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 The Future of Mobility: tomorrow’s ways of getting from A to B
07.09.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht ShAPEing the future of magnesium car parts
23.08.2017 | DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>