Ninth Nanoforum Report


Nanotechnology in Aerospace

February 2007


Nanotechnology in Aerospace February 2007 Editor: Ineke Malsch, Malsch TechnoValuation Authors: Janusz D. Fidelus, Witold Lojkowski, Laboratory of Nanocrystalline Materials, Institute of High Pressure Physics, Polish Academy of Science; Małgorzata Lewandowska, Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering, Warsaw University of Technology; Dariusz Bielinski, Faculty of Chemistry, Technical University of Lodz; Ineke Malsch, Malsch TechnoValuation (chapter 2) Holger Hoffschulz, VDI-TZ GmbH; Ineke Malsch, Malsch TechnoValuation (chapter 3) Aline Charpentier, CEA-LETI – Minatec; Ineke Malsch, Malsch TechnoValuation (chapter 4) Kshitij Singh, Mark Morrison, IoN; Ineke Malsch, Malsch TechnoValuation (chapter 5, 6) Ana Proykova, MCG, University of Sofia; Ineke Malsch, Malsch TechnoValuation (chapter 7, 8) Acknowledgement: Reviewers: Thierry Jamin, CNES (chapter 4) Christien Enzing, TNO; Paul E. Rempes, Environmental Assurance, Boeing St. Louis, MO, USA (chapter 7), Patrick Lin, Nanoethics; Jürgen Altmann, University of Bochum (chapter 8).


Nanoforum comprises a consortium of leading European nanotechnology organisations led by the Institute of Nanotechnology (UK) and including VDI Technologiezentrum (Germany). METU (Turkey). BIT (Austria) and NanoNed (The Netherlands). Malsch TechnoValuation (Netherlands). Please notify the editor in case any reference is missing. This report content is based on information collected and supplied to Nanoforum in good faith by external sources believed to be accurate. Sofia University (Bulgaria).Nanoforum is a thematic network funded by the European Commission's under the Fifth Framework Programme (Growth programme. This Nanoforum report is downloadable from the network Website at www. 3 . research. Spinverse (Finland). government and financial institutions across Europe. CEA-LETI (France). inaccuracies or omissions.nanoforum. The contents of this report are the responsibility of the About Nanoforum Nanoforum is a thematic network funded by the European Commission. aiming to promote and raise the standard of nanotechnology activities throughout Europe. Nanoforum provides a resource for business. grant number G5RT-CT-2002-05084). Nanoforum is an information source for the European Community that unites disciplines and countries. Unipress (Poland). Care has been taken to include references to the original source for all information included in the report. No responsibility is assumed by Nanoforum for errors.

“Intellectual property in the nanotechnology economy”. updated in December 2003 and April 2004. published in July 2005. published in July 2006. • 8th Nanoforum General Report: “Nanometrology”. published in January 2007.nanoforum. published online at www. first edition published in June 2004. updated in November 2003 and September 2005. published in December 2005. • 5th Nanoforum General Report: “Education Catalogue for Higher Education in Nanotechnology”. “Nanotechnology and Construction”. Risks. published in September 2006. • 3rd Nanoforum General Report: “Nanotechnology and its implications for the health of the EU citizen”. updated in October 2005. published in March 2005. Nanoforum and European Commission: “Outcome of the Open Consultation on the European Strategy for Nanotechnology”. “Human enhancement from different perspectives”.” April 2003 4 . published in November 2006. published in December 2005. published in November 2006. “Funding and Support for International Nanotechnology Collaborations”. Who’s who and research priorities”. Other more specific Nanoforum publications: “Nanotechnology in the EU – Bioanalytic and Biodiagnostic Techniques”. “Nanotechnology in Agriculture and Food”. updated in July 2006. published in December 2005. published in October 2006. first edition published in July 2003. “Nanotechnology in Consumer Products”. • 2nd Nanoforum General Report: “Nanotechnology in the New EU Member States and Candidate Countries. • 4th Nanoforum General Report: “Benefits. published in January 2007. Series Socio-Economic reports: • “VC Investment opportunities for small innovative companies. “Education in the Field of Nanoscience”. “Risk governance in nanotechnology”. • 6th Nanoforum General Report: “European Nanotechnology Infrastructure and Networks”.org Series: Nanoforum General Reports: • 1st Nanoforum General Report: “Nanotechnology helps solve the world’s energy problems”. published in September 2004. published in April 2006. Legal and Social Aspects of Nanotechnology”. Ethical. first edition published in December 2003. first edition published in July 2003.The present report is a publication of Nanoforum. • 7th Nanoforum General Report: “European Support for Nanotechnology Small and Medium Sized Enterprises”.

2006. • Report from the ‘Nano and the environment’ workshop. Series background studies to policy seminars: • “Nanotechnology in the Nordic Region”. published in May 2006.• • “Socio-economic report on Nanotechnology and Smart Materials for Medical Devices”. • “Nano-Scotland from a European perspective”. 5 . November 2003. “SME participation in EU research programmes”. July 2003. December 2003. 30 and 31 March. Brussels. October 2004.

antistatic and electrical properties. Carbon Nanotube reinforced polymers are investigated for aerospace applications because of their good strength to weight ratio. flame and vibration resistance. We limit ourselves to civil aviation and airplanes. We explicitly exclude any military R&D and applications. Nanometals are investigated for their hardness and suitability in hard coatings.Chapter 1 Executive summary and introduction This 9th Nanoforum General report presents a concise introduction and contribution to the expert debate on trends in nanomaterials and nanotechnologies for applications in the civil aeronautics and space sectors in Europe. corrosion and wear resistance and other benefits of nanometals compared to other metals. and public and private R&D labs aiming to set priorities in R&D or funding programmes. national governments. and experts involved in setting the strategic R&D agenda in this field. such as aerospace. Relevant projects are ongoing. Much research is still needed before real applications in aerospace can be expected. metallic materials and polymer nanocomposites. This chapter may be most interesting for materials scientists or those who intend to apply nanomaterials in aerospace applications. This chapter is written from the perspective of materials scientists and includes information on trends in materials and production processes. Chapter 2 reviews current trends in materials R&D on some selected materials for applications in aeronautics and space. Carbon nanotube filled polymer composites are still in the research phase but are seen as promising for aerospace applications. Aerospace applications of high performance polymer nanocomposite resins need the successful incorporation of the nanoparticles in thermoset resins. as this falls outside the mandate of Nanoforum. There are three relevant types of polymer nanocomposites: layered silicate (clay). This chapter should be helpful to decision makers in the EU. Our target audiences are twofold: non-experts of an academic level with a general interest in the potential of nanotechnology for aerospace applications. these materials must find application by 2009 in sectors other than those of high value. Aircraft companies are investigating new 6 . nanofibre / carbon nanotube filled polymer composites. The new nanometal production technology Severe Plastic Deformation (SPD) promises higher strength. Layered silicate polymer nanocomposites are investigated for a wide range of applications including flame retardant panels and high performance components in aerospace. For cost-effective production. However. and high performance polymer nanocomposite resins. Chapter 3 presents a review of the state of the art of nanotechnology for aeronautics applications and analysis of future trends. The focus is on Carbon Nanotube reinforced polymers. this production technology must be developed further before it can be applied in industrial production.

but there is clear interest from the industry. international space station and planetary missions. Nanotechnology can be applied in new materials. Efficient energy generation and storage is very 7 . coatings. Space research is more focused on applied electronics such as sensors.materials for application in airplanes to accommodate the expected growth in passenger numbers of 5% per year for the coming 20 years and taking into account more stringent legislation including environmental. sensors. Onboard electronics must in addition be radiation resistant. Uptake of nanomaterials and nanoelectronics in aircraft may be slower than in other sectors. Nanomaterials and nanoelectronics can be applied in airframes and components. Research focuses on nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes for mixing into polymers and composites. Two developments in space are driving technology developments. electrical and optical characteristics as well as strength and cost effectiveness. The space sector deals with all technologies needed for travelling outside the earth atmosphere. Leading companies including Boeing. Technologies are also being developed for existing issues such as radiation protection. This includes satellites. electronics and energy supply for future spacecraft. rockets. engines. These trends impose the objective of developing lighter materials with equal or improved robustness as current materials used in aerospace (corrosion resistance. Spacecraft electronics can benefit from the fast innovation in the electronics industry sector. but is expected to enter the market in the coming years. extreme and varying temperatures and improved engines. This chapter may be most interesting to researchers and policy makers in nanotechnology and in aeronautics research. Commercial activities making use of space require cost and weight reduction. in electronics may be especially attractive for space applications. ability to be repaired). Foreseen benefits include cost reduction. thus incorporating carbon nanotubes which are relatively radiation resistant. Airbus and British Aerospace are collaborating with universities and research centres on projects to develop nanotechnology for aerospace. damage tolerance. conservative attitude in the industry and need for industrial scale production processes contribute to a longer time to market than in other sectors. Chapter 4 presents a review of the state of the art of nanotechnology for spacecraft applications and analysis of future trends. The stringent safety requirements. They are being investigated for uptake in aircraft on a large scale. and smart materials. health and safety regulations. National ambitions to explore outer space drive the quest for more autonomous systems as well as better life support for astronauts. reduced environmental burden and enhanced passenger comfort. Nanotechnology is currently not incorporated in aircraft. science payloads and futuristic visions such as the space elevator. electrical and electronic components and hardware and other applications. Nanomaterials are being investigated for their thermal. A bottleneck for the uptake of nanomaterials and nanoelectronics in spacecraft is the need to develop efficient characterisation and modelling tools for testing the materials and devices.

security. These technologies are mainly developed for the electronics and medical sectors and adapted for application in space.important for rockets as well as other spacecraft. including propellants. SMEs in the supply chain will have to implement performance enhancing practices. Chapter 5 summarises expressed needs for future R&D for nanomaterials and nanotechnologies for aeronautics and spacecraft. subsystems and systems. the goals set by the advisory council for aeronautic research in Europe in their Strategic Research Agenda are taken as reference. Autonomous systems such as satellite swarms and nanorobotics may one day be used in exploring other planets. The main trend in research is the quest to build more integrated and smaller nano/pico satellites. there is a need to educate sufficient numbers of qualified scientists and engineers to work in R&D for the aerospace sector in Europe. and batteries. Satellites can be used for scientific observation of the earth or universe and for communication. maintaining a clean water supply. fuel cells. Keeping the air breathable. This chapter may be most interesting for researchers and policy makers in nanotechnology and in the space sector. These technical requirements address quality and affordability. controlling temperature. safety and air transport efficiency. To identify technical needs for future aeronautics. testing of new technologies in space and futuristic visions. propulsion. batteries and accumulators and capacitors. Applications are foreseen in 0-5. aircraft avionics. waste water treatment and sensors. Relevant onboard nanotechnologies can be applied in airframes. Life support is becoming more important due to longer manned missions and space tourism. environment. Relevant nanotechnologies include carbon nanotube based sensors. New research needs for nanotechnology applications in space include nanomaterials for spacecraft structure and energy production and storage including solar cells. Nanotechnologies are attractive for the space sector as they enable a reduction in costs. novel space missions. On a general level. solar cells. Another general issue is the lack of cooperation between companies and research organisations in aerospace and in nanotechnology. Nanotechnologies can improve the existing energy generation and storage technologies. fuel cells and hydrogen storage. Futuristic visions include the space elevator based on a long cable spun from carbon nanotubes and space colonisation. processing and transmission. The focus is on gaps in current research and needs for technical performance of available materials and devices which are critical enablers of future aeronautic and space systems. air humidity and the health of the astronauts can benefit from nanotechnologies applied in gas storage. 5-10 and 1015 years in space devices. and nanomaterials and thin films for 8 . systems and equipment. life support systems. Other nanotechnology research needs are in data storage. nanoparticles for imaging instruments and quantum information. nanosensors. Nanotechnology may be applied in aircraft some twenty years after the technologies have been validated for airworthiness.

It is negotiating with Russia and the EU about space collaborations. and electronics. surface treatment and coatings. Keeping sufficient qualified human capital and industrial companies in Europe requires a coordinated effort by the EU and member states. 23 are registered in the USA and 17 in European countries. Several EU funded projects support SME’s in the aerospace sector. The European Space Agency intends to use new systems. the space elevator.48 trillion. Russia still launches the most spacecraft. Europe’s market size is expected to remain constant. Chapter 6 consists of an economic analysis of the European aerospace sectors. Budgets amount to billions of euros per year. with other important global players in Russia. The expected market size is €1. while the European public funding is only 25% of US public funding. and wants to send missions to the moon. the US will decline and Asia will increase its market share. This chapter may be most interesting for decision makers on future research priorities in nanotechnology and in aerospace. China has put a person in space. 2002) aims for a strong competitive position of Europe’s aerospace industry and for combined public and private funding for civil aeronautics of €100 billion by 2020. and intends to develop a new. the gossamer spacecraft and space solar power. This chapter may be most interesting for industrialists and economic and innovation policymakers.601 new passenger aircraft. Brazil. SMEs provide services and additional expertise in R&D to major corporations. Research in nanotechnology for aerospace applications has already led to 62 patented inventions in materials. and homeland security and defence. Airbus expects a need for 16. The R&D is expected to take a decade before being implemented in spacecraft. Japan and India also have space policies. Space exploration and exploitation are seen as major goals for many countries.3% per year until 2023. new architectures and to explore technologies to reinvent the design of space missions. Canada and Ukraine. They have developed a strategic research agenda to accomplish this. reusable spacecraft and collaborate with the EU on satellite navigation and science and technology. batteries. The US aims for space exploration are in manned missions to the moon and Mars. The European Commission’s Aerospace policy (STAR21. 9 . The major manufacturers for aviation are Airbus in Europe and Boeing in the US. Choices of priorities in nanotechnology R&D for space must be based on the technological readiness and applicability. The global market for airline passenger traffic is expected to increase 5. The European Technology Platform ACARE states that the investment in R&D by the private sector in Europe is comparable to the US. in smaller aircraft in the EU market and larger ones in Asia Pacific. nano and pico satellites. engine components. Of these patents. propellants.spacecraft. Visionary applications of nanotechnology in space include molecular nanotechnology and electronics for space.

Chapter 7 analyses the environment. and also investigates the legislative framework for aeronautics. The ethical. General toxicology of engineered nanomaterials and occupational nanosafety issues are also applicable to the aerospace sector. health and safety aspects of nanotechnology for aerospace. better implementation strategies must be developed. This chapter may be most interesting for risk assessment specialists and policymakers on nanoregulation. This chapter may be most interesting for nanoscience & society experts and policymakers in nanoregulation and public dialogue. developments in aerospace and in nanoscience and nanotechnology enable new activities and systems which were not possible before. On the other hand. 10 . Small satellites in earth orbit can be applied in telecommunication and earth observation for peaceful as well as security applications. However. legal and social implications of unmanned air and spacecraft need to be discussed. the review of these issues in the framework of this report is very partial. Further research is needed which is not restricted to civilian applications. health and safety are also being discussed. legal and social aspects of nanotechnology for civilian aerospace. The debate on these aspects of engineered nanomaterials specific for applications in the aerospace sector is only just emerging. Education and outreach must include information and debate about ethical. space exploration may also be enabled by miniaturisation and nanotechnology. On the one hand. Chapter 8 analyses the ethical. legal and social aspects of nanotechnology in aerospace. the current international treaties and national legislation governing the aeronautics and space sector impose boundaries on the nanoscience and nanotechnology research which can be done for aerospace applications. To enhance the likelihood of positive impacts. Potential benefits of nanotechnology in aerospace for the environment. In the very long term. These “nanorisk” research projects which are starting now must be complemented with specific life-cycle analyses and exposure scenarios for applications in aircraft and spacecraft.

NASA 2001) Space elevator. autonomous nanorobot swarm (ch4) Quantum devices for information management (ch4) 5-10 years More stringent regulations incl.1 summarising trends in the whole report. colonisation. market size €1.Table 1. Boeing. Level of integration Societal boundary conditions for nanotechnology in aerospace 0-5 years Current treaties and regulations guide nanotechnology R&D (ch8) Nanotoxicology and occupational nanosafety research ongoing (ch7) Impact of nanotechnology in aerospace on society Need to start life cycle analysis & exposure scenarios for aerospace applications of nanomaterials (ch7) Need action to stimulate EHS benefits of nanotechnology for aerospace (ch7) Nanotechnology applications in aerospace will enable new activities and require changes in legislation (ch8) Economic factors affecting nanotechnology uptake in aerospace Space budgets amount to billions of euros per year (ch6) EU stimulates SMEs in space sector (ch6) Technical system Nano/picosatellites (ch4) Russia: new reusable spacecraft (ch6) European public and private aeronautic R&D funding €100 billion by 2020 (ch6. CNT based electronic noses. architectures & technologies to reinvent design of space missions (ch6) Aircraft weight half of current conventional (ch3.48 trillion (ch6. Airbus) ESA: new systems. EU STAR21) 2023: 16. autonomous satellites swarm (ch4) Technical subsystem Black box using nanosensors.6) Nanotechnology applications in aerospace will enable new activities and require changes in legislation (ch8) Satellite on chip. CNT based lab on a 2015: fuel cells for onboard aircraft systems (ch3.601 new aircraft needed. EHS regulations require (nano) innovations in aeronautics (ch3) >10 years Global & national aims: space exploration & exploitation (ch6) Aircraft passenger numbers will increase by 5%/year until 2023 (ch3. ch4) 11 .

2006) 2020: 40% of nanoclay/CNT polymer composites will be applied in aerospace (ch2. CNT based memory. bio memory (ch4) 12 . stronger materials for aeronautics (ch3) CNT filled polymer composites (ch2. quantum dot solar cells.4) CNT reinforcing coatings. CNT based imaging instruments (ch4) Industrial scale Severe Plastic Deformation process for metallic nanomaterials? (ch2) Need for lighter. Freedonia. value $2 billion (ch2. 2006) Smart materials. CNT in transistors. nanoparticles in propellants (ch 4) 2020: over 163 million kg nanomaterials in composites. drug delivery. Lux 2006) 2006: 62 patented inventions of nanotech for aerospace (ch6) Clay-polymer nanocomposites for flame retardant panels and high performance components in aerospace (ch2) Nanoparticles reinforcing polymers and composites.chip/biochip (ch4) Battery using nanoelements. MRAM (ch4) High performance polymer nanocomposite resins (ch2) Smart textiles (ch4) Material / component 2009: apply metallic materials in mass markets (ch2. Freedonia.

...4..............................................................................1.1 Carbon nanotubes for transistors ........ Coatings................... 53 4......................... 54 4..... Conclusion ............................................. 42 4........ 18 2.......... 22 2................... 50 4.............. 28 3.............................................4. 49 4................... 45 4...............................5.................................................................1..3........ 58 4. 2 Chapter 1 Executive summary and introduction .........................................7..........................7.........4 The advancement of severe plastic deformation .................................................................3................................ Nanoelements ........... Materials using nanoelements ..............................5..1................3 high-performance PNCs resins ....................................................................................... Engines ......................4........ 38 3................... Propellants ......... 55 4.. 26 Chapter 3: Review of state of the art of technology and future trends in Aeronautics..... 20 2............................. 22 2.........................................1 Introduction .. 49 4................ 21 2......... 30 3. 54 4................. 43 4.... 51 4............................4.................................. 37 3.....2 Memories / Data storage........ 34 3..........................1........................6 Publications and Conferences ............5....... 19 2.......1 Layered silicate (clay) nanocomposites ..............................................3......7................................ Global life support............. 16 2...............................................................................................7............7............. Electrical/electronic components and hardware ................................ 17 2............4.................. 21 2...... 56 4......................... 20 2.... 16 2............1 Introduction....................................7..........3................... 59 13 ..........2............... 58 4.........3............................................ 40 4...........................7 Polymer Nanocomposites........ 6 Chapter 2 – Nanomaterials in Aerospace..2 Definitions .....3... Life support ......3 Classification ..............................2............................... Batteries ..................... Fuel cells ..... Others ......................................... 36 3................................ Sensors.......... Airframe and components.5 Energy conclusion .....................................4...................2............................3...............................................5 The projects related to aircraft company business ......2 Materials ........2 Advancement of Nanotube-Reinforced Composites..... 59 4.........................................2 Nanofibres/carbon nanotube in polymer nanocomposites .........1.......7................................................................................................ 39 Chapter 4 Review of state of the art of technology and future trends in Spacecraft .....1 Introduction....... 40 4............................3....................................................4 Electronics conclusion...................... Electronics ............ Energy generation and storage.............................6.................................. 39 3..........3.................................2...........................................................1............ 23 2......3.........2 Materials conclusion ................. Nanostructured metals ..................4..................... Solar cells ..................Table of contents: Nanotechnology in Aerospace ... 16 2..............2.........4..................................................

.... 90 5.......... 89 5........ 73 4..................2....................6 Life support systems ..............3 Propulsion ......2........ 105 6....................... 94 5..................2... 98 5........................................... 67 4............. Space elevator...................8 European Air Transport System ......4 Futuristic visions conclusion ...... 95 5..3...2............7..................................2..........5..............4 How can Nanotechnology Impact on these Strategies? ....................8 Visionary Applications.... 105 6......... 92 5......1.......2................. Textile ..............2........... 63 4......... 86 5........... 72 4......................................................1............................................1.....................5...........................4 Aircraft avionics.........1...................... 100 5..16 Conclusion .....1...........3 Energy Production and Storage......5....... Satellite subsystems................11 Aeronautics application in other industries..... 88 5..................................................................1............................ 114 6.............................................. 90 5......... 81 5.... 89 5.......................................9 Conclusion ................................... 85 5................. systems and equipment........ 84 5.................2 Statement of needs for Research and Development in Space .............................. Medical systems .......2.............. 74 4........14 Education and Training ........... Processing and Transmission...................1............. 99 5.. 105 6.....2................... 80 5..4 Life support conclusion ................................................ 82 5........... 63 4....................... 86 5.................................. Science payloads .....................1.... 77 Chapter 5: Summary of Needs in Aerospace Research ........... 83 5....... 77 4........2......................................................................................3 Space ...............3 Satellites / Payloads conclusion: ............1............................ Space colonisation ...........................2 Airframes ............................................. 64 4.....................6 Safety and Security........... 90 5.............................1.................................7........................... 80 5......................................... 103 Chapter 6: Economic Aspects .1. 89 5.............................12 Funding and investment...2............................. Satellites / Science payloads ................................................. 90 5..........5 Sensors ....4 Data Storage................7..........2 Aviation....1 Aeronautics ...........2.....1..6....................................................1........................................1 Global markets in the aviation industry.................13 Policy........................1 Introduction ...................7 Quality and affordability..1 Patenting of Nanotechnology Advances that have Applications in the Aerospace Industry ......... 86 5.............7...................5 Environment. 111 6..................6...........6.................................1........ 75 4..................................................................................9 Future concepts for Guidance & Control .........................15 SME ............2...........................10 Current Research ........................ 72 4..............................8 Conclusion ......... Futuristic visions ..........................................................................................1.... 101 5..............4.........................................2 Nanomaterials for space craft structure ......... 107 6............................1 Introduction......4...3............1... 68 4.......................... Autonomous systems .....................................................7........... 114 14 ....................................6.. 60 4..................... 81 5.....................................7 Nanomaterials and thin films for spacecraft ......1................................

...............2 EHS risks.... 8....................................................2 Safety risks ............3 Ethical....................................... 7.......6............................. 7............ Legal and Social Aspects ......... Chapter 8: Ethical........ 6.........................................2.................................................................................................................................................................. 7.........6 Conclusions .................1 Health risks......................2........................6 EHS Regulation ................. 8............4 Health benefits................... 7...........................4 Conclusion ....................................................................................1 Introduction... Health and Safety Aspects........................................................ 7............................. 8........... 7.....................3 Environmental benefits.....5 Safety benefits ............................................................. 7............................................................. Legal and Social Aspects ...........................................................2 Regulations.......5 Role of SMEs...............................................1 Introduction.......................................................................................... 7..7 Conclusion .............. 7. References................................................... 118 118 120 120 121 123 123 123 125 125 125 127 129 129 130 133 135 137 15 ............................ Chapter 7: Environment....... 8............................

.Chapter 2 – Nanomaterials in Aerospace 2. higher than that of diamond (ten times higher than that of any other available material). high toughness. it focuses on carbon nanotube-reinforced polymers and materials produced by severe plastic deformation (SPD).2 Advancement of Nanotube-Reinforced Composites The extraordinary stiffness. and a list of companies and institutes actively involved in aerospace nanomaterial R&D. changeable conductivity and the specific tensile strength of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) makes them eminently suited as reinforcing elements in macroscopic composites. The 6th EU Framework Project ‘NanoRoadSME (Nanomaterial Roadmap 2015)’ has published a report entitled “Overview on Promising Nanomaterials for Industrial Application”. Specifically. Materials possessing high strength at a reduced mass and size make lighter aircraft with lower fuel consumption. 2. precipitation hardening. lacquer safety and polymer matrix composites. has been almost exhausted. the possibility of obtaining improved mechanical properties by the conventional methods of cold working. there is a great need for new materials which exhibit improved mechanical properties. Selected European projects and world conferences related to aerospace are included. In the aerospace industry. With a potential high strength-to-weight ratio and multifunctionality. The development of new materials with tailored properties is a primary goal of today’s materials science and engineering. This report identifies the following trends in materials for automotive and aerospace applications: lighter and stronger materials. The current trend is to integrate intelligence and multifunctionality into the varied components of aerospace systems and vehicles. etc. However.1 Introduction This chapter identifies some of the technical challenges and the key research efforts in the field of nanomaterials for aerospace applications. carbon nanotube reinforced polymer composites may provide a unique 16 . transparent windshield. the timelines for possible industrial applications. solution hardening. The state of the art of polymer nanocomposite research is also reviewed. Also included in the report are the projected cost and market evolution of each material’s technology.

Despite these efforts. 17 . Minute amounts give polymers antistatic properties. much additional R&D is still needed to realize the full potential and implementation of these advanced composites (Taczak. such as landing gear and construction equipment such as drill bits and bulldozer blades. Nature Materials. the high cost and relatively short lengths of CNTs combined with an inability to effectively disperse and align them within a host matrix. currently preclude the development of composite structures that could supplement or replace conventional aerospace components. transfer of interfacial stress. 2005). Moreover. 2. Heralded as alternatives to toxic materials like chromium for coatings and for structural applications. useful for applications including aerospace components. a good dispersion. Nanostructured metals can provide very hard coatings that are resistant to corrosion.option for the aviation industry. 2006). Functionalisation and irradiation of polymer-embedded nanotubes and nanotube fibres also have been shown to enhance dispersion and strengthen nanotube-matrix interactions. However. A recent review article identified four critical requirements for effective fibre reinforcement of composite materials: a large aspect ratio. allowing for further improvement of the mechanical properties of CNT-reinforced composites. while concentrations as low as 1% total weight trigger electrical conductivity. there are a number of research efforts underway that address these and other concerns.3. Nanostructured metals Nanostructured metals have nanosized grains. 2005). while others are focusing on combining shorter CNTs into longer and more useable composite fibres. The intimate relationship between the electrical and mechanical properties of these composites enables them to exhibit smart capabilities (Chipara. their absolute lengths are still low. Investigators worldwide are in pursuit of advanced synthesis processes to facilitate large-scale production of CNTs of macroscopic lengths. 2006. which gives them greater strength and hardness. their use can be hampered by their increased brittleness and complex processing requirements. which makes them difficult to manipulate and process. Their use can enhance a material’s ability to resist vibration and fire (Nano letters. While carbon nanotubes typically have very high aspect ratios. 2006). and alignment (Advanced Materials.

nanocrystalline materials. solution hardening. electro deposition or crystallization from an amorphous state). Other papers reported increased high cycle fatigue life. 2006). (iii) there are no toxicological issues involving the use of nanopowders. etc. 2. In some cases superplastic behaviour was observed. but it is only possible to produce small items of such materials. Such excellent properties cannot be achieved using conventional fabrication techniques. With the growing experimental evidence. However. it can be concluded that for some cases SPD in processed materials may exhibit very high strength combined with acceptable ductility. consolidation of nanopowders. SPD processed nanometals are thus prospective materials for many structural and functional applications in the aerospace industry. Grain refinement down to the nanometre scale thus offers good prospects for a new generation of high strength materials. it is probable that only a topdown approach can offer good “technological” prospects.. Nanomaterials can be produced following bottom-up methods (such as inert gas condensation. 18 . research in this field has attracted the attention of numerous scientific groups throughout the world including representative European institutions. high margin applications for the aerospace and defence industries. for real success there is a need to start establishing customers in other areas by 2009 (Lux. has been almost exhausted.or nanoscale structure by the application of severe plastic deformation (SPD). Therefore. the yield strength is a linear function of the inverse of the square root of grain diameter (d-1/2) which implies a 10 times higher grain boundary strengthening when the grain size is reduced by 2 orders of magnitude. Such a concept consists in the transformation of metals or alloys possessing a conventional grain size into bulk materials with a submicron. (ii) conventional materials are used as precursors. improved corrosion and wear resistance.4 The advancement of severe plastic deformation The possibility of improving the properties of metallic materials by the conventional methods of cold working. One can expect that intensive grain refinement down to the nanometre scale will lead to a rapid increase in strength.Low volume. The advantages of the SPD methods are: (i) a 100% dense nanostructured material is obtained. usually with a diameter and length no greater than a few millimetres. enhanced charging capacity and diffusion rate of hydrogen. precipitation hardening. and high-end sporting goods are largely driving the development of nanostructured materials. Thus. According to the well known Hall-Petch relationship. To produce such high strength. the development of new processing methods is necessary.

5 The projects related to aircraft company business Airbus Industries and the MITRE Corporation’s Centre for Advanced Aviation System Development (CAASD) (O’Donnell) are focused on obtaining the highest performance.) for all types of aircraft. a ‘maintenance-free’ airframe and environmental friendliness. and includes 50 partners. The project entitled: “Nano-Structured and Reinforced Composite Materials” is being undertaken at Imperial College London (2006). The Value Improvement through a Virtual Aeronautical Collaborative Enterprise (VIVACE) consortium is a €70 Million European Project which is led by Airbus. it must be stated that to introduce products having a nanometal structure into the market. One of the routes to ease these restrictions is offered by a modification of existing SPD techniques.There is clearly a great potential for bulk nanostructured materials. there are some limitations to their wider use which result from the current restrictions on the cost and size of SPD processed elements. although nanotechnologies promise significant benefits for aerospace applications. Another route aims at the development of new methods. UK also collaborates in the project. will need a major research and development effort in order to fully explore and understand the specific properties of SPD materials and to optimize the processing route for particular applications. etc. Chemistry. all of which are well recognised names in the aerospace and IT industries. For this purpose. For example. The research also includes micromechanical modelling of CNT reinforced composites and feasibility studies into future exploitation routes. 2. The project entitled: “Self-Healing Intermetallics (Metal. QinetiQ of Farnbourough in Hampshire. particularly in the aerospace industry. including CNT-reinforced polymer fibres. However. This project pursues a range of approaches to nano-reinforcement of polymer composites. Polymer) Matrix Composites” is taking place at universities in the Netherlands to develop 19 . an increased integration of the supply chain and substantial reduction of the operating costs. in order to meet future challenges and to incorporate worldwide best state-of the-art technological solutions. CNT-grafted carbon fibres. and CNT reinforced thermoset resins. pressure bulk heads. cooperation with external suppliers and strategic partners is essential. and Chemical Engineering. The global aims of VIVACE are to reduce the time to market. The project is collaboration between three departments within the College – Aeronautics. Finally. mature and robust solutions are mandatory. the Airbus Industry in Stade is interested in manufacturing some composite parts (vertical stabilisers. However.

and why carbon nanotubes still remain prohibitively expensive. 2. polymer) matrix remains almost uncharted territory. which exhibit selfhealing properties. Cientifica. “Nanotubes for the Composites Market. an international nanotechnology consulting firm.g. manufacturing (scale-up). a prospectus covering the years 2005 to 2010 and an extensive worldwide list of nanotube suppliers. In 2003. 2005-2007) aims to develop new nanocomposite materials for the production of sliding bearing sleeves used in the (A380) AIRBUS aircraft air conditioning system. it certainly constitutes a very fine engineering modelling system of potentially great relevance for aeronautical concepts in design and to apply self-healing mechanisms in the context of intermetallic alloys and intermetallic-based composite materials. 2004). Owing to increased efforts in the areas of materials and process development. yield stress anomaly (YSA) or the formation of an oxygen diffusion barrier (OBD) into a (metal. Texas. A very obvious motivation in introducing MMCs into aeronautical systems is the optimal balance of specific strength and stiffness compared with other competing structural materials. The next meeting will occur in May 2007 in San Diego. This conference series has since been renamed Nanomaterials for Defence Applications and the latest meeting was in Virginia Beach.7 Polymer Nanocomposites 20 .” This report addresses carbon nanotube applications for composites. recently published a report entitled.. Also included are a market analysis. CA. However. and certification of MMCs (Metal-matrix composites) a number of key applications are now a well established reality for aeronautical applications. though both aim to stimulate the understanding and application of such systems (Shaffer & Kinloch. Virginia. the 1st annual Nano Materials for Aerospace Symposium was held in Corpus Christi. design. The INTAS project “Nanocomposite sliding bearings for air bleed valves” (NANOBLEBUS. 2. if and when nanotubes will replace carbon fibre. e.6 Publications and Conferences CNT-NET and NANOCOMP are two networks funded by the European Union that address the subject of nanotube and nanofibre polymer composites from different perspectives. The possibility of integrating intermetallic phases. in May 2006.

Advances will be fuelled by declining prices of nanomaterials and composites.PNCs (or polymer nanostructured materials) represent an alternative to conventional-filled polymers or polymer blends.2 Definitions Polymer nanocomposites . valued at $2 billion.and nanotube-polymer composites. Polymer nanocomposites are expected to penetrate a number of applications.7. as production levels increase and technical issues concerning dispersion of nanoadditives in compounds are overcome. Polymer composites are strong. will dominate the market. Up-to-date information on polymer materials (among them nanocomposites) for aerospace applications is currently provided by RAPRA. This is all down to the fact that researchers are always looking for ways to reduce the amount of fuel needed for flights and a key way of achieving that is by reducing the weight of the aircraft itself. with demands for nanotubes alone exceeding $1 billion (Freedonia Group. While nearly all of the current demand is in thermoplastic resins. plus the harsh and varied conditions they face will put even the best materials to the test. possibility to increase production speed of parts and to replace higher-priced materials. growth will be the fastest in higher-priced resins such as engineered plastics and thermoplastic elastomers as much of the initial demand will be in higherend applications. Over the near term. Eventually. the amount of energy needed to propel an object into space means that spacecraft must be even stronger and lighter. polyethylene and PVC. In contrast to the conventional systems. aircraft is a key market for nanoclay. Texas. such as polypropylene. 21 . yet remarkably lightweight and so they are leading the field in aerospace applications. It will remain important through the end of the next decade. as well as reduced weight. elastomers) using fillers. driven by their improved barrier. 22-23rd of February. as nanomaterial additives will increasingly enhance or replace glass fibre-reinforced materials in a number of applications. thermosets.7. Apart from packaging and motor vehicles. strength and conductive properties. USA. 2. whether inorganic or organic. accounting for nearly 40% of demand in 2020.1 Introduction The reinforcement of polymers (thermoplastics. By 2020. where the reinforcement is on the order of microns.2. an international conference “The Future of Nanoplastics” has been organised. is common in the production of modern plastics. nanocomposites based on thermosets will grow to over 20% of the market by 2020. Similarly. 2007 in San Antonio. nanocomposites based on commodity plastics. more than 163 million kg of nanomaterials. 2006). Unsaturated polyester will become the primary thermoset used in nanocomposites. however. PNCs take advantage from unique effects of the addition of nanometre-sized inorganic materials to a polymer matrix. will be used to produce nanocomposites.

optical transparency. styrenics. polymer nanocomposites fall into three categories.7. The attractive characteristics of layered silicate nanocomposites already suggest a variety of possible industrial applications for layered silicate (clay) nanocomposites. from both a commercial and military perspective. mechanical properties. Currently. However. Traditionally. Their application brings improvements in mechanical strength and aging resistance. 2.3 Classification In general.1 Layered silicate (clay) nanocomposites These minerals considerably increase the mechanical and thermal properties of standard polymers. government. carbon nanofibres/nanotube-polymer nanocomposites. tribological. and academia worldwide are heavily investigating exfoliation of layered silicates. and processability. including flame retardant panels and high performance components for aerospace. cost. researchers in industry. and unprecedented morphologies such as interpenetrating networks. Researchers developed two main PNCs fabrication methodologies: in-situ routes and exfoliation. Furthermore. reduction of wear and flammability. Due to their efficiency. two-dimensional platelets and porous materials. without sacrificing the inherent processability and mechanical properties of the resin.3. thermal. polyamides or 22 . the value of PNCs technology is not based solely on mechanical enhancements of the neat resin. they can significantly reduce flammability and maintain the transparency of a polymer matrix. nanofillers can be used in small quantities (less than 5% by weight). tubes and wires. Loading levels of 2-5% by weight result in mechanical properties similar to those found in conventional composites with 30-40% of reinforcing material. Rather.7.These effects however. depending on the form of nanoparticles being used: layered silicate or nanofibres / carbon nanotube-polymer nanocomposites and high-performance PNCs resins. electrical and barrier properties. blend or composite attempts at multifunctional materials require a trade-off between desired performance. barrier to diffusion. and highperformance PNCs resins (AFRL Horizons). The special properties of clay-polymer nanocomposites expand the use of resins and blends based on polyolefins. it comes from providing value-added properties not present in the neat resin. offering improvements over conventional composites in mechanical. The constituent inorganic additives can be applied in a form of particles. are driven not only by the small size but unusual shapes and aspect ratios (L/h > 300) of the additives and include extraordinarily high interfacial areas or highly aligned phases of the additive. 2.

Although PNCs may provide enhanced.polyesters. However. 2. DWNT.3. but are not compared to continuous fibre reinforced composites. These surface modifiers mediate interlayer interactions by effectively lowering the interfacial free energy. they may serve to catalyze interfacial interactions. and dimensions (length and diameter) of the nanotubes. nanotube loading. multifunctional matrix resins. defect density. dispersion state and alignment of nanotubes in the polymer matrix.7. The following points are evident about nanotube / polymer composites (Moniruzzaman & Winey. including epoxies. purity. chirality. Furthermore. they should not be considered a potential one-for-one replacement for current state-of-the-art carbon-fibre reinforced composites. the choice of the optimal modifier is at best empirical to date. 2006): The properties of nanotube / polymer composites depend on a multitude of factors that include the type (SWNT. Other PNCs are also based on thermosets. demonstrating substantial improvements in mechanical and physical properties. or serve as anchoring points for the matrix and thereby improve the strength of the interface between the polymer and inorganic. and the interfacial adhesion between the nanotube and 23 . However.1 Layered silicate nanocomposite (IMI. AFRL) 2. These range from small molecules ionically associated with the nanoparticle surface for layered silicates to chemically bound small molecules or physi-absorbed polymers for nanotubes. unsaturated polyesters and polyurethanes. Fig. the nanocomposite properties discussed are generally compared to unfilled and conventional-filled polymers. The key to any of fabrication processes is the engineering of the polymernanoparticle interface where researchers commonly use surfactants. MWNT).2 Nanofibres/carbon nanotube in polymer nanocomposites A literature search provides many examples of PNCs. initiate polymerizations.

Nickel nanostrands were mixed or infused into Hysol 9396 aerospace epoxy resin and the mechanical and electrical properties of the nickelcontaining epoxy resin investigated. Two approaches are actively being pursued in SWNT materials: modify the synthetic route to preferentially produce metallic nanotubes and sort the existing nanotubes. it remains a challenge to reduce the interfacial thermal resistance of these nanotube networks. Further advances with respect to electrical conductivity in nanotube / polymer composites are likely if only (or predominantly) metallic nanotubes could be used in the nanocomposites. The nanotube network also significantly increases the viscosity of the polymer and slows thermal degradation. These factors should be taken into account when reporting. interpreting. and comparing results from nanotube / polymer composites. Nanotubes have clearly demonstrated their capability as conductive fillers in polymer nanocomposites. where the percolation threshold depends on both concentration and nanotube alignment. In contrast. especially mechanical properties. Functionalisation of nanotubes provides a convenient route to improve dispersion and modify interfacial properties that may in turn improve the properties of nanocomposites. new experimental methods are applied to the problem. so as to take advantage of the high thermal conductivity of individual nanotubes in a polymer composite system. mode of their incorporation into the epoxy resin and magnetic orientation on mechanical and electrical properties of the composite were examined (Burghardt et al. Quantifying nanotube dispersion in polymers (and solvents) is an inherently challenging problem because it involves a range of length scales. 2006). The effects of fibre orientation and total composite thickness on shielding effectiveness were examined by electrical measurements and theoretical modelling and the dominant mechanism of electromagnetic interference shielding identified as absorption (Abdalla et al. using glass reinforced polymer faced sheets with a foam core and a Kevlar 24 . Fortunately. Unidirectional carbon fibre reinforced epoxy straps were also proposed as fatigue crack growth retarders for aircraft construction (Colavita et al. The physical properties of nanotube /polymer composites can be interpreted in terms of nanotube networks. The nanotube network provides electrical conduction pathways above the percolation threshold. 2006).the polymer matrix. The significant progress in nanotube functionalisation chemistry in recent years ensures that this approach will become more prevalent. 2006). and thereby multiple experimental methods are required. New panel material for use in bulkhead and structural flooring in aircraft. which are readily detected by electrical and rheological property measurements. such as a fluorescence method to non-destructively detect isolated SWNT in a polymer matrix. The influence of nickel nanostrand loading level. The shielding effectiveness and electrical conductivity of carbon fibrereinforced epoxy composites were investigated both theoretically and experimentally.

Conductive multifunctional polymer nanocomposite “NanoSphalt” is a carbon nanofibre and fibreglass composite material (www. The material was demonstrated at the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering’s annual conference in May. novel batteries etc. In satellites are exposed to significant thermal variations. a thermal control of the spacecraft is necessary using cold. Panels infiltrated with a fire retardant resin. chemical and physical treatment of various forms of carbon may have direct-end uses or may be further continued in order to produce polymer nanocomposites for: low-wear resistance aircraft brakes. To ensure reliable operation of their on-board systems and equipment. the resistivity of coatings should be reduced without altering their thermo-optical properties. 2005). which has a high electrical resistivity. 2004. in particular the low solar absorptivity and the high emissivity for cold coatings. when researches lit a 75-watt bulb by running current through the model bridge. mechanical strength and ballistic resistance according to National Institute of Justice and ASTM standards (Cohen et al. processing. Other potential applications are: electrically conductive adhesives. Fabrication. were evaluated for their fire resistance. SEM was used to observe the different microstructures arising from various processing conditions. 2006). superior insulating materials capable of heat-storage and transfer. energy harvesting. a high emissive. 2005). structural components with improved electrical / thermal conductivity (such as aircraft engines that can burn hotter and thus more efficiently). The Materials and Coatings Laboratory of the Thermal Control Services at CNES (Toulouse. such as the incorporation of carbon nanotubes (CNT) and indium tin oxide (ITO) nanoparticles in the polysiloxane matrix. Optimum properties for the laminates have been established. Several methods have been studied. neutral or warm coatings. The effects of processing parameters (compression moulding) on the mechanical properties of carbon/polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) thermoplastic composite laminates have also been studied. The range of parameters can serve as a guide to consolidate carbon/PEKK laminates for high performance aerospace applications (Salek et al. France) has elaborated a cold coating version by using a polysiloxane deposit on a metal substrate (such as polished aluminium or vacuum deposited silver). protective coatings for satellites. The nanofibres bring an entirely new property to fibreglass and other polymer composites – the ability to conduct electricity – which opens the door for new applications for lightweight but strong materials that are inherently not conductive (a deflective “skin” could be applied to aircraft to prevent damage from a lightning strike). can accumulate implanted charges that can give rise to electrostatic discharges and damage the neighbouring electronic systems.ohionanosummit. toxicity in fires. In geostationary orbit. polysiloxane. To prevent any electrostatic discharge problems in geostationary orbit.ballistic resistant backing has been described. Researchers working for aircraft industry try to find a way to replace copper wiring with 25 . with the objective of attaining a high transparency. and an antistatic resin (Hidden et al.

e. intended to assist aircraft interior manufacturers in cutting their production times. It can be additionally shaped by heat (High Performance Plastics. and also in meeting increasingly strict fire. According to information from a wiring company. electricity and infrared light (published in the February 2004 issue of Nature Materials). 4). smoke. and are easy to process (High Performance Plastics. replacing that wire with conductive polymer will bring the wiring weight alone down to well below approximately 454 kg.which is 30% lighter than standard Basotect. Henkel KGaA of Germany has commercialised a range of low-viscosity. 1). which consists of a commercial chromiumfree. in large structures that need to be packed for launch and unfurled later.3.7. NanoSperse in Akron (OH. In the same place. The feasibility of developing a sprayable Chromium-Free Permanent Primer (CFPP) coating system. has been reported (Riegler et al. one-part benzoxazine resins for use in the manufacture of large fibrereinforced plastic parts for aerospace applications. 26 . June 2006. a Boeing 747 has approximately 225 km of wire weighing approximately 1600 kg. The resins are stable at ambient temperature.polymer wiring made with electrically conductive carbon nanofibres. have a long pot-life. 2006). BASF AG of Germany reported a variant of its "Basotect" heat-insulating and sound-absorbing melamine resin foam "Basotect TG" . functional conversion coat. low-density adhesive film from 3M. Scientists from University of Dayton Research Institute (OH. The new film adhesive is comparable to a low outgas liquid adhesive and is considered suitable for various applications common to satellite manufacturing. Mixing carbon nanotubes with polymers creates “shape-memory” polymers that respond to heat. which combines low outgases properties required for space applications with consistent bond thickness. 2006). New silicone film adhesive. It is believed that shape-memory polymers will be used in practical applications within 5 years.3 high-performance PNCs resins Many potential aircraft applications depend on successful incorporation of the nanoelements in thermoset resins. Theoretically. May 2006. can spring back into shape when heated. making it particularly suitable for the construction of parts for aircraft interiors (High Performance Plastics. which will positively impact the range and fuel efficiency of the aircraft. USA) and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) have developed plastic that after being deformed. stronger and more durable than other composite polymers – as well as being thermally and electrically conductive. and toxicity regulations (EUREKA.g. 3M AF3070 FST" is a new halogen-free. 2. an abrasion-resistant PU elastomer permanent primer layer containing a chromium-free corrosion inhibitor. 3). USA) is now in full production of nanomaterial-reinforced polymers that are lighter. June 2006.

Microscopic examination of fractured surfaces of the joints showed that the surface-modified polymer essentially failed cohesively within the adhesive (Bhowmik et al. it seems likely that Vibra-Tite is able to cold-flow to fill all the void spaces in a threaded assembly. radiation. the polymer was subjected to low-pressure plasma treatment with a 13. the joints were exposed to cryogenic (-196 °C) and high temperatures (+300 °C) for 100 hrs. has been demonstrated. Vibra-Tite does not adhere strongly to the fasteners. energetic electrons.) is a unique threadlocking and sealing product. Joints exposed to these conditions retained about 95 % of their strength. 2006). The adhesive had a service temperature range of -260 to +370 ºC and was highly resistant to acids. The PBI composites were prepared by using an ultra-high-temperature-resistant epoxy adhesive to join the two polymer sheets. 2006). and protons. alkalis. 27 .which forms chemical bonds with the conversion coat and a conventional aircraft topcoat. The topcoat may be selectively stripped off when required and a fresh topcoat reapplied. Vibra-Tite has been used on assembly screws on the treadmill on the International Space Station and other applications (Dunn. the surface of the PBI was ultrasonically cleaned in acetone and modified by high-energy radiation for 6 hrs in the pool of a nuclear reactor that produced a mixed field of thermal and epithermal neutrons. 2006). To simulate conditions in space. and fire. Attempts were made to modify polybenzimidazole (PBI) by high-energy radiation and low-pressure plasma treatment to permit the preparation of composites with the same polymer. pliable nature. corrosives. Vibra-Tite is a solvent solution of acrylic polymers that is brushed onto the threads and dries within a few minutes. Vibra-Tite from ND Industries (Loctite Corp. making the aircraft ready to fly again (Kovar et al. and gamma-rays at a dose rate of 37 kGy/h. Because of its soft. A considerable increase in the joint strength was observed when the polymer surface was modified by either process. This CFPP coating system exhibits higher abrasion resistance against plastic media blasting than the topcoat. A further significant increase in joint strength occurred when the polymer surface was initially modified by exposure to low-pressure plasma followed by exposure to high-energy radiation. All threaded fasteners tend to loosen under vibration.56MHz radio-frequency glow discharge for 120 s at 100 W power with nitrogen as the process gas. Before preparing the composite. allowing adjustment of fasteners and reuse after disassembly. It permits selective stripping of the topcoat without removal of the primer or conversion coating. and then be hard enough and have enough friction to prevent the slide slippage of the threads that causes loosening. Alternatively. solvents.

impact resistance. and population growth (see chapter 6). The results obtained in these sectors can be transferred easily to aircraft when the technologies are ready for industrial use. In addition. The main driving force towards lighter materials is the fact that transport costs decrease by a factor of $300 per pound of reduced weight in commercial aircraft transport. In the aviation industry engine improvements are also under investigation. although these developments are mainly driven by other application fields such as the automotive or information and communication sector. long lifetime. but to a smaller extent compared to space applications. damage tolerant and repairable as often as necessary. 2002) The most important properties addressed by aerospace materials are strength. Main reasons are GDP growth. To satisfy these expectations aircraft companies are looking for new technologies. Main drivers are • increased safety • reduced emissions • reduced noise • increased capacity • increased range • enhanced payload • higher speed • lower operating and maintenance costs • better overall management of the aircraft and its use Most important for reaching these aims is the development of a new generation of lighter materials. 28 . toughness. stiffness. On the other hand. This value is 100 times as high as it is in the automotive sector. (Plano. The main objective is to reduce the weight of the airframe. ductility and lightness. This affects not only the main aircraft body and blades but also polymer components used in the interior. so that the development of new materials is mainly driven by the space industry. There is also a need for new sensors and miniaturised electronic components. Reduced weight leads to lower costs and better ecological compatibility due to reduced fuel consumption. the materials should be corrosion resistant. the need for lighter materials is even stronger in space applications. increased globalisation.Chapter 3: Review of state of the art of technology and future trends in Aeronautics The global passenger traffic is expected to increase steadily over the next 20 years by an average growth rate of about 5%.

For example. Researchers at the Corporate Research Centre (CRC) in Ottobrunn and Suresnes are working in projects to use nanotechnology for this airframe philosophy. 2004) Although nanotechnology seems to be promising for the aeronautics industry and breakthroughs are expected within the next few years. making aircraft more efficient and able to fly faster. (NASA. These are the reasons why the aeronautics industry is actively researching the exploitation possibilities of micro and nanotech. (Boeing. In futuristic scenarios aircraft could weigh as little as half of a conventional aircraft manufactured with today's materials. making it difficult for nanotech applications to be integrated into new products. (Pritchard. In addition. Application opportunities are much broader in astronautics. In addition. there are no nanotechnology applications in current Airbus aircraft (Oger. Current R&D is looking at improved macroscopic materials using nanomaterial additives which show the same promising properties on the macroscale as on the nanoscale. This is even more prominent for civil aircraft makers. 2001) Nanotechnology can contribute especially to reducing operating costs through lightweight and strong structural materials with the resulting weight and energy savings. functionality and reliability can be enhanced by improved functional materials and sensors. Carrying passengers puts extreme demands on the 29 . (EADS. these materials would have “self-healing” functionality. The aeronautics business remains extremely conservative and risk averse.Revolutionary new nanocomposites have the promise to be 100 times stronger than steel at only 1/6 of the weight. the Boeing Company has formed an alliance with Ford and Northwestern University to conduct nanotechnology research on projects of mutual interest and potential benefit to the companies' current and future products. The main reason for this is the need for mature and robust solutions in aerospace applications. 2006) and this can also be assumed for Boeing aircraft. 2007) British Aerospace has also begun to build up a basic nanotechnology capability. The high strength-to-weight ratio of these nano-materials could enable new vehicle designs that can withstand crashes and protect the passengers against injury. 2005) Airbus is following its airframe philosophy which focuses on highest performance. Lightweight structural materials are the main focus for applications of nanomaterials in civil aviation. the ‘maintenance-free’ airframe and environmental friendliness. Such novel materials would be extremely flexible allowing the wings to reshape instantly and remaining extremely resistant to damage at the same time.

but simultaneously to enhance its strength by 35%. for the Airbus A400M fibre-reinforced blades are planned also with an increase of the polymer amount to 30%. Besides conventional metals like steel the use of lighter metals such as titanium. Airframe and components The drivers are for lighter. the following descriptions and examples are possibilities. has lead to a competitive advantage for the European aerospace industry. e. 30 . Fibre-reinforced polymers have the potential to reduce weight by up to 30% compared with aluminium parts and 50% compared with steel structures. In current aircraft of around 20% by weight of reinforced polymers are used. the aspects of nanotechnology applications in the airframe. Boeing’s concept for the new 787 Dreamliner includes an amount of more than 50% polymers measured by weight and much more than 50% by volume. none have yet been realized in civil aviation. When reducing the weight of an element by 10% it is necessary to reduce its density by 10%. Mainly carbon fibres with diameters of a few micrometres are used for reinforcing. in the Airbus A380 this value will be enhanced to 25%. According to a study of Lockheed (cited in Bader & Stumpp. the sector will stay a niche market for nanotechnology applications because of the small numbers of aircraft and the associated cost intensive development. 3. stronger and safer aircraft. 2006) it is not sufficient to reduce the density of a material. The material has not only to prove its supremacy. new sensors. NanoroadSME) Although the requirements of the aerospace sector are a driving force for improvements in nanomaterials.qualification process of new technologies. and in the electrical system are discussed in more detail. a production process suitable for an industrial scale and a reasonable price/performance ratio is mandatory. (Oger.1. the increasing use of fibre-reinforced polymers in civil aircraft. as coatings. but also its durability. the Airbus A380. its stiffness by 50% and its damage tolerance by 100% Current aircraft are composed of different materials. In addition.g. Please note that. magnesium and aluminium has strongly increased in the past. 2006. whereby the physical properties are maintained under extreme conditions and on a long-term basis. as described above. Higher potential for lighter structures have the use of fibre-metal composites like glare (a laminate of aluminium and glass fibres) and fibre-reinforced polymers. Recently. In the following sections. for the engine.

multi walled carbon nanotubes) layer(s) of graphite.1. fatigue and creep resistance • enhanced anti-microbial activity • multi-functional materials can reduce weight by reducing the number of components Nanomaterials can enhance the properties of almost every material used in aircraft building. Technical problems include a lack of methods to achieve spatial alignment of CNTs. The feasible reduction of the weight of aircraft components using composite materials reinforced with carbon nanotubes (CNT) can be as large as 60-70% compared to existing carbon fibre reinforced polymers (Fig.1). Advantages of nanomaterials are: • ultra high strength to weight ratio • improved hardness.A further improvement can be expected by substituting micrometre fibres in these composites by fibres in the nanometre range.3. wear resistance and resilience • thermal shock. good adhesion to the polymer matrix and achieving a high loading rate. Fibre-reinforced polymers • Carbon Nanotubes (CNT): Hollow tubes of one (SWCNT. Estimations are made that aluminium. 31 . can lead to a weight reduction of 60-70% compared with current fibre-reinforced polymers. reinforced with carbon nanotubes. Nanotube-Reinforced Polymer (CNTFRP) and NanotubeReinforced Aluminium (CNT/Al) Composites compared to an advanced carbon fibre reinforced polymer (IM7 CFRP) composite (Boehm) The major hurdles preventing a broader use of CNTs (not only in the aerospace sector) are the 10. single walled carbon nanotubes) or more (MWCNT. Figure 3.000-fold increase in price compared to standard fibres and the lack of an appropriate industrial-scale production method.

Nanocrystalline materials are characterized by significant increases in yield strength. Advantages of these so-called MMC (Metal matrix composites) are a high thermal stability. These materials can be used as thermal and oxidation protection for fibre-reinforced construction materials. it is much more expensive. ultimate tensile strength.g. (Bader.• • The addition of nanoparticles (e. (EADS. strength increases. The bonding between the metallic sheets and fibres can be enhanced by nanoparticles. and a reduced sinter temperature. MMC have the potential to substitute magnesium and aluminium parts in the future. but suffer from delamination under load. However. The use of SiO2 nanoparticles leads to an improvement of 64% in tensile modulus. Metals can be strengthened by ceramic fibres such as silicon carbide. particularly aluminium and titanium alloys can improve the mechanical properties and enhance corrosion resistance. Composites • Glare –a laminate made of aluminium and glass fibres – is as strong as aluminium but lighter and corrosion-resistant. aluminium oxide or aluminium nitride. and hardness. clay-like mineral montmorillonite) to synthetic resin is being studied to improve material strength. 2006) Metals • Properties of metals are governed by the Hall-Petch relationship – as grain size decreases. 2007) Carbon-fibre reinforced polymers have a greater potential as a lightweight design than aluminium alloys. Nanostructured metals. the fatigue lifetime can be increased by 200-300 % by using nanomaterials with a significant reduction of grain size in comparison with conventional materials. For example. • • Ceramics • Nanophase ceramics show an enhanced ductility and strength. high strength. 25% more strength and 90% more impact resistance. high thermal conductivity. a low density. (Nanovic) Applications 32 . and a controllable thermal expansion.

The new Boeing 787 will be built from a stronger carbon fibre composite. the nanoparticles automatically migrate toward cracks in the silicon oxide.Applications where nanomaterials can contribute to aircraft construction are mainly in the airframe structure but also in the interior to a minor degree: • The airframe is the main target for the use of nanomaterials. gradients) of mechanical properties well beyond more conservative chemical or metallurgical approaches. the cockpit door.000ft. and could allow onboard pressure to be increased further. (Physorg. g. It is expected that as a result passengers will be far less tired. Visionary ideas include fault tolerant and self-healing materials. making them prohibitively heavy. nanomaterials could give rise to even stronger composite materials than those made with traditional carbon fibres. the results should be transferable. 2006) Substituting stronger material of the same weight can increase the impact resistance of aircraft skin material. the cabins of airliners are pressurized to avoid the need for oxygen masks. 2006) With regards to structural materials. nanotechnologies might enable further improvements or tailoring (e.g. Aircraft safety and security is also being increased through the use of new materials in the interior. For example. The MaxPlanck-Institut für Eisenforschung is working on filled nanocapsules in zinc coatings for self-healing on cut-edges. e. but the onboard air is still much thinner than on the ground — typically the cabin atmosphere is equivalent to an altitude of 8. High strength and lightweight composite laminates (incorporating carbon nanotubes in a variety of resins) are being investigated for use in ballistic protection and novel damping materials. Another reason for using stronger materials is to enhance passenger comfort. It has been shown that nanoparticles dispersed throughout a material can migrate to cracks. potentially giving rise to self-healing composites (if sufficient migration occurs to seal cracks). For example experiments have been undertaken with spherical particles of about five nanometres underneath silicon oxide. As mentioned above. (Robbins. the aircraft’ aluminium bodies would have to be much thicker. One example is the development of bullet proof materials for sensitive parts. Although these examples are not focused on aircraft applications. aiming at a weight reduction and therefore decreased fuel consumption and costs because of the strength of nanomaterials as described above. With the right coating. • • • • • 33 . Keeping the cabin pressure at ground level. equivalent to being outside at 6.000ft altitude. so it can allow a higher onboard pressure.

One example is the development of coatings for landing gear as a replacement for environmentally problematic chrome coatings. harder and have better wear properties than conversion coatings.7% of influenza viruses. Chromate-based conversion coatings are cheaper. It has been shown that the introduction of nanoparticle additives to 5 % can lead to a huge reduction in fire risk.• An important aspect for the interior of an aircraft is the need for fire retardant materials.2. so a detailed analysis of nanoparticles used in aircraft is necessary. Up to 98% of odours were eliminated and another nano-filter eliminated all noxious volatile organic compounds. Anodic coatings are tougher. Coatings The trend is to substitute metals by reinforced polymers. but magnesium alloys are strongly susceptible to corrosion. In addition to the use of nanomaterials for improving material properties of structural materials. so that a viable alternative is urgently needed. but their cost is too high for mass production. (FhG-IFAM. On the other hand nanoparticles can also act as fire accelerant. 2003. The EU-funded NANOMAG project aims to provide an alternative by developing clean and environment-friendly nanocomposite coatings based on silicon oxide thin films that will be more economical while also offering superior resistance to corrosion and abrasion. (AzoNano. metals can also been made more durable by applying nanostructured coatings. which use nanoscale silver particles to eliminate undesirable odours and kill airborne health threats. The application of durable anodic or conversion coatings typically provide protection against such effects. (Integran) The main target for nanocoatings is the protection of metals against corrosion. but the hexavalent chromium involved is both carcinogenic and a hazardous air pollutant. • For example. 2004) The Boeing 787 concept not only includes a higher cabin pressure but special filters to maintain a higher air quality. magnesium – which is one third lighter than aluminium and 80% lighter than steel – has been used increasingly in the past. (NANOMAG. but other applications are also under discussion. 2002) 34 . The aim is to meet the stringent specifications demanded of materials used in aircraft interiors more cheaply and effectively than with the costly specialised polymers currently used. which can be supported by nanomaterials. 2004) • 3. It has been shown that such nanofilters kill 99. Plano. Filtration systems are on the market.

2003) and nano-crystalline cobalt-phosphorous coatings. (TPC. Hard compound nano ceramic films are being investigated for the protection of propeller-blade surfaces. The advantages should be a very high lubricating and self-lubricating performance. Nanocomposite polyurethane paints and fluorocarbon paints have been patented for use in aircraft. Nano paint (nano graphite. can be used for tribological coatings of aircraft platforms operated at higher temperatures. and washing machines. In principle it should be possible to remove ice from the aircraft body by an electrical current flowing through a thin conductive layer. Scratch-resistant nanocrystalline coatings are already available on the automotive market. refrigerators.Other anticorrosive materials used in aviation. carbon nanotube filled resins are under development. Specific surface properties could be designed in order to open new functionalities. This technique is currently under investigation for removal of dew and ice from automotive headlights (Hella. 2002) • • • • • • • • 35 .000 € (3sat. 2001). 2005) • • For repairing corrosion damage. metals and ceramics. are nanoscale boron oxide (Shuihu. insulator coatings for heat and chemicals. and bio-nanomaterial coatings to keep airplane surfaces clean and free of micro-organisms. as for instance self-cleaning or self-healing properties. Anti-bacterial coatings using nanoscale silver are available in the clothing industry. nano Teflon. 2006). Research is underway for their use in aircraft windows. nano talc powder) has also been patented for reducing friction of ship and aircraft surfaces (allowing faster speeds to be achieved). (Qinghai. Their use is now being investigated for aircraft cabins. These paints should show greater durability than current paints. High performance nanocomposites of polymers. (Nanovic) Additional coating applications are more durable paints allowing aircraft to be repainted on a less regular basis. Each single de-icing procedure of an aircraft can cost of up to 10. Nanocrystalline cobalt-phosphorous coatings are also being developed to provide superior sliding wear resistance and a lower friction coefficient.

Nanomaterials are being applied as coatings on aircraft engine blades. • Aluminium nanoparticles are used with liquid jet and rocket fuel to increase the propulsion energy. nanoparticles can act as very efficient catalysts.3. • 36 . replacing inert or low-energy gellants. and chemical processing. Research is ongoing to manipulate the properties of the coatings down to the molecular level making them adhere more firmly to the surface of the metal blade and allowing the engines to run hotter. Iron oxide nanoparticles can act as a catalyst for solid propellants. the cost of aviation fuel is still a major part of airplane operating costs and further improvements in the efficiency of aircraft engines are required. and a rapid energy release. higher pressures and increased rotor operating stresses. Improvements in aircraft engine efficiency can be reached by materials which allow higher operating temperatures. deposited on an underlying strain-resistant layer that can deform without cracking. 2006) The enhanced creep. even for liquid and solid aerospace engine fuels. faster energy release rates. a greater flexibility in designing new energetic fuel/propellants. The coating system consists of an outer layer that is chemically resistant. by weight reduction and by more fuel-efficient engines and systems. If successful. Engines Engines are still fuelled by hydrocarbons. Improved TBC protective coatings have wide application in aircraft engines. • The application of high temperature nanoscale materials to aircraft engines may lead to an increase of the thrust-to-weight ratio of up to 50 percent and fuel savings of 25 percent for conventional engines. Fuel combustion has been reduced in the past by aerodynamic improvements. higher fuel efficiency can be reached due to longer lasting TBCs that do not peel off. shortened burn times resulting in more complete combustion. Nano-phase ceramics are being tested for use as thermal barrier coatings (TBC). • • • Because of the high surface area. However. which allow a higher combustion temperature.3. Both layers are made of perovskite oxide ceramic layers. fatigue and sulphidation resistance of grain boundary engineered components is expected to significantly increase the time between engine overhaul/refurbishment. lower engine weights. aero-structures. (Navy. a shortened ignition delay. turbine engines. Fuels used at present can be improved by the addition of nano-sized energetic particles.

acceleration. Examples under discussion are hydrogen or cryogenic fuels. • The conductivity of wires with diameter of a few nanometres is very sensitive to small changes in electrochemical potential. 2006) 3. they can be used as very sensitive sensors for different gases. High-density energy-storage technologies are needed to make this a reality. Cleaner and alternative fuels may help in reducing harmful emissions. position.• Nano-sized energetic metals and boron particles possess desirable combustion properties such as a high combustion temperature and fast energy release rates. • 37 . Advances in nanotechnology could enable superconductive materials to eventually be manufactured at a cost that could justify their application in airliner propulsion. A more revolutionary vision is the use of electrically powered propellers. It could be imagined that nanostructures can lead to further reductions in weight and space. The vision is based on superconducting energy-storage systems. Gyroscopes are used to track an airplane’s position. Problems are a suitable industrial production technique of hydrogen and suitable storage technologies. There is still much to learn about the correlation between physical and chemical properties and measured combustion performance.4. Sensors In addition to chemical and optical sensors. Aircraft turbine engines are very flexible in the kind of fuel that they can burn (Valentine. (Kuo. Because of this. Similar sensors can be used for the detection of biological and chemical toxins. Nanosensors can be used for the early detection of fires in the cargo compartment of aircraft. Nanomaterials are being widely investigated for their ability to store hydrogen and other gases and liquids because of their high surface-to-volume ratio. Microscopic structures are now being built into chips that perform the same function at far less weight and space. temperature. Nanocrystal films of iron-germanium can work as magnetic sensitive material for Hall elements for the measurement of angles and elongations. 2003) A comprehensive understanding of the important characteristics of nanosized particles to reach a desirable performance and ease of processing is still not available. further sensors are needed in aircraft for measurements of velocity. (Valentine. and flow properties. The sensors are based on nanoparticles of metal oxides. 2006).

Weight savings could not only be reached by savings in the aircraft frame but also by replacing heavy copper wires in aircraft by nanotubeimproved plastic wires. cannot be used for insulating materials. For identifying damage within advanced composite materials. Nanotube-enhanced conductive plastics can be used for electrostatic dissipation in electronic devices and electromagnetic-wave shielding. 2004) • 3. improved flat screens and miniaturized and energy-saving data storage systems would be helpful. Electrical/electronic components and hardware Nanoelectronic systems are being developed for the Information and Communication sector. This paint could work as a very precise sensor for information about vibrations. Advanced concepts using networks of interoperable micro and nanotechnology sensors for accurate event detection and identification. a broader viewing angle and a lighter display compared with LCD displays. (CANEUS. which have lower energy consumption. • The main driver in the aviation sector is an improved comfort for passengers. A research project. In this context systems for miniaturized power sources and wireless communication are also required. however this is still at a laboratory stage.• The enhanced use of composite materials leads to the need for a structural health monitoring system. For entertainment systems. flat screens utilising carbon nanotubes have been developed. the aviation industry is not the main driver and applications in astronautics are much more ambitious because of stronger weight constrictions and a harder radiation environment.5. defects or impacts on an aircraft surface. For example. led by the Boeing Research and Technology Centre in Madrid is aimed at exploring the use of fuel cell technology for future aerospace applications and for providing auxiliary power . Again. and for long term monitoring applications are discussed for future aircraft/spacecraft health monitoring systems. a network of carbon nanotubes or other nanowires can be used.for things 38 • • • • . Airbus for example is exploring piezoelectric paint made of a lead-zirconate-titanate nanopowder. Integrated nano-electronic systems will allow the opening of “the office and home in the sky”. like eddy current testing. The results can be used also for applications in aircraft. because traditional methods for testing metallic structures. which detects damages by a reduction of the network conductivity.

Ceramic nanoparticles are included in fibre composites. In the ceiling. Further advantages are cost and weight savings and the opening of new application fields.such as air conditioning and lighting on its aircraft by 2015. (ACARE. (Diehl. In the longer term. but are made from electro chromic glass. For a reduction of process times of composites. 2004) The windows in the Boeing 787 will not have blinds. nanomaterials and nanoelectronics are being investigated for uptake in aircraft on a large scale. The application of fuel cells has the potential to save up to 1% of jet fuel. the colour and brightness of hundreds of LEDs can be adjusted to give a sense of daylight.7. Foreseen benefits include cost reduction. but there is clear interest from the industry. which dims at the touch of a button. better lubricants and safer nano-fluids are being developed. 2005) • • • • 3. 3. Others • For hydraulic uses. Uptake of nanomaterials and nanoelectronics in aircraft may be slower than in other sectors. with the aim of increasing strength and surface quality. 39 .6. OLEDs also allow new lighting and display devices for aircraft cabins. 2006). reduced environmental burden and enhanced passenger comfort. The aim of these lighting effects is to adjust the body clock to the time of day at the destination. or a starry night sky. active noise control techniques may benefit from new knowledge on micro and nanotechnologies and could allow aircraft noise to be reduced further. which is a large value considering that one Boeing 777 uses about half a million kilograms of fuel every year. Conclusion To conclude. new technologies are making use of microwaves to decrease the time needed for curing. (Robbins.

A space station is an artificial structure designed for humans living in outer space. 6376 spacecraft have been launched at an average of 133 per year. The importance of the space sector can be emphasised by the number of spacecrafts launched. So far only low earth orbit (LEO) stations are implemented. Non-orbital spacecrafts called ‘probes’ are used for deep exploration of the universe. The spacecrafts have been classified as: A rocket is a vehicle that obtains the thrust from the ejection of fast moving fluid of a rocket engine. A shuttle is also a vehicle used to transport humans into space. also known as orbital stations. Spacecrafts are also developed for both military and civilian applications. Other than military applications. This section will cover civilian applications. The satellite is also used for commercial applications such as communication and GPS.Chapter 4 Review of state of the art of technology and future trends in Spacecraft 4. There has been a decrease in the number of spacecrafts launched in the recent years with 40 . A satellite is an unmanned spacecraft used for several scientific applications such as earth observation and planetary exploration. Different types of spacecrafts exist to achieve specific goals in space exploration. rockets are usually used to launch satellites or other payloads. In the period from 1957 till 2005. A shuttle can be used to transport humans from the earth to an orbital space station or can be a manned mission where astronauts have to live in the shuttle.1 Introduction The space sector deals with all the technologies associated with travel outside the earth atmosphere.

gov/pdf/142303main_2006_NASA_Strategic_Plan_sm.8% were military spacecrafts and 43. 245 manned missions have been launched in this period.2% were civilian.g. The remaining spacecrafts launches have been exploration missions.78 launched in 2005. Technological improvements can bring solutions to achieve those objectives. • As nanotechnologies cover all the scientific fields implicated in spacecraft enhancements (materials. Of the 6376 launches. http://www. http://www. between the extreme cold of Mars. research will be required on commercial application based on decreasing both structure and payloads weights by the use of lighter materials and integrated systems such as Nano and Pico satellites. life support.g. electronics. 1674 communication or weather satellites were also launched1. 56. commercial applications are expected to present colossal potential opportunity for communication. This goal will require the development of autonomous spacecraft and in the case of manned mission consider technical developments to sustain life in space. extra solar system exploration2). Titan or Pluto exploration and extreme heat of atmosphere re-entry) Facing mechanical constraints of launching by suitable engines and structures. Energy generation and storage sub systems. But new technologies are also being developed to face traditional space constraints – • • Facing high levels of radiation with suitable materials and electronics. As spaceflights become common. health management knowledge have to be developed to meet the challenges of harsh environment in space. The following factors are considered to be pushing new technology development in space• The ambition of national space programs to enhance their space knowledge such as that of NASA to push human frontiers to the moon and beyond by longer exploration.nasa. Space exploration is the oldest human dream and the present national space programs are very ambitious (e. The space sector has been a strategic field for all the industrial nations. As costs are considered proportional to studying them for 1 2 The spacecraft encyclopedia.sciencepresse. Facing extreme temperatures and temperature variation (e.qc.html NASA strategic plan. energy).pdf 41 . GPS and space tourism companies. Mars manned flights. • The development of commercial space applications will be faced with the problem of decreasing costs.

4. molecular or macromolecular levels. devices and systems that have novel properties and functions because of their small and/or intermediate size3. The objective of this chapter is to describe nanotechnologies state of the art for spacecraft applications and to analyse future trends in the coming years. As nanotechnologies are still an emerging field. to provide a fundamental understanding of phenomena and materials at the nanoscale and to create and use structures.spacecraft applications makes sense in order to understand tomorrow’s spacecraft. 3 NSF definition. • New mechanical properties can bring solutions to mechanical constraints of launching.2 Materials Most of the progress in nanotechnology has happened due to the discovery of many novel nanostructured materials and the subsequent characterisation of their mechanical. As the different technologies developed can find applications in various missions (commercial / scientific) and on various spacecraft (lighter materials are important for satellites as well as for rockets). optical and magnetic properties for a variety of applications. their use is very limited in space but after analysing space agencies research. These new properties represent an important interest in spacecraft applications because they address the design constraints in achieving the space goals. Nanotechnology is the development at the atomic.And final part is a review of the potential of nanotechnologies for futuristic visions like the space elevator. chemical. electromechanical.The fourth part outlines manned flights and the potential applications of nanotechnologies for on-board life support management. .100 nanometre range.jsp 42 . electrochemical. electronics and energy.The fifth part describes satellites and science payloads and the potential of nanotechnologies in making them more efficient.The three first parts will describe innovation that could find applications in all the spacecraft such as nanotechnologies for materials. publications and reports it appears that several advanced researches are focused on nanotechnologies for short-term applications (expected by 2008). . http://www. . the analysis of the use of nanotechnologies in spacecraft field will be done by technology: .nsf. in the length scale of approximately 1 . • New optical properties can increase radiation protection of space structures.

New electronic properties can allow building materials with integrated sensors (e.2. coating). gas and pollutants sensors can also be created. nanotubes. They bring new properties to existing materials e. shuttle.g. creation of specific optical properties with the addition of TiO2 nanoparticles. nanoparticles are already used in mass production materials like in automotive industry. The early applications are already emerging 43 . That’s why a rapid description of the two main elements found in nanomaterials for space applications seems important.g. electrical isolations or fire protection applications. Finally materials nano structured can allow the construction of lighter structure and the development of nanocomposites. to detect materials cracks) or materials for electronic components. The nanomaterials with new properties may be used in spacecraft (rockets. Nanoparticles Nanoparticles were the first discovered nanoelement and so their engineered processes are the most controlled. They can be used in several devices (as bulk or surface) for materials or electronics. Nanoscale engineered materials built with basic nanoelements such as nanoparticles. not only for the structure but also for components. housings of solid-propellant rockets. nanoporous 3D specific network can present interesting characteristics for spacecraft applications.1. According to the control of their engineering. composites. the tire industry has been using SiO2 nanoparticles in order to improve mechanical and thermal properties for a few years. as heat protection material. because at that level the wall of temperature is a very stringent factor. Nanoelements The nanomaterials considered are in fact nanoelements such as nanoparticles or nanotubes incorporated into different kind of materials (polymer. satellites) and most of the applications described here concern structural materials. or with nanotextured. 4. Due to their high mechanical strength and resistance against heat and radiation. have potential applications in various components in space as lightweight structural materials. nanoparticle reinforced polymers. Several new sensors such as infrared sensors. Indeed.• • • New thermal properties can solve the problem of extreme temperature variation.

According to the electrical properties of carbon nanotubes. thermal control devices. Air Force laboratories and California State 44 . Another further advantage of carbon nanotubes based materials is the possibility of creating monitored materials. The carbon nanotube is the emblematic element of nanotechnologies because it is the most promising. nano-crystalline aluminium alloys were developed for space applications by the company DWA Aluminium Composites in co-operation with different US-American aerospace companies. Carbon nanofibres are cylindrical nanostructures with graphene layers arranged as stacked cones. sensor technology. carbon nanotubes possess numerous application potentials in space. electronics. Despite the exceptional value for spacecraft technology. Jet Propulsion Laboratory. the changes of the mechanical properties of the material can be indicated through changes of the electrical resistance and so possible damages could in principle be easily detected by simply monitoring the electric conductance of the material (VDI Technology Centre. 2003). In particular there is a huge potential for mass savings in space structures. gas storage and biomedicine. among other things within the ranges of space structures. In a SBIR project of NASA. ESA) is based on the development and application of carbon nanotubes based material improvements. the related structural applications of multifunctional nanotubes are to be expected rather in a medium term time horizon due to their high price and problems with the scalability of production processes. 2003). Indeed nanotubes and other structural materials discussed above are not yet being produced in large enough quantities to be cost effective for bulk applications (the 4 Aerospace Corporation is an independent US research centre for United States Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office. Due to their unusual properties (elasticity. Carbon nanofibres with graphene layers wrapped into perfect cylinders are called carbon nanotubes. It also has links with NASA. Carbon nanotubes A carbon nanotube is a sort of carbon the space sector. cups or plates. which represents one of the main goal of futures spacecraft. compared with about 10 gigapascal for conventional carbon fibre and 1. This development aims to facilitate formability of materials through super plasticity generated by reducing the melting points and sintering temperatures to 30% (VDI Technology centre. stiffness: about 1 terapascal.2 gigapascal for high-carbon steel). Aerospace Corporation4. A substantial part of the nanotechnology programme of the main space agencies (NASA.

4. The properties of composites that can be significantly improved are thermal and flame resistance. But carbon nanotubes have the potential to revolutionize several space technologies. e. Nanoparticle reinforced polymers is being developed by NASA through the SBIR program. suitable nanoparticles such as silicates (in particular montmorillonite clay). Polymers A polymer is an assembly of large molecules consisting of repeating structural units.2. connected by covalent chemical bonds. NASA has conducted the initial qualification tests of nanoparticles reinforced polymers for space application. 2006) will allow NASA to benefit the high rate carbon nanotubes production (50g per hour) to develop next generation metals.1. reinforced polymers. Nanoparticles can be introduced in polymer to improve their electrical.1. the dispersion of carbon nanotubes but also of any other kind of nano charge (more specifically when they are hydrophobic) in composite matrices or spinning of carbon nanotubes to macroscopic fibres. dissipation and conductivity. moisture and chemical resistance. thermal or mechanical properties. composites. nylon. The second problem is concerning the transfer of the molecular properties to macroscopic materials are still unsolved.1.2.2. A partnership between NASA and Idaho Space Material (ISM) (NASA. According to VDI. polyphenole or polyimide can be used as polymer matrix. charge.1. so that the loading rate of carbon nanotubes is limited to a little weight percentage and problems of viscosity appear at high loading rate. nanoparticles. Materials using nanoelements 4. fullerenes in polymer. decrease permeability. Epoxide.g. Such composite materials can provide significant enhancement in the 45 .g.2. Carbon nanotubes tend naturally to agglomerate.1. carbon.1.1. ceramic. polymers and ceramics. or monomers. NASA has numerous research programmes based on an optimization of the carbon nanotubes production process and also on the functionalisation of those nanotubes to integrate them in components. Another problem with the production of carbon nanotubes composites. or metal matrices. is the alignment and the adhesion of the carbon nanotubes in the matrix.average price is about $500 per gram and the average quantity production is about 100g per day). Composites Composite materials are being produced by mixing nanotubes. nanowires. e. 4. POSS (Polyhedral Oligomeric SileSquioxanes) are under consideration.

edu/research/nanomat. Nanoparticles and nanopowders as reinforcing composites: Thermomechanical properties. super plasticity and a better resistance against material fatigue can be obtained in comparison to conventional metal matrix composites (VDI. High strength transparent bulk ceramics for applications as external surfaces and skins for spacecrafts and window is also under development. 5 Texas Institute for Intelligent Bio-Nano Materials and Structures for Aerospace Vehicles: http://tiims. NASA investigates carbon nanotubes integration in polymer in its laboratory TIIMS5. SiC.tamu. including nanoshells (spherical core of a particular compound surrounded by a shell with a thickness of a few nanometres). Further development of nanocomposites will be to make them tuneable.thermal conductivity. Nanostructured ceramic composites can provide thermal and oxidation protection for construction material. SiO2 can reduce the sintering temperature and the consolidation time of ceramic material. directional anisotropy. Major reductions in the overall system mass are possible with the use of nanostructured thermal protection and radiation structure materials. self-healing and stress smart sensing systems. adaptive. These materials will optimize considerably space travel by increasing functionalities in spacecraft systems and vehicles while reducing mass. Material such as silicium carbide. 2003) Ceramic fibres reinforced metals can replace magnesium and aluminium in different structure. (VDI. and structural reinforcement capabilities. fracture toughness and formability can be improved by using nanoscale ceramics. CANEUS concept paper and Aerospace Corporation activities. the strength of metal matrix composites could be increased up to 25% through nanostructuring and beyond that.html 46 . fracture toughness. switchable molecular properties. TiCN and non-oxide nanopowders Al2O3. 2003). Research aims at purifying and functionalizing carbon nanotubes to enable new nanotube polymeric and ceramic composites that have electrically conductive. aluminium oxide or aluminium nitride can be potentially used in spacecrafts. Different research activities can be noticed in the frame of the SBIR programme of NASA. Carbon nanotubes / nanofibres in polymer: Most of the research on composites is based on the incorporation of carbon nanotubes into polymer matrix. radiation absorption. The use of nanopowders of oxide nanopowders Si3N4. size and power consumption. As has been reported.

as opposed to the bare polymer matrices.1. The mechanical strength and stiffness characteristics of the polymer matrices are also found to increase by about 30 to 50 percent on mixing of 5 to 10 percent of nanotubes at room temperature.Aerospace Corporation shows that cyanate ester trimers interact strongly with the surface of the single walled carbon nanotubes.2. at concentrations of only 0.. the modulus of the cured polycyanurate matrix is approximately doubled. This also enhances the thermal diffusion coefficient by about 30 percent (CANEUS. Investigations are also made in the frame of a CANEUS project to build smart composites. Carbon nanotubes thermal characteristics have also been tested to create new polymer properties.1. are expected to be useful during the processing steps above glass transition temperature. “smart” materials. 4. Mechanical and electrical properties of the CFRP are enhanced proving their efficiency in ultra lightweight loadbearing structures for harsh environmental conditions. Carbon nanofibre doped epoxy mixtures are used as a matrix material for the preparation of unidirectional CFRP. Numerous potential applications exist for such multi-functional structures or failure monitoring. A variety of micro-nanotechnologies-based sensors and actuators are embedded within these composites. 2005). These characteristics of the composite. Its application is non-destructive damage detection in CFRP during mechanical loading that is a key parameter in space structure (Kostopoulos et al.5 percent by weight. Experiences show that the insertion of nanotubes into the polymer matrices increases the thermal expansion coefficient of the material by 40 to 60 percent above glass transition temperature. Experiments have shown that when carbon nanotubes are fully dispersed in cyanate-ester resin. CANEUS is also investigating this field since 2004 with possible applications in 2007 in the frame of the project “Nanofibre Composite Materials for Load Bearing Structural applications”. The use of carbon nanofibre as nano-sensors for the damage detection within the matrix material of the CFRP is investigated. Enhancing thermal properties can be useful to protect structure of space extreme temperatures.3 Coatings 47 . The mechanical characterization of the doped CFRP showed remarkable increase in the fracture energy of the laminates and also higher elastic and storage modulus in comparison with the non-doped CFRP. Another research axis is the introduction of carbon nanofibre in carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP). creating multifunctional. 2002). lightweight structures. This nanoreinforced resin can improve the resin-dominated properties such as shear strength of carbon fibre polycyanurate composites used in space hardware for stiff.

The conducting indium-tin-oxide coatings typically used on blankets can crack and oxidize which reduces their conductivity and can create electrostatics charges. Nanostructures have the unique property of being small enough not to significantly impact optical properties in small concentrations (<1%). many of the multiwalled carbon nanotubes make contact to the material. Thus. That’s why a transparent polymer blend with sufficient bulk conductivity and environmental stability to mitigate surface charging on satellites was developed by Aerospace Corporation. The material polyaniline or polyimide blend could eliminate hundreds of straps used to ground the conductive front surface of the blankets to the spacecraft. 2006). Conductive nanostructures could be used as dopes within the plasma sprayed white ceramic optical coatings. Electrical conductivity of thermal blankets used on most spacecraft surface is a key point of a rocket structure because it prevents the build-up of electrostatic charges that could lead to potentially harmful discharges. When pressed against a solid material. a percolate network of conductive nanostructures such as carbon nanotubes or conductive oxide nanowires can be incorporated into the coatings to improve conductivity. Nanotechnologies allow the building of a lot of new coatings like smart coatings or with attractive new properties like hardwearing. This task can be accomplished by coating one of the interfaces with multiwalled carbon nanotubes.g. optical properties. 48 . Transparent films of carbon nanotubes can also be used as a conductive coating over the ceramic coating to mitigate charging effects e. using a high density of nanometre-sized contacts. The use of carbon nanotubes as coating can also enhance thermal conductance of metal-metal contacts by increasing the number of contact points. They now investigate the use of fluorinated polyaniline in the fluorinated host material polyimide conducting to create polyaniline nanofibres in order to improve optical transmittance. Most of the research on coatings is currently focused on the enhancement of electrical and thermal properties of existing structures. and the number of contact points is increased dramatically that generates thermal conductance improvements over both metal-metal contact (Sample.Coatings are used in spacecraft as structure protector or to enhance some properties of the material structure. 2005). on the heat shield (Kao. thermal electrics isolating.

one of the key factors of futures applications of nanostructured materials for spacecraft will be the elaboration of efficient characterisation and modelling tools. This research will find applications in the longer term than nanoparticles integration.2. Finally. 2006). The following table summarizes the different nano applications for materials in space under study: Technology Nanoparticles reinforcing polymers Nanoparticles reinforcing composites Carbon nanotubes reinforcing composites Carbon nanotubes reinforcing coatings Smart materials Characteristic Improve thermal. It controls all the vital systems of the vehicle (orbit. allow creation of electric properties like failure detector Integration of electronic component to create new functions Interest6 ++ + +++ +++ ++ Perspective Short term (in test) Short term Middle term Middle term Long term Notice: research on carbon nanotubes integration seems the most promising but carbon nanotubes manufacturing and integration into an existing structure is still not totally controlled. decrease permeability. 4. This is all the more true with nanoscale materials because of their small size and specific characteristics. resistance. Major space agencies are engaged in research concerning nanomaterials with new properties and some of them can nearly find applications.3. Before any material can be specified for a space application it must endure rigorous testing and analysis to determine optimal processing conditions and ensure reliable performance and security in the hostile space environment. optical characteristics. +++ : very strong interest 49 . flame. stronger and cheaper structure.2 Materials conclusion Nanoscale materials represent a major stake for spacecraft because of the opportunity they bring to build new structures with specific thermal. attitude determination.4. Secure modelling processes and rigorous tests ensure crew security in the case of manned flights and decrease the financial risks of a failure in space (Kao. communication between the 6 +: normal . charge dissipation Improve thermo mechanical properties Improve thermo mechanical properties. Electronics Electronics is everywhere on a spacecraft. radiations resistant Improve thermo mechanical properties. electrical. ++: strong interest .

Kwanwoo Shin at Sogang University showed that: First. 4. Secondly. It is all the more important as electronics devices use nanotechnologies because some characteristics they engender are not foreseeable. electronics device became more radiation tolerant when their dimensions are reduced. Indeed nanotechnologies promise enhancement of actual electronics devices properties reducing their size.1012 cm-2 that is comparable to the space environment. proton irradiations have no effects on the electrical properties of carbon nanotubes based field effect transistor. A recent study of Prof. For this specific aspect the best technologic answer is carbon nanotubes that show natural high radiation resistance properties. The only specific constraints of spacecraft that can influence the development of space specific nanotechnologies for electronics. The electronics industrial sector is a very innovative sector with a huge market potential and so the study of nanotechnologies incorporation into electronics devices represents a real stake for its actors. energy transformation) and all the science payloads.1010 – 4.1 Carbon nanotubes for transistors Carbon nanotubes have potential to become the base of almost electronics devices for spacecraft.3. Experiences were made with carbon nanotubes based field effect transistors exposed to 10-35 MeV proton beams with a fluency of 4. And nanotechnologies show promises to achieve these goals by the use amongst others of carbon nanotubes.different parts of the vehicle. increasing performances. Big advances were made by the implementation of MEMS in several sub-systems and even though NEMS are in development they are not very relevant for the mass saving in big spacecraft. None of the 50 . Not only do they present exceptional conductive characteristics but they also have a non-negligible advantage for space use: their radiation resistance. Thus nanotechnologies applications for spacecraft electronics are essentially spin off from ground electronics sector because they pursue the same goals: decreasing price. Nevertheless it is important to note that nanotechnologies in spite of their prefix “nano” don’t represent a huge potential for miniaturization. is the exposure to highs rates of radiation. It will be useful to detect and anticipate failures due to space harsh conditions. Finally an important aspect of nanoelectronics for spacecraft as well as for nanomaterials will be modelling and characterisation of electronics devices.

.. Moreover the quality control for the carbon nanotubes fabrication and the large contact resistance are two major issues that will remain problematic in the coming years. “Nanotechnologies offer potential in the development of new non volatile working memories for computer systems. Biological memory Memories can be realized by making use of biological molecules (proteins. extremes temperatures. mechanical constraints. They also have to face space constraints like others electronics components i. memories have to increase their storage density decreasing mass memory. Bacteriorhodopsin (bR) is one of the molecules intensively examined for memory applications. carbon nanotubes based memory and magneto electronic (MRAM) storage technologies. radiations. So the current most advanced researches concern hybrid Si approaches in merging carbon nanotubes based devices and structures with traditional siliconbased technology. The three lasts represent the main potential applications for spacecraft. At present efforts are made on genetic mutations of bR in order to stabilize individual configurations of the protein for increasing the data stability.3. 2003) ferroelectric (FRAM memory based on the ferroelectricity of certain crystals). Porphyrin is another molecule that can be used as memory. Zettacore Company is currently 51 .” (VDI. DNA). biological memories. 2006). which will compete in the future with conventional memory chips like DRAM. 2003) Even expected dimensions of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) are to be 45 nm by the year 2010 and 18 nm by 2018 (Ives et al.2 Memories / Data storage With the increasing number of on-board analysis systems coupled with the lengthening of space flight. 2005) a range of concurrent technologies are in development “like Millipede (micromechanical device with an array of nanoscale read/write/erase tips based on scanning probe technology developed by IBM).devices that were fabricated for the experiment exhibited any significantly altered electrical changes before and after proton irradiation (Hong et al. 4.e. But electronics devices containing only carbon nanotubes are difficult to build and cost effective.” (VDI.

This structure increases data quantity stored by 107. (VDI. highdensity non-volatile Random Access Memory.developing this technology. visualization.3 Nanocharacterisation Impacts of defects on electronics devices geometries are always critical and the effect at the nanoscale is amplified and more difficult to detect with respect to manufacturability and reliability of these devices. 4. NRAM NRAM is carbon nanotubes based memory. and detailed examination of every part of the features of interest at the nanoscale. such as DRAM. Thus.pdf 52 . That’s why The Aerospace Corporation created an innovative tool for failure analysis at the nanoscale. the process of cutting and imaging can be repeated at nanoscale increments until the entire 7 See: New and innovative uses of advanced analytical techniques are needed that allow imaging. SRAM and flash memory. This NANO-3DI technique is a special FIB milling technique that can remove material in slices less than 2 nm thick using a standard ion beam roughly 30 nm in diameter. MRAM This magneto electronic storage technology presents several advantages for space application such as low energy consumption. This innovation involves using the change of SEM image contrast and brightness caused by removal of surface carbonaceous deposit as an end point. inherent radiation resistance and suitability for high temperature application.3. 2003) The use of spintronics in this field represents conception advantages and potential size decreasing.nantero. Even if applications are expected in a middle-term carbon nanotubes based memory represent a huge potential of spacecraft applications because of their space radiations resistance. NRAM has the potential to serve as universal memory replacing all existing forms of memory. Nantero is developing this technology and announce in 2006 the routine production of carbon nanotubes for their memory applications7. Experiments were also made with data storage on diamonds with Fluorine and Hydrogen atoms on its surface.

The following table summarize the different nano applications for electronics in space under study: Technology Carbon nanotubes for transistors Carbon nanotubes based memory MRAM Biological memory Characteristic Space harsh conditions resistance (radiations) Space harsh conditions resistance (radiations) data storage increase Space harsh conditions resistance (radiations). 2005). Figure 4..structure containing the features of interest is physically deconstructed.4 Electronics conclusion Nanotechnologies in electronics components are not yet available for space missions even if they promise several applications especially in facing space radiation. As electronics is not the most current strategic aspect of space researches evolutions in nanotechnologies applications for spacecraft will mainly depend of progress made in the terrestrial electronics 4. data storage increase Interest +++ ++ ++ + Perspective Middle term Middle term Middle term Long term Space research is more focused on applied electronics like various sensors that are developed in their own parts. 53 . Aerospace Corporation http://www. It can then be digitally reconstructed from the images taken after each cut (Ives et al. Finally modelling and characterisation is the most active sector of space research in electronics because it represents a relevant stake to pursue the “zero failure” objective of main space missions.1 : NANO-3D. data storage increase Space harsh conditions resistance (radiations).html A complementary approach is to prevent geometrical defects by performing simulation software.

The energy problematic is common to all the spacecraft. The American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics as well as SNPE8 are currently exploring ways to improve those using nanoparticles of Aluminium. and satellites need adapted propulsion systems smaller with high energy conversion rate. Rockets and shuttle need huge propulsion energy for launching using propellants. This subsystem is a key component for current space stakes because smaller energetic systems. Propellants Propellants are typically a power source essential for rockets or shuttles. Autonomy improvement is also very important in the case of emergencies situations and can be determinant to save a mission.4. Weight and size decrease with efficiency increase to avoid self heating of electrical power subsystem also make cheaper vehicles. Nanotechnologies can also be used to optimize energy generation boosting current propellants or for electric propulsion where they can be used as cold cathode to emit electron to neutralize flux of charged particles. energetic materials. 4. with better outputs can allow spacecraft to be more autonomous and so to stay in space for farther missions. its characteristics are the need of a huge energy generation in a very short time that implies optimized energy storage and a high discharge rate. energy storage. As propulsion subsystem is an energy liberation component. Propellants usually used for space launching are ammonium per chlorate (NH4ClO4).4.snpe. Nanotechnologies can be used to enhance current propellants essentially with the introduction of nanoparticles. http://www. The most common formulation is aluminium nanoparticles mixed with molybdenum trioxide (MoO3) or bismuth trioxide (Bi2O3). power distribution and power regulation and control.4.1. Nanotechnologies applications in the range of electrical power and energy storage can improve batteries and fuel cells as well as photosensitive materials for high-efficient solar cells. Combustion wave speeds in excess of 1km/s with an under 8 SNPE is a chemical group specialised in explosives. The aluminium particles sizes range between 60 and 120 nm and experimentally measured combustion wave speeds varied between 420 and 460 m/ All spacecraft also need efficient energy storage and conversion systems during flights for their orbiting and their other on board subsystems.asp 54 . Energy generation and storage Spacecraft electrical power subsystem (EPS) typically provides four basic functions: power source.

heat and corrosion resistance). (VDI.4. At the same time significant progress has been made toward understanding of the unique combustion processes of nanoaluminium and its various formulations such as Metastable Intermolecular Composites (MIC also called superthermite or nanothermite. Conversion efficiencies of over 50% may be possible with such compound semiconductor solar cells (Aroutiounian et al. Thus. (VDI. the issues of volume production. 2006). Others research is turned to ion thrusters like Boron Argon or Xenon. At present the most efficient solar cells for space applications are based on III/V-semiconductors such as GaAs and InP and have a conversion efficiency that can reach 40% with triple junction cells. 2001). Solar cells Solar cells appear to be one of the most promising energy production systems. Recent advances in particle synthesis technology have allowed aluminium nanoparticles to be produced in commercial quantities. Aluminium powder has been used as an additive to propellant and explosives for decades. It is more and more envisaged for mars return mission to use carbon dioxide (most abundant component in Mars atmosphere) as an oxidizer for metal nanoparticles (Al).pressure of several hundreds atmosphere. it refers to an important subset of nanoenergetics). Anti-reflective or self-cleaning coatings and collectors can also improve the efficiency of converting solar energy to electric power. The conversion efficiency of solar cells may be improved by using semiconductor quantum dots. economics and quality control have reached a level of maturation such that the companies are now offering standard product. With NASA they are developing a way to use carbon nanotubes bundles to create the surface bumps needed to prevent dust accumulation on the surface of photovoltaic cells that can decrease the energy conversion rate (Toon.2. 4. 2003) Researchers from Georgia Tech are working on ways to mimicking lotus self-cleaning coatings. Technology is quite well known but progress has to be made in the range of energy conversion and durability of the collectors under space conditions (radiation. that is why nanoparticles of aluminium appears to be a promising alternative to traditional aluminium powder. 2003) The principle is to incorporate a layer (or layers of different sizes) of quantum dots that absorb in a region outside that of the usual 55 .. Results indicate that burn rate increased with decreasing particle size. But they are still expensive and versatile which limit their use. The use of nanomaterials is expected to significantly increase the efficiency of solar cells.

( 2003) Nanotechnologies offer different possibilities to increase the conversion efficiencies of fuel cells. in particular within the ranges of 56 .grc. the problems of quantum dots integration in solar cells are both the synthesis of quantum dots.4. Research on different types of organic solar cells including the Graetzel cell continues.photovoltaic device. they do not require current matching. Although the quantum mechanical dots contribute to cell output by providing an intermediate band.nasa. quantum mechanical dot devices represent an alternative to multi-junction devices. It implies increasing research in efficient capacitors to store energy that can be released during a night phase. 1997).html Organic solar cells can be potentially used in spacecrafts.3. 2002). 2003) The only constraint of solar cell is the necessity of sun exposure to generate energy. Fuel cells “Fuel cells represent an efficient method for chemical energy conversion and possess substantial application potential in space and moreover reusable spacecraft due to their clean operation and their compactness. the absorption energy of the dot can be tuned to a region where it will be complementary to the existing cell properties (NASA.2 : Intermediate-band gap solar cell. In this respect. As the quantum dots synthesis process is still not well controlled. NASA Glenn research centre http://powerweb. Capacitors like “nanocaps” could be realized by metallic nano-electrodes with ultra thin pseudo capacity or nanoporous carbon aerogels. The main disadvantage at this stage is the low efficiency of the device. By modifying the size of the particle. 4. their integration in an exogenous structure and the potential toxicity they represent during their manufacturing. Figure 4. The advantage of organic solar cells is the low cost of manufacturing as compared to conventional solar cells.” (VDI. This method of device improvement relies upon the physics of the quantum mechanical "particle in a box". Each nanocrystalline dot behaves as a potential well with energy levels that are quantized and inversely related to the size of the well. Theoretically studies have predicted a two-fold improvement in efficiency over conventional device structures (Luque and Martí.

catalysts. 2003).. active cathode material. The critical problem with hydrogen fuel cells is hydrogen storage that prevents the use of hydrogen fuel cells power sources. That’s why various alternatives are studied in laboratories. The other type of fuel cell is hydrogen fuel cells. bipolar plate interconnect in both hydrogen and direct methanol fuel cells. which in many cases is critical for the employment of fuel cell technology in space. Department of Energy specified that about 7-10 percent by weight storage should be sufficient for commercial viability for both ground and space transportation applications titanium ethylene can be an easy inexpensive solution for H2 storage. Different nanomaterials were tested for hydrogen storage due to their increased active surface area but their energy storage is still inferior to that of carbon nanotubes. solid polymer electrolyte additive.S. They provide higher power density and double conversion efficiency compared to DMFC. As the U. Their calculations show that titanium atoms attached to an ethylene molecule can drastically increase H2 storage to reach 14 percent of the weight of the titaniumethylene complex (Durgun et al. This can be improved by the use of metallic nanoparticles or ceramic nanopowders. But tube diameter and helicity are currently difficult to control and so manufacturing problems still exist. Moreover carbon nanotubes didn’t appear as cost relevant as it promised. The poisoning of the catalyst by carbon monoxide is one of the main obstacles. inexpensive molecule: Ethylene could become the future of H2 storage. BCN (Boron Carbon Nitride nanotubes) shows promise because of its possibility for tuning nanostructures electrical properties by B/N concentration variation. The use of carbon nanotubes allows facing the high price of platinum and also the problem of radiation degradation. membranes and hydrogen storage. NASA) investigated the use of carbon nanotubes to enhance current hydrogen storage system. Scientists from NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and Turkey’s Bilkent University predict that a well-known. 57 . Carbon nanotubes can also be used as anode materials. Indeed due to their hollow tubular nature. Another hollow tubular structure. But several problems appear with the creation of this kind of materials like with securing bulk amounts of small-diameter nanotubes. Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) are one platform for generating energy. 2006). Fuel storage is also considered to be a problem in implementing fuel cells (VDI. DMFC used a catalyst to convert methanol fuel to hydrogen. carbon nanotubes have a relatively good hydrogen retention rate (4-5% under very low temperature < 100°K) that is why several space agencies (American Institute of Aeronautics and Aerospace.

4. vanadium oxide or LiCoO2-particles and anode with Sn/Sb oxides. Carbon nanotube anodic layers around metal cathodes. offer numerous advantages for space applications.. whose dimensions and power density can be adapted to the respective chip components. Nanostructured materials offer improvements power density and durability by controlling the charge diffusion and the oxidation state on a nanoscale level (Khullar et al. are currently investigated as well as Li and K intercalation in single-wall carbon nanotube bundles and/or multiwall nanotubes. Other experiments report increasing energy density with MnO2 or poly (o-anisidine) (POAS). Nanotechnologies have the potential to improve their achievements.5 Energy conclusion Various types of energy generation and storage already exist.4. (VDI. In lithium ion batteries. Those applications are explored for both ground and space sectors but space research is more focused on 58 . That is why powerful and miniaturized batteries are needed to improve portative tools autonomy. The lifetime and efficiency of charging and discharging cycles in these batteries is critically dependent on storage and/or intercalation properties of the anode material. 2004 cited in VDI. Nickel hydrogen or nickel metal hydride batteries are essentially used in small sized elements like for extra vehicular activity (EVA) suit devices and experiments.4. Carbon nanotubes and fullerenes therefore provide an alternative to current anode fabrication technology with graphitic carbon. carbon nanotubes. 2000) can increase reversible charge capacity by 600%. Ultracaps (kind of battery where electric energy is directly stored as positive or negative charge without any reaction on the electrode surfaces) with mechanical storage with kinetic wheel are also developed for pulsed and power driven applications and are planned for Space or Lunar station. Batteries Space power systems used high performance batteries such as lithium ion or nickel metal hydride accumulators for powering devices. nanoparticles of cobalt nickel and ferric oxides in the electrode material (Poizot et al.4. 2003) 4.. a polyaniline derivative. reducing their size and so their costs. with nanomaterials TiO2 as cathode. such as Cu. Cathode material can be built with carbon aerogels. Thin film batteries (in particular Li ion batteries). The increasing miniaturization of electronic components requires flexible batteries that can be integrated into circuits. A significant improvement in both the current Ni/H and Li/C battery technologies with respect to the current storing capacity and discharging efficiency is expected. 2003).

According to NASA. Life support Life support is becoming a key research axis in space sciences. avoiding moistures. Gas sensors: The electronic nose based on gas sensors is used for monitoring air quality and to detect fire warning. wastewater treatment and sensors. monitoring the life on the International Space Station or in shuttles is a real challenge. 2003) 4. Global life support As long travel mission for human far exploration are seriously engaged. hygiene. (VDI. enhancing on board life management become a necessity.1.5. (VDI. CO2 removal. pressure monitoring. The following table summarize the different nano applications for energy in space under study: Technology Nanoparticles into propellants Quantum Dots reinforcing solar cells Nanoparticles for fuel cells electrolytes Nanotubes for H2 storage (essentially Carbon nanotubes) for fuel cells Nanoelement for battery Characteristic Improve their efficiency. 2003) 59 . Various types of metal oxide and ceramic nanopowders can be used to improve the performance of electrochemical sensors. The important life support tasks have been summarised by VDI as oxygen supply. ventilation. Nanotechnology is expected to improve the selectivity of these gas sensors. nanotechnologies can find potential application in gas storage.those topics because energy is a key point for future spacecraft according to the increasing need of autonomy.5. waste water treatment. With the development of longer manned mission and space tourism. decrease volume needed Improve energy conversion rate Improve fuel cells efficiency Improve H2 storage rate and in the case of carbon nanotubes is radiations resistant Improve existing battery efficiency Interest ++ +++ ++ +++ + Perspective Short term Middle term Short term Middle term Short-Middle term* *Notice: It depends of the nanoelement used. health monitoring. 4. filtering. heat absorption and rejection. air cleaning and filtration. decontaminating. Nanotechnologies can bring technological solutions to astronauts’ daily problems. There are numerous applications of nanotechnology within life support. carbon nanotubes integration is more a middle term vision because of the difficulties for its manufacturing. control of air quality and humidity. monitoring of water quality.

NASA researches are focused on the topic of miniaturized sensors. Nanomix. (VDI. the following should be mentioned among other things: 60 . Efficiency was proved for H2. 2006). with just a jab to its cell membrane. such as E. The resulting molecule would have the desired properties of both biosensor and biocide (Russell et This unique structure is a carpet of self assembling carbon nanotubes that can be used for trapping microscopic particles or micro organisms (e..acs.cgi/jpcbfk/2006/110/i42/pdf/jp064371z. They integrate multiple sensor elements consisting of isolated networks of single walled carbon nanotubes decorated with metal nanoparticles (for chemical selectivity). a company devoted to the build of nanosensors. enhancing medical system is becoming a key point of longer manned mission. Figure 4. Its function is first trapping microscopic particles for scientific analysis (Noca et al. Researchers from NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory developed a nanocarpet. CO and H2S. Argonide is developing nano-porous ceramic filter membranes for the sterilization of treated water in a NASA SBIR project.3 : Nanomix sensor http://pubs. Medical systems With the development of deep space living flights. Unlike other nanotubes structures. inorganic particles. 2004). But another function of the nanocarpet can be cleansing. CH4. Indeed a particular nanocarpet combines a quaternary ammonium salt group. known for its ability to disrupt cell membranes and cause cell death. bacteria. has recently demonstrated efficiency and selectivity of electronics noses base on carbon nanotubes in the frame of a SBIR phase II program (Star et al. spores). 2003) 4.2.g. these tubes display sensitivity to different agents by changing colour and can be trained to kill bacteria. As critical risks for astronauts.. pollen.pdf Water cleaning: Pollutants and germs can be effectively removed from water using Nano-membranes. with a hydrocarbon diacetylene. which can change colours when appropriately formulated. The advantage of Nano-membrane is reduced pore blockage as compared to conventional membranes.. 2004).5. University of Pittsburgh researchers enhance nanocarpet to create one that not only traps particles but also kills bacteria and others pathogens. coli.

methods of early diagnosis in particular of cancer.bone. 2003) They aim to apply nanotechnologies to achieving space medical systems. (VDI. Nanotechnologies will not decrease significantly their size but can bring new functionalities that can gather various functions in a same device like with lab-on-a-chip systems. radiation damages. Applications of nanotechnologies can be identified in: . miniaturized diagnostics and autonomous therapy. A CANEUS project is currently working on the future of this technique integrating micro fluidics with nanofabrication. muscle. . Substantial progress was made in this field by the conception of MEMS based medical devices. This technique seems to be the most promising method of large scale nanoelectronics production that will be necessary for its routine use in manned mission. To produce that kind of device. efficient and mobile detection systems. In this field NASA is developing “Ultra sensitive Label-Free Electronic Biochips Based on Carbon Nanotube Nanoelectrode Arrays” that allow fast detection of gene mutation which is the major causes for the development of cancer and genetic diseases and also the main risk of radiation exposure.Nanoparticles use for the detection of molecules (proteins. UCLA has developed in partnership with NASA a lab-on-a-chip for blood testing that can allow direct on board tests (Amudson. performance loss. 2001). thus combining both top-down and bottom-up paradigms. DNA) like gold nanoparticles. for gene analysis) that allows simultaneous detection of different analytes. distortion of the sense of balance.g. which are specifically bonded to the 61 . 2006). as well as small and compact test kits.Miniaturized analytical devices for medical diagnostics like lab-on-achip-systems that allow complex analysis sequences by individual controllable micro valves and channels. semiconductor nano-crystals (quantum dots) or also magnetic nanoparticles. Numerous research programs of NASA focus on life sciences in co-operation with other federal institutions (e. This biochip is build on a basis of multi walled carbon nanotubes array used to collect electrochemical signals associated with the target bio molecules. heart and blood circulation problems. high speed analyses. Another key point is the miniaturization of medical devices in order to adapt them to space transport. insufficient methods for on-board medical therapy and diagnostics (Stilwell. bio molecular imaging.g. NIH) or industrial partners. . The main objectives include minimal invasive.Oligonucleotide biochips (e. of the immune system. the most promising method is the Fountain Pen Nanolithography.

molecular probes covalently attached to the end of the multi walled carbon nanotubes. The probe molecules could be designed as specific biomarkers such as nucleic acids or proteins (NASA, 2006).
Figure 4.4 : NASA biochip


Drug delivery realized in principle from nanoscale cage molecules (e.g. liposomes, fullerenes or other cage molecules such as dendrimers) or by coupling with nanoparticles. The most advanced devices are miniaturized testers for bio molecules and diagnostics. Applications for nanoparticles or drug delivery seem to be expected in a longer term like for ground applications. With the help of nanotechnological therapy procedures a distinct progress in the autonomous self-diagnostics and medication of astronauts is expected in the future that is an important prerequisite for the realization of long manned space missions outside of the earth orbit. During a manned Mars mission, which is considered as a long term objective both for NASA and ESA, there would be no possibility of external medical supply of the astronauts for a period of up to three years, apart from capabilities of telemedicine which will be developed until then. A CANEUS project is also under development on this topic: “Astronaut health monitoring”. This 3 years project goal is building a new generation of miniaturized biomedical devices for astronauts for 2009. The sensor-on-a-chip for human health monitoring developed in the frame of this project consists of fully integrated microelectronics, micro fluidics and bio functionalized sensors on a single chip format using Polypyrrole bio functionalized electrodes. Polypyrrole is a selective conducting polymer adapted to detect glucose, cholesterol and a host of other blood molecules as well as volatile liquids and gases for environmental sensing. NASA is also preparing in-vivo test for a nanosensor to monitor space radiation exposure (Flinn, 2005). It is a molecule size sensor, built using dendrimers, which could be placed inside the cells of astronauts to warn of health impacts from space radiation. Researchers group set out to develop biosensors for real-time monitoring of radiation-induced biologic effects in space. They sought to develop cellular biosensors based on dendrite polymers, using nanoscale polymer structures less than 20 nm in diameter as the basis for the biosensors. To make use of this nanotechnology, an astronaut would inject a clear fluid, placed with nanoparticles, into his bloodstream before a space mission. During flight, he would put a small device shaped like a hearing aid into his ear. This device would use a tiny laser to count glowing cells as they flow through capillaries in the eardrum. A wireless link would relay the data to the spaceship’s main computer for processing. This scenario is at least 5-10 years away; 62

however most of the important research is being conducted in the laboratory. The researchers are trying to fix nanoparticles on lymphocytes and the answer can be induced by detection of suicides enzymes produced by the cell when it is irradiated.

4.5.3. Textile
Nanotechnologies can also be developed to improve astronauts comfort and protection with textile innovations by creating space clothes more efficient and more adapted to harsh space conditions. Various textile technologies are under development not only for astronauts but they can find applications in spacecraft. Sensatex, a developer of integrated smart textile systems, has announced in 2006 the beta launch of its Smart Shirt System. The system makes it possible to remotely monitor a wearer's movement, heart rate, and respiration rate in real-time through a conductive fibre grid that is seamlessly knit into the material of the fully washable shirt. Early research for the Smart Shirt System was funded by the DARPA9 and the Technical Support Working Group. This kind of device combines nanotechnologies enhancement for textile and improvement of health self monitoring. The same is possible by addition of core shell nanoparticles. They improve electrical, magnetic, optical properties and so can serve as diagnostic coating for astronauts’ suits. Others nanoparticles can be used to improve space textiles functions like silver nanoparticles that can provide antibacterial and anti fungal functions (nanoroadSME, 2006). Other developed products like Nano-Tex Coolest Comfort fabric or klimeo fabric can be used for space applications because of the new properties they provide: prevent moisture apparition, regulate internal temperature according to the external one. It appears more like comfort applications for astronauts but can become a critical point in the case of long manned mission.

4.5.4 Life support conclusion
As enhancement of life management in space is a key topic of the future years, several space studies are focused on it. They take advantage of the electronics and medical researches achievements and fit them for space applications. That is why the most advanced devices for life management containing nanotechnologies are sensors for gas detection or other medical applications. The following table summarize the different nano applications for life management in space under study:

US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency


Technology Nanocarpet Carbon nanotubes in gas sensors Carbon nanotubes in Lab on a chip / Biochip Drug delivery Smart textile

Characteristic Particles detection, space radiation resistant Improve their sensibility; harsh space conditions resistant Improve their sensibility; harsh space conditions resistant Enhance health management More adapted to space conditions, health monitoring

Interest +++ +++ +++ +++ ++

Perspective Short term Short term Short term Middle term Middle term

4.6. Satellites / Science payloads
Satellites are very small-unmanned spacecraft, which were first designed for scientific analysis (observation / particles detection of earth, other planets, universe) and for several years have been used for commercial applications such as communication or GPS. Others functions of satellites take place in military applications but this field will not be treated. To achieve their missions, satellites are equipped by science payloads that are functional devices allowing scientific analysis, data collection and transmission. Technological needs will be different according to the function of the satellite. Scientific satellites are launched by national or international space agencies to enhance the knowledge about space. It includes various missions like earth observation; planet, universe exploration and so have various functions like observation; atmosphere, planet surface particles collect and analysis (bio, chemical or physical properties detection). In the case of non-orbital mission one speaks more about probes. The needs identified for this kind of missions are for one part development of more autonomous systems in order to increase missions’ duration and on the other hand the miniaturization of satellites to decrease their weight and so decreasing launching costs. As probes are often used for deep space exploration (e.g. asteroid belt) problems of miniaturization and autonomy are all the more important. Companies that use the potential of satellites for business have launched commercial satellites. The two main commercial applications for satellites are: communication (e.g. cell phones, TV) and GPS. The need identified for commercial applications is clearly costs reduction and for that mass and size saving. Thus the evident technological trend for satellites is miniaturization (even if there are some exceptions like in telecommunication where certain 64

satellites can reach several tons). Since the launch of Sputnik in 1957 (84 kg), satellites weights have decreased to reach a ten kg for current satellites in orbit. Researches are currently focused on the nano and pico satellite development. Prefix used to qualify those satellites doesn’t express the size of the satellite itself but a class of weight (1 to 10 kg for nanosatellite, 0.1 to 1 kg for picosatellite). They most express an average range of size components. The ultimate goal of satellite miniaturization is the construction of a satellite-on-a-chip which represents the idea of a completely functional satellite built as a monolithic integrated circuit. Expected dimensions are: 216 cm² total design space, less than 5mm thick, lass than 100g mass, 100 mW peak power (Barnhart et al., 2005). In addition to the economic potential of nano/pico satellites represent, miniaturized launches can also be very useful for technological improvements and testing of new nanotechnologies. Aerospace is not a very innovative sector in the sense where space launches are very expensive and failure zero is needed. A co-founder of CANEUS, Thomas George said “technologies flying in space are 10 years behind what is state of the art terrestrially” (CANEUS, 2002). So the use of well-known technologies is safer in the same time for astronauts in the case of manned missions and for space agencies budgets. But the revolutionary potential of nano/pico satellites to make small, light and cheap satellites can change the use of emerging technologies like nanotechnologies in spacecraft. If satellites are cheaper, quantity launched can be increased at equal costs. It means that some of them can be lost without serious financial consequences. So space agencies can consider the use of their satellites not only for space mission but also for nanotechnologies testers in order to improve both their space and technological knowledge. Thus, nanotechnologies development follows a kind of virtuous spiral due to satellites potential:

Thus within the main space agencies program, industries are involved in the satellite miniaturization race which includes a part of enhancement in


communications and control.5 : CANEUS http://www. coordinated formation flying (in 2011) (Delft University of Technology and Systematic. On the other hand they can bring solutions for various satellites stakes: • Improve satellites autonomy for deep space mission using technologies developed in the part dedicated to energy.0M Target Costs ($ million) Satellite Mass Group (including Manufacturing Launch Insurance fuel) $154.csba. They are also implicated in test research program called Space Test Program (SPT) to test various new technologies directly on board satellites (e. several engineering schools build satellite programs for their students.5M $0.2M $0. power management. 10 See: http://ilrs.0M $0.0M $62.cgi?order=&sat_code=STA3&sat_name=Starshine3&tab_id=general 66 .8M Nano Sat Pico Sat OPAL mission.1-1 kg $1.000 kg Sat 1-10 kg $3. nanotechnologies will not revolutionize the miniaturization process because MEMS technologies have already allowed significant weight reductions. attitude and ST5). Delphi C3.g. TECH SAT 21).0M $2.the on board nanotechnologies integration.pdf NASA has several missions already including micro technologies on nano or picosatellite (e. 2005) Target Costs for Satellite Classes Show 100x improvement! Total Cost $316 M $4. 2005 and Star shine 3 Satellite10) Thus. • Optimise structure and function of various payloads that will be described in this part.nasa. To achieve the goal of on board testing.nps. Delft University of Technology and Systematic.1M $0. autonomous navigation (in 2011). By this way student improve their spacecraft knowledge and space agencies can take this opportunity to test their new technologies like nanotechnologies in space conditions (e.g.0 M Large >10.0 M $100.g.4M Figure 4. data management. Several examples can be quoted: The NPS CANEUS program goal is to transform satellite from a prohibitive tool to a consumer good and consider launch of a satellite including advanced nanotechnologies for 2009 in those components: Thermal management control.

The detectors can include optical detectors (e. It also gathers processes and formats spacecraft housekeeping and mission data for downlink or use on board. payloads or other subsystem.So satellite miniaturization has the potential to accelerate introduction of advanced nanotechnologies not only in satellites but also in all the spacecraft. the mains are summarized here: Electrical power subsystem: As satellites are often autonomous spacecraft. (VDI. Tools used in those subsystems (e. We can note that power wires are developed by Rice University under a NASA contract. 4. magnetometers (to determine attitude with respect to the geomagnetic field) and MEMSbased sensors to determine the rate of angular motion (NASA. micro nanotechnologies star mappers). Data handling subsystem: The data handling subsystem is basically the on-board computer for the satellite. All the nanotechnologies potentialities in this field were described in the part dedicated to energy.g. Even if it is a longterm application.and three-quit quantum computers capable of some simple arithmetic and data sorting. 2003) The main potential advantage quantum computing represent is still its potential to secure data transmission by efficient information encoding. several advances were made in the field of quantum computing. These include building two. Large technical issues must still be resolved. a gyroscope) have to be more efficient and secure and on the other hand have to be as light as possible.1. Nanotechnological developments relevant to this area include both detectors to monitor spacecraft dynamics and devices to control those dynamics. It receives. Satellite subsystems Satellites are divided in various subsystems. Nanotechnologies applications for electronics can contribute to the protection against space radiations but another nanotechnology application could enhance data handling performances. electrical power subsystem is a strategic point for them. validates. 67 . This sub-system implies both use of advanced software and hardware.g. 2001). decodes and distributes commands from the ground.6. responsible for several jobs. Attitude and orbit determination / control subsystem: Attitude determination subsystem (ADCS) and orbit control subsystem (OCS) function is to keep the spacecraft pointed in a desired direction to meet mission requirement.

three main kinds of payloads have been identified: • Sensors • Imaging instruments • Communication systems 4. 2005).6. Various technologies are being developed to make sensors based on nanotechnologies such as quantum dots. 2005)) were achieved but a CANEUS project is currently focused on research for low mass. planet atmosphere composition). carbon nanotubes. Science payloads Science payloads are anything that a spacecraft carries beyond what is required for its operation during flight. So the limiting factor of sensor miniaturization is to measure a critical flux and sensor size can be reduced only where it does not compromise measurements at that level (Aerospace America. This includes the instruments for analysis (sensors. They can be used to detect biological components (e.Propulsion subsystem: Because non-ideal forces can make a satellite move from its trajectory. The geometric factor of a detector sets the number of particles it will collect and thus the instrument’s ability to count statistically significant numbers of particles. 2005). nanocrystals to enable wavelength-selective emission..1. bacteria). propulsion subsystem is needed to mitigate this effect. high energy density storage systems and micro-nanotechnology based batteries for providing adapted solutions of miniaturized propulsion system according to the kind of space mission. Even if there are several different payloads according to their mission. 68 .g. imaging tools) in the case of scientific mission and the communication instruments in the case of commercial satellites. or physical components.2.g. Today only MEMS or micro propulsion effort (this technology embeds discreet amounts of propellant in an array of sealed capsules on a silicon substrate (Barnhart et al.2. Several studies were conducted to study the feasibility of miniaturized propulsion subsystems. nanophotonic waveguide potentially suitable for interconnections needed to build “photonic chips” (Aerospace America.2. 4. In this case sensor miniaturisation will reduce this ability and thus may compromise measurements.6. chemical components (e.2 of the present report according to their functions. Sensors Sensors will use electronics technologies developed in part 2.

It can improve reliability and safety of crewed vehicles and aid in planetary exploration. 2004). DNA. it is considered as the real first nano object used in spacecraft. This black box flight. This array will be used for the identification of genes. represents a big step in nanotechnologies application for aerospace. radiation belt electrons. Terahertz frequencies are contained in cosmic radiation and so can be used to have more information about the birth of star systems and planets. auroral electrons). Moreover NASA has plan to rapidly use nanosensors systematically in mission to Mars and the moon. The NASA black box or Re-entry Break-up Recorder (REBR) weights about 1 kilogram. The most advanced structure containing nanosensors is “black box” developed by NASA in collaboration with Aerospace Corporation. Nanosensors would be packed into small spheres to be used with the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV).Sensors can be used to detect energetic particles specific for space (solar protons. 2005). Even if some nano applications in energy or materials are very soon available. 69 . if everything goes fine. This CEV will be shown in a demonstration flights by 2008 and manned flights are expected for 2014 (NASA. First tests on earth atmosphere are planned for 2008. A prototype test was envisaged for summer 2006 aboard an expendable Delta II rocket but as the rocket was not launched the prototype was not tested. Researchers from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre are working on the adaptation of ground lab-on-a-chip for space mission and more especially for Mars exploration. Nanosensors are used to gather data such as temperature or pressure about flights vehicles re-entering earth atmosphere to validate thermal protection systems for human missions. This black box containing nanosensors will be attached to a main spacecraft and will separate from it when it re-enters the Earth's atmosphere. routine use of nanosensors is planned for around 2025. Sensors can also be used to detect bio molecules on the principle of ground lab-on-a-chip. expected soon. NASA's future replacement for the shuttle. bio molecules that can found on the Mars surface (NASA. to help reduce the hazards of re-entering debris. A nanosensor based on niobium nitride was built by a team of Delft University of Technology and Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON) to detect terahertz frequencies.

altimeters.html 4.6. 4. the Aerospace Corporation http://www. This latter can be build with carbon nanotubes as it investigates by NASA for antenna at optical frequencies. MEMS-based phased-array antennae are also investigated. Communication Nanotechnologies can contribute to the enhancement of data handling. radars (to collect information of the inside of the planet).2. photometers for both visible. Even if power data transmission will be different according to the distance to transfer and the kind of mission.2.6. some imaging instruments can be used to identify space components at the nanoscale like scanning probe microscopes and secondary ion mass spectrometers that have a resolution to the nanometre. inter satellite. a carbon nanotube based X-ray diffraction spectrometer has been developed and would be ready for NASA Mars missions 2009-2010 in order to study rocks and soil. Imaging instruments Imaging instruments include cameras. For example. spectrometers.Figure 4. ultra violet.6 : REBR. infrared. between earth and spacecraft. communication intra satellite. Concerning instruments themselves. Except this future no nanotechnologies applications have been identified except the possibility to introduce carbon nanotubes based electronics in instruments. In the long-term these could prove important because 70 . A communication system is often made by an antenna to receive and/or emit data. technologies developed find applications in all the communication structure.

2003). optoelectronic transducers and photonic components. The infrared sensors can benefit from the use of quantum wells. the need of payload weight saving is a priority for satellite competitiveness. 2005). 71 . Twodimensional structures can be routinely manufactured with high precision.of the critical need for real-time data downlink to support some kind of missions such as the space weather satellite (Kraft. a nanoscale electromechanical systems (NEMS) device. Quantum information may potentially enable a strong safe information encoding. The centre for space microelectronics technology at NASA is developing GaAs quantum well infrared sensors (VDI. As a kilogram payload roughly costs € 15 000 on a satellite. quantum wires or quantum dots through miniaturisation and improved band gap selection. New metamaterials for antenna arrays are also planned. Three-dimensional photonic crystals would open up new possibilities in optical data communication (light could be guided and branched to arbitrary directions) and offer in principle the potential for the realization of purely optical circuits (optical computing). Long distance transmissions are based on microwaves but traditional microwaves amplifier are heavy (1 kg). or otherwise extract information from. Infrared sensors offer an alternative way of making optical data communication. intensified efforts are made for the development of threedimensional photonic crystals. developed since 2000 at the NASA Glenn Research Centre could also solve the ongoing problem of how to communicate with. Quantum technology..g. Carbon nanotubes can also be used as mass saving for microwaves amplifier. However nanoscale infrared sensors are not available as yet. 2005) The communication system is made up of a transmission data system using most of the time optical data communication that include nano optoelectronics diffractive optical elements. Optical satellite telecommunication can be enabled by the application of nanostructured optoelectronic components. This technology will be used in the future to develop optical communications protocols and components applicable for nanorobots. Photonic crystals are a further example of nano-optoelectronic components with application potential in optical data communication. These include e. The current microwaves amplifier used in space are based on “hot cathode” technology. quantum well or quantum dot lasers and photonic crystals. A team of researchers from Cambridge University showed that a “cold cathode” is possible using carbon nanotubes that can directly generates electrons at microwaves with an economy in weight and size of almost 50% (Teo et al. At present.

ESA also explores what can be space future with a collaborative project called See: http://www. NASA has an institute devoted to those questions: the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC11) has the mission is to promote forward-looking research on radical space technologies that will take between 10 to 40 years to come to fruition. The following table summarize the different nano applications for satellites and science payloads in space under study: Technology Carbon nanotubes based sensors Black box using nanosensors Nanoelements for imaging instruments Quantum information Characteristic Sensor sensibility improvement. some space dreams that currently appear like science fiction may be achieved one day and surely with the help of nanotechnologies. their applications have a huge potential to achieve some very old human dreams.esa. As an example aerospace scientist continued to explore the use of nanoscale glass ceramic that enhances internal communication via photonics.6.3 Satellites / Payloads conclusion: The most spectacular scientific improvements in the satellites and payloads topic are the progress made to build more integrated smaller devices.htm 72 . 11 12 See: http://www.Finally it is important to notice that not only traditional optical data transmission are improved by nanotechnologies but also nanotechnologies allow the building of materials with innovative properties that can play a role in data handling. To promote scientific researches for space futuristic vision like space elevator or space colonisation. Indeed as flying was considered as science fiction two centuries ago. harsh space conditions resistance First nanointegrated object for space.7.niac. Small device integrating several sensors resisting to harsh space conditions Improve their harsh space conditions resistant Enhance security of information Interest +++ +++ Perspective Short term Very short term (available) Middle term Long term + +++ 4. Futuristic visions If in the near future applications of nanotechnology seem possible for traditional missions.usra. 4. This topic has identified the main activities in nano and pico satellites.

4.7.1. Space elevator
In the most basic description the space elevator is a 37,786 km cable that would stretch into space from a floating platform in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Satellites or other payloads would be loaded onto climbers which would ascend the paper-thin cable by squeezing it between sets of electrically driven rollers or electromagnetic forces13 14. Even if it looks like a science fiction objective, scientists are seriously thinking of its implementation because of the big advantages it represents. The current problems space scientists encounter with traditional launching pad are: • The huge energy consumption needed to launch a spatial object • The weight constraints that it generates • The associated risks (fire, rocket destabilization) Thus the main advantages that a space elevator could allow are – • • The weight is not a problem anymore, therefore the number of payloads onboard is no longer restricted Launches are definitely cheaper

All of this could call into question the current advanced technologies because of the weight and price constraints that would be partly removed. Thus a researcher from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Bradley Edwards, has been credited with giving the most rigorous thought to the components and technical breakthroughs that would be needed to build a space elevator (Aerospace America, 2006). The main conclusions of his research are that the main components in the construction of a space elevator will be carbon nanotubes. Though the technology is not going to be ready for this application soon. There has been some promising research performed by Yuntian Theodore Zhu, who built a 4cm nanotube. The challenge remains in constructing a cable that is 37, 786 km. Another important aspect is the cable security. Some smarts materials could be used to address this security challenge. The use of nanoscale sensors could be made for detecting damage. Such smart materials do not exist but research should be further conducted on it. Another constraint is the management of the power supply to launch a satellite or a rocket with the elevator. A potential solution may be by using light sensitive cells. Laser light may be projected on gallium arsenide receptors that transform it to electrical energy providing propulsion.
13 14

See: See:


In order to address the technical barriers that scientists are facing with, the NASA organizes a design contest every year to address these space challenges. There are two parts to the challenge, the beam power and tether15. There have been other concerns voiced such as terrorist attacks, hacking risks and other environmental catastrophes it could bring. There has also been concern about sharing the costs and risks internationally.

4.7.2. Space colonisation
These are exciting times for human space exploration with several countries contemplating and planning manned missions to “Moon, Mars and beyond.” Indeed, space agencies such as NASA, ESA, JAXA and the Chinese Space Agency are planning a series of robotic and manned missions that could culminate in the establishment of permanent habitats on the Moon and possibly Mars. With these ambitious goals in mind, there have been large-scale efforts to design new crew vehicles, as well as powerful boosters and habitats to facilitate interplanetary human spaceflights. Nanotechnologies can find several applications for those requirements such as facing the huge constraint of space radiation with the use of carbon nanotubes for living structures. They can be incorporated into structures, electronics to allow sustainable constructions or in inhabitants’ suits to enhance human protection and health management. But the main problem they will have to confront is the need for improved monitoring of the human body. Humans on such missions would have to confront microgravity, weak magnetic fields, ionizing radiation and other cosmic hazards. Space agencies are involved in program dedicated to enhance space life monitoring e.g., NASA invested 10M$ in 2006 in a program called “NASA’s Bioastronautics Roadmap”. The main problem will be to monitor astronauts’ health: several devices are in development as it is described in part 4 but the long term effects of radiation are very difficult to control. But one of the projects of NIAC is the use of bio-nanotechnologies to build molecular machines / bio nano robot to create a sort of "second skin" for astronauts to wear under their spacesuits that would use bionanotech to sense and respond to radiation



penetrating the suit, and to quickly seal over any cuts or punctures (NASA, 2005).

Figure 7 : Bio/Nano robot, NASA Institute for Advanced Concept

However, even if those developments are expected in a quite long term, the International Space Station can already serve as a test bed for conducting research that will benefit long-range space exploration.

4.7.3. Autonomous systems
The ultimate goal pursued by spacecraft researchers is the building of a complete autonomous system able to make its own analysis, store and send the data, to communicate with other systems, capable of self repairing. It can be spacecraft like satellites as well as advanced robots. Satellites Swarm To achieve autonomous goal, researches are focused on satellites systems called cluster of satellite or swarms. As the main stakes of this kind of formation are secure communication and autonomy (energy generation, storage), researches are being conducted in sparse aperture signal processing, micro propulsion, formation flying, collaborative control, spatial ionosphere effects, MEMS/NEMS and software intelligence. Launch of formation satellites has already done to test and improve those technologies: o TechSat 21, launched in 2003 is a flight experience of three micro satellites to experimental concepts for clusters very low costs, lightweight satellites in close formation. o Space technology 5 (ST5) consists of three 20 kg satellites that will demonstrate the feasibility of 100 or more sparsely distributed nano satellite to make spatial and environment measurements. Satellites are highly integrated with miniaturized electronics, extendable booms and antenna, subsystems for communication and attitude control, miniaturized thrusters and instrumentation. o Orbital Express (OE) is a project sponsored by DARPA. It contains an Autonomous Transporter and Robotic Orbiter (ASTRO) which is an on orbit servicing vehicle designed for spacecraft diagnostic, repairs and restocking (CANEUS, 2002).


Traditional motors were replaced with Micro. but also greatly increase the number that can be packed into a rocket because tape and nanotube struts 76 Figure 4. it is possible to envisage nanorobots in the quite near future. metal rods) for Mars exploration application containing nanotechnologies like advanced nanosensors. A robot called "TETwalker" was tested in 2005 to join the NASA swarm project.g. and communicating with the carrier spacecraft and the earth control station. As research on component materials. To confirm this trend.8 : NASA TET walker http://gsfctechnology. because they may include the integration of all the above technologies plus extremely well-developed motors. It will recognize obstacles and figure out how to get around them. so it will not require instruction from a whole team of scientists to complete a simple task.html .gov/Fea tured. The advantage in space exploration will be to carry hundreds or thousands of such robots on each mission and to explore vast areas of a remote planet in each mission. it will be autonomous. NASA is currently working on a project called ANTS (Autonomous NanoTechnology Swarm) which is 12 tetrahedrons (a pyramid with 3 sides and a base) made of 26 struts (thin. quantum information) Nanorobotics A nanorobot could be defined as a robotic system capable of motion and steering in a complex environment.gsfc.nasa. information safety has to be maintained (e. It has a huge advantage over wheeled rovers because it does not require flat ground to operate properly.Nanotechnologies can serve for the components quoted previously and more generally for: • Size and weight decrease of the structure by advanced materials using nanotechnologies (part 1) • Advanced electronics devices (part 2) • Lighter and more powerful energy system (part 3) • Advanced communication devices because with the increase of communication between the different satellites. extendable. It is the most complex of all the systems conceptualized so far.and Nano-ElectroMechanical Systems. and applications is already in progress in laboratories. devices. sensors. The struts was replaced with metal tape or carbon nanotubes that not only reduce the size of the robots. Unlike the current wheeled rovers. collecting surface chemical / biological samples or data. and steering systems to operate in extreme or rough environmental conditions.

are fully retractable. All systems are being designed to adapt and evolve in response to the environment. So to summarize potential nano applications in the space sector in a chronological vision. nanosensors) and other are more visionary (e. Nanotechnology is an emerging field that just begin to find applications in ground devices. the space sector has known several technological enhancements allowing more and more scientific explorations and the development of commercial applications.7. the following scheme shows several applications developed in space laboratory according to their potential time to market. It is important to note that most of those applications are middle or long- 77 . allowing the pyramid to shrink to the point where all its nodes touch. But what is sure is that space agencies. and companies are engaged in the development of nano applications for spacecraft because they are convinced that those emerging technologies have the potential to: • • • Help them to face space constraints.g. Some nano applications can be considered as short term perspective (e. These miniature TETwalkers.g. The swarm has abundant flexibility so it can change its shape to accomplish highly diverse goals. 4. when joined together in "swarms. Nanotechnologies already find a lot of applications in futuristic vision because of the new technical opportunities they offer but with the enhancement of “nanoresearch” in the following years we can imagine that they will be the key for the achievement of those “science fiction” projects. reducing costs Allow serious technological improvements necessary for the development of novel space missions (manned mission to Mars) Create breakthroughs that can revolutionize space sector by making it more innovative than it is currently by the possibility to test new technologies in space conditions and by reaching futuristic visions like the space elevator. molecular electronics).4 Futuristic visions conclusion Al those perspectives are in a long-term future and will may not be the most appropriate in this future. 4." will have great advantages over current systems.8 Conclusion Since 1957 and the launch of the first spacecraft. So it explains why nanotechnologies for space applications are more a perspective than a reality. This is the NASA first step to completely autonomous robots.

Another key aspect will be the priority that will be given by space agencies to those technological improvements. improving space knowledge and have also the potential to be improved by the space sector. This choice is more strategic than scientific and is available for both sciences and commercial applications.term vision and so are dependants of the technological improvements in all the sectors concerned by nanotechnologies. Summary of the main nanotechnologies applications for spacecraft according to their time to market 78 . But nanotechnology development is a long process and in some cases priority can be given to the development of new space missions integrating well-known technologies to the detriment of a focus on new technologies. Nanotechnologies have the potential to enhance spacecraft.

This summary is only conclusions of what was said in this report and under the only valuation of the author. 79 .Autonomous nanorobots swarm Space Systems Autonomous satellites swarm Nano/pico satellites Satellite on a chip Space elevator Space colonization CNT based lab on a chip / biochip Space subsystems CNT based electronics noses Black box using nanosensors CNT based imaging instruments Drug delivery Quantum Dots solar cells Fuel cells using nanoelements Quantum devices for information management Battery using nanoelements Smart textile Space devices Nanoparticles in propellants CNT based memory MRAM CNT in transistors Nanoparticles reinforcing composites Nanoparticles reinforcing polymers Short term 0-5 years CNT reinforcing coatings Bio memory Smart materials Long term 10-15 years CNT reinforcing composites Middle term 5-10 years Legend: Materials Electronics Energy Living suport Science payloads Futuristic vision This figure is inspired by VDI Technology Centre report “Applications of Nanotechnology in Space Developments and Systems”. It summarizes the main nanotechnologies applications for spacecraft on a time to market scale.

engineers and other skill sets are available for the aeronautics sector (ACARE4Europe. security. The maximum value from funds has been envisaged by facilitation of a European national and private research programs. New standards of quality and effectiveness have been identified as goals to accomplish in order to make European aerospace more competitive. maintenance and air traffic operations Environment Reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 50% Reduction in perceived noise by 50% Reduction in NOx emission by 80% Reduction in environmental impact of the manufacture.Chapter 5: Summary of Needs in Aerospace Research 5. The educational policies should be framed to ensure adequate scientists. safer and cleaner for the environment and quieter for residents around airfields. The need in aeronautics research objectives has changed from a generation ago from being higher.1: Goals for European Aeronautics set by the Advisory Council for aeronautical research in Europe 80 . and an efficient air traffic management system. quality and affordability.1 Aeronautics Aeronautics is a thriving sector in Europe with two million people employed in manufacturing. Quality - and Affordability Reducing Travel Charges Increasing passenger choice Transforming Air Freight Services Creation of a competitive supply chain that reduces time to market by half Safety Five fold reduction in average accident rate for global operators Reducing impact of human error Higher standard of training for aircraft operators. safety. The creation of a new framework that assist organisations to work more effectively in achieving industrial priorities is one of the goals for supporting the growth of the industry. operations and airports. 2004-1). maintenance and disposal of aircraft and related products. The Advisory council for aeronautical research in Europe has set a strategic agenda for research that addresses important issues such as environmental pollution.Enabling 99% flights to arrive and depart within 15 minutes of departure time in all weather conditions. Security Zero successful hijacks Goals for European Aeronautics Air Transport Efficiency Enabling the Air Transport system to accommodate 3 times more aircraft movement by 2020 compared with 2000 Reduction in time spent by short haul passenger to 15 minutes and long haul to 30 minutes . further and faster to aircraft that are more affordable to travel in. Figure 5.

Nanotechnology surface application research would lead to friction reduction thereby reducing the environmental impact. Research is needed in alternative lift mechanisms to derive lift by design of novel aerostructures using nanomaterials.1. Noise reduction using MEMS devices for active control of noise is considered important for residents living around airports. The solutions in aero structures are expected to bring benefits for green air transportation by using lightweight materials and processes for the airframe (ACARE4Europe. Low environmental impact materials and manufacturing techniques for the airframe. Composite materials such as Metal RubberTM are reported to be non-toxic with applications in aircraft structures (Nanosonic. Enhancement in acoustic measurement and testing technology has been envisaged to meet customer needs (ACARE4Europe.2 Airframes Nanoscience and Nanotechnology provide a new method for solving old problems. Noise shielding through developing the right configuration and acoustic panels require further development.5. 5. Research in the use of non-toxic material with enhanced functionality such as non-inflammability is would also contribute to the environmental objective. engine and other equipment is expected to reduce the environmental impact. Development is further required in ultra-high temperature alloys for aircraft engines. 2004-2).3 Propulsion High temperature materials and coatings for compressors. Silicon carbide sensors are used for monitoring aeronautical propulsion systems 81 .1. 2004). Research in nanomaterials such as carbon nanotube composites for weight reduction and reduced fuel consumption is also expected to make air transport highly cost efficient. The use of green coolant for manufacturing is another environmentally friendly measure that is being encouraged. combustors and turbine are considered as key to enhancing engine performance thereby reducing the environmental impact. 2004-2).5 Another technology assisting the development of ultra green air transport system is the high-lift engine airframe. Morphing airframes have been regarded as emerging technology for aircraft providing a structure that would also reduce drag and vibration control thereby improving aircraft performance (University of Bristol). New solutions can be harnessed from the disruptive technology for application in the aeronautics sector. Nanotechnology could prove effective in dealing with unsteady aerodynamics problem such as drag reduction using electromagnetic technologies. Plasma generating arcs reduce the turbulence in engines thereby reducing the noise generated by aircraft.

nuclear energy. 5. Enhanced communication systems with high performance air-ground data link would improve the air traffic management and highly customer oriented air traffic system. Increase re-uses of systems. (Covered in section 5. Utilizing new forms of energy are being considered such as solar power. 2005). systems and equipment Enhanced airborne display development in the cockpit for routing and traffic monitoring is expected to make the transportation system highly efficient providing customers with high value addition. Alternative propulsion designs for future aircraft are being conceptualized. (Covered in section 5. hydrogen from the sea.2) Development of smart maintenance systems for condition monitoring of airframes and structures are expected to increase the interval for servicing thereby making the air transportation systems more cost effective.2) The search for a novel solution leading to a more sustainable energy consumption that is affordable. practical and complimentary fossil fuel is underway. New materials should be considered for a maintenance free 82 . radar and infrared is expected to help achieve the security goals. Coating and improved sealing solutions need to be developed to increase the lifetime of aircraft thereby making them more cost effective and environmentally friendly.are being researched (Ohio Aerospace Institute. components and new repair methods have been identified to make aircraft more cost effective. 2004-2). Another key development required is the design of components with reduced thermo mechanical distortion and effective sealing for turbo machinery for an environmentally friendly air transport system. Thrust reverser technologies for weight reduction are also being developed as a key technology for achieving environmental objectives (ACARE4Europe. New combustion solutions are to be considered for the existing configuration that may reduce the emission produced by conventional engine. Lightweight architecture and materials for engine rotors and structure have also been considered an important requirement in aircraft engine design. Development in sensor integration for detection using laser.4 Aircraft avionics. New nacelle design development is needed for air breathing propulsion that is expected to reduce the environmental impact. lasers for detection.1. optronics. Research and development in warning systems such as missile attack sensors and missile defence are expected to provide enhanced security for air travel. Camera and sensor technology research based on optics. beam energy devices using laser or microwaves and ground powered energy forms. data fusion and signal processing for pattern recognition would make the new aircraft ultra secure.

reducing taxi time and eliminating circling. 2004-2).1: Relating environmental goals and research challenges 83 . lower cruise speed. In addition particulate emissions such as water vapour and soot have also added to the impact that affects the physical and chemical properties of the atmosphere. Goal Environment Research Challenge Drag reduction through conventional and novel shapes Fuel additives Noise reduction New Propulsion concepts Emission reduction Environmentally friendly production. Development of enhanced fire protection system by use of fire retardant material is considered as an important goal in achieving an ultra secure transport system (ACARE4Europe. Further research in the new low drag wing-body blended aircraft design is expected reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50%.1. The change in the atmospheric chemistry is complex and not understood very well. In order to accomplish environmental goals the development of oil free systems and replacement of polluting hydraulic fluid with more electrical technologies (for e.system that is expected to drive down costs significantly (ACARE4Europe. 5. braking system) in hydraulic power generation should be under further consideration.g. maintenance and disposal Better aircraft/engine integration Table 5. Strategies for combating climate change have been suggested such as combining routes of large aircraft.5 Environment The impact of carbon dioxide and Nox emissions from the aircraft has added significantly to the greenhouse gas effect. 2004-2). encouraging short haul flights. Emerging technologies such as application of fuel cells for on board electrical energy generation during cruise and on ground should be developed further for implementation achieving cost efficient and environmental goals.

weight reduction and efficient engine. 2004-2). 2004-2). Alternative fuels such as liquid hydrogen. geared fan and contra fan have been developed to reduce noise but complete elimination cannot be achieved without a radically new design. Protection against missile attacks on passenger aircraft should be developed. New combustion technology and injection systems should be developed to achieve an 80% reduction in Nox. 84 . The environmental impact is reduced by design of vehicles that take into consideration all factors from manufacturing to the end of the life cycle disposal. acoustic measurement under cryogenic condition and combustion are required for improved aircraft design. enhanced video monitoring of passengers are some measure to be further considered. are expected to deliver higher standards of security for aircraft (ACARE4Europe. Protection against electromagnetic threats and secure communication data link are essential for the aircraft. synthetic fuels and liquefied natural gas are should be considered for further development (ACARE4Europe. Micro-nanotechnologies are expected to provide novel concepts to reduce the noise in the aircraft. using heat signature reduction while providing detection and jamming facilities. Research in low noise component design. Noise produced by aircraft is another problem that is being addressed by better design of aircraft. The Nox emissions are dependent on the take off weight and range of the aircraft.Research in other strategies such as reduction in emission by reducing fuel burning has been proposed by aerodynamic improvements. The need for measuring techniques for boundary layer. 5.6 Safety and Security Post 9/11 the security of the aircraft and passengers is considered of paramount importance. bio fuels. Development of laminar flow design is needed for aerodynamics though innovation is required to reduce the complexity. Development of on-board explosive detection systems equipped with high sensitivity sensors and alarm systems. Nox control remains a main problem that is not addressed even by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by improving thermal efficiencies.1. Automatic collision detection and deviation from flight plan are important technology solutions to be considered and implemented. development of non-lethal devices for terrorist neutralization. Research in lean combustion should be considered in order to meet the goals. New engine designs such as the ultra high by pass ratio. Development of designs in more adaptive structures would reduce the need for additional control surfaces. landing gear faring and acoustic panels should be further developed. The use of biometric controls for pilot identification. engines with reduced complexity and weight thereby reducing the fuel consumption.

3 below.2: Relating Goal and Research Challenge for Safety and Security 5. The research challenges that relate to the quality and affordability have been stated in the table 5. Strategic Goal Quality and Affordability Research Challenge Permanent trend Monitoring Flexible cabin Environments Passenger services Anticipatory maintenance Systems Integrated avionics Air Transport management related airborne Systems Novel materials and structural concepts Lead-time reductions Integrated design manufacturing and maintenance systems Advanced design methods System validation through modelling and simulation Concurrent engineering Table 5.Goal Safety Research Challenge Flight hazard protection Advanced avionics Probability and risk analysis Computational methods Human error checking systems Table 5.3: Research needs from Strategic Quality and Affordability goals translating to research challenges 85 .7 Quality and affordability Improving the quality of the flying and the flight experience has been an important driver.1.

application needs and requirements. The table below gives the overview of some of the associated research challenges in Table 5.5. intelligent and integrated ATM ground.10 Current Research The research can be broadly divided into 5 themes in the nanotechnology sector: structure and materials.4.8 European Air Transport System Europe is aiming to integrate the air transport system by improving management of air transportation. reliability and packaging. Improvements in computing power are also expected to bring benefits to robotics leading to the development of independent robots controlling specific tasks. Future concepts for Guidance & Control Enhanced avionics and automation have been envisaged for future aircraft where computers manage the entire flight from landing to takeoff. Enhancement in the computing power with the application of nanotechnology to transistors is expected to greatly enhance centralized and dispersed operations.1. airborne and space systems Rotorcraft integration in ATM systems High-density traffic systems capability in all weather conditions Airport capacity and advanced management Increased use of airspace capacity Table 5. Strategic Goal European Air Transport System Research Challenge Innovative ATM operational concepts Advanced. systems and sub systems. missions and collaborations.4: Relating European Air Transport System relation with Research Challenges 5. 86 .

DAM and CNAM in France. Molecular dynamics modelling of thermal conductivity of engineering fluids and its enhancement by inclusion of nanoparticles is being studied by the National Institute of Technology. b. The Tokyo University of Science is involved in developing application of MEMS technology to a Light wave antenna for communication in space and aeronautics. Monolithic silicon based micro thrusters for orbital and altitude control. Colibrys have developed standard MEMS capacitive accelerometer for harsh 87 . c. Structures and Materials Carbon nanotubes are one of the most important nanomaterials being developed for aerospace applications. The Northwestern Polytechnic University is investigating the use of MEMS in aerodynamic flow control. Presens has been studying silicon MEMS pressure sensors for aerospace applications. Other research in carbon nanotube for space applications is being conducted at NASA investigating multifunctional characteristics of embedded structures with carbon nanotube yarn. The Boeing Company is investigating the enhancement of conductivity in composite materials using nanotechnology (Caneus. 2006). Kyushu University in Japan is studying the contemporary technology and applications of the MEMS rocket. Minnesota State University has been evaluating the shear properties of polymer nanocomposites (Caneus. 2006). Airbus has investigated the requirements for airframe enhancement using nanotechnologies (Caneus. Application needs and requirements ASRC aerospace and NASA have jointly collaborated to investigate the application of sensors in space vehicles. MEMS based one-shot electro thermal switches for system reconfiguration is being developed by LAAS. are fabricated using the MEMS technology by Carlo Gavvachi Space and CNR IMM. Novel surface-micro machined micro mirrors for optical MEMS beam manipulators are being investigated by University of Toronto for aerospace applications. Damping properties and dynamics of nanoparticles for reinforced damping material are being researched by NAS of Belarus. Design and fabrication of Non-powered MEMS trajectory sensors are being developed by CEA. Politecnico di Milano has been researching MEMS integrated electro-fluid-elastic modelling for aerospace applications.CNRS.a. 2006). Systems and sub-systems There is a significant amount of work being done in MEMS for aerospace applications.Laboratori Nazionali de Frascati. Studies are being conducted in the use of carbon nanotubes for aerospace applications by University of Rome and INFN. University of Minnesota has been investigating layer-bylayer self-assembly of carbon nanotube patterns and interconnections.

disc braking for cars and trains and anti-lock braking system. Nanosensors for gas detection in space and ground applications are being developed by ASRC aerospace. Thermo elastic damping in vibrating beam accelerometers has been studied using a finite element approach by University of Liege and ONERA. CNES is conducting research in spacecraft control and command. materials for artificial limbs. The fabrication and performance testing of miniature electro thermal thrusters using microwave-excited micro plasmas has been developed by Kyoto University (Caneus. Bio Inspired micro driller for future planetary exploration is being researched by ESA and University of Surrey. The example are aerodynamic design of cars. Design and performance of quartz inertia micro sensors has been investigated by ONERA. The National research council in Canada has been researching micro fibre optical sensor interrogation systems for aerospace applications. 2006). The EADS micropak project is developing a novel modular system for packaging integrated Microsystems for future applications. EADS CCR is developing a MEMS sensor to design a life consumption monitoring system for electronics (Caneus. Packaging and reliability testing Magma Space technology is involved with developing. MEMS reliability studies such as accurate measurement of beam stiffness using nanoindentation techniques. 5. d. The Surrey Space centre has been researching satellite on a chip development for future distributed space missions.environments. composite materials. Swedish Space Corporation in collaboration with Nanospace AB is developing MEMS based components and sub-systems for space propulsion. CNES and Nova MEMS are involved in hermiticity assessment of MEMS packaging –leak rate measurements based on Infrared spectroscopy. manufacturing and verifying micro-electro mechanical louvers. software systems for displays.11 Aeronautics application in other industries Novel solution developed for aerospace applications has benefited other industries as well. Design of packaged RF MEMS switching on alumina substrate is being developed by Xlim. EADS is developing high temperature MEMS pressure sensors including reusable packaging for rocket engine application. 2006). New technologies for a space launcher telemetry system are being developed by Astrium Space Transportation.1. EADS in collaboration with Albert Ludwig University is also developing low maintenance MEMS packaging for rotor blade integration. LAAS-CNRS has been investigating the development of optical micro resonators used for stabilisation and miniaturisation of high spectral purity microwave sources for space applications. 88 .

Reviewing the research needs ACARE has recommended an increase in funding by 65% over a 20-year period that is being invested currently. The annual turnover and number of people employer in US in this sector is more than twice of that by EU. A multi-disciplinary approach to training with excellent communication skills. 5.1. Contrasting the initiative to the American effort where 87% of the known airliners are being built.000 additional human resources would be required to fulfil the need to research goals. The benefits from the sector are creation of 3 million jobs and 2. The investment is in accordance with the Barcelona European Council aims that would need to be met by public and private sources in a ratio of twothird private and one third public (ACARE4Europe. the demand for specialists with good fundamental knowledge of aerospace is set to rise. Another trend observed with graduating students is the fall in the number of students being recruited by the technology supply chain.6% of the GDP to the individual member states. Indirect benefits through lifestyle and the way business is being done has been estimated to be 10% of the GDP. 2004-1). There has 89 .1. 2004-1). 5. In addition 50.14 Education and Training Employment in all aspects from manufacturing to air traffic control is at 3 million at the moment and set to rise to 5-7 million by 2020. With the falling level of graduates taking up science and technology education.12 Funding and investment Aerospace and aviation is considered an important sector for Europe. Similarly the amount of US export in the aerospace sector is also known to be twice of the European Union (ACARE4Europe. open mindedness and cultural awareness is required.1. Measure to increase the production of research output is required as opposed to importing the research outputs.thermal imaging camera’s for rescue and police work and advanced business project management.13 Policy The new investment in research and development programme would become successful only when organisation would conduct their research in Europe thereby retaining their bases. 5. It has been estimated that public funding in US is three times that of the European Union and its member states. A skills shortage is expected in the aerospace sector partly due to demographics and reduced attractiveness of the aerospace sector.

An exhaustive survey of 384 organizations in Europe. 5. The need for a pan European accreditation has also been beginning with a voluntary system in the aeronautical discipline has been made.2. North America and Asia has revealed that 74% of research is being conducted in research institutions (illustrated in figure 1). development and implementation of nano-scale technologies in aeronautics would increase the global competitiveness of this industry. these companies have been presented with a choice of suppliers across the world putting the pressure on the small and medium size businesses in the supply chain.been an alignment between courses offered at Universities and aerospace employers needs.1 Introduction The exploration of the vastness of space has driven the active development of space programmes in various countries. A strong need to develop a permanent forum for dialogue between Universities and aerospace companies has also been voiced to ensure appropriateness and quality of education provided.15 SME The supply chain orientation is so that large companies play a central role in integration. The implementation of emerging technologies in aeronautics lags a decade or in some cases even more. The technological development has also spurred activity that has been beneficial for terrestrial applications as well. With the increased global competition.1. 90 . The identification.2 Statement of needs for Research and Development in Space 5. Greater research is required in the development nanotechnologies for aeronautic applications.1. This would require development of lean practices that improve the performance of the SME. Therefore it maybe reasonably expected that the implementation of present nanotechnology would take another 20 years after the concepts and components have been thoroughly validated for airworthiness. The SME business in the supply chain would need to implement global best business practices and leverage industrial alliances to become more competitive. 5. There is also an imminent need to increase communication between research communities in aeronautics research and nanotechnology research. 5.16 Conclusion Aeronautics and aviation is an important sector for the European industry.

Enhanced services such as GPS. Other barriers to implementation of research are likely to be extreme conditions in space such as high radiation. The solutions developed for terrestrial applications in nanotechnology are more likely to be adapted for space in Europe as compared to the US. Improved spin off products enabled by nanotechnology are also expected for terrestrial applications.ESTEC 2003. and infrastructure for space stations. A significant research goal is to increase the autonomy of spacecraft by improving altitude and orbit control. presented at ESA. Figure 5. The barriers to the implementation of nanotechnology research and development range from economics factors to the readiness of the concept. The high research and development costs associated with applications in energy. The development of space programmes has also driven scientific discovery such as micro gravity research and commercial applications such as satellite communication. health monitoring and payload monitoring.Research in the space industry is being driven by a desire to reduce the mass and volume of payload lifted into space. The need to reduce costs is further pushing commercial off the shelf technology into space applications. GIS and communications are expected from these commercial satellites placed in orbit. electronics and nanobiotechnology solutions may hinder development in the long-term future.2: Nanotechnology Research around the world. and the lack of communication between communities involved in space and nanotechnology research. rockets. Reduction in the size and energy consumption of electronics on board for data processing and control systems is another important driver for research. Adapted from the presentation of Nanotechnology in future space mission by Miland Pimpprikar et al. This summary of research needs has been compiled by reviewing the problems and challenges faced by various nanotechnology applications in 91 . This is expected to slow implementation of research in Europe. temperature changes and high cyclic loading of structure in take off and re-entry. Financial investment will determine the development of lightweight and energy saving satellites.

However further research is required to develop macroscopic components that may translate into applications (Zweck & Luther. 5. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) offer a distinct advantage as lightweight materials and are regarded as one of the core materials in bringing nanotechnology benefits to space. Further research is required for the successful demonstration of their reinforcing Nanomaterials research could contribute to the successful achievement of these goals. 2003). Reduction of costs is also an important parameter for space missions. The various technology solutions are at different stages such as fundamental or basic proof of concept and validation. design impact resistance space stations or astronaut suits. thermal control elements. aluminium oxide and aluminium nitride are being examined for application in various airframe structures of spacecraft. 2003). The integration of nanoparticles into components such as airframes has to be researched further before the excellent mechanical and heat resistance properties of CNTs can be put to useful application. uniform dispersion of CNTs in the matrix of the composite material. miniaturized cooling loops and heat exchangers.2 Nanomaterials for space craft structure Space research has been driven by the goal to reduce the lift-off mass of spacecraft. and improving safety and flexibility of space missions. CNT yarns could be potentially used for weaving larger fibres that may have applications in electromagnetic shielding. thermal expansion and low density. Production issues have limited the use of CNTs in reinforced polymers. thermal These include: development large-scale production methods (www. Nanoparticles such as silicates (montmorillonite) and POSS (polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane) are also being considered for reinforcing 92 . Applications based on CNTs are expected only in the long term. Metal matrix composites have excellent properties such as high heat resistance. applied research. Materials such as metals reinforced with ceramic fibres such as silicium carbide. alignment and adhesion of carbon nanotubes in reinforced polymers (www. Other properties such as changes in mechanical properties that can be detected by changes in electrical resistance make them excellent candidates for sensors (Zweck & Luther. Each of these research needs or concepts is considered of some strategic importance to the space objectives. and production of CNTs of a uniform size and in high volume (Science Daily. strength. New research is required in light nanocomposite materials. 2005).nanocompositech.

like-carbon as corrosion resistance. Nanostructured ceramic composites. Ceramic fibre composites offer excellent thermal barriers for components such as nozzles and rocket combustion chambers or as heat shields used in re-entry. Further research is required in utilizing the viscous. One of the most promising areas of research are MEMS structures where their friction. 2005). 93 . Enhanced thermal protection for spacecraft can increase re-usability of the vehicles thereby reducing costs. Proof of concept studies are required in the application of these nanostructured materials as sensors. With further research they may replace titanium components in liquid rocket engines. Electronic equipment in space crafts is sensitive to large variations in temperature. Diamond-like carbon also provides corrosion resistance to oxygen over a wide range of temperatures. Further applied research is required in application of diamond. 2003). act as a thermal and oxidative protection for construction material. Magnetic fluids are currently used as sealing and damping media. however they could be utilized for thermal protection of control systems for miniaturized electronic components or as self-lubricating bearing for micro mechanical components. Therefore thermal protection is a very important area.However such materials require further research into their thermo mechanical properties before application as heat shields. optoelectronic components and space structures. affecting communications. electrical and thermal properties of magnetic fluids for thermal control for miniature electronics. NASA is considering nanostructured ceramics such as silicon carbide for exceptional heat and radiation resistance properties (AZoNano. Nanocrystalline metals and their alloys such as that of aluminium also offer excellent thermo mechanical properties. information processing and control of the space craft. 2003). such as carbon fibres coated with boron nitride. Research is needed in controlling the grain growth of ceramics during the sintering process that would improve the density and thereby the firmness of spacecraft components (Zweck & Luther. Space missions have to endure extreme conditions including dramatic temperature changes. 2003). as they are light and less prone to embrittlement by hydrogen (Zweck & Luther. This is dependent on the nanostructure of the material that can be controlled using nanopowders. Nanomaterials such as diamond-like carbon have a high thermal conductivity (4 times that of copper) and have been used for thermal monitoring in nanosatellites. stiction and wear properties make them an excellent candidates for use in moving mechanical assemblies (Milne.

2006). Other areas that require further development include the proton exchange membrane. Fuel cells with the exception of direct methanol fuel cells require hydrogen. Quantum dot solar cells have also been considered as an alternative solution. Basic research is required in engineering the band-gap of these solar cells so that longer wavelengths of light can be converted to electrons thereby increasing efficiency. solar cells are also the subject of much research due to a low manufacturing cost. The main disadvantage of such dye-based solar cells is the low conversion efficiency (10% maximum efficiency in experimental systems). super capacitors and batteries. the optimum material combinations need further exploration for example from the III-V semiconductors or combinations of silicon/germanium. a. Research on the nanoporous layer of titanium dioxide and novel dye molecules is aimed at increasing this efficiency (Institute of Nanotechnology. Methanol is easier to store. Fuel cells Fuel cells combine hydrogen (fuel) and oxygen (from air) to produce water and an electric current. Organic dyebased. This section will examine the technical challenges that need to be overcome before these technologies can be used in spacecraft. Solid oxide fuel cells operate at a much higher temperature and are more efficient. silicon/beryllium or tellurium/selenium.3 Energy Production and Storage Nanomaterials. 94 . Current research on ceramic nanopowders such as yttrium stabilised zirconium aims to improve their ionic conductivity and thermal stability for high temperature solid oxide fuel cells. Nanotechnology research in this sector is focused on improving efficiencies by enhancing the performance of catalysts. thin films and membranes with nanometre dimensions are applicable in a range of energy generation and storage devices such as fuel cells. however. to enhance proton transfer and therefore efficiency.2. direct methanol fuel cells face the problem of carbon monoxide poisoning of the catalysts. solar cells. or Graetzel. however they require ceramics that are stable at high temperatures.5. and overcoming this is the focus of much current research. However. Solar cells Nanomaterials have tremendous potential for increasing the efficiency of solar cells. Fuel cells are considered as an alternative to batteries in space applications. At present research is focused on III-V semiconductors such as gallium arsenide and indium phosphide. membranes and hydrogen storage. Areas that require research include anti-reflective coating and collectors. b.

Further research is required to have reproducible results in hydrogen storage with carbon nanotubes or alkali metal doped graphite. also known as nanocaps. Further research is required to produce higher power density and durability by controlled charge diffusion and oxidation state on a nanoscale level. for example. Batteries and Accumulators Lithium ion batteries and nickel metal hydride accumulators have been implemented within the power supply of space systems. c.2. Research at present is being conducted in using self-assembled electrically charged polymer layers as electrolyte. One of the main issues is integrating super capacitors with highly dense circuitry for microchips. controlled pore distribution and pore diameter (Pröbstle et al. Thin film batteries can also be integrated with thin film solar cells. With the increasing miniaturisation of electronics. and vanadium oxide for cathodes and tin/antimony for anodes. The performance of these batteries can be improved further by using nanostructured materials.4 Data Storage. Research and development would be required in thin film deposition techniques for development of such devices. Capacitors Super capacitors. the development of thin film batteries is seen as an important step.Hydrogen storage has been considered one of the most critical problems in the successful implementation of fuel cells. 95 . carbon nanotubes. Nanotechnology applications can enable highly integrated avionics. 5. The use of carbon nanotubes as electrode in nanocaps increases the surface area leading to a boost in the charge. alkali metals. Increasing the electrical conductivity is being investigated through the incorporation of nanoparticles of. Processing and Transmission Data processing and systems control are an important area for spacecraft. This implementation of this technology is expected to be another 6 – 8 years away (Space daily). High absorption capacity has been reported for carbon nanotubes. Materials that are being developed include carbon aerogels. are expected to increase power density significantly. Alternative materials such as carbon aerogels are also being investigated for electrodes due to their large internal surface area. Other electrode materials that need further research are nanoscale spinel structures such as magnesium aluminates. d. Increased research is needed to investigate the role of nanocrystalline metal hydrides such as magnesium nickel alloys for high temperature storage and lanthanum nickel alloys for low temperature storage. however the results were not reproducible. 2002).

increased operating voltage. One area that has been highlighted for new research is a quantum device for applications in ultra sensitive detection. There is research being conducted at NASA for data processing and communication systems that need minimum energy. With a high signal to noise ratio these transistors are used in microwave receivers and transmitters for radar and communication systems. including: amplifiers. and are expected to be in use earlier than other applications. Tunnelling components such as the resonant tunnelling diodes (RTD) use fast quantum mechanical tunnelling. The research is also being conducted in highly integrated nanodevices to be used in miniaturized space systems. They have applications in space structures and electrode material for solar cells. Soft magnetic nanomaterials are used in transformers and 96 . Research is required in wide band gap semiconductors such as silicon carbide and gallium nitride that will form the basis of future transistors.wireless data communication and state of the art sensors. The first logical circuits have been developed but more research is required in their production and processing. RTDs are used in high frequency oscillators. analysis and communication. Anti-static coatings made from a dispersion of carbon nanotubes in polymer matrix. The problem faced in RTD production is ensuring the geometry of components on which the property depends. smaller component size and higher efficiency leading to lower cooling requirements. Magnetic nanocomposite materials are made up of nanoscale magnetic crystals in an amorphous or crystalline matrix. a. At the moment the focus is in providing a proof of concept and validation in spacecraft. diodes. Electronics There is a range of nanotechnology applications in electronics for spacecraft. Research is also required into the selection of materials as silicon or silicon-germanium alloys are expected to integrate well with current silicon circuits. Research needs for some of these applications have been elaborated. Several technical problems need to be solved for RTD to become more practical. such as that of polymer or silicates. These materials offer features such as high power density. silicon circuits. micro mechanical and micro fluidic systems. High electron mobility transistors (HEMT) and heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBT) are nanotechnology enabled high-speed electronic components. Further development would be required in integrating of such systems into miniaturization of satellites. optoelectronic switches and photo detectors that have applications in digital electronics for satellite communication. are transparent and allow high electrical conductivity.

significant basic research is required for photonic transistors before they can be put to practical use. sensors and data memories for various space applications. Such optical inter-satellite links have been demonstrated by ESA on the ARTEMIS mission. Photonic crystals can also be used for optical data communication. inductors. quantum dot lasers. Research is also needed for nanostructures that can be used for applications such as optical satellite telecommunication. it will require specification of the laser. For space applications. whereas hard magnetic nanomaterials are used in energy storage.16 Photonic crystals are expected to be used in optical satellite communication. Further areas include quantum wells. data storage and sensors. 2000). A problem that needs to be addressed is the limited operating temperature range for space applications. Research in optoelectronics enabled by nanostructures can lead the way for diffractive optics. acceleration. Quantum dots provide the freedom to cover the entire spectrum from ultraviolet to infrared and production methods are now well characterised. highly integrated CCD. Such sensors and memory chips are consist of ultra-thin layers of metals and insulators up to 1 nm thick. Optical Transmission Nanotechnology applications for optical space components include X-rays mirrors. infrared sensors. optoelectronic transducers. and laser systems. With further research they could be developed as sensors for measuring position. and photonic components. High costs of manufacturing equipment 97 . and photonic crystals. and high resolution CCD. Such nanocomposites have the advantage of high sensitivity to changes in magnetic field and a wide operating temperature range (Wincheski & Namkung. Improvements are also needed in optical wireless data links for intersatellite communication. potentially leading to purely optical circuits. Research and development is required using these properties in energy saving antennas. However. Magneto electronic sensors and memory chips are based on the magnetic resistance effect (Magneto Resistance) that occurs in magnetic multilayer systems. and rotation. plastic optics. Lateral nanostructures can be used in improving optical data communication by enhancing the performance of diffractive optical elements. integration into spacecraft sub-systems and qualification. high resolution optics.inductors. b. high precision processing is essential for components such as those used in optical satellite communication or for earth observation and astronomy. However for quantum dot lasers to be realized in space applications. Research is required in three-dimensional crystals that will open up new possibilities for optical data communication.

2003). Gas sensors are used for detecting hydrogen leaks in rockets. writes and erases data using the scanning probe technique. but material fatigue is a considerable disadvantage. Basic research is being undertaken to prove the feasibility of the concept. Data Storage for spacecraft Nanotechnology enabled solutions for data storage systems under consideration are based on thermo mechanical. Silicon on insulator (SOI) and phase change memories (PC RAM) are also considered as alternatives. Nanomaterials are expected to enhance the functionality of these sensors. 2003). However. c. MRAM uses the principle of magneto electronics and is also considered as a replacement for CMOS based memory. Flash and FRAM) for aerospace applications due to its low energy consumption. FRAM can retain data for over 10 years. However. 5. Ferroelectric RAM (FRAM) and Magneto electronic RAM (MRAM) are nanotechnology enabled memory chips that are non-volatile and are being considered as replacements for DRAM. Though FRAMs are commercially manufactured and used in Smart Cards.5 Sensors Sensors play an essential role in monitoring the health of astronauts and control systems of the spacecraft. optical or holographic principles. Sensors are used to accomplish a wide variety of functions in space. further demonstration of this is required. Another area that has been highlighted for further research is the use of 3 dimensional arrays of quantum dots in optical data memory (Zweck & Luther. high storage capacity (1 Terabit / sq in) with application in mobile devices and space. measuring oxygen in the upper atmosphere and monitoring air quality in manned space flight. MRAM is considered better than other non-volatile memories (EEPROM. X-ray mirrors (composed of a thin single mirror and mirror foil with a nested design) play an important role in astronomy. The different gas sensors used for space applications are Schottky diodes based on silicon carbide. The advantage over DRAM is a reduced time lag and energy dissipation. is a limiting factor for such applications.2. The features of this technology are the low voltage consumption. further research and development is necessary if the technology is to be applied in space. Further research and development is required in the ultra precision finishing of surface figuring of coil substrates of X-ray mirrors (Zweck & Luther. resistive sensors based on 98 . radiation resistance and high temperature operating range. The millipede memory being developed by IBM is a micro mechanical device that reads. it still requires validation for space applications.and low throughput rates.

Further research is required in integrating electrochemical sensors with CMOS circuits. navigation and optical data communication. adaptable and self-healing systems for extended missions. Research is also ongoing in the area of nanoscale sensing. Although the spacecraft shield will protect the craft. Quantum well IR sensors have been developed based on gallium arsenide fabricated using molecular beam epitaxy. ventilation. prevent and treat these effects (AIAA. Further research is also required in integrating the sun sensors into spacecraft such as satellites. 5. Sun sensors based on nanoporous silicon are expected to benefit from nanomaterials research. Nanotechnology may potentially offer solutions for supporting life functions such as oxygen and nitrogen storage.6 Life support systems NASA is researching bio-inspired. Research is required in decreasing quantum losses and improving quantum yields of the nanoporous silicon. Therefore research is being undertaken to monitor. assessment and therapeutic delivery for medical autonomy. astronomy. Research is also needed on nanopowders used as coatings on sensors for improved sensitivity and robustness. Research is required in validating the use of Schottky diodes and increasing the sensitivity. Research is required in improvement of sensors based on quantum wells.polymer films and electrochemical sensors based on tin oxide. Infra-red (IR) sensors are used for satellite-based observation of the earth. quantum wires and quantum dot nanostructures. especially in the automotive industry. pressure monitoring. 2005).Ann Harbor to develop nanosensors based on nanoparticles that will monitor the effect of radiation in space. Space applications of sensors may have terrestrial applications.2. NASA is working in collaboration with University of Michigan. Research is required in realizing these sensors for long wave infrared radiation. on 6 month long mission to mars the most advanced heat shield will may not be able to protect the astronauts. One of the main problems faced on long flightmanned mission is that of radiation from space. Bimolecular nanotechnology is another area in which NASA is actively developing a biological-geological-chemical laboratory for life detection and science. reducing weight of heat exchangers by using nanomaterials. 99 . Schottky diodes are used for detecting hydrogen or hydrocarbons under extreme conditions. research of the atmosphere. The absorption of gas molecules on the surface of the diode produces a change in the electrical conductivity.

control of air quality and humidity. air cleaning and filtration. Research has also been envisaged for embedded sensing to ensure reliability and safety.waste water treatment using regenerative membranes. Drug delivery. blood chemistry. Areas which will be important (particularly for the planned long duration manned spaceflights to other planets) are the development of sensors capable of measuring physiological parameters such as bone density.7 Nanomaterials and thin films for spacecraft Nanomaterials and thin films have applications in various areas of space. mechanical and other properties. This will also require more effective lab-on-a-chip systems where both the measuring and analysis unit are combined. Aerogels are made up of a highly porous three-dimensional network of nanoparticles such as silicates. via several routes (such as inhalation) is another important area of research for longduration space flights. Research is needed in applications such as low friction and lubricant free bearings. coverage layers. 2003). type and strength of chemical bonds determine the development of MEMS components. they require further development to improve characteristics such as brittleness and mechanical stability (Zweck & Luther. and have applications in electrode materials for capacitors or batteries. They have a high internal surface area and low density. and thermal isolation. Although they have been used in the Mars Rover and NASA Stardust missions. Material selection for solid lubricants and mechanical protection such as chalcogenide. thermal. 2003). 100 . and which allow the concurrent and rapid analysis of different analytes. disease or radiation load. NASA research has envisaged the creation of high strength to mass ratio material that can be used for aerospace and space vehicles. chalcogenide composites. Intermediate layers such as lubricants. hygiene. Solid films developed at a nanoscale are important for space as friction and reducing layers. including autonomous self-medication. Material research is also required in materials with programmable optical. 5. fatigue resistance. carbon dioxide removal. coolers for liquid hydrogen and thermal control layer for nanosatellites. Nanostructured layer have applications in heat insulation of rockets.2. carbides and nitrides as well as carbon material are taken into consideration for research. monitoring of water quality by using electronic nose sensors.10 Further research is required in developing nanomaterials. by conducting basic research in the above mentioned areas for space travel. and friction partners behave differently in high vacuum space than terrestrial conditions (Zweck & Luther. The tribological properties such as relative hardness.

a bio-inspired approach based on viruses and bacteria could pose a hazard to human health. One of the main challenges for the bio-inspired approach is the extreme environment of space where there are high temperatures.2.8 Visionary Applications Visionary applications are. molecular connections are among the main problems to be solved before molecular computing at femto second can become a reality. evolve. However. Problems in synthesizing such molecules have also been reported. 1999). Intelligent sensing requires research in areas that combine novel material properties such as optical. For example. mirrors and antennas. thermal and mechanical. further research is required to improve the level of current obtained from molecular electronic devices (Globus.Thermal protection layers are used in the re-entry to act as heat shields and for thermally insulating the rocket engines. a. at the basic research stage. and require several technological solutions before they can be reliably applied in space. heal and replicate in response to changes in the environment. Molecular Nanotechnology and electronics for space NASA is aiming to develop structures and systems that can adapt. An approach inspired by bottom-up nanobiotechnology may provide a novel solution. Research is also need in intelligent multi-functional structures that can be used for active control. Finally. self-healing and self-replication. robust. Biomimetic material development is required to realize enhanced functionalities such as selforganization. The heat insulating layer of rocket engines are required to be temperature stable. vacuum and high pressures. strain tolerant and have high adhesion strength. Research is needed in manufacturing processes such as pulse laser deposition that ensures high precision and reproducibility. and it is essential that they are developed with rigorous fail-safes to ensure safe application. as they can act as building blocks. at most. high radiation. Organic molecules such as benzene have potential in future nanoelectronic circuits. 5. Other applications where thin film technology can be usefully applied are – large telescopes. 101 . Feasibility studies are required in visionary applications such as solar sails for interplanetary spacecraft and extremely light solar generators for solar powered satellites. Artificial self-replicating systems are considered to be in their infancy.

102 . However. Space Elevator The Space Elevator is a novel concept that has been proposed to transport mass into space from the earth using a cable or ribbon. turbulence in weather. 1999). and development of supporting infrastructure before this concept can be turned into reality (NASA. infrared and solar) based on optical fibres or MEMS. c.1 kg) and the satellite on a chip (less than 100g) concept. Research has to be achieved in adaptive structures with skins for improved thermal control.1. 2000). Further development is required of smart components with built in sensing capabilities and load monitoring. Nano and Pico satellites Constellations and swarms of miniaturized satellites and probes have been envisaged such as the nanosatellite (1.10 kg). One of the main research challenges for the constellation of nanosatellites is the information systems that will require very high processing speeds and nanoelectronics may be able to provide solutions.12 The desired strength for a space elevator is 62 GPa with carbon nanotubes having a stiffness (Youngs modulus = 1 TPa and tensile strength = 200 GPa). Research is required in areas such as high strength nanocomposite plastics and biomimetic structures to reduce weight. Carbon nanotubes have been proposed as a suitable material as they has the right strength to weight ratio. 1996).b. Among other solutions needed are tether technology for the cable. picosatellite (0. and the development of dedicated integrated circuits for communication systems (Torres et al. Research is further required in spinning of composite fibres (carbon nanotube reinforced) that will be able to stand the extreme stresses of the earths atmosphere. Nanotechnology can play an important role in reducing the weight. Monitoring the health and safety of the constellation has been regarded as another major challenge for such nanosatellite systems. The increased integration of nanotechnology is expected to lead towards satellite on a chip. micro-thrusters and nuclear-batteries (Simonis & Schilthuizen. corrosion. Nanotechnologies that have potential application in nanosatellites but require further integration studies are sensors (magnetic. navigation and energy generation. size and power consumption of smaller satellites. a suitable propulsion technique (potentially electromagnetic propulsion). and vibrations created by the flowing winds. and here nanosensors can play a very important role (Johnson et al. Micromachined devices can provide improved integration in propulsion. communication. such a system would require research and development of an extremely high strength-to-weight ratio material. 2006). For picosatellites technical breakthrough is required in areas such as microfuel cells. There is also a need for improved propellants such as those based on nano-dispersed aluminium.

To realise this vision would require intensive research in multi-band gap solar cells with high efficiency and low cost of production.d. The time frame of implementation of this concept is estimated to be more than 25 years (Zweck & Luther. e. Such concepts are also beginning to be considered in Europe and Japan. NASA is encouraging the participation of private companies to conduct their research through their financial investment in space. This is due to the fact that future applications in space are expected to be high volume markets. The development of such a light and foldable structure requires an airframe inspired by nature and an energy generation system such as those based on thin film solar cells. 5. such as that by NASA JPL (2000). economic benefits of the application and the potential barriers to the development.9 Conclusion The research and development of nanotechnology applications has to be based on the level of technology readiness and contribution to space objectives. Research would also be required in thin film technology that can be used to develop phased array antennas for communication. and development of solid state devices for wireless power transmission. 2003). Utilizing space infrastructure for research and development is becoming an important issue. and in integrating other equipment such as telescopes and mirrors for detecting planets outside the solar system on unmanned missions (Zweck & Luther. 2003). light and selfunfolding with integrated subsystems. Energy would be transferred by means of high power density microwave. The high prohibitive cost of space transportation. Among other problems that need to be solved are the development of optical concentrators. Alternative fuel-less propulsion research needs be conducted in laser and microwave propelled sails. Increasing dialogue 103 . 2003). radiation resistance thin film material. as opposed to the current niche markets driven by telecommunication and information services. Space Solar Power NASA and several academic institutions in the United States are considering the development of a concept called “Space Solar Power” to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. the programmes must be based on the economic value of the application to the space industry. and the multi-functional integration of sub-systems (Mankins. is a major barrier. however. Gossamer Spacecraft Gossamer Spacecraft have been envisaged to be very large. Considering the high cost of the development of nanotechnology.2. The programme envisages the deployment of large space solar power satellites in geosynchronous orbits to potentially delivering 10-100 TW of energy to world markets. Other important criteria for assessing deployment are the market potential for terrestrial applications.

In any event.between space and nanotechnology research communities is essential for the continued development of nanotechnology applications for space. 104 . such research and development is expected to take nearly a decade before it is implemented in space crafts.

It discusses the impacts on civilian aviation and space exploration. 6.Chapter 6: Economic Aspects 6. 2. Aerospace is vital to meeting Europe’s objectives for economic growth. and that long-term R&D goals are well defined. the report highlights the need for evaluating and harmonising competition policies and tax incentives amongst member states. security and quality of life. but also. Europe must remain at the forefront of key technologies if it is to have an innovative and competitive aerospace industry. The STAR 21 report recommends four governing principles for Europe’s aerospace industry: 1.1 Introduction This chapter describes the economic impacts that the aerospace industry has in the EU in particular. It concludes with a presentation of patents utilising nanotechnology that are applied to the aerospace industry. environment and security and defence. transport. and the role that SMEs will play in this. To achieve these goals it recommends that combined public and private funding for civil aeronautics in the EU should reach a total of €100 billion by 2020. European aerospace must maintain a strong competitive position if it is to play a full role as an industrial partner in the global aerospace marketplace. 2004-1) the European air transport industry directly 105 . globally competitive industrial base is essential to provide the necessary choices and options for Europe in its decisions as regards its presence and influence on the world stage. To ensure that the aerospace industry in the EU continues to succeed. the EC and the EU parliament. 3. The European Commission (EC) has recognised the central importance of the aerospace industry to innovation. prosperity and security. and in 2002 published a Strategic Aerospace Review for the 21st Century (STAR 21). A strong. globally. and the strategies that are being developed by the various sectors to ensure economic success. It is directly associated with. because of its nature. According to the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE. the result of the efforts of an advisory group with members from industry.2 Aviation The aerospace industry is a significant contributor to economic wealth worldwide. 4. and influenced by a broad range of European policies such as trade. ensuring that adequate training schemes are established (that also take account of continued education and training). that worker mobility between Member States is supported.

000 employees (www. Manufactures both military and civil aircraft ( Tupolev OKB. A. but with several small to medium size civilian aircraft (www. with profits of $11 billion (€8. with Airbus commanding slightly over half of the global market share. and taking into account ancillary business. • Irkut. Air transport alone is estimated to account for approximately 18% of all international trade. 2006) The major manufacturers in the industry are Airbus in the EU and Boeing in the US. It has over 17. However. but with plans to increase its percentage of civilian aircraft manufacturing from 13% to 45% over the next 10 years. The most important sites for the global civil aerospace industry are Seattle (Boeing). the aerospace industry generated $170 billion (€133 billion) in sales during 2005. Canada. Furthermore. Yakovlev. Ilyushin. other important global players are located in 106 .S. • • • • Brazil The Brazilian company Embraer manufactures small to medium sized passenger aircraft that are used by a number of global airlines. The new company. Civil aircraft orders are of the order of €780 million per annum (www.6%) in 2004. As of April 2007 these are to be merged into one company by the Russian government. It had sales of €468 million in 2004 (www.embraer.oldest Russian aeronautics company. it is estimated that total employment within the industry in Europe is some 3 million.manufacturer of the famous MiG fighter planes. but also produces small civil aircraft (www. In 2005 it had revenues of 3.irkut.primarily involved in military aircraft In the US.primarily a military aircraft manufacturer.87 billion).68 billion USD (€2. and that this will increase to 5 to 7 million by 2020. United Aircraft Building Corporation (UABC). 2006).migavia.yak. Brazil. an estimated 10% of Toulouse and Hamburg (both Airbus).ilyushin. Mikuyan. is being established in an effort to streamline operations and improve the Russian aviation industry’s global competitiveness (Russian Minister.contributed €220 billion to European GDP (or both military and civil aircraft (www. and Ukraine: Russia There are 6 manufacturers of civilian aircraft in billion). (Napier.the largest Russian aircraft manufacturer (both military and civil) with a reported 14% of global output of aircraft products (25% for military aircraft).tupolev. The 6 individual companies are: • Sukhoi.

6. since 1992 it has also manufactured small to medium sized civilian aircraft (www. and Global.48 trillion).800 and profits in 2005 of 8. with Europe expected to have the largest demand in terms of aircraft numbers. This increase in EU airlines have seen net profits of between 1 and 2 billion USD in the same period (IATA).Canada Bombardier Aerospace manufactures 3 families of small civilian jet aircraft.Learjet. Challenger.1 Global markets in the aviation industry According to the Airbus “Global Market Forecast 2004-2023” world passenger traffic is expected to increase by 5. Typical maximum life-spans for aircraft range from 37 years for small jets to 35 years for others. The market share on a regional basis looks quite different. Ukraine Antonov ASTC originally designed military aircraft for the former Soviet Union (and famously the largest aircraft ever built: the An-225 Mriya transport).bombardier.7 billion USD in 2006). Over the next 17 years Europe is expected to retain its share of the market at 32%.601 new passenger aircraft.759 in 2023. will require an estimated 16. By 2023 it is expected that air 107 .antonov. It has a global workforce of 26.9% per annum. In many cases large passenger aircraft are “recycled” as cargo aircraft before this point. however in product value terms this is almost 75%.838 in 2003 to 21. Air cargo is also expected to expand over the next 17 years at a rate of 5. contributing 26% to operating costs in 2005 (compared with 14% in 2003). Airbus forecasts that only 15% of today’s passenger aircraft will still be in service with their current operators in 2023. This buoyant mood is also felt by airlines within the EU. falling to an estimated 1. At present approximately 40% of exports by weight from Asia to North America and Europe are delivered by air. Despite staggering net losses in the US market over the last 6 years (13 billion USD in 2001. Although this loss in the US market is largely a result of decreased passenger numbers in wake of September the billion USD (€6. one of the other key issues is the relative cost of fuel to the airlines. while operators in the Asia-Pacific will focus more on large capacity aircraft (such as the Airbus A380) and so will have the greater share of seat capacity.2.9 trillion USD (€1. In monetary terms this equates to some 1.3 billion) (www.3% per annum over the period 2004-2023. combined with the need to renew older aircraft.html). However. while the US is expected to fall from 33% to 26% and Asia-Pacific increase from 25% to 31%. Airbus forecasts that the number of passenger aircraft in service will double from a fleet of 10.

and increasing the frequency of flights. Passengers. and it is estimated that increased productivity across the industry will contribute approximately 0. 10 of these cities will be in the AsiaPacific regulations on greenhouse gas emissions will have a major impact on the air traffic industry. This essentially means linking major destinations together by larger aircraft. 108 . The future forecasts for world population growth indicate that by 2020 16 cities worldwide will have more than 20 million inhabitants (compared with 5 today).improving the air traffic management systems will allow shorter flight times (as a result of less time in holding patterns on approach to airports) and less time spent taxiing or on stand. with Europe favouring point-to-point.8% of the yearly growth in RPKs. Within different regions the preponderance of the two types of strategy varies. only 40% have been lucrative enough to survive. The success rates speak volumes: of 75 routes opened during the past twenty years between a primary city in Asia and a primary city in Europe. hub-based flight patterns are the most economical and long-lived.there are two airline strategies in place for connecting destinations: hub and point-to-point. Of the has been determined from several independent surveys that the most important issue to passengers is price rather than convenience (as evidenced by the growth of low-cost airlines).there needs to be continued development of different aircraft sizes: large aircraft for hub-based flights. Aircraft size. Routes. such that there is greater demand for larger capacity aircraft. It has been estimated that two-thirds of new aircraft will be single aisle with between 100 and 210 seats (the size favoured by the low cost airlines). larger aircraft. point-to-point flights link secondary or tertiary cities. As a result aircraft turnaround will be faster and passenger capacity will increase. reducing NOx emissions by 80% and decreasing noise pollution by 50%. and offer greater convenience to passengers. almost 90% have proved successful and are still in operation today. The remainder will be met by increasing passenger numbers through more aircraft. with passengers connecting via these and flying on to their final destination by smaller regional aircraft. Air Traffic Management. What are the strategies that the industry sees as necessary to ensure continued growth? Both efficiency and capacity increases are required. This favours hub based routing for the major airlines. of the 47 routes opened between secondary or tertiary cities. intra-regional flights while Asia-Pacific has a larger demand for hub flights. The industry metric is revenue passenger kilometre (RPK). smaller versatile aircraft for point-to-point. ACARE has set goals of reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 50%. Conversely. One issue now is that packaging of such high-value goods takes up relatively more of the cargo space. As part of its strategy. In contrast.cargo from Asia to North America will be greater than Europe to North America. which will further increase the demand for hub flights and underlines the need for larger aircraft to service this region. Regulation.

export credit guarantee schemes. and thus continue to re-invest in the EU R&D market. What is lacking is a coherent map of these companies and their expertise. This will require the establishment of cross-stakeholder groups to identify the necessary research infrastructure.Investment in R&D.the industry already has significant investment in R&D (approximately 12% of turnover). it is not only financial investment that is required. education and improving trans-European research. R&D tax credits. In this regard there is also the need for the large organisations in particular to move away from the “perpetuation of self-interest”. However. • Recognition that the industry also depends on the expertise and service from tens of thousands of smaller. To ensure that this is achieved will require coordinated efforts by each member state and not just the centralised EU administration. EU-wide coordination • • 109 . certification and qualification. the supply chain. There are issues in attracting sufficient researchers. This could be through “low corporation tax rates. To reverse this trend there needs to be continual assessment of university curricula (aligning it more with the needs of the industry). In addition.” Improved collaboration both within the EU and with other regions (in particular the US) to ensure that R&D efforts are not duplicated. and that companies must cooperate to maximise the outcomes of the limited pool of finance and expertise within the EU to achieve R&D goals. the funding available in the EU from the private sector is comparable to that in the US. This will also require the enthusing of young people to embark on a career in science. and strengthening links between the aerospace industry and higher education. In contrast to other sectors. it will be essential that new policies encourage business to retain their centre of operations within the EU. Policy changes at the European level that will improve European research infrastructure. technology or engineering. ensuring that standards are met and improving the mobility of graduates. ACARE has proposed a strategic research agenda (SRA) to meet these goals: • As with many technical sectors the aerospace industry is facing a shortage of suitably qualified and experienced personnel. and policy changes that will ensure that European companies retain their presence within Europe and do not migrate to North America. engineers and technologists into the industry. specialist companies. risk-sharing equity funds. while it is the public finance in aerospace R&D that is lacking (25% that in the US). however ACARE has recommended that 65% more funding is required over the period to 2023 to ensure that the projected growth in the industry is maintained. and the level and quality of publicly funded research. and the means to coordinate their activities and those of the larger players.

One mechanism could be the development of roadmaps for the industry and the establishment of a technology watch. the Highly Time Efficient Air Transport System. 5 High Level Target Concepts (HLTC) are identified in the ACARE Vision 2020 report that will play a role in shaping the future of air transport: the Highly Customer Oriented Air Transport System. These are seen as “technology pools” which will each contribute to the changing face of air transport over the coming decades.g. the Highly Cost Efficient Air Transport System. the Ultra Secure Air Transport System.activities (such as ERA net). ACARE sees collaboration in two ways: context and commercial. etc. continued support through the FPs. The drivers for these changes will be external e. increased air travel restriction as a result of environmental impact. the Ultra Green Air Transport System. aimed at “developing international standards that promote customer service and confidence. establishment of networks centres of excellence. While commercial collaboration is unlikely to be achieved with the US. or increase society acceptance”. increased security threats. context collaboration. 110 . is a more achievable goal.

“how did the Universe originate and what is it made of?” • The General Studies Programme (GSP) continues to develop basic science. Russia. ELIPS 2. “what are the fundamental laws of the Universe?”. CSG (Guyana Space Centre) Resolution. with an increase in public spending in the USA. telecommunication and navigation. Space Exploration. The Technology Transfer Programme (TTP) focuses on commercialising new technologies through the support of new startups and the creation of “European Space Incubators” in ESA centres. Ariane 5 ARTA.3 Space Despite a decline in the commercial market for space since 2000.supports the Earth Observation programme including the participation of Third countries. According to Dario Izzo of ESA’s Advanced Concepts Team (ACT). "the future of space flight is in using new systems. Vega VERTA. Education. human spaceflight and exploration. ISS Exploitation.6. ARTES programme. The leaders in space technologies at present are: the US. new architectures and exploring technologies to reinvent the design of space missions”. • • • • The level of investment for the Optional Activities is even higher (€3. Telecommunications. including those from outside the space sector. The specific projects attracting funding are: Envelope programme. The Earthnet Programme. China and India. it has a budget of €1.9 billion set aside for proposals for new activities in Earth Observation Applications. “how does the Solar System work?”. To achieve this will require both “discovery and competitiveness”. In the EU. The Mandatory Activities have a budget of €3.covering topics in the following areas “what are the conditions for life and planetary formation?”. EU.8 billion). In addition. The Technology Research Programme (TRP) looks at developing cross-cutting technology developments. Russia. 2005). and China (although other countries such as Japan and India have established Space Agencies and programmes). launchers. the European Space Agency (ESA) has set forth an ambitious plan for development split into two areas: Mandatory Activities and Optional Programmes (ESA.1 billion in the following areas in the period to 2010: • The scientific programme (€2. space exploration and exploitation is seen as a major goal for many different nations. According to the ESA website 111 .development of space education offices to provide support for young students and graduates. earth observation.1 billion) for basic R&D. The Technology Transfer Programme has been very successful not only for the aerospace industry but the wider economy. and Launchers. ACEP (Ariane 5 Consolidation and Evolution Preparation).

html).6 billion USD. which employs over 11. In 2008 the ESA’s Columbus laboratory will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS). Two industrial partners (Space Exploration Technologies [SpaceX] and Rocketplane-Kistler [RpK]) will each share approximately 500 million USD to achieve this goal.000 people.esa. the Columbus laboratory and the ATV cargo vessel for the International Space Station. over 30 new companies established as a direct result of exploiting technologies. EADS SPACE is a wholly owned subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) and is the European authority on civil and military space transportation and manned space activities. more than €30 million attracted in venture capital and funding. Another company within EADS SPACE. Examples of inventions that have applications in other industrial sectors include: airbags. In the US even larger budgets are available: in 2004 NASA had a budget of 16 billion USD. around 1500 jobs created yearly. Formula 1 has utilised advanced technologies developed within the aerospace industry to design lighter cars. cooling systems and many more. • • • • • • • over €800 million cumulative turnover generated in both space and non-space sectors. carbon brakes. propulsion systems and space equipment. a portfolio of over 450 active space technologies available for transfer and licensing. ballistic missiles for France’s nuclear deterrent force. is responsible for the design and manufacture of satellite systems for both civilian and military telecommunication and Earth observation purposes. develops and produces Ariane launchers. it has resulted in: • more than 200 successful transfers of space technologies to nonspace sectors. some 36 incubators within the European Space Incubator Network (ESINET). atmospheric re-entry vehicles. In 2004 it had revenues of €2. insulation. NASA is investing in commercial space transportation by opening up a competitive tender for supply to the International Space Station (ISS). Recently. vibration damping. It designs. some 15 start-ups within the European Space Incubator (ESI). Galileo (a joint programme between the ESA and the EC) finally moved towards becoming a reality with the launch of its first satellite (GIOVE-A) on the 28th December 2005. however the partners will only receive this money if 112 .(www. The primary commercial agency for fulfilling the EU’s space aspirations is EADS navigation systems. Astrium.6 billion with an order backlog of €11.3 billion. while the Department of Defence had 18.

The Russian Federal Space Agency is responsible for space science research. (€1. The US is focused on 2 priorities: space exploration (particularly a manned mission to the It is also looking to collaborate more closely with the EU after the US blocked closer cooperation with the ISS (BBC). On 10 March 2006.5 billion from 2006 to 2015 (Forbes. The EU is also collaborating with Canada and the USA on a bilateral basis and in the International Space Station. Russia still remains the one launching the greatest number of spacecraft. and then to Mars) and the use of space in support of homeland security and defence. the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL). Russia.a. and is in negotiations with Russia over joint missions to the moon and Mars. www. and double the number of earth orbiting satellites to 70. The EU and Russia are also engaged in a dialogue on space cooperation. Of all the countries involved in space exploration. including science and technology.000 people and has a budget of approximately €550 million. It aims to achieve a leading global position in reliability and capability for both launch vehicles and satellites. and Japan's National Space Development Agency (NASDA). and satellite systems for telecommunications and earth observation. The Chinese Space Programme contracts most of its work to the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).they are successful (payments will be made in stages based on achieving targets). 2005). In the interim it has plans nearer to earth.1 billion USD (€860 m) and employs 110. Japan established its own space agency. JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) on the 1st of October 2003 with the merger of 3 organisations: Japan's Institute of Space and Astronautic Science (or ISAS). China is one of only 3 countries to have put a person in space (in 2003 using the Shenzhou spacecraft) (China. two new launching pads. 2006). Turnover in the EU is also 113 . India aims to put an astronaut in space by 2014 (a programme that is estimated to cost €1.9 billion) over the first 10 years of the strategy. It plans to develop a new re-usable spacecraft called Kliper (although a suitable contractor has yet to be identified).7 billion. The Indian Space Research Organisation was established in 1972 and has developed launch vehicles (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. with a budget of some €12. and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) for its own use and those of international customers.isro. JAXA’s vision comes with large investment.7-1. One of the major challenges to the EU space industry is the fact that in the US over 75% of funding for R&D comes from the Department of Defence and NASA (while in the EU it is 50%). It employs develop a supersonic aircraft capable of flying at Mach 5 that would cut the flight time between Japan and the US to a few hours. and has plans for human spaceflight and exploitation of the moon. send missions to one of the two moons orbiting Mars.000 people. China has plans to send unmanned and manned flights to the moon. the EU and ESA signed a cooperation agreement on space. around 258-280 billion yen p. stimulating agreement between the Russian GLONASS and the European Galileo satellite navigation systems. which has registered capital of 1.

In contrast. The distribution of these patents by search term is shown in Figure 1 and by country in Figure 2.g.significantly lower than the US (€5 500 million compared with €33 700 million. 16 See www. although not explicitly stated. approximately a four-fold increase from FP6 (European Commission FP7 fact sheet).1 Patenting of Nanotechnology Advances that have Applications in the Aerospace Industry A total of 62 patents were identified using the European Patent Office (EPO) web portal (which also provides information on other patent offices)16 using search criteria for nanotechnology with keywords related to aerospace applications (see Figure 1). The title and abstract for each patent is given in Table 1. as well as delivering alternative future propulsion systems. 1999 figures).090 for “nanomagnetics”.4 billion from 2007 to 2013. 18. In space applications. This inevitably puts EU industry at a competitive disadvantage. and more than 100. on aircraft wings). storage and transmission”. and will require continued and concerted action at the EU level. advances in nanotechnology with applications to these areas are expected also to be spun-out into other industries. such as decreased ability to form or retain ice (e. Nanomaterials in engine components could also improve fuel efficiency.4.htm 114 . As described above. It is likely. 6. the worldwide patent database contains approximately entries for “nanotechnology for information processing. pollution and noise pollution.en.000 results for nanotechnology in total.115 entries for “nanotechnology for materials and surfaces”.960 entries for “nanotechnology for interacting.4 How can Nanotechnology Impact on these Strategies? The aerospace industry is already making use of composite materials to reduce the weight of structural components. and 16. In this respect FP7 funding for space related R&D is €1. heatresistant coatings) and electronic sub-systems. sensing or actuating”. On closer inspection of each patent’s abstract and description only 46 of these appear to be based on nanotechnology applications.g. The impact will be on fuel economy. structural materials for launch vehicles (e. nanotechnology is expected to impact on fuel and energy systems. that many of these patents will have potential applications in the aerospace industry. 10. 27. 6.espacenet.024 entries for “nano-optics”. In the future it is envisaged that nanocomposites will offer not only enhancements in strength and reduced weight but also added functionality.

“rocket”. “aircraft”. No results were returned for “nanotechnology” plus “space exploration”. cosmonautics using the search term “nano*”.” “spacecraft”. H: numbers of patents in the category Aircraft. “airplane”. A-G: numbers of patents in the category “nanotechnology” using the search terms: “aerospace”. or methods of.1. “extraterrestrial” or “aviation”.Numbers of Patents in the Nanotechnology Section using different key word searches 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 A B C D E F G H 4 17 15 7 5 1 1 1 A B C D Nanotechnology Nanotechnology Nanotechnology Nanotechnology and and and and aerospace aircraft satellite spacecraft E F G H Nanotechnology and rocket Nanotechnology and airplane Nanotechnology and aeronautic* Aircraft. There were 5 duplicated results between the searches giving a total of 46 patents. aviation. The patent landscape for nanotechnology applications in aerospace is dominated by the US (23 of the patents) followed by Germany (9 patents) and France (6 patents) see Figure 2. cosmonautics and nano* Figure 6. “aeronautic*”. 115 . aviation. winning materials from extraterrestrial sources” and “nano*”. or “apparatus for. “satellite.

Nanotechnology patents listed through EPO website (http://gb. particularly for vehicles Surface treatment for aerospace applications. casting composition. electronics. Number of nanotechnology patents with applications in the aerospace industry by country. especially for transportation vehicles Body contacting media has surfaces with micrometric. automobile finishing. and as a parquet flooring lacquer Freshwater system in a commercial aircraft Waterless vacuum toilet system for aircraft Toilet system with reduced or eliminated flushing requirement. batteries. Table 6. adapted to the respective media Cabin window arrangement for an aeroplane Toilet system. adhesive. Patent Country Number of times filed Article comprising a fine-grained metallic material and a polymeric material Object identification using quantum dots fluorescence allocated on Fraunhofer solar spectral lines Method for preparing micro powder containing antiagglomerated nanometre silver. etc includes changing surface roughness measured perpendicular and in CA CA CN DE DE 1 1 1 1 1 DE DE DE DE DE DE FR 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 116 .espacenet. micro powder produced by the method and its application Epoxy resin having improved flexural impact strength and elongation at rupture Preparation of nano composites by organic modification of nano filler useful as a paint. in aircraft construction. with applications stated for the aerospace industry. surface treatment and coatings. components for engines.2. The patents fall into a number of different categories including: materials.Global Nanotechnology Patents with Application to the Aerospace Industry 2 2 1 1 1 1 6 23 US Germany France Japan Canada Italy Sweden China Korea 9 Figure 6.1. propellants.or nanometre structuring.

plane of surface before applying adhesive or decorative material Space and time modulator for X-ray beam Process for producing organized powders by spraying from at least two sets of particles. and organized powders thus obtained Metal/metalloid nitride/carbide ceramic powders prepared by flash pyrolysis Ammunition or ammunition part comprising a structural element made of energetic material Method to manufacture X ray mirrors with thin film multilayer structures by replication technique Magneto static wave device Quantum wire structure Carbon nano particles having novel structure and properties Reactor for decomposition of ammonium dinitramide-based liquid monopropellants and process for the decomposition Reinforced foam covering for cryogenic fuel tanks Self-cleaning super hydrophobic surface Novel carbon nanotube lithium battery Electrically conductive polymeric foams and elastomers and methods of manufacture thereof Systems and methods for modifying ice adhesion strength Dark field. takeoff and landing runways Exposing process for electronic beam Device and method for detection of aircraft wire hazard Dry cooled jet aircraft run-up noise suppression system Tilt-tester Method and apparatus to produce ions and nanodrops from taylor cones of volatile liquids at reduced pressures Smart docking surface for space serviceable nano and micro satellites Power sphere nanosatellite Light shield for an illumination system Dual spectrum illumination system Method for producing extreme microgravity in extended volumes Nano-G research laboratory for a spacecraft Country ES FR JP US US US US US US US US US US Number of times filed 2 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 117 . photon tunnelling imaging probes Broadband light-emitting diode Aluminium matrix composite and method for making same Electromechanical memory cell ESD coatings for use with spacecraft Uncooled tunnelling infrared sensor Embedded nanotube array sensor and method of making a nanotube polymer composite Transparent composite panel Magnetorheological nanocomposite elastomer for releasable attachment applications Nanocomposite layered airfoil Oya computerized glider Spacecraft sculpted by solar beam and protected with diamond skin in space FR FR FR FR IT JP JP KR SE US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 5 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Entries found using the search terms that contain no obvious nanotechnology applications: Patent Turbofan or turbojet arrangements for vehicles craft. aircraft and the like Improved lighting system lamp units used on airport taxi-ways. to maintain the stated US objective of “supremacy in aerospace”.bekaert. satellites). devices may be subject to incorporation. Switzerland. On the website is a database of over 1000 SMEs which can be searched by country. Furthermore.06 for 30 months. this is not the case for space technologies. The NAVOBS+ project which supports the participation of SMEs in R&D projects in the field of Space infrastructures (e. Other initiatives to support SMEs include: European Communities Aeronautics REsearch+ (ECARE+) which is funded under FP6 from 01. Using “nano” as keyword search term however identifies only two SMEs: Bekaert Dymonics NV (www. Ensuring that SMEs can engage effectively in R&D with each other and other organisations is therefore a key element for the future success of the European aerospace industry. technology or keyword. and includes 32 countries: the 25 EU member states.g. which specialises in coatings and material analysis and characterisation. there is significant overlap in aerospace R&D for civil and military purposes. Ultimately this means that an EU manufacturer may not be able to include US technology if the final product (e. 6. Romania. SMEs are seen as a crucial component of the aerospace industry as they provide both services and additional expertise in R&D to that of the major corporations.6 Conclusions Europe is in a relatively strong position as regards its current market share in aviation technologies. In other cases. which are largely dominated by the US. which specialises in surface treatment technologies and NanoCraft (www. Norway. SCRATCH is another EU-funded project that supports SMEs in the aeronautics industry to establish consortia and submit project proposals to the EC. plus Bulgaria. Iceland. Much of this can be attributed to the high level of public funding for aerospace research in the US (particularly for space) through the Department of Defence and NASA. It both networks aeronautical SMEs and allows prospective project coordinators to identify “researchintensive SMEs”. and Turkey. which can further compound the competitive disadvantage of EU industry.g. aircraft or satellite) is sold to a country with which the US has trade restrictions.5 Role of SMEs As described above. or the final product validated. as certain technology developments in the US are subject to restrictive trade AeroSME is one of the main instruments that have been set-up to aid the involvement of SMEs in EU-funded projects in aerospace. It is a joint activity between the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) and the EC. by the US manufacturer or 118 . Israel.02.nanocraft.

wear resistance. engineering antifouling surfaces). Advances in materials will be through decreasing the weight required for structural components (through increased strength. The involvement of appropriate authorities such as ACARE and the ESA is essential to ensure that this funding is targeted to the best projects to achieve the long-term strategic goals.g. Other applications include communication and navigation.approved organization. In the absence of a comparable EU technology this has the potential to severely restrict markets. In the longer term. 119 . etc) thus reducing fuel consumption. and increasing their functionality (e. To achieve this and to ensure that critical technologies will be developed by EU R&D requires the ongoing support of large-scale collaborative projects through the Framework Programmes. ductility. nanotechnology enabled systems should provide novel energy production and storage. sensors and electronics. and decreasing environmental impacts. Through advances in nanotechnology it is expected that the aerospace industry will be able to address issues of improved and novel propulsion systems.

The postulation that these abrading processes will not release free engineered nanoparticles will be challenged. "Best practice" engineering controls and PPE (personal protective equipment). EU and its member states and other countries. 2006) and projects started in the last few years to assess the toxicity of different kinds of nanomaterials and to develop exposure scenarios for humans. little research has been done on Environment. the nanoparticles will be fixed in a matrix and potential health and environmental risks may be mainly expected during production and in waste processing or recycling. the potential health and environmental risks of engineered nanoscale materials for all applications constitute a great concern for policy makers worldwide. e. Nanoforum. EHS will be used as shorthand for the three fields. At the Dec.Chapter 7: Environment. research strategies have been developed (e. For applications of nanomaterials in aerospace.17 In the USA.g. On the one hand. Battelle 17 See e.g.nanoforum. Health and Safety Aspects 7. as required. Maynard et al. etc. in polymer matrix composites. Therefore.1 Introduction Applications of nanotechnology in the aeronautics and space sectors are rather new in themselves. During normal use. will certainly be applied. 120 .2006 International Conference on Nanotechnology Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety (NOEHS). water or soil.g. a universal issue involves standard shop floor processing (sanding. will be addressed early on before shop floor production is considered. With nano modified composites. As demonstrated in earlier chapters. airborne nanoparticles in the cabin or released from the plane or spacecraft in the air are likely to constitute the biggest potential hazards. such fixed nanoparticles may be released in the environment due to wear (abrasion) or by accident. Health and Safety aspects of nanotechnology in aerospace. a considerable variety of nanostructured materials and nanodevices are aimed at incorporation in aeronautics and aerospace in the future. animals and the environment. drilling. Nano workplace health & safety issues. 2005 and click the button “safety and environment” on top of the page www. In many cases.).org for an overview of recent developments and publications. Most concern is focused on free engineered nanoparticles which may be released in the air. in most cases. It is uncertain how the size and surface to volume ratio of materials with particle sizes between 1 and about 100 nm influence toxicity as compared to the bulk materials. The aerospace production shop floor will be one of the first locations affected by potential release. cutting.

under controlled conditions. round 2 : www. Environmental benefits include less use of energy and materials. the possibility of free engineered nanoparticle release from standard shop floor processing. Health benefits can arise from incorporating nanosensors monitoring on board air and water EHS risks Environment. integrating nanosensors networks in composite materials to monitor structural integrity of the hull. Aerospace applications which may lead to EHS impacts in 20052010 include the following18: Application: Nanoparticles in fuel as additives Potential EHS impact: Inhalation by staff but also by the population in general 18 Source: AC/UNU Millennium project : « Environmental and Health Hazards resulting from military uses of nanotechnology. health and safety benefits. On the other hand. 2005).Toxicology Northwest presented results of a release comparison study of simulated Boeing shop floor sanding a "control" composite versus a nano modified composite. A review of this debate goes beyond the scope of the present report.acunu. In this part of the report. 7. Health and Safety aspects of nanomaterials in different applications including aerospace applications were the topic of a Delphi study carried out in the AC/UNU Millennium project (Glenn and Gordon. The general debate about EHS aspects of engineered nanomaterials in the workplace is also relevant to aerospace industry. Safety may be improved by applying fire retardant nanomaterials.doc 121 . filters for purifying air and water etc. introducing nanomaterials or nanodevices such as sensors into aeronautics can also bring environmental. we summarise the available literature and come up with suggestions for further research. remote sensing applications and other nanomaterials and devices. Relevant news and publications can be found elsewhere at the Nanoforum site or through other media. This exposure risk study was thought to be one of the first to evaluate. The focus is on response to engineered nanoscale materials explicitly intended for application in the aeronautics or space sectors.

(Boeing. but were not recycled due to a lack of a market for the scrap materials. Industrial sectors such as Aerospace and Automotive have articulated similar needs as the Chemical industry on “joint nanotechnology research needs which would enable the correlation and prediction of nanostructure and properties from synthetic conditions. Carbon fibre composites have been applied in aircraft since the early 1990s. The EHS risk potential of nanotechnology applied in aeronautics outlined by Boeing reflects the general global nanosafety research agenda. stealthy Erosion of these nanoparticles make them inhalable by staff but also by the general population Nanopollution in the environment and contamination of the environment (vegetables.” (Garner.Nanoparticles as surface coverage to make it harder. such markets were identified and it became interesting for Boeing to develop recycling schemes. These composites do not contain nanomaterials. humans and animals. Health and Safety implications. 2006) 122 . smoother.03 responsible for Nanotechnology Environmental & Occupational Health & Safety. but a similar recycling process could perhaps eventually be found useful for carbon nanotube composites. 2006) The general research agenda for EHS aspects of engineered nanomaterials is also applicable to applications in aerospace. An aerospace and defence company was the first to be audited. Since the late 1990s. 2005) Nanostructured metals have been applied in aerospace since the 1990s. Boeing Phantom Works and several subcontractors are working on a composite recycling project for carbon fibre composites from aircraft since 2003. (Thayer. Boeing is represented by their Environmental Assurance group on the ASTM International Subcommittee E56. Lux Research (2006) does not see indications of any EHS issues with nanostructured metals. The contamination can also infect drinkable water and fish Boeing (2005) expects future nanotechnology applications in aeronautics and aerospace in 10-15 years and considers now a good time to investigate Environment. Lux Research and a toxicology consultant are offering an EHS audit service aiming to raise awareness among nanotech start ups and other companies of these issues. The life cycle should be assessed to be sure. because only the grain size of crystals inside a metal matrix is of nanodimensions. fruits etc). first in landing gear components.

Development of new test methods to evaluate novel behaviour of nanomaterials in vivo.. 7. cabin staff and passengers don’t spend more than some hours at a time in a commercial aircraft. the need for specific studies on the human response to nanomaterials highlights another research challenge: the limited availability of well-characterized material in sufficient quantity. These benefits include reduced fuel consumption.g.2 Safety risks Potential risks may in the long term occur due to more futuristic applications of nanotechnology in aerospace such as accidents with the proposed space elevator. Modifications of the surface of nanomaterials can alter biochemical reactivity and should be reflected in calculations of absorbed and effective dose. and new in vitro tests may be necessary to predict novel in vivo behaviour. Consequently. not chronic exposure. polyethylene glycol) reduces the toxicity in vitro (Derfus et al. Any surface modification has the potential to strongly influence the material’s reactivity. not in vivo. and duration of exposure. complexity. 7.1 Health risks Health impacts of nanomaterials are the most pressing concern in spacecraft. 2004) and alters the half-life and tissue deposition in vivo (Ballou et al.2. Piotr Tucholka (2002) presented some “Major challenges for environmental studies”. The magnitude of the protective response is generally proportional to the magnitude. including the need for global monitoring of environmental conditions and better understanding and calibration of 123 . These findings indicate there may be many ways to reduce the health risk for astronauts who are expected to spend considerable lengths of time in a spacecraft.. and assesses acute exposure.2. accidents caused by re-entry of satellites have been reported occasionally. In the past.. because astronauts can spend months inside a spacecraft. satellites or other objects in earth orbits which may fall out of orbit or collide with each other in space. 2004). whereas pilots. more environmentally sound coatings and on-board environmental control sensors.3 Environmental benefits Applications of nanotechnology in aerospace are expected to lead to potential benefits for the environment. most current research is performed in vitro. Studies have shown that modifying the surface of nanomaterials with surfactants or biocompatible polymers (e. The last factor is the main source of chronic adverse health effects. In general.7. Standardized dosing protocols have yet to be established.

g. “Dave Whelan. He believed “nano. 124 . if the lighter planes.and micro technologies are well-suited to provide significant improvements in these applications. advancing more environmentally sound technologies. No details are disclosed. including waste and air emissions reductions. e. 2006). Some other beneficial applications have already been mentioned in earlier chapters such as alternative energy sources for aircraft and spacecraft. 2005) Airbus is also interested in nanotechnology for enhancing the environmental friendliness of their airframes. Spacecraft have closedloop environments with the ability to reclaim air and wastewater. like those used in petroleum well monitoring are adapted or adaptable to environmental problems…” Light and strong nanomaterials (e. (Woelcken et al. The company Integran will develop nanocrystalline cobalt-phosphorous coatings and deposition process technologies as an environmentally friendly alternative for the current hard chrome plating process used for coating landing gear and jet engine components. along with other materials such as carbon-fibre reinforced plastics or alumina-based materials. polymer nanocomposites) may be applied to produce lighter aircraft. However. Dastoors.” Other advantages mentioned are not specific for the aerospace sector.g. Also. 2003) This may help reduce aircraft fuel consumption. 2006) An important aspect is the environmental control. lower energy consumption due to nano-surface treatment for environmental benefits. commented he believes that it will make possible: ‘Specialised coatings so that planes don’t need repainting’.4 million in development of new nanotechnology based coatings for aerospace. Several already existing applications. (CCN Matthews. Environmental sensors distributed throughout the ship keep track of contaminants in the air and water (Meyyappan. this potential environmental benefit may be limited by rebound effects. 2005) Boeing (2005) foresees EHS benefits due to applications of nanotechnology. (Mulcair. (at that time) Boeing Phantom Works General Manager. in turn. the use of POSS (polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes) may result in zero volatile organic compound (VOC) coating development. carry a heavier load of passengers and cargo. The Canadian government is investing $ based observations and their relation to parameters of the objects. (Ellen et al.

The existing relevant European Union policies and legislative framework is summarised below. nanosensors and smart materials can improve safety for the people on board considerably. 125 . or in the form of life support systems in spacecraft and possibly also aircraft. The ultimate vision for nanotechnology in astronaut health management is to provide a quality of medical care regardless of the duration of the space mission. also Kneipp et al. micro cracks in the material can be detected. 2006) and other MNT-based sensors (Blue Road Research.15% of the material and are evenly distributed through the composite. By running an electrical current through the web of nanotubes. Solutions include cantilever-based MEMS (Waitz. Safety of people on the ground and the environment can profit from improved disaster management by earth observation and satellite communication. Especially on commercial aircraft. (Flinn.7. (Thostenson. Embedded micro and nanosensors for measuring structural integrity can be included in future generation aircraft structural components. 2005) Katrin and Harald Kneipp of Harvard University have proposed nanosensors for astronaut health monitoring based on surface enhanced Raman scattering (Kneipp & Kneipp. Scientists at Michigan University Ann Arbor’s Centre for Biologic Nanotechnology are developing nanosensors for monitoring the health impact of space radiation on astronauts. 2006). Carbon nanotubes embedded in composites can be used as an artificial nervous system. The nanotubes make up only 0. These sensors incorporate dendrimers.4 Health benefits Health benefits can occur if nanomaterials can replace toxic materials currently applied in aerospace.5 Safety benefits Nanomaterials and devices are expected to enhance the safety of aircraft and spacecraft.6 EHS Regulation Regulating Environment. 2006) 7. 2006) 7. Safety of people on board can profit from application of vibration and flame resistant nanomaterials and nanosensor networks embedded in composite materials. Health and Safety aspects of nanomaterials and nanodevices for aerospace applications will have to be part of the existing legislative framework for the aeronautics and space sectors.

” (EC regulation 1592/2002) In 2006. There is currently no formal cooperation between the two ISO committees ISO/TC 229 for nanotechnologies and ISO/TC 20 for 126 . safety and security in transport. The EC aims to reduce this dependence on oil supplies through innovative energy efficiency and alternative energy solutions. The aviation industry is consolidating at European level. It includes strategies to stimulate higher energy efficiency of aviation through the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research project (SESAR. 2007-2012) and proposing legislation to include the aviation sector in the EU Emission Trading Scheme (end of 2006). by innovation. The EC is in favour of developing green aircraft according to the thematic strategy on air pollution (EC. The EU aims to be a world leader in sustainable transport solutions. too little is probably known about the impacts of nanotechnology to determine if current regulations are sufficient. “Although airlines have reduced fuel consumption by 1-2% per passenger-kilometre in the last decade and noise emission from aircraft has declined significantly. This action plan builds upon the EC Communication on Climate Change and Aviation (2005) including proposals to give research into ‘greener’ technology the highest priority in FP7 and working in ICAO on developing more stringent technical design standards to reduce aircraft emissions at the source. A broad set of common safety standards is enforced with the help of the European aviation agency EASA. This is the general situation. it is necessary to develop aircraft designs which better protect the safety and health of passengers. making engines more efficient. no representatives of aerospace participate. The EC wants to reduce environmental impacts whilst maintaining the competitiveness of the sector. 2005). 2006. and will likely apply also to aerospace. Currently.” (EC. intelligent transport systems and engine technology providing increased fuel efficiency and promoting the use of alternative fuels. the EC has presented an Action Plan on energy efficiency. “In order to respond to increasing concerns over the health and welfare of passengers during flights. On 19 October 2006. EU innovation policy under FP7 includes the greening of air transport. the overall environmental impact of civil aviation has increased due to buoyant growth in traffic… greenhouse gas emissions from air transport have grown by over 4% per year in the last decade. p 8) The EU is a major world player in air transport equipment. In the Dutch standards committee dealing with nanotechnology.The European Commission has reviewed and updated its Transport policy mid 2006. “aeronautical products should be subject to certification to verify that they meet essential airworthiness and environmental protection requirements relating to civil aviation… in line with standards set by the Chicago Convention”. Air transport accounts for 9% of EU oil consumption.

the discussion and investigation of EHS risks and benefits of engineered nanomaterials and nanodevices in aerospace is barely getting off the ground. policies and codes of practice. When the first nano-norms appear.” “All potential impacts revealed by this Specific Support Action (SSA) will be documented in the final report and disseminated via the specialised web pages on the NANOFORUM web site. personal communication. There seems to be a need for complementing these plans with additional life cycle analysis of the materials intended for use in aerospace applications. these are likely to be applied also to individual sectors including aerospace. The discussion about nanotechnology is starting in aerospace norms and standard setting circles. results will be published at http://www. (Source Ivo van der Werff. ethics. legislation. for the safe production and use of nanoparticles will be produced. Their implications and effectiveness will be discussed. ethical issues. In the EU funded NANOTOX–project. Ways in which existing legislation is applied to the macroscale counterparts of nanoparticles will also be examined. October 2006).” 7. There is a need for identifying the main possible concerns and opportunities.19 This implies the following: “Standards.impartnanotox. health and safety related to nanomaterials for applications in all sectors including aerospace are framed.7 Conclusion To conclude. which have been put in place or are under development. It is not yet clear if there will be a need for nanospecific norms. and Dutch companies are involved in it. Current research agenda’s for risk assessment of engineered nanomaterials intended for application in aerospace are relevant. Guidelines and recommendations for the institution of future European standards. Potential specific EHS risks of nanotechnology applied in aerospace must be addressed in toxicology research and the development of specific exposure scenarios for the aeronautics and space sectors. at international and European level. NEN. will be assessed and reviewed. These are currently focused on general toxicology and exposure scenarios in the workplace and exposure of the environment and the human body. policies and codes of practice. legislation. and codes of practise. legislation.” The project aims “to survey national. ethical issues. international and European standards. Exposure 19 This project runs from 1 February 2005 until 31 January 2007. The European debate takes place in ECSS.html 127 .

The novelty of nanoscale materials arises from the fact that with the size decrease the properties of the materials change. health and safety is urgently needed.scenarios due to release of engineered nanomaterials in the air at high altitudes and in the cabin environment are also needed. between the relevant ISO Technical Committees. health and safety risks. Specific for aerospace applications. Relevant regulations should not be limited to airworthiness criteria. however. but also promote the use of Best Available (environmental) Techniques under the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control policy of the EU. Communication between parties involved in standardisation of the aerospace sector and of nanotechnology also needs improvement. exposure scenarios of astronauts. 128 . may be accompanied by increased environmental. a lighter weight aircraft might be admired for its lower fuel consumption but it could also be considered a potential risk source if its nano modified materials should in any way release free engineered nanoparticles. Development of instruments and methods for nanomaterials characterisation considered crucial for testing impacts on environment. This is true for all applications of engineered nanoscale materials including aerospace and is being addressed worldwide.g. as well as life cycle assessments of the nanomaterials applied in aircraft and spacecraft to identify possible environmental exposure scenarios. health and safety benefits of nanotechnology in aerospace. which. pilots. To obtain the optimal environment. e. For example. The public acceptance of some EHS aspects of nanotechnology in aerospace may be ambivalent. scenarios must be developed and used to decide on research priorities and regulation. Whether international regulations could ever prevent potential future disasters is problematic. Safe usage of engineered nanomaterials in aerospace requires employing strict control on atmospheric nanoparticle release from aircraft in the atmosphere because the nanoparticles could easily be distributed widely over the Earth’s surface. cabin personnel and passengers must be developed.

which can be used on a larger scale for earth monitoring. E.g. but focus on the relevant issues and regulatory framework for nanotechnology applications in aeronautics and especially outer space. microsystems and nanotechnologies can enable small satellites. legal and social aspects of nanotechnology in general. or autonomous systems for exploring other planets. Legal and Social Aspects or Implications of a new science and technology area in an unprecedented early phase of development. In the aeronautic sector. since space travel and commercial uses of outer space in satellites. Nanotechnology is one of the first emerging technologies where policy makers and researchers have initiated a deliberately constructed. 20 See Nanoforum (2005) or click the button “More” followed by “Society Issues” on top of the webpage www. as discussed in chapter 7. Technology & Society (STS). large scale systematic research programme on Ethical. we will not review all the literature on ethical. The development and eventual uptake of aerospace applications of nanotechnology is influenced on the one hand by the parallel development of the regulatory framework for the space and also the air transport sectors in general as these nanomaterials and devices will have to conform to these more general regulations. because they can enable activities which were not possible or too expensive before. as has been demonstrated in many case studies in the field of Science.20 In this chapter. 129 .org for an overview of relevant developments and publications. Issues like the use of outer space and ownership claims are still not regulated and the potential risks of human activities and the deployment of human-made technologies in outer space are highly uncertain and not addressed in any systematic way. Or nanotechnology may enable better life support systems in space stations and spacecraft. nanotechnology will change current practices and norms and values governing the air transport and space sectors.nanoforum. On the other hand. Most of the issues and discussions are likely to focus on outer space.Chapter 8: Ethical. most developments focus on reducing the environmental burden of air travel and on improving on-board safety and health. Legal and Social Aspects 8.1 Introduction Society and new technologies mutually influence each other’s development. space tourism and other activities are more recent than large-scale air travel and transport. stimulating longer astronauts’ missions.

g.satellite TV (1982).use of nuclear devices (1992). 8.The 1979 agreement about the moon and other celestial bodies. The UN assembly declarations cover the following aspects: . the rights of observed countries vs.phpURL_ID=6353&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201. UNESCO highlights some new issues which need to be discussed in particular: a) Motivation and interest of space conquest.The 1972 convention on international liability for space damages. p 12) Some of these treaties are limiting arms and military uses of outer space. .org/shs/en/ev. In general. including the moon and other celestial bodies (outer space treaty). property). we first review current developments in European and international regulations governing the space sector which are relevant for principles (1963). c) How to decide on ethical questions regarding outer space: i) Nuclear power in space. UNESCO proposes to incorporate ethical guidelines in the existing framework of UN outer space treaties and declarations. See also Detlev Wolter (2006). Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology is working on an international instrument on the ethics of outer space. d) Risks of abuse of dominant position by space actors.The 1968 treaty on return and rescue of astronauts.The 1975 convention on registration of space objects.remote sensing (1986).html 130 . ii) limits of outer space.International cooperation (1996). (UNESCO. b) Interest of manned flights.unesco.21 21 See UNESCO website: http://portal. e) Responsibility in case of catastrophe. . 2004. . iii) Arbitrage between confidentiality and collective security (related to info-ethics). iv) Determination of the status of data (e. legal and social implications of nanotechnology applied in outer space and aeronautics. .2 Regulations The United Nations Educational. . We conclude with some suggestions for further research. . .The 1967 treaty on principles governing the activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space. Then we review some early literature exploring potential ethical. The treaties are: .In this chapter. .

They are also developing a regulatory and institutional framework. other restrictions or arms control agreements restricting US activities. which seem to imply that the US reserves the right to protect their own national security in space. shall be approved only rarely. implying that technologies which are or will soon be available on the world market can be exported freely. See: http://ec. The scenarios deal with who should take the lead in managing and funding regulations and space activities. The communication envisages at least five scenarios for developing a legal framework and recommends assessing all of them.The European Union (EU) is developing a European Space Policy. At the same time they will oppose the development of new legal regimes. technologies and components. on a caseby-case basis. legal and technological components of space affairs. licensing.europa. member states. The aim is to develop a strategy for space technology development coordinating the activities of the EU. the United States (US). the roles of EU. allocations of frequencies and orbital slots within the International Telecommunications Union). These items include systems engineering and systems integration capabilities and techniques or enabling components or 22 23 See: in which the current principles of governance in space can evolve.html 131 . The policy includes effective export policies. The European Commission has published a Communication on European Space Policy – Preliminary Elements in May 2005 (European Commission. European Space Agency (ESA) and EU Member states as well as other countries including Russia.europa. They declare the conduct of US space programs and activities a top priority.23 The US President established the White House’ new National Space Policy on 31 August 2006. The EU space policy includes international collaborations including “aspects of international trade ‘fair competition’ and market access through the regulatory environment (WTO. China and Israel. systems. export controls.”22 The EU is coordinating a common European – United Nations position on the political. the strategic benefits of space can be recognised and ESA can be maintained as Europe’s pole of excellence. but that “export of sensitive or advanced technical data. national space agencies and other organisations. 2005). guided by a number of principles. while denying adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to the US national interests. As part of the strategy they do intend to encourage international cooperation with foreign nations and/or consortia on space activities that are of mutual benefit and that further the peaceful exploration and use of space as well as US national interests.

The current developments of international and national space policies as described above are of course on the table of the politicians and are not easily influenced by researchers working on nanotechnology. On the other hand. etc. Researchers must be aware of their responsibility. in particular concerning extrapolations into the future.technologies with capabilities significantly better than those achievable by current or near-term foreign systems. The EU is party to many such arrangements. which apply to satellite technology and all electronic and other space components or subassemblies. The current legislation is ambiguous on several aspects including mineral exploration on asteroids and intellectual property rights for research in space. aiming to reduce substantially the dependence on components subject to US export restrictions. ESTP proposes to continue this ECI and develop similar “buy European” programmes for other critical space components. Also who is responsible for space debris is not settled. The Strategic Research Agenda of the European Space Technology Platform (ESTP. as demonstrated by recent discussions at the CANEUS 2006 conference in Toulouse. Standards. Safety. p 37) also mentions these ITAR restrictions. During this conference. René Oosterlinck (2006). ESA director of external relations. ESA has started a European Components Initiative in 2004. such as in the International Space Station.” The main focus was on US expert restrictions on defence related technologies as applicable to Microsystems and Nanotechnologies for aerospace. The EU has since developed a strategy of “non-dependence”: having unrestricted access to any required space technology from European or other suppliers. while maintaining the quality of the European technologies. guiding visions. Flight Opportunities. Researchers do exert some influence on policy makers. these political developments determine the boundaries in between which the researchers have to do their work on developing nanotechnology for applications in aerospace. a short course has been held on “International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) – Intergovernmental agreements.” (US White House. About 60% of the electronic components and equipment needed for a typical satellite are imported from the US. France. which aims for standardisation of small 132 . 5% from other countries and 35% are made in the EU. Environmental. export policy restrictions. This is the case since 1999. During the abovementioned CANEUS 2006 conference an NPS industry working group was installed. explained developments in space law. He pleads for a review. when the US Congress transferred responsibility for satellite technology from the Commerce department to the State Department. 2006) Among the goals of expert control policies for sensitive goods is to block or slow down access to militarily relevant equipment. 2006.

and the determination of the possibility of contamination either of or 24 http://www. These implications should be viewed in the context of decades. 2001). Societal implications of nanotechnologies and studies needed are outlined in section 6. legal and social issues is reviewed below.Societal. There is also largely an issue of risk. The more detailed discussion of how the uptake of nanotechnology in aerospace may lead to new ethical. The international community is currently in the process of developing ethical declarations. 2) Ethical implications of applications of nanotechnology in planetary and outer space exploration.satellites. Ethical and Legal Implications of Nanotechnology” of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) report on Societal implications of nanotechnology (Roco & Bainbridge.24 Richard H. as opposed to air travel and terrestrial policies. and considering terraforming other planets. Legal and Social Aspects Most Ethical.pdf 133 .Implications/nanosis65. 2006) 8. We show progress in the discussion by briefly summarising relevant literature in chronological order. treaties and legislation to govern human activities in outer space as has been reviewed above. How we structure nanotechnology related outer space use today will influence development for decades. carrying out risky experiments in outer space or attempts at terraforming other planets. The second group is a very long term concern.5 on “Social. including reduction of the payload to energy ratio which may enable new missions. using other planets as quarantined nanotechnology test beds. because the earth observation and communication satellites are already there. UNESCO mentions Nanotechnology explicitly as a bioethical issue in its work on the ethics of outer space: “Specific bioethical issues may be raised by experiences in outer space. The first group is a more immediate concern. starting with the question of the adaptation of humankind to outer space. 25 October 2006.g. Smith includes several positive opportunities of nanotechnology for outer space exploration.3 Ethical. cheaper and increasing their use. in the case of sending out autonomous “thinking” systems to other planets and who is responsible for what they do there. These issues can be divided in two groups: 1) Implications for privacy. Legal and Social issues are related to outer space. (Caneus. e. but nevertheless discussed already by proponents as well as opponents. security and safety of humans and our earthly society and environment. and nanotechnology can only be a factor in making them smaller.wtec. The first meeting has been in

or attacks to other satellites in orbit.Human exploration and colonisation of outer space . p 167) foresees the deployment of mini. 2006. human-machine interactions and artificial life is in general emerging. p 139-140) Altmann (2006. allowing independent inspectors to control compliance on site. a significant number could be allowed for civil Earth monitoring or space research if subject to intensive licensing and inspection procedures while military satellites would be strictly limited. with knowledge flowing in both directions.from outer space.” (Altmann. “With respect to Nanotechnology. this might apply to small satellites. The compatibility of life science experiments in outer space and their return to Earth should also be studied. p 10-11) The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Grand Challenges for nanotechnology in Aerospace are: .5 metres) in all media. There is a need for a comprehensive ban on space weapons. p 136) He warns for two military uses of swarms of small satellites: observation and detection of targets on earth guiding attacks. p 132) “Small and/or more autonomous satellites. planets and asteroids. If “swarms of centimetre size flying or crawling robots for moon and planet investigation” were developed. “In aviation.2 to 0.” He proposes technical limitations and licensing procedures to prevent misuse. He proposes a “general prohibition of small mobile (partly) artificial systems below a certain size limit (0.” “Exceptions should be strictly defined and narrowly limited … they could concern exploration of celestial bodies. affordable aviation . 2006) One can imagine that the potential development of autonomous “thinking” spacecraft invokes ethical concerns. if used for anti-satellite attack. (Altmann. would counteract the general ban on space weapons that the international community has striven for since decades.Safe. Jürgen Altmann (2006) proposes preventive arms control on nanotechnologies which may be used for military applications.” He proposes to prevent misuse of civilian R&D for military purposes by strong verification rights. This has been demanded nearly unanimously by all recent UN General Assemblies. 2006.” (Altmann. 2004. in the military and the civilian sector. He includes explicitly civil nanotechnology developments in aviation (aeronautics).Autonomous “thinking” spacecraft . The debate about ethical aspects of human enhancement. (UNESCO. “cheap production of hundreds or thousands could lead to diffusion to uses on earth”. much of military as well as civilian R&D takes place in the same institutions and firms. 134 . 2006. This issue is also linked to the ethical concerns raised by nanotechnology”.or micro robots for exploration of the moon.Evolution of Universe and Life (NASA.

4 Conclusion Current developments in international and national politics and negotiations on international treaties and declarations are in progress in small parts of especially the space sector. therefore we had to make this distinction in the present report. new 25 The Nanoforum contract precludes covering military activities. as miniaturisation will lead to cheaper and more abundant satellites orbiting earth. These developments are only to a limited extent influenced by nanotechnology. Even though he mentions nanotechnology. Legal and Social Aspects of science or on Ethics of Science focusing on nanotechnology and on aerospace (aeronautics as well as outer space) should be further reviewed to explore issues in the boundary area between them which are currently overlooked. the argumentation is more general space ethics.Security measures are inherently ambiguous. Researchers in nanotechnology for aerospace are forced to take these boundary conditions into account in planning their research and in selecting partners in other countries. The debate on such longer term but not unprecedented developments is barely emerging. security and safety of people and the environment on earth. While carried out in the interest of one’s own security. He predicts that applications of nanotechnology in space may enable such a new colonialism and land-grab. leading to arms races and decreased stability (security dilemma).25 Subsequently. it often decreases the security of others. such that these developments should be regulated from the start to avoid conflicts related to fundamental property rights. In the long term nanotechnology may lead to new ethical concerns caused by new human initiated activities on other planets or even outside our solar system. The way out of this dilemma is agreed international limitation with verification of compliance. 8. 135 . administration and security. Patrick Lin (2006) explores potential ethical issues of space exploration. including the rationale to explore space in the first place. but the development and uptake of nanotechnology in aerospace is fenced in and guided by these global political developments. We propose some suggestions for further research: Current and proposed projects on Ethical. The uptake of nanotechnology in outer space is in the short time likely to strengthen the urgency of existing ethical concerns such as privacy. Such additional research should not distinguish between military and civilian research as this distinction does not really exist in the aerospace sector.

and later in civilian air traffic. Two types of programmes should be developed. 136 . Mini. Educational programs at schools and universities are needed which combine nanosciences. but may also be appropriated by terrorists in the longer term. nanotechnologies.- - research projects should be initiated which focus on newly identified issues of major concern to society. The first type of programmes should educate the nanotechnology and aerospace workforce. legal and ethical aspects.and micro-aircraft are becoming available for military uses. A main new topic for nanotechnology use in air traffic could be crewless aircraft. These are becoming available first in military. The second type of outreach activities should enhance public awareness of the potential benefits and risks of nanoscience and technology including those specific for aerospace applications. aerospace applications and social. An inventory of regulations on aeronautics should also be prepared in addition to the list of outer space treaties.

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