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 Two intelligent vehicles are better than one
04.10.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

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

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>