Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Launch of Ariadna to boost advanced space research in Europe


Will spacecraft travelling through interplanetary space be able to determine their positions by using signals from dead stars as astronomical clocks?

What is the likelihood of artificial muscles made from electro-active polymers replacing mechanical parts in spacecraft? Will it ever be possible to conceive an interstellar highway in which spacecraft journey across the galaxy using the delicate gravitational balance between neighbouring stars?

These are just some of the imaginative, futuristic concepts that will be studied in the first call for proposals issued under a new European Space Agency (ESA) initiative named Ariadna.

Managed by the Advanced Concepts Team (ACT) on behalf of the Agency’s Advanced Concepts and Studies Office, Ariadna will further strengthen the existing links between ESA and the European academic community.

Not only will Ariadna enhance opportunities for cooperation and exchange of information between ESA, universities and research institutes, but it will also enable ESA to become even more involved in ground-breaking research than in the past, becoming an equal partner as much as possible, rather than a mere supervisor.

"In the Advanced Concepts Team we want to devote our time to what we like best: finding out about research being carried out in universities, and carrying out research ourselves," said Andrés Gálvez, head of the Advanced Concepts Team at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands.

"The easiest way of doing so is by working together in areas of common interest," he added. "Ariadna will help us to achieve these goals, by fostering the free flow of innovative ideas and information between ESA and the academic community."

Ariadna will be devoted to short, inexpensive studies involving research into radical new space technologies. The main areas of interest will be:

Fundamental Physics: Theoretical research into fundamental physical phenomena and exploration of their technological implications in subjects such as gravitational physics and quantum mechanics.
Advanced power systems: Research looking beyond photovoltaic systems (solar cells) into power systems for future space missions. This includes investigation of in-space power production systems for transmission to Earth, such as Solar Power Satellites.
Advanced propulsion: Research into advanced in-space propulsion systems and non-conventional systems for access to orbit.
Mission analysis and design: Development of trajectory design strategies and tools, novel mission and system concepts that could revolutionise the trajectories of spacecraft travelling around the Solar System.
Mathematics and Informatics: Research into advanced computing systems and mathematical tools, with special emphasis on improved mission design, performance and return, and more efficient working methodologies.
Biomimicry: Development of methodologies and solutions to space-related engineering problems through the imitation of plants and animals. This biologically inspired research includes behavioural models, structures and materials, mechanisms and processes, sensors and communications, survivability and adaptability.
To simplify procedures, there will be only three types of study:

a) Fast - lasting up to 2 months, maximum expenditure of EUR 15 000,
b) Medium - lasting up to 4 months, maximum of EUR 25 000,
c) Extended - duration up to 6 months, maximum of EUR 35 000.

A new call for proposals is anticipated about once every six months, after which contracts will be awarded to research institutes and academic departments to perform work directly related to the objectives of the ACT.

Torsten Bondo | ESA
Further information:

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht Lego-like wall produces acoustic holograms
17.10.2016 | Duke University

nachricht New evidence on terrestrial and oceanic responses to climate change over last millennium
11.10.2016 | University of Granada

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>