADR1EN are:
Go to Scaling up

Scaling up

Up-scaling and piloting of the technology demonstrated within an ESA project.


Full scale ground tests of the ADR1EN technology.


Prototype tests in lab-simulated space environmental conditions.

Business Plan

Development of business and commercialization plans to reach the market.

Currently about 23,000 objects are tracked while orbiting near the Earth: more than 6,000 satellites have been launched during the Space Age, but less than 1,000 of these are still in operation. The rest are derelict and liable to fragment as leftover fuel or batteries explode.

Even if we do nothing, taking into account the number of objects already in orbit, the space environment might not be sustainable if no mitigation or remediation efforts are undertaken.
5-10 strategically chosen debris need to be removed every year

The ADR1EN system will contribute to solve the problem of risk of collision against space debris by directly reducing the number of such debris.
To date we have demonstrated the following technologies in a parabolic flight experiment:

  • Net simulation software
  • Net ejector
  • Capturing net
  • Testing rig
  • Acquisition system

The full scale validation and demonstration of the system that will take place in the ADR1EN project will put us in a privileged position to compete in a rapidly growing market.
At the end of the project the ADR1EN system will be the first available tested technology for active debris removal.


The consortium consists of partners each having specific and high value knowledge in all needed scientific and technological branches which are required to meet the objectives of the project. Stam, SKA Polska and OptiNav are three high-tech companies, that have developed and validated in a small scale configuration a system for catching space debris with nets.


Stam is a hi-tech SME specialised in advanced mechatronic systems. The company is supplier of ESA since 1999 in the field of mechanism engineering. A significant part of the business is focused on design, prototyping, modelling and simulation, offering its services to several hi-tech sectors.

SKA Polska

SKA Polska is an R&D company, exploiting knowledge on advanced materials, sensors and processing techniques to provide services for the development of novel measuring techniques, test rigs, optical systems, smart imaging components and control and monitoring systems.


OptiNav develops and integrates machine vision systems, measurement systems and testing systems. Besides the company is active in software development, design and integration of electronics. OptiNav produces and delivers 2D/3D preoperative planning systems, in particular for orthopaedics.

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