Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ESA highlights space in Europe`s cars

29.10.2002


Advanced space technology is being found more down-to-earth uses – even within the cars driven on Europe`s roads.

The ESA conference ‘Technology Exchange between Space and Automotive Industry’ is to highlight how spin-offs from space are influencing the evolution of European automobiles, heralding improvements in safety, performance and power. It will take place 6 November at ESOC, Darmstadt in Germany.

"Space technology deals with the challenging conditions of launching and space operations," explained Dr. Ulf Merbold, ESA Utilization Promotion Manager. "These extreme environments are drivers for innovative solutions, which can then be applied elsewhere."



The automobile and aerospace industries shared early pioneers, and have other elements in common: "Parallels can be drawn between protection of a payload and a driver in a car," said Dr Pierre Brisson, Head of ESA`s Technology Transfer and Promotion Office. "Everything has to be done to protect against dangerous factors, such as vibrations and impact."

The Prost Formula 1 team has reduced the vibrations its drivers endure during high-speed races. Prost achieved this using a dampening system first developed by Artec Aerospace for protecting satellite payloads during rocket launches.

A carbon composite material first designed to withstand the white-hot temperatures in Ariane rocket nozzles is now being utilised by Messier-Bugatti in high-performance brake systems for both Formula 1 and standard road vehicles.

In addition a novel sensor `skin` originated by the Canadian Space Agency is to be fitted to automobile bumpers. Originally intended to improve the tactile sensitivity of orbital robots used to assemble the International Space Station it will also enable bumpers to detect what type of obstacle they run into. If the bumper hits a `hard` object like a wall or car it will stay rigid, while if it hits a `soft` object – like a human being – it will crumple.

"If a problem exists in industry, can ESA bring a space solution?" asked Brisson. "The answer is yes, if the problem is correctly described and explained."

Space technology also can play a role in the design process. Software first written to simulate the behaviour of space structures is now being used by BMW, Rover and others to model vehicle prototype behaviour.

Miniature engines and gears designed for precision satellite operation also can provide increases in engine efficiency. Automobile bodies are being manufactured using space-derived metal alloys or plastic composites – lending increased strength at lower weights.

Most important may be space-derived ways of powering vehicles. In November 2001 an ESA-sponsored vehicle won the World Solar Challenge across Australia, fitted with solar power cells built for the Hubble Telescope.

"Solar power also has more practical applications, though not alone," explained Brisson. "It could be a component of a hybrid or tribrid vehicle, also using power sources like hydrogen fuel cells or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) as well as gasoline." A LPG racing car is to be exhibited at ESOC in Darmstadt.

The November conference is intended to facilitate the process of automotive technology transfer, with more than 150 attendees. It is part of a larger effort to take advantage of space technology in other areas. ESA has already carried out more than 120 successful technology transfers over the last decade.

Pierre Brisson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht 3D scans for the automotive industry
16.01.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Improvement of the operating range and increasing of the reliability of integrated circuits
09.11.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>