I3DS Integrated 3D Sensors is a project co-funded under Horizon 2020 EU research and development program and part of the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies as the Operational Grant n°4 among 6.


what is i3ds for


I3DS objective:

enhance EU industry competitiveness for future robotic missions by preparing key building blocks for operation in space environments

To boost the European space competitivity, the industry must develop robotic spacecraft that will be able to understand their environment, to be freed from human monitoring to enable complex operations in remote environments.

I3DS mission:

realise a suite of perception sensors that will allow localisation and map-making for robotic inspection of orbital assets and for planetary surface exploration

I3DS key goal:

Develop a harmonised and modular suite of sensors with common interface



The project team will therefore design a new robotic spacecraft architecture, an INSES: an Inspection Sensor Suite composed of various and dedicated state-of- the-art sensors allowing the spacecraft to be “aware” of its environment and then to act accordingly thanks to the real-time processing of the data coming from the sensors.

I3DS is a generic and modular system answering the needs of near-future space exploration missions in terms of remote and contact sensors with integrated pre-processing and data concentration functions. It consists in state-of-the art sensors and illumination devices integrated in a coherent architecture as inter-changeable building blocks and targeting a vast range of missions such as interplanetary missions, formation flying missions, non-cooperative target capture such as debris removal missions, cooperative rendezvous: servicing & spacetugs, landers, rovers,etc...

The architecture of I3DS enables pushing the vision sensors as part of future exploration satellite platforms standard GNC units. It enables computing navigation solutions with on-board computers to be available for post-2020 missions autonomously from Ground. To do so, the data throughput provided by the sensors is pre-processed (filtering, compression, correction of distortions) by dedicated boards within I3DS. I3DS provides also an abstraction of the many electrical interfaces of the sensors by centralising the data flux using dedicated communication nodes. The mechanical interface is also simplified through the integration of the different sensors and boards in an integrated module.
The I3DS design enables easy and low-cost configurations and reconfigurations of a robotic platform for any mission using the modular sensors. The I3DS project intends to develop autonomous robotic platforms to achieve a large scope of spatial mission. Ultimately, three demonstrators will be tested in laboratory, thanks to appropriate tests benches and infrastructures in order to demonstrate the INSES concept modularity and performances
The consortium will demonstrate that two different robotic spacecraft architectures, each (one for orbital mission and one for planetary mission in compliance with the SRC roadmap demonstration scenario) being the object of a dedicated use case, can address every space missions in which exteroceptive & proprioceptive sensors are required.


To achieve its objectives, the consortium will gather:

  • Building blocks (sensors) provided by state-of- the-art providers and specialists, giving modularity and pre-processing capabilities to the different sensors;


  • Specialists in data fusion and processing capabilities to specify, design, integrate and test a whole robotic system architecture (namely three different architectures);


  • Specialists in system architectures and GNC performance breakdown to specify the sensors and peripheral system requirements as well as designing the three different housings and whole robotic spacecraft;


  • Actors disposing of tests infrastructures who will elaborate the use cases and analyse the data, demonstrating the relevance of the two architectures with regards to the space industry incoming needs



what is inside i3ds


Building Blocks