Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fast track for innovative space technologies

22.12.2005


A novel astronaut training system, innovative planetary landing technology and hydrogen gas storage in 0.1-mm micro-spheres are just some of the innovative ideas presented during the first Innovation Triangle Initiative (ITI) Final Presentation Day (FPD) at ESTEC.

Stephane Lascar, Head of ESA’s Technology Harmonisation and Strategy Division, opened the ITI FPD event: “We received more than 200 proposals of which 37 were selected and kicked-off. After 18 months of work 16 have now been concluded with good results and will be presented today."

Marco Guglielmi, head of ESA’s Technology Strategy Section and one of the founders of ITI, added: “The results obtained confirm that the ITI concept works, combining the three entities involved - the innovator, the developer and the end-user - for fast validation of new ideas for space technologies and concepts.”



"We received several new ideas which are not built on existing space systems and technologies. Instead they are novel to space and can open new possibilities for future missions. With ITI we have the possibility to verify, in a short time, if they are valid or not – our experience so far is that many do have potential to provide novel and valid solutions.”

To speed-up the whole process procedures have been put in place for fast track proposal submission and contract kick-off, with the possibility of submitting ideas online (https://iti.esa.int).

Proposals are evaluated when they arrive and accepted projects are kicked-off in a couple of months. “With ITI, we want to create the right environment for innovative technologies to be evaluated, developed and applied in industry leading to a more dynamic and competitive European space industry,” emphasised Guglielmi.

“There are many definitions of innovation, but in ITI it means the use of new ideas in space systems. It could be, of course, an absolute novel idea or it could be the use of an existing technology already exploited in the commercial market that is further developed to be useful in space.” The following are some examples among the activities presented on the FPD, which demonstrate the great variety of technologies within the 37 ITI selected projects:

Two projects focused on landing on other planets. One used a novel micro-laser ranging technology to guide a landing vehicle that at an altitude of seven kilometres can already find the exact position with an accuracy of three centimetres. Another used continuously acquired images of the planet’s surface, then by calculating in real-time the difference from one image to the next (called the image flow), it determines the exact location, orientation and speed of the lander with a 1% error.

One project investigated the storage of hydrogen gas onboard spacecraft using ’micro-spheres’ with diameters ranging from 5 to 200 µm (microns or one thousandth of a millimetre). This technology could open new solutions for hydrogen storage applications also on Earth.

Another project developed an innovative control system for a planetary rover. It is based on an artificially intelligent cognitive system that integrates data from a multi-sensor system with three different layers of data interpretation. This can be used to continuously ‘see’ the surroundings and help the rover to drive around rocks and other obstacles.

A feasibility study led to the construction of an innovative astronaut training system. It optimises the time used to exercise in space and protects the astronaut from overstressing any muscles or bones. The equipment could also have potential for training disabled people on Earth.

Common to all projects is the high level of interaction and cooperation between the different entities involved.

“Actually, if we look overall at the 16 projects presented, we realise that we have got as many inventors as we have developers and customers. ITI has indeed brought together quite different types of entities: large system integrators, small innovative firms, research institutes and universities.” says Marco Freire, ITI Project Manager.

“This is one of the main objectives of ITI, to create synergies and partnerships among the different entities involved in each ITI R&D activity. With these first 16 projects, ITI has proven to be a very good instrument to foster innovation in the European space sector.”

Marco Guglielmi | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/home-ind/ESA-Article-fullArticle_par-02_1134728783894.html
http://www.esa.int

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht APEX takes a glimpse into the heart of darkness
25.05.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie

nachricht First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR
24.05.2018 | Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

If solubilty is the problem - Mechanochemistry is the solution

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Investigating cell membranes: researchers develop a substance mimicking a vital membrane component

25.05.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>