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 Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo
19.03.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Scientists develop new tool for imprinting biochips
09.03.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>