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 First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'
26.05.2017 | University of Leicester

nachricht Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect
24.05.2017 | Vienna University of Technology

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: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>