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 Significantly more productivity in USP lasers
06.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht Shape matters when light meets atom
05.12.2016 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore

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: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Simple processing technique could cut cost of organic PV and wearable electronics

06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

3-D printed kidney phantoms aid nuclear medicine dosing calibration

06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision

06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>