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).


org About Nanoforum Nanoforum is a thematic network funded by the European Commission. Malsch TechnoValuation (Netherlands). Please notify the editor in case any reference is missing. METU (Turkey). This report content is based on information collected and supplied to Nanoforum in good faith by external sources believed to be accurate. Nanoforum comprises a consortium of leading European nanotechnology organisations led by the Institute of Nanotechnology (UK) and including VDI Technologiezentrum (Germany). Spinverse (Finland). inaccuracies or omissions. This Nanoforum report is downloadable from the network Website at www. research. 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. aiming to promote and raise the standard of nanotechnology activities throughout Europe. Nanoforum is an information source for the European Community that unites disciplines and countries. Unipress (Poland). Nanoforum provides a resource for business. Sofia University (Bulgaria). BIT (Austria) and NanoNed (The Netherlands). The contents of this report are the responsibility of the authors.nanoforum.Nanoforum is a thematic network funded by the European Commission's under the Fifth Framework Programme (Growth programme. CEA-LETI (France). government and financial institutions across Europe. 3 . grant number G5RT-CT-2002-05084).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

market size €1. 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 (ch6.6) Nanotechnology applications in aerospace will enable new activities and require changes in legislation (ch8) Satellite on chip. Boeing. Airbus) ESA: new systems. architectures & technologies to reinvent design of space missions (ch6) Aircraft weight half of current conventional (ch3. NASA 2001) Space elevator. CNT based lab on a 2015: fuel cells for onboard aircraft systems (ch3. ch4) 11 .601 new aircraft needed. colonisation.48 trillion (ch6.Table 1. EU STAR21) 2023: 16. 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. autonomous nanorobot swarm (ch4) Quantum devices for information management (ch4) 5-10 years More stringent regulations incl.1 summarising trends in the whole report. CNT based electronic noses. autonomous satellites swarm (ch4) Technical subsystem Black box using nanosensors.

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

....................................... Materials using nanoelements .4.............. 59 4.....7......5......................................... 54 4....7........4 The advancement of severe plastic deformation .........................3..1 Introduction ............................. 49 4...............................................2................................3.... 20 2.....................................4................................................... Conclusion ..... Others .......... 43 4......3.........................................................2 Definitions ...........................................2 Advancement of Nanotube-Reinforced Composites..................... 23 2...................................................................... Propellants .....4...4.........4.......................... 58 4...2.................................... 45 4................... 6 Chapter 2 – Nanomaterials in Aerospace................. Nanoelements ...... 40 4............ 30 3........................ Electronics ........ 39 Chapter 4 Review of state of the art of technology and future trends in Spacecraft ....................................... 28 3..........1 Introduction........................... 58 4................................... 22 2... 51 4...........................................6 Publications and Conferences .................................................................3 Classification ....... Nanostructured metals ............................2 Materials conclusion ............... 38 3.............. 2 Chapter 1 Executive summary and introduction .......................... Solar cells ............................ Coatings..... Engines ...........................................5...............4......... 16 2........1 Layered silicate (clay) nanocomposites ......... Global life support....................7 Polymer Nanocomposites......... 20 2..................................... 59 13 ................6...... 22 2.............................................. 21 2.......... Airframe and components.............. 36 3.......1..................5 The projects related to aircraft company business ...3.............1 Carbon nanotubes for transistors .........1..........................7...........1 Introduction........ Sensors..................1.........................7...................... 50 4..1... 26 Chapter 3: Review of state of the art of technology and future trends in Aeronautics........3 high-performance PNCs resins ...................... 16 2..2 Memories / Data storage..................................2 Materials ...... 49 4..........................3..............................................7...........................................................................................................7.... 17 2............4 Electronics conclusion............ 40 4.... 34 3..................3........... 55 4.......................................................5...3.................. 54 4.. 42 4..........4.............. 53 4.................................. 18 2.2... 39 3........................................................................... 56 4...................................... Batteries ....4. Energy generation and storage.............................. Life support ..............................................................................................1........................7.. Fuel cells .........2 Nanofibres/carbon nanotube in polymer nanocomposites ............................. 16 2.... 21 2............................... 19 2...............5 Energy conclusion .....2....................1...............................2.....3.........3....................................... Electrical/electronic components and hardware ..........................................................................3.................. 37 3...............................Table of contents: Nanotechnology in Aerospace ......

.......................12 Funding and investment......................................1..... systems and equipment.....................2..................7 Quality and affordability.............. 74 4........................... 101 5...............................2.......7..........1................................................6..................................................................1 Patenting of Nanotechnology Advances that have Applications in the Aerospace Industry ...................1...........................................9 Future concepts for Guidance & Control ............3 Energy Production and Storage..........................2 Airframes ........... 72 4..................................................................1. 73 4...............10 Current Research ....6 Safety and Security.....15 SME ........................2..................14 Education and Training .........4 Data Storage....................... 90 5........................2................... 103 Chapter 6: Economic Aspects ................................... Space elevator................................. Science payloads ..................... 83 5...................16 Conclusion .........1.... 75 4....... 77 Chapter 5: Summary of Needs in Aerospace Research ............4.............. 89 5....................................................1............... 92 5................................... 105 6. Medical systems ....................1....... 67 4. 111 6....................... 63 4......... 81 5...................................................................1 Global markets in the aviation industry.............. 86 5.............................4 Life support conclusion ....2........................................ 99 5...................................................... 72 4. Futuristic visions ..........6 Life support systems .................................................................................... 86 5............ 105 6..........3............................................5..................3 Space ...............3..................1.........7....1. 107 6... 80 5.............2.......................... 64 4...................7..8 European Air Transport System .7......4 Aircraft avionics..... 88 5...................11 Aeronautics application in other industries.............................................5............................ 60 4........................................1.2.......................................................... 100 5.......... 89 5..1.....4 How can Nanotechnology Impact on these Strategies? ............. 68 4..... 81 5..................2......... Processing and Transmission.............3 Propulsion .............. 90 5..13 Policy................................... 77 4......................8 Visionary Applications...........................1. 89 5..............9 Conclusion ..........................................1. 82 5............................. Satellites / Science payloads ........................................................................5 Environment...............7 Nanomaterials and thin films for spacecraft ......... 105 6.6...5 Sensors ................ 80 5....4.........1....... 114 14 .4 Futuristic visions conclusion ...................... 114 6.............2 Aviation................... Space colonisation .2............................ 95 5...1 Introduction ....................1 Aeronautics .....6.....1 Introduction..............7........................2 Nanomaterials for space craft structure ....................1...............................................................................2.............1.......8 Conclusion .......... 90 5..........1.. 90 5........2................................ Textile ...5..... 94 5......................................................3 Satellites / Payloads conclusion: .. 63 4.................2 Statement of needs for Research and Development in Space ...........2............................. 85 5.....................................6....... 98 5.............................. Autonomous systems ...2............................... 86 5............................ 84 5.................. Satellite subsystems..

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 Introduction The reinforcement of polymers (thermoplastics. Unsaturated polyester will become the primary thermoset used in nanocomposites. valued at $2 billion. as nanomaterial additives will increasingly enhance or replace glass fibre-reinforced materials in a number of applications.7. plus the harsh and varied conditions they face will put even the best materials to the test. with demands for nanotubes alone exceeding $1 billion (Freedonia Group. strength and conductive properties. whether inorganic or organic. Over the near term. By 2020. 2007 in San Antonio. 21 . an international conference “The Future of Nanoplastics” has been organised. as well as reduced weight. driven by their improved barrier. polyethylene and PVC. where the reinforcement is on the order of microns. as production levels increase and technical issues concerning dispersion of nanoadditives in compounds are overcome.7. Eventually. aircraft is a key market for nanoclay. Advances will be fuelled by declining prices of nanomaterials and composites. possibility to increase production speed of parts and to replace higher-priced materials. will be used to produce nanocomposites.2. such as polypropylene. In contrast to the conventional systems. is common in the production of modern plastics. 22-23rd of February. 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. PNCs take advantage from unique effects of the addition of nanometre-sized inorganic materials to a polymer matrix. It will remain important through the end of the next decade. USA.PNCs (or polymer nanostructured materials) represent an alternative to conventional-filled polymers or polymer blends. nanocomposites based on commodity plastics. the amount of energy needed to propel an object into space means that spacecraft must be even stronger and lighter. thermosets. Texas. will dominate the market. more than 163 million kg of nanomaterials. Similarly. 2.2 Definitions Polymer nanocomposites . Polymer composites are strong. accounting for nearly 40% of demand in 2020. Up-to-date information on polymer materials (among them nanocomposites) for aerospace applications is currently provided by RAPRA. nanocomposites based on thermosets will grow to over 20% of the market by 2020. 2006). yet remarkably lightweight and so they are leading the field in aerospace applications. 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. Apart from packaging and motor vehicles. elastomers) using fillers.and nanotube-polymer composites. however. Polymer nanocomposites are expected to penetrate a number of applications. While nearly all of the current demand is in thermoplastic resins.

researchers in industry. Their application brings improvements in mechanical strength and aging resistance. reduction of wear and flammability. polyamides or 22 . the value of PNCs technology is not based solely on mechanical enhancements of the neat resin. Traditionally. cost. and unprecedented morphologies such as interpenetrating networks. government.1 Layered silicate (clay) nanocomposites These minerals considerably increase the mechanical and thermal properties of standard polymers. However. electrical and barrier properties. 2. mechanical properties. The special properties of clay-polymer nanocomposites expand the use of resins and blends based on polyolefins. barrier to diffusion.3.7.These effects however. Loading levels of 2-5% by weight result in mechanical properties similar to those found in conventional composites with 30-40% of reinforcing material. nanofillers can be used in small quantities (less than 5% by weight). Researchers developed two main PNCs fabrication methodologies: in-situ routes and exfoliation. depending on the form of nanoparticles being used: layered silicate or nanofibres / carbon nanotube-polymer nanocomposites and high-performance PNCs resins. offering improvements over conventional composites in mechanical. The attractive characteristics of layered silicate nanocomposites already suggest a variety of possible industrial applications for layered silicate (clay) nanocomposites. and processability. blend or composite attempts at multifunctional materials require a trade-off between desired performance. including flame retardant panels and high performance components for aerospace. from both a commercial and military perspective. optical transparency. without sacrificing the inherent processability and mechanical properties of the resin. The constituent inorganic additives can be applied in a form of particles.3 Classification In general. Due to their efficiency. and academia worldwide are heavily investigating exfoliation of layered silicates. thermal. 2. Currently. tribological. they can significantly reduce flammability and maintain the transparency of a polymer matrix. carbon nanofibres/nanotube-polymer nanocomposites. Rather.7. tubes and wires. and highperformance PNCs resins (AFRL Horizons). it comes from providing value-added properties not present in the neat resin. two-dimensional platelets and porous materials. styrenics. Furthermore. polymer nanocomposites fall into three categories. 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.

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

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

ballistic resistant backing has been described. Several methods have been studied. SEM was used to observe the different microstructures arising from various processing conditions. The Materials and Coatings Laboratory of the Thermal Control Services at CNES (Toulouse. with the objective of attaining a high transparency. in particular the low solar absorptivity and the high emissivity for cold coatings. To ensure reliable operation of their on-board systems and equipment. and an antistatic resin (Hidden et al. To prevent any electrostatic discharge problems in geostationary orbit. The effects of processing parameters (compression moulding) on the mechanical properties of carbon/polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) thermoplastic composite laminates have also been studied. when researches lit a 75-watt bulb by running current through the model bridge. Other potential applications are: electrically conductive adhesives. which has a high electrical resistivity. superior insulating materials capable of heat-storage and transfer. The range of parameters can serve as a guide to consolidate carbon/PEKK laminates for high performance aerospace applications (Salek et al. Fabrication. Panels infiltrated with a fire retardant resin. processing. the resistivity of coatings should be reduced without altering their thermo-optical properties. mechanical strength and ballistic resistance according to National Institute of Justice and ASTM standards (Cohen et al. novel batteries etc. such as the incorporation of carbon nanotubes (CNT) and indium tin oxide (ITO) nanoparticles in the polysiloxane matrix. France) has elaborated a cold coating version by using a polysiloxane deposit on a metal substrate (such as polished aluminium or vacuum deposited silver). Optimum properties for the laminates have been established. were evaluated for their fire resistance. polysiloxane. The material was demonstrated at the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering’s annual conference in May.ohionanosummit. can accumulate implanted charges that can give rise to electrostatic discharges and damage the neighbouring electronic systems. Conductive multifunctional polymer nanocomposite “NanoSphalt” is a carbon nanofibre and fibreglass composite material (www. In geostationary orbit. 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. structural components with improved electrical / thermal conductivity (such as aircraft engines that can burn hotter and thus more efficiently). 2006). 2005). energy harvesting. a thermal control of the spacecraft is necessary using cold. satellites are exposed to significant thermal variations. In orbit. 2005). 2004. a high protective coatings for satellites. toxicity in fires. 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). Researchers working for aircraft industry try to find a way to replace copper wiring with 25 . neutral or warm coatings.

and toxicity regulations (EUREKA. 2006).polymer wiring made with electrically conductive carbon nanofibres. in large structures that need to be packed for launch and unfurled later. BASF AG of Germany reported a variant of its "Basotect" heat-insulating and sound-absorbing melamine resin foam "Basotect TG" . According to information from a wiring company. 2006). low-density adhesive film from 3M. 26 . smoke. The resins are stable at ambient temperature. can spring back into shape when heated. and are easy to process (High Performance Plastics. USA) and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) have developed plastic that after being deformed. USA) is now in full production of nanomaterial-reinforced polymers that are lighter. replacing that wire with conductive polymer will bring the wiring weight alone down to well below approximately 454 kg. May 2006. e. 3M AF3070 FST" is a new halogen-free. have a long pot-life. and also in meeting increasingly strict fire. The feasibility of developing a sprayable Chromium-Free Permanent Primer (CFPP) coating system.g. Scientists from University of Dayton Research Institute (OH. which combines low outgases properties required for space applications with consistent bond thickness.7. has been reported (Riegler et al. June 2006. an abrasion-resistant PU elastomer permanent primer layer containing a chromium-free corrosion inhibitor. It can be additionally shaped by heat (High Performance Plastics. making it particularly suitable for the construction of parts for aircraft interiors (High Performance Plastics. In the same place.which is 30% lighter than standard Basotect. Theoretically. 1). a Boeing 747 has approximately 225 km of wire weighing approximately 1600 kg. 3).3. one-part benzoxazine resins for use in the manufacture of large fibrereinforced plastic parts for aerospace applications. June 2006. which will positively impact the range and fuel efficiency of the aircraft. The new film adhesive is comparable to a low outgas liquid adhesive and is considered suitable for various applications common to satellite manufacturing. 2. Mixing carbon nanotubes with polymers creates “shape-memory” polymers that respond to heat. It is believed that shape-memory polymers will be used in practical applications within 5 years. which consists of a commercial chromiumfree. stronger and more durable than other composite polymers – as well as being thermally and electrically conductive. NanoSperse in Akron (OH. Henkel KGaA of Germany has commercialised a range of low-viscosity. intended to assist aircraft interior manufacturers in cutting their production times. electricity and infrared light (published in the February 2004 issue of Nature Materials). functional conversion coat. New silicone film adhesive. 4).3 high-performance PNCs resins Many potential aircraft applications depend on successful incorporation of the nanoelements in thermoset resins.

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

In the aviation industry engine improvements are also under investigation. the materials should be corrosion resistant. long lifetime. and population growth (see chapter 6). Reduced weight leads to lower costs and better ecological compatibility due to reduced fuel consumption. This affects not only the main aircraft body and blades but also polymer components used in the interior. damage tolerant and repairable as often as necessary. The results obtained in these sectors can be transferred easily to aircraft when the technologies are ready for industrial use. (Plano. To satisfy these expectations aircraft companies are looking for new technologies. the need for lighter materials is even stronger in space applications. so that the development of new materials is mainly driven by the space industry. This value is 100 times as high as it is in the automotive sector. 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. although these developments are mainly driven by other application fields such as the automotive or information and communication sector. ductility and lightness. but to a smaller extent compared to space applications. 2002) The most important properties addressed by aerospace materials are strength. On the other hand. Main reasons are GDP growth. impact resistance. In addition.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%. The main objective is to reduce the weight of the airframe. toughness. There is also a need for new sensors and miniaturised electronic components. 28 . 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. stiffness. increased globalisation.

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

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

1).3. reinforced with carbon nanotubes. good adhesion to the polymer matrix and achieving a high loading rate. multi walled carbon nanotubes) layer(s) of graphite. 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. 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 10.000-fold increase in price compared to standard fibres and the lack of an appropriate industrial-scale production method. wear resistance and resilience • thermal shock. 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.A further improvement can be expected by substituting micrometre fibres in these composites by fibres in the nanometre range. Advantages of nanomaterials are: • ultra high strength to weight ratio • improved hardness. can lead to a weight reduction of 60-70% compared with current fibre-reinforced polymers. 31 . Fibre-reinforced polymers • Carbon Nanotubes (CNT): Hollow tubes of one (SWCNT. Figure 3. single walled carbon nanotubes) or more (MWCNT. Estimations are made that aluminium.

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

000ft altitude. the aircraft’ aluminium bodies would have to be much thicker. gradients) of mechanical properties well beyond more conservative chemical or metallurgical approaches. so it can allow a higher onboard pressure. nanomaterials could give rise to even stronger composite materials than those made with traditional carbon fibres. As mentioned above. Although these examples are not focused on aircraft applications. making them prohibitively heavy. aiming at a weight reduction and therefore decreased fuel consumption and costs because of the strength of nanomaterials as described above. the cabins of airliners are pressurized to avoid the need for oxygen masks. Keeping the cabin pressure at ground level. It is expected that as a result passengers will be far less tired. (Physorg. One example is the development of bullet proof materials for sensitive parts. e. potentially giving rise to self-healing composites (if sufficient migration occurs to seal cracks). Visionary ideas include fault tolerant and self-healing materials. equivalent to being outside at 6. 2006) Substituting stronger material of the same weight can increase the impact resistance of aircraft skin material. 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.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. For example experiments have been undertaken with spherical particles of about five nanometres underneath silicon oxide. The new Boeing 787 will be built from a stronger carbon fibre composite. Aircraft safety and security is also being increased through the use of new materials in the interior. and could allow onboard pressure to be increased further. but the onboard air is still much thinner than on the ground — typically the cabin atmosphere is equivalent to an altitude of 8. The MaxPlanck-Institut für Eisenforschung is working on filled nanocapsules in zinc coatings for self-healing on cut-edges. the cockpit door. the nanoparticles automatically migrate toward cracks in the silicon oxide. Another reason for using stronger materials is to enhance passenger comfort. • • • • • 33 . g.000ft. For example.g. It has been shown that nanoparticles dispersed throughout a material can migrate to cracks. (Robbins. the results should be transferable. nanotechnologies might enable further improvements or tailoring (e. 2006) With regards to structural materials. With the right coating.

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

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

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

Gyroscopes are used to track an airplane’s position. Aircraft turbine engines are very flexible in the kind of fuel that they can burn (Valentine. High-density energy-storage technologies are needed to make this a reality. It could be imagined that nanostructures can lead to further reductions in weight and space. (Valentine. The sensors are based on nanoparticles of metal oxides. acceleration. Problems are a suitable industrial production technique of hydrogen and suitable storage technologies. Examples under discussion are hydrogen or cryogenic fuels. There is still much to learn about the correlation between physical and chemical properties and measured combustion performance. they can be used as very sensitive sensors for different gases.4. 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. 2006). Advances in nanotechnology could enable superconductive materials to eventually be manufactured at a cost that could justify their application in airliner propulsion. Nanosensors can be used for the early detection of fires in the cargo compartment of aircraft.• Nano-sized energetic metals and boron particles possess desirable combustion properties such as a high combustion temperature and fast energy release rates. • The conductivity of wires with diameter of a few nanometres is very sensitive to small changes in electrochemical potential. (Kuo. position. A more revolutionary vision is the use of electrically powered propellers. • 37 . Microscopic structures are now being built into chips that perform the same function at far less weight and space. Similar sensors can be used for the detection of biological and chemical toxins. temperature. 2006) 3. Cleaner and alternative fuels may help in reducing harmful emissions. Because of this. Nanomaterials are being widely investigated for their ability to store hydrogen and other gases and liquids because of their high surface-to-volume ratio. Nanocrystal films of iron-germanium can work as magnetic sensitive material for Hall elements for the measurement of angles and elongations. The vision is based on superconducting energy-storage systems. and flow properties. Sensors In addition to chemical and optical sensors.

which detects damages by a reduction of the network conductivity. For identifying damage within advanced composite materials.• The enhanced use of composite materials leads to the need for a structural health monitoring system. • The main driver in the aviation sector is an improved comfort for passengers. defects or impacts on an aircraft surface. Integrated nano-electronic systems will allow the opening of “the office and home in the sky”.for things 38 • • • • . The results can be used also for applications in aircraft.5. like eddy current testing. Airbus for example is exploring piezoelectric paint made of a lead-zirconate-titanate nanopowder. Again. a network of carbon nanotubes or other nanowires can be used. In this context systems for miniaturized power sources and wireless communication are also required. because traditional methods for testing metallic structures. 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. 2004) • 3. a broader viewing angle and a lighter display compared with LCD displays. and for long term monitoring applications are discussed for future aircraft/spacecraft health monitoring systems. improved flat screens and miniaturized and energy-saving data storage systems would be helpful. Advanced concepts using networks of interoperable micro and nanotechnology sensors for accurate event detection and identification. Nanotube-enhanced conductive plastics can be used for electrostatic dissipation in electronic devices and electromagnetic-wave shielding. This paint could work as a very precise sensor for information about vibrations. 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 . For entertainment systems. 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. Electrical/electronic components and hardware Nanoelectronic systems are being developed for the Information and Communication sector. For example. A research project. which have lower energy consumption. however this is still at a laboratory stage. flat screens utilising carbon nanotubes have been developed. (CANEUS.

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

In the period from 1957 till 2005. The satellite is also used for commercial applications such as communication and GPS. also known as orbital stations. 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. 6376 spacecraft have been launched at an average of 133 per year. Other than military applications. 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. Different types of spacecrafts exist to achieve specific goals in space exploration. Non-orbital spacecrafts called ‘probes’ are used for deep exploration of the universe.1 Introduction The space sector deals with all the technologies associated with travel outside the earth atmosphere. So far only low earth orbit (LEO) stations are implemented. rockets are usually used to launch satellites or other payloads. A satellite is an unmanned spacecraft used for several scientific applications such as earth observation and planetary exploration. A shuttle is also a vehicle used to transport humans into space. Spacecrafts are also developed for both military and civilian applications.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 space station is an artificial structure designed for humans living in outer space. The importance of the space sector can be emphasised by the number of spacecrafts launched. This section will cover civilian applications.

Mars manned flights.qc.html NASA strategic plan. • As nanotechnologies cover all the scientific fields implicated in spacecraft enhancements (materials.g. http://www. Titan or Pluto exploration and extreme heat of atmosphere re-entry) Facing mechanical constraints of launching by suitable engines and structures. Of the 6376 launches. energy). electronics. 1674 communication or weather satellites were also launched1.pdf 41 . life support. 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. Technological improvements can bring solutions to achieve those objectives. GPS and space tourism companies. 56. Energy generation and storage sub systems. commercial applications are expected to present colossal potential opportunity for communication. But new technologies are also being developed to face traditional space constraints – • • Facing high levels of radiation with suitable materials and electronics.8% were military spacecrafts and 43. This goal will require the development of autonomous spacecraft and in the case of manned mission consider technical developments to sustain life in space. Facing extreme temperatures and temperature variation (e. As costs are considered proportional to weight.78 launched in 2005.2% were civilian. • The development of commercial space applications will be faced with the problem of decreasing costs.sciencepresse. http://www. health management knowledge have to be developed to meet the challenges of harsh environment in space. The space sector has been a strategic field for all the industrial nations. 245 manned missions have been launched in this period. The remaining spacecrafts launches have been exploration missions. Space exploration is the oldest human dream and the present national space programs are very ambitious (e. between the extreme cold of Mars.g.nasa. 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. extra solar system exploration2).ca/clafleur/ studying them for 1 2 The spacecraft encyclopedia. As spaceflights become common.

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

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

2 gigapascal for high-carbon steel). 2003). Another further advantage of carbon nanotubes based materials is the possibility of creating monitored materials. Air Force laboratories and California State 44 . According to the electrical properties of carbon nanotubes. 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. Carbon nanofibres with graphene layers wrapped into perfect cylinders are called carbon nanotubes. among other things within the ranges of space structures. Despite the exceptional value for spacecraft technology. cups or plates. ESA) is based on the development and application of carbon nanotubes based material improvements. Due to their unusual properties (elasticity. Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Aerospace Corporation4. In particular there is a huge potential for mass savings in space structures. 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. thermal control devices. stiffness: about 1 terapascal. 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. Carbon nanofibres are cylindrical nanostructures with graphene layers arranged as stacked the space sector. nano-crystalline aluminium alloys were developed for space applications by the company DWA Aluminium Composites in co-operation with different US-American aerospace companies. sensor technology. In a SBIR project of NASA. which represents one of the main goal of futures spacecraft. carbon nanotubes possess numerous application potentials in space. Carbon nanotubes A carbon nanotube is a sort of carbon nanofibre. 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. electronics. gas storage and biomedicine. 2003). compared with about 10 gigapascal for conventional carbon fibre and 1. It also has links with NASA. The carbon nanotube is the emblematic element of nanotechnologies because it is the most promising. A substantial part of the nanotechnology programme of the main space agencies (NASA.

reinforced polymers.1. The second problem is concerning the transfer of the molecular properties to macroscopic materials are still unsolved. A partnership between NASA and Idaho Space Material (ISM) (NASA. Epoxide. 2006) will allow NASA to benefit the high rate carbon nanotubes production (50g per hour) to develop next generation metals. is the alignment and the adhesion of the carbon nanotubes in the matrix.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. charge. Polymers A polymer is an assembly of large molecules consisting of repeating structural units. Composites Composite materials are being produced by mixing nanotubes. polymers and ceramics. Nanoparticle reinforced polymers is being developed by NASA through the SBIR program. 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. decrease permeability. polyphenole or polyimide can be used as polymer matrix. nanowires.1. But carbon nanotubes have the potential to revolutionize several space technologies. so that the loading rate of carbon nanotubes is limited to a little weight percentage and problems of viscosity appear at high loading rate. According to VDI. moisture and chemical resistance.1. or monomers.2. suitable nanoparticles such as silicates (in particular montmorillonite clay). connected by covalent chemical bonds.1. nanoparticles. dissipation and conductivity.1. NASA has conducted the initial qualification tests of nanoparticles reinforced polymers for space application.average price is about $500 per gram and the average quantity production is about 100g per day). 4. Materials using nanoelements 4.1. fullerenes in polymer.2. POSS (Polyhedral Oligomeric SileSquioxanes) are under consideration.g. Nanoparticles can be introduced in polymer to improve their electrical.2. Such composite materials can provide significant enhancement in the 45 . nylon. 4. e. Carbon nanotubes tend naturally to agglomerate. carbon. or metal matrices.g. ceramic.2. The properties of composites that can be significantly improved are thermal and flame resistance. composites. e. thermal or mechanical properties.

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

These characteristics of the composite.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. 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. Its application is non-destructive damage detection in CFRP during mechanical loading that is a key parameter in space structure (Kostopoulos et al. are expected to be useful during the processing steps above glass transition temperature. lightweight structures. Mechanical and electrical properties of the CFRP are enhanced proving their efficiency in ultra lightweight loadbearing structures for harsh environmental conditions. Experiments have shown that when carbon nanotubes are fully dispersed in cyanate-ester resin. creating multifunctional. 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. Investigations are also made in the frame of a CANEUS project to build smart composites.1.Aerospace Corporation shows that cyanate ester trimers interact strongly with the surface of the single walled carbon nanotubes. Another research axis is the introduction of carbon nanofibre in carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP). A variety of micro-nanotechnologies-based sensors and actuators are embedded within these composites. Numerous potential applications exist for such multi-functional structures or failure monitoring.1. the modulus of the cured polycyanurate matrix is approximately doubled.. This also enhances the thermal diffusion coefficient by about 30 percent (CANEUS. 4. at concentrations of only 0.5 percent by weight. 2002). 2005). Carbon nanofibre doped epoxy mixtures are used as a matrix material for the preparation of unidirectional CFRP. Enhancing thermal properties can be useful to protect structure of space extreme temperatures.2. The use of carbon nanofibre as nano-sensors for the damage detection within the matrix material of the CFRP is investigated. as opposed to the bare polymer matrices. 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”. This nanoreinforced resin can improve the resin-dominated properties such as shear strength of carbon fibre polycyanurate composites used in space hardware for stiff. Carbon nanotubes thermal characteristics have also been tested to create new polymer properties. “smart” materials.

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

optical characteristics. Finally. It controls all the vital systems of the vehicle (orbit. 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. Major space agencies are engaged in research concerning nanomaterials with new properties and some of them can nearly find applications. one of the key factors of futures applications of nanostructured materials for spacecraft will be the elaboration of efficient characterisation and modelling tools. Electronics Electronics is everywhere on a spacecraft. This is all the more true with nanoscale materials because of their small size and specific characteristics.4. attitude determination. stronger and cheaper structure. flame. decrease permeability. 2006). 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. 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. 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. 4. This research will find applications in the longer term than nanoparticles integration.2 Materials conclusion Nanoscale materials represent a major stake for spacecraft because of the opportunity they bring to build new structures with specific thermal. resistance. +++ : very strong interest 49 . radiations resistant Improve thermo mechanical properties. electrical.3. communication between the 6 +: normal . ++: strong interest . charge dissipation Improve thermo mechanical properties Improve thermo mechanical properties.2.

energy transformation) and all the science payloads. 4.3. And nanotechnologies show promises to achieve these goals by the use amongst others of carbon nanotubes.1012 cm-2 that is comparable to the space environment. It is all the more important as electronics devices use nanotechnologies because some characteristics they engender are not foreseeable. Indeed nanotechnologies promise enhancement of actual electronics devices properties reducing their size. Experiences were made with carbon nanotubes based field effect transistors exposed to 10-35 MeV proton beams with a fluency of 4. Not only do they present exceptional conductive characteristics but they also have a non-negligible advantage for space use: their radiation resistance. It will be useful to detect and anticipate failures due to space harsh conditions. A recent study of Prof.1 Carbon nanotubes for transistors Carbon nanotubes have potential to become the base of almost electronics devices for spacecraft. 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. Kwanwoo Shin at Sogang University showed that: First. Nevertheless it is important to note that nanotechnologies in spite of their prefix “nano” don’t represent a huge potential for miniaturization. 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. Thus nanotechnologies applications for spacecraft electronics are essentially spin off from ground electronics sector because they pursue the same goals: decreasing price. electronics device became more radiation tolerant when their dimensions are reduced. Secondly. is the exposure to highs rates of radiation. Finally an important aspect of nanoelectronics for spacecraft as well as for nanomaterials will be modelling and characterisation of electronics devices. For this specific aspect the best technologic answer is carbon nanotubes that show natural high radiation resistance properties.1010 – 4. proton irradiations have no effects on the electrical properties of carbon nanotubes based field effect transistor.different parts of the vehicle. None of the 50 .

radiations. 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. So the current most advanced researches concern hybrid Si approaches in merging carbon nanotubes based devices and structures with traditional siliconbased technology. But electronics devices containing only carbon nanotubes are difficult to build and cost effective. DNA). “Nanotechnologies offer potential in the development of new non volatile working memories for computer systems. 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.e. carbon nanotubes based memory and magneto electronic (MRAM) storage technologies..” (VDI.2 Memories / Data storage With the increasing number of on-board analysis systems coupled with the lengthening of space flight. biological memories. Biological memory Memories can be realized by making use of biological molecules (proteins.devices that were fabricated for the experiment exhibited any significantly altered electrical changes before and after proton irradiation (Hong et al.” (VDI. 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).3. 2006). 4. 2003) ferroelectric (FRAM memory based on the ferroelectricity of certain crystals). extremes temperatures. 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. which will compete in the future with conventional memory chips like DRAM. mechanical constraints. Zettacore Company is currently 51 . memories have to increase their storage density decreasing mass memory.. Bacteriorhodopsin (bR) is one of the molecules intensively examined for memory applications. They also have to face space constraints like others electronics components i. Porphyrin is another molecule that can be used as memory.

This innovation involves using the change of SEM image contrast and brightness caused by removal of surface carbonaceous deposit as an end point. 2003) The use of spintronics in this field represents conception advantages and potential size decreasing. New and innovative uses of advanced analytical techniques are needed that allow imaging. MRAM This magneto electronic storage technology presents several advantages for space application such as low energy consumption. SRAM and flash memory. the process of cutting and imaging can be repeated at nanoscale increments until the entire 7 See: http://www.pdf 52 . Experiments were also made with data storage on diamonds with Fluorine and Hydrogen atoms on its surface.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. Thus. (VDI. 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. NRAM NRAM is carbon nanotubes based memory. inherent radiation resistance and suitability for high temperature application. NRAM has the potential to serve as universal memory replacing all existing forms of memory. 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. Nantero is developing this technology and announce in 2006 the routine production of carbon nanotubes for their memory applications7. 4. highdensity non-volatile Random Access Memory. and detailed examination of every part of the features of interest at the nanoscale. That’s why The Aerospace Corporation created an innovative tool for failure analysis at the nanoscale. such as DRAM.developing this technology. This structure increases data quantity stored by 107.

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). 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 : NANO-3D. 2005). 4.html A complementary approach is to prevent geometrical defects by performing simulation software.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.. Figure 4. 53 .3. 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. data storage increase Space harsh conditions resistance (radiations). 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.structure containing the features of interest is physically deconstructed. data storage increase Space harsh conditions resistance (radiations). Aerospace Corporation http://www. It can then be digitally reconstructed from the images taken after each cut (Ives et

with better outputs can allow spacecraft to be more autonomous and so to stay in space for farther missions. power distribution and power regulation and control.snpe.asp 54 . This subsystem is a key component for current space stakes because smaller energetic systems. The American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics as well as SNPE8 are currently exploring ways to improve those using nanoparticles of Aluminium. http://www. Autonomy improvement is also very important in the case of emergencies situations and can be determinant to save a mission. Nanotechnologies can be used to enhance current propellants essentially with the introduction of nanoparticles. Energy generation and storage Spacecraft electrical power subsystem (EPS) typically provides four basic functions: power source. 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. Propellants Propellants are typically a power source essential for rockets or shuttles. Weight and size decrease with efficiency increase to avoid self heating of electrical power subsystem also make cheaper vehicles. energetic materials. 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. The aluminium particles sizes range between 60 and 120 nm and experimentally measured combustion wave speeds varied between 420 and 460 m/s.4. energy storage. Rockets and shuttle need huge propulsion energy for launching using propellants. 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. 4.4. The energy problematic is common to all the spacecraft. Propellants usually used for space launching are ammonium per chlorate (NH4ClO4). All spacecraft also need efficient energy storage and conversion systems during flights for their orbiting and their other on board subsystems. The most common formulation is aluminium nanoparticles mixed with molybdenum trioxide (MoO3) or bismuth trioxide (Bi2O3). Combustion wave speeds in excess of 1km/s with an under 8 SNPE is a chemical group specialised in explosives.4. and satellites need adapted propulsion systems smaller with high energy conversion rate.1. As propulsion subsystem is an energy liberation

2. But they are still expensive and versatile which limit their use. The conversion efficiency of solar cells may be improved by using semiconductor quantum dots. Anti-reflective or self-cleaning coatings and collectors can also improve the efficiency of converting solar energy to electric power. 2003) Researchers from Georgia Tech are working on ways to mimicking lotus self-cleaning coatings. 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). 2001). 2006). 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. 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. The use of nanomaterials is expected to significantly increase the efficiency of solar cells. (VDI. Results indicate that burn rate increased with decreasing particle size. the issues of volume production. it refers to an important subset of nanoenergetics). 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. that is why nanoparticles of aluminium appears to be a promising alternative to traditional aluminium powder. Thus. 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 . Others research is turned to ion thrusters like Boron Argon or Xenon.4. (VDI. 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. 4. Aluminium powder has been used as an additive to propellant and explosives for decades.pressure of several hundreds atmosphere. Solar cells Solar cells appear to be one of the most promising energy production systems. Conversion efficiencies of over 50% may be possible with such compound semiconductor solar cells (Aroutiounian et al. Recent advances in particle synthesis technology have allowed aluminium nanoparticles to be produced in commercial quantities. heat and corrosion resistance)..

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

But several problems appear with the creation of this kind of materials like with securing bulk amounts of small-diameter nanotubes. 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. The use of carbon nanotubes allows facing the high price of platinum and also the problem of radiation degradation. Another hollow tubular structure. inexpensive molecule: Ethylene could become the future of H2 storage. 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. The critical problem with hydrogen fuel cells is hydrogen storage that prevents the use of hydrogen fuel cells power sources. BCN (Boron Carbon Nitride nanotubes) shows promise because of its possibility for tuning nanostructures electrical properties by B/N concentration variation. Carbon nanotubes can also be used as anode materials. 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. bipolar plate interconnect in both hydrogen and direct methanol fuel cells. 2003). They provide higher power density and double conversion efficiency compared to DMFC. solid polymer electrolyte additive. The poisoning of the catalyst by carbon monoxide is one of the main obstacles.S. DMFC used a catalyst to convert methanol fuel to hydrogen. 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. NASA) investigated the use of carbon nanotubes to enhance current hydrogen storage system. That’s why various alternatives are studied in laboratories. 57 .catalysts. The other type of fuel cell is hydrogen fuel cells. active cathode material. Scientists from NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and Turkey’s Bilkent University predict that a well-known. membranes and hydrogen storage. which in many cases is critical for the employment of fuel cell technology in space. Moreover carbon nanotubes didn’t appear as cost relevant as it promised. Fuel storage is also considered to be a problem in implementing fuel cells (VDI. Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) are one platform for generating energy.. 2006). As the U. 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. Indeed due to their hollow tubular nature.

Nickel hydrogen or nickel metal hydride batteries are essentially used in small sized elements like for extra vehicular activity (EVA) suit devices and experiments. 2004 cited in VDI.4. 2003). Carbon nanotube anodic layers around metal cathodes. such as Cu. Cathode material can be built with carbon aerogels.4.5 Energy conclusion Various types of energy generation and storage already exist.. Nanostructured materials offer improvements power density and durability by controlling the charge diffusion and the oxidation state on a nanoscale level (Khullar et al. 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. Thin film batteries (in particular Li ion batteries).4. reducing their size and so their costs. with nanomaterials TiO2 as cathode. 2003) 4. Batteries Space power systems used high performance batteries such as lithium ion or nickel metal hydride accumulators for powering devices. are currently investigated as well as Li and K intercalation in single-wall carbon nanotube bundles and/or multiwall nanotubes. Nanotechnologies have the potential to improve their achievements. nanoparticles of cobalt nickel and ferric oxides in the electrode material (Poizot et al. (VDI.. That is why powerful and miniaturized batteries are needed to improve portative tools autonomy. 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. Carbon nanotubes and fullerenes therefore provide an alternative to current anode fabrication technology with graphitic carbon. The increasing miniaturization of electronic components requires flexible batteries that can be integrated into circuits. In lithium ion batteries. offer numerous advantages for space applications. a polyaniline derivative. Other experiments report increasing energy density with MnO2 or poly (o-anisidine) (POAS). carbon nanotubes. whose dimensions and power density can be adapted to the respective chip components. 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. Those applications are explored for both ground and space sectors but space research is more focused on 58 . 2000) can increase reversible charge capacity by 600%. vanadium oxide or LiCoO2-particles and anode with Sn/Sb oxides.4.

With the development of longer manned mission and space tourism. hygiene. Nanotechnologies can bring technological solutions to astronauts’ daily problems. health monitoring. decontaminating. pressure monitoring. waste water treatment. 4. air cleaning and filtration. monitoring of water quality.those topics because energy is a key point for future spacecraft according to the increasing need of autonomy. Nanotechnology is expected to improve the selectivity of these gas sensors. Various types of metal oxide and ceramic nanopowders can be used to improve the performance of electrochemical sensors. CO2 removal. avoiding moistures.5. nanotechnologies can find potential application in gas storage. (VDI. According to NASA. enhancing on board life management become a necessity. carbon nanotubes integration is more a middle term vision because of the difficulties for its manufacturing. wastewater treatment and sensors.1. ventilation. Gas sensors: The electronic nose based on gas sensors is used for monitoring air quality and to detect fire warning. 2003) 4. 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.5. There are numerous applications of nanotechnology within life support. The important life support tasks have been summarised by VDI as oxygen supply. control of air quality and humidity. filtering. (VDI. monitoring the life on the International Space Station or in shuttles is a real challenge. 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. Life support Life support is becoming a key research axis in space sciences. 2003) 59 . heat absorption and rejection. Global life support As long travel mission for human far exploration are seriously engaged.

inorganic particles. enhancing medical system is becoming a key point of longer manned mission. a company devoted to the build of nanosensors. CO and H2S. Medical systems With the development of deep space living flights. which can change colours when appropriately formulated. But another function of the nanocarpet can be cleansing. coli. bacteria. They integrate multiple sensor elements consisting of isolated networks of single walled carbon nanotubes decorated with metal nanoparticles (for chemical selectivity). 2006). 2003) 4.g. The advantage of Nano-membrane is reduced pore blockage as compared to conventional membranes.pdf Water cleaning: Pollutants and germs can be effectively removed from water using Nano-membranes.2. 2004). known for its ability to disrupt cell membranes and cause cell death. pollen. spores).. Efficiency was proved for H2.. the following should be mentioned among other things: 60 . Argonide is developing nano-porous ceramic filter membranes for the sterilization of treated water in a NASA SBIR project. As critical risks for astronauts. Unlike other nanotubes structures. these tubes display sensitivity to different agents by changing colour and can be trained to kill 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. Figure 4.acs. Researchers from NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory developed a such as E.. (VDI. Its function is first trapping microscopic particles for scientific analysis (Noca et al. The resulting molecule would have the desired properties of both biosensor and biocide (Russell et al.5. Indeed a particular nanocarpet combines a quaternary ammonium salt group. University of Pittsburgh researchers enhance nanocarpet to create one that not only traps particles but also kills bacteria and others pathogens. with a hydrocarbon diacetylene.NASA researches are focused on the topic of miniaturized sensors.cgi/jpcbfk/2006/110/i42/pdf/jp064371z. This unique structure is a carpet of self assembling carbon nanotubes that can be used for trapping microscopic particles or micro organisms (e.3 : Nanomix sensor http://pubs. CH4. 2004). Nanomix. with just a jab to its cell membrane.

The main objectives include minimal invasive.Miniaturized analytical devices for medical diagnostics like lab-on-achip-systems that allow complex analysis sequences by individual controllable micro valves and channels. which are specifically bonded to the 61 . insufficient methods for on-board medical therapy and diagnostics (Stilwell. Numerous research programs of NASA focus on life sciences in co-operation with other federal institutions (e. 2006). methods of early diagnosis in particular of cancer.bone. 2001). the most promising method is the Fountain Pen Nanolithography. muscle. . as well as small and compact test kits. performance loss. of the immune system. miniaturized diagnostics and autonomous therapy. 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. 2003) They aim to apply nanotechnologies to achieving space medical systems. DNA) like gold nanoparticles. efficient and mobile detection systems. Another key point is the miniaturization of medical devices in order to adapt them to space transport. 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. high speed analyses. NIH) or industrial partners. thus combining both top-down and bottom-up paradigms. for gene analysis) that allows simultaneous detection of different analytes.g. 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. Applications of nanotechnologies can be identified in: . radiation damages. This biochip is build on a basis of multi walled carbon nanotubes array used to collect electrochemical signals associated with the target bio molecules.Oligonucleotide biochips (e. semiconductor nano-crystals (quantum dots) or also magnetic nanoparticles.g. A CANEUS project is currently working on the future of this technique integrating micro fluidics with nanofabrication. bio molecular imaging. Substantial progress was made in this field by the conception of MEMS based medical devices. (VDI. UCLA has developed in partnership with NASA a lab-on-a-chip for blood testing that can allow direct on board tests (Amudson. distortion of the sense of balance. heart and blood circulation problems.Nanoparticles use for the detection of molecules (proteins. . To produce that kind of device.

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


TECH SAT 21). 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.0M $2.2M $0. 2005) Target Costs for Satellite Classes Show 100x improvement! Total Cost $316 M $4.nasa.1-1 kg $1.g.0M $0.cgi?order=&sat_code=STA3&sat_name=Starshine3&tab_id=general 66 .1M $0. • Optimise structure and function of various payloads that will be described in this part.nps.0 M $ Target Costs ($ million) Satellite Mass Group (including Manufacturing Launch Insurance fuel) $154.pdf NASA has several missions already including micro technologies on nano or picosatellite (e. coordinated formation flying (in 2011) (Delft University of Technology and Systematic. power management. data management.gsfc. communications and control. several engineering schools build satellite programs for their students. attitude and stationkeeping.4M Figure 4. Delphi C3. 10 See: They are also implicated in test research program called Space Test Program (SPT) to test various new technologies directly on board satellites (e. 2005 and Star shine 3 Satellite10) Thus. nanotechnologies will not revolutionize the miniaturization process because MEMS technologies have already allowed significant weight reductions. Delft University of Technology and Systematic. ST5).5 : CANEUS http://www.g. 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.0M $62.000 kg Sat 1-10 kg $3. 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.the on board nanotechnologies integration.5M $0. OPAL mission. To achieve the goal of on board testing. autonomous navigation (in 2011).8M Nano Sat Pico Sat 0.csba.0 M Large >10.

It receives. We can note that power wires are developed by Rice University under a NASA contract. Data handling subsystem: The data handling subsystem is basically the on-board computer for the satellite.So satellite miniaturization has the potential to accelerate introduction of advanced nanotechnologies not only in satellites but also in all the spacecraft. Satellite subsystems Satellites are divided in various subsystems. This sub-system implies both use of advanced software and hardware. (VDI. 4.1.6.g. The detectors can include optical detectors (e. validates. It also gathers processes and formats spacecraft housekeeping and mission data for downlink or use on board. Tools used in those subsystems (e. decodes and distributes commands from the ground. Nanotechnologies applications for electronics can contribute to the protection against space radiations but another nanotechnology application could enhance data handling performances.g. Even if it is a longterm application. a gyroscope) have to be more efficient and secure and on the other hand have to be as light as possible. 67 . micro nanotechnologies star mappers). 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. magnetometers (to determine attitude with respect to the geomagnetic field) and MEMSbased sensors to determine the rate of angular motion (NASA. 2003) The main potential advantage quantum computing represent is still its potential to secure data transmission by efficient information encoding.and three-quit quantum computers capable of some simple arithmetic and data sorting. responsible for several jobs. Nanotechnological developments relevant to this area include both detectors to monitor spacecraft dynamics and devices to control those dynamics. 2001). All the nanotechnologies potentialities in this field were described in the part dedicated to energy. Large technical issues must still be resolved. electrical power subsystem is a strategic point for them. These include building two. payloads or other subsystem. several advances were made in the field of quantum computing. the mains are summarized here: Electrical power subsystem: As satellites are often autonomous spacecraft.

They can be used to detect biological components (e. carbon nanotubes. This includes the instruments for analysis (sensors. 4.6. 2005). Even if there are several different payloads according to their mission. 2005).2. Various technologies are being developed to make sensors based on nanotechnologies such as quantum dots. Several studies were conducted to study the feasibility of miniaturized propulsion subsystems.2 of the present report according to their functions. three main kinds of payloads have been identified: • Sensors • Imaging instruments • Communication systems 4. chemical components (e. Science payloads Science payloads are anything that a spacecraft carries beyond what is required for its operation during flight. In this case sensor miniaturisation will reduce this ability and thus may compromise measurements. 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. nanophotonic waveguide potentially suitable for interconnections needed to build “photonic chips” (Aerospace America. 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. 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. planet atmosphere composition). 2005)) were achieved but a CANEUS project is currently focused on research for low mass. propulsion subsystem is needed to mitigate this effect. or physical components.g. bacteria). imaging tools) in the case of scientific mission and the communication instruments in the case of commercial satellites. Sensors Sensors will use electronics technologies developed in part 2. nanocrystals to enable wavelength-selective emission..6. 68 .2.2.1.g. 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.Propulsion subsystem: Because non-ideal forces can make a satellite move from its trajectory.

Sensors can be used to detect energetic particles specific for space (solar protons. It can improve reliability and safety of crewed vehicles and aid in planetary exploration. expected soon. represents a big step in nanotechnologies application for aerospace. it is considered as the real first nano object used in spacecraft. Even if some nano applications in energy or materials are very soon available. 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. 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. The most advanced structure containing nanosensors is “black box” developed by NASA in collaboration with Aerospace Corporation. routine use of nanosensors is planned for around 2025. This array will be used for the identification of genes. radiation belt electrons. to help reduce the hazards of re-entering debris. if everything goes fine. This CEV will be shown in a demonstration flights by 2008 and manned flights are expected for 2014 (NASA. 2004). DNA. 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. 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. 69 . 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. auroral 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. This black box flight. First tests on earth atmosphere are planned for 2008. Moreover NASA has plan to rapidly use nanosensors systematically in mission to Mars and the moon. 2005). NASA's future replacement for the shuttle. bio molecules that can found on the Mars surface (NASA. Sensors can also be used to detect bio molecules on the principle of ground lab-on-a-chip. The NASA black box or Re-entry Break-up Recorder (REBR) weights about 1 kilogram. Nanosensors would be packed into small spheres to be used with the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV).

A communication system is often made by an antenna to receive and/or emit data. inter satellite.6 : REBR. In the long-term these could prove important because 70 .nasa. MEMS-based phased-array antennae are also investigated. communication intra satellite.6.3.2. between earth and spacecraft. infrared. Even if power data transmission will be different according to the distance to transfer and the kind of photometers for both visible. spectrometers. radars (to collect information of the inside of the planet). 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. no nanotechnologies applications have been identified except the possibility to introduce carbon nanotubes based electronics in instruments. 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. ultra violet. altimeters. technologies developed find applications in all the communication structure.html 4. 4. Communication Nanotechnologies can contribute to the enhancement of data handling.Figure 4. the Aerospace Corporation http://www.6. Except this future application. Concerning instruments themselves. This latter can be build with carbon nanotubes as it investigates by NASA for antenna at optical frequencies. Imaging instruments Imaging instruments include cameras.2. For example.

71 . Twodimensional structures can be routinely manufactured with high precision. intensified efforts are made for the development of threedimensional photonic crystals. 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). Quantum technology.of the critical need for real-time data downlink to support some kind of missions such as the space weather satellite (Kraft. Infrared sensors offer an alternative way of making optical data communication. The current microwaves amplifier used in space are based on “hot cathode” technology.. 2005). 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. or otherwise extract information from. The infrared sensors can benefit from the use of quantum wells. As a kilogram payload roughly costs € 15 000 on a satellite. Long distance transmissions are based on microwaves but traditional microwaves amplifier are heavy (1 kg).g. However nanoscale infrared sensors are not available as yet. a nanoscale electromechanical systems (NEMS) device. The centre for space microelectronics technology at NASA is developing GaAs quantum well infrared sensors (VDI. 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. optoelectronic transducers and photonic components. 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. developed since 2000 at the NASA Glenn Research Centre could also solve the ongoing problem of how to communicate with. the need of payload weight saving is a priority for satellite competitiveness. 2003). Carbon nanotubes can also be used as mass saving for microwaves amplifier. These include e. quantum wires or quantum dots through miniaturisation and improved band gap selection. At present. quantum well or quantum dot lasers and photonic crystals. Quantum information may potentially enable a strong safe information encoding. New metamaterials for antenna arrays are also planned.

Small device integrating several sensors resisting to harsh space conditions Improve their efficiency.htm 72 . their applications have a huge potential to achieve some very old human dreams. Indeed as flying was considered as science fiction two centuries See: http://www. harsh space conditions resistant Enhance security of information Interest +++ +++ Perspective Short term Very short term (available) Middle term Long term + +++ 4. To promote scientific researches for space futuristic vision like space elevator or space colonisation. ESA also explores what can be space future with a collaborative project called Ariadna12. some space dreams that currently appear like science fiction may be achieved one day and surely with the help of nanotechnologies. 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. 4.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. harsh space conditions resistance First nanointegrated object for space. This topic has identified the main activities in nano and pico satellites. 11 12 See: http://www.usra.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.esa. 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.7. As an example aerospace scientist continued to explore the use of nanoscale glass ceramic that enhances internal communication via Futuristic visions If in the near future applications of nanotechnology seem possible for traditional missions.

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).


and Nano-ElectroMechanical Systems. because they may include the integration of all the above technologies plus extremely well-developed motors. 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 tured.8 : NASA TET walker http://gsfctechnology. and applications is already in progress in laboratories. it is possible to envisage nanorobots in the quite near future.nasa. metal rods) for Mars exploration application containing nanotechnologies like advanced nanosensors. quantum information) Nanorobotics A nanorobot could be defined as a robotic system capable of motion and steering in a complex environment. It is the most complex of all the systems conceptualized so far.gsfc.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. sensors. The struts was replaced with metal tape or carbon nanotubes that not only reduce the size of the robots. Traditional motors were replaced with Micro. so it will not require instruction from a whole team of scientists to complete a simple task. collecting surface chemical / biological samples or data. it will be autonomous. A robot called "TETwalker" was tested in 2005 to join the NASA swarm project. It will recognize obstacles and figure out how to get around them. extendable. and communicating with the carrier spacecraft and the earth control station. information safety has to be maintained (e.html . To confirm this trend. Unlike the current wheeled rovers. It has a huge advantage over wheeled rovers because it does not require flat ground to operate properly.g. devices. 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. but also greatly increase the number that can be packed into a rocket because tape and nanotube struts 76 Figure 4. and steering systems to operate in extreme or rough environmental conditions. As research on component materials.

So it explains why nanotechnologies for space applications are more a perspective than a reality.g.4 Futuristic visions conclusion Al those perspectives are in a long-term future and will may not be the most appropriate in this future. These miniature TETwalkers. the space sector has known several technological enhancements allowing more and more scientific explorations and the development of commercial applications. 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. All systems are being designed to adapt and evolve in response to the environment. Nanotechnology is an emerging field that just begin to find applications in ground devices.are fully retractable. This is the NASA first step to completely autonomous robots. nanosensors) and other are more visionary (e. 4.8 Conclusion Since 1957 and the launch of the first spacecraft. allowing the pyramid to shrink to the point where all its nodes touch. 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. the following scheme shows several applications developed in space laboratory according to their potential time to market. Some nano applications can be considered as short term perspective (e. molecular electronics). So to summarize potential nano applications in the space sector in a chronological vision. when joined together in "swarms. It is important to note that most of those applications are middle or long- 77 . 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." will have great advantages over current systems. But what is sure is that space agencies. 4. The swarm has abundant flexibility so it can change its shape to accomplish highly diverse goals.7.

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. This choice is more strategic than scientific and is available for both sciences and commercial applications. Summary of the main nanotechnologies applications for spacecraft according to their time to market 78 . Another key aspect will be the priority that will be given by space agencies to those technological improvements. Nanotechnologies have the potential to enhance spacecraft.term vision and so are dependants of the technological improvements in all the sectors concerned by nanotechnologies. improving space knowledge and have also the potential to be improved by the space sector.

It summarizes the main nanotechnologies applications for spacecraft on a time to market scale.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”. This summary is only conclusions of what was said in this report and under the only valuation of the author. 79 .

Figure 5. operations and airports. 2004-1). 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. safer and cleaner for the environment and quieter for residents around airfields. 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. further and faster to aircraft that are more affordable to travel in. 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. 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 . safety. New standards of quality and effectiveness have been identified as goals to accomplish in order to make European aerospace more competitive. and an efficient air traffic management system. maintenance and disposal of aircraft and related products. The maximum value from funds has been envisaged by facilitation of a European national and private research programs. security.1 Aeronautics Aeronautics is a thriving sector in Europe with two million people employed in manufacturing. 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 . The educational policies should be framed to ensure adequate scientists.Chapter 5: Summary of Needs in Aerospace Research 5. quality and affordability. 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. engineers and other skill sets are available for the aeronautics sector (ACARE4Europe.

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

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

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.5 Environment The impact of carbon dioxide and Nox emissions from the aircraft has added significantly to the greenhouse gas effect.1. Strategies for combating climate change have been suggested such as combining routes of large aircraft.1: Relating environmental goals and research challenges 83 . Goal Environment Research Challenge Drag reduction through conventional and novel shapes Fuel additives Noise reduction New Propulsion concepts Emission reduction Environmentally friendly production.g. In order to accomplish environmental goals the development of oil free systems and replacement of polluting hydraulic fluid with more electrical technologies (for e. 5. maintenance and disposal Better aircraft/engine integration Table 5. reducing taxi time and eliminating circling. lower cruise speed.system that is expected to drive down costs significantly (ACARE4Europe. The change in the atmospheric chemistry is complex and not understood very well. encouraging short haul flights. 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%. braking system) in hydraulic power generation should be under further consideration. 2004-2). 2004-2). 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. enhanced video monitoring of passengers are some measure to be further considered. Noise produced by aircraft is another problem that is being addressed by better design of aircraft. The use of biometric controls for pilot identification. 2004-2). bio fuels. Alternative fuels such as liquid hydrogen. Protection against missile attacks on passenger aircraft should be developed. Research in low noise component design.1.Research in other strategies such as reduction in emission by reducing fuel burning has been proposed by aerodynamic improvements. Research in lean combustion should be considered in order to meet the goals. Protection against electromagnetic threats and secure communication data link are essential for the aircraft. engines with reduced complexity and weight thereby reducing the fuel consumption. 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. New engine designs such as the ultra high by pass ratio. New combustion technology and injection systems should be developed to achieve an 80% reduction in Nox. using heat signature reduction while providing detection and jamming facilities. 84 . 2004-2).6 Safety and Security Post 9/11 the security of the aircraft and passengers is considered of paramount importance. synthetic fuels and liquefied natural gas are should be considered for further development (ACARE4Europe. Development of laminar flow design is needed for aerodynamics though innovation is required to reduce the complexity. Micro-nanotechnologies are expected to provide novel concepts to reduce the noise in the aircraft. The need for measuring techniques for boundary layer. Nox control remains a main problem that is not addressed even by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by improving thermal efficiencies. 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. Development of designs in more adaptive structures would reduce the need for additional control surfaces. are expected to deliver higher standards of security for aircraft (ACARE4Europe. 5. acoustic measurement under cryogenic condition and combustion are required for improved aircraft design. The Nox emissions are dependent on the take off weight and range of the aircraft. landing gear faring and acoustic panels should be further developed. geared fan and contra fan have been developed to reduce noise but complete elimination cannot be achieved without a radically new design. Development of on-board explosive detection systems equipped with high sensitivity sensors and alarm systems.

The research challenges that relate to the quality and affordability have been stated in the table 5.2: Relating Goal and Research Challenge for Safety and Security 5.3: Research needs from Strategic Quality and Affordability goals translating to research challenges 85 .1.Goal Safety Research Challenge Flight hazard protection Advanced avionics Probability and risk analysis Computational methods Human error checking systems 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 5.7 Quality and affordability Improving the quality of the flying and the flight experience has been an important driver.3 below.

missions and collaborations. The table below gives the overview of some of the associated research challenges in Table 5. 5. 86 .4: Relating European Air Transport System relation with Research Challenges 5.1. systems and sub systems. intelligent and integrated ATM ground.10 Current Research The research can be broadly divided into 5 themes in the nanotechnology sector: structure and materials.8 European Air Transport System Europe is aiming to integrate the air transport system by improving management of air transportation.1. Enhancement in the computing power with the application of nanotechnology to transistors is expected to greatly enhance centralized and dispersed operations. Strategic Goal European Air Transport System Research Challenge Innovative ATM operational concepts Advanced. application needs and requirements.9 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. 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. reliability and packaging.5. Improvements in computing power are also expected to bring benefits to robotics leading to the development of independent robots controlling specific tasks.1.4.

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

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

A multi-disciplinary approach to training with excellent communication skills. 2004-1). In addition 50.1.000 additional human resources would be required to fulfil the need to research goals.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.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.6% of the GDP to the individual member states. the demand for specialists with good fundamental knowledge of aerospace is set to rise.1. The annual turnover and number of people employer in US in this sector is more than twice of that by EU.thermal imaging camera’s for rescue and police work and advanced business project management. 5. 5.1.12 Funding and investment Aerospace and aviation is considered an important sector for Europe. Measure to increase the production of research output is required as opposed to importing the research outputs. 2004-1). 5. Reviewing the research needs ACARE has recommended an increase in funding by 65% over a 20-year period that is being invested currently. The benefits from the sector are creation of 3 million jobs and 2. Contrasting the initiative to the American effort where 87% of the known airliners are being built. It has been estimated that public funding in US is three times that of the European Union and its member states. There has 89 . Another trend observed with graduating students is the fall in the number of students being recruited by the technology supply chain. open mindedness and cultural awareness is required. A skills shortage is expected in the aerospace sector partly due to demographics and reduced attractiveness of the aerospace sector. Indirect benefits through lifestyle and the way business is being done has been estimated to be 10% of the GDP. 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. Similarly the amount of US export in the aerospace sector is also known to be twice of the European Union (ACARE4Europe.

1.1. Greater research is required in the development nanotechnologies for aeronautic applications.2 Statement of needs for Research and Development in Space 5. 5. There is also an imminent need to increase communication between research communities in aeronautics research and nanotechnology research. The implementation of emerging technologies in aeronautics lags a decade or in some cases even more.been an alignment between courses offered at Universities and aerospace employers needs.2.1 Introduction The exploration of the vastness of space has driven the active development of space programmes in various countries. An exhaustive survey of 384 organizations in Europe. 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. development and implementation of nano-scale technologies in aeronautics would increase the global competitiveness of this industry. With the increased global competition. The identification. 90 . 5.16 Conclusion Aeronautics and aviation is an important sector for the European industry. 5. 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. North America and Asia has revealed that 74% of research is being conducted in research institutions (illustrated in figure 1).15 SME The supply chain orientation is so that large companies play a central role in integration. This would require development of lean practices that improve the performance of the SME. The need for a pan European accreditation has also been beginning with a voluntary system in the aeronautical discipline has been made. 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. The SME business in the supply chain would need to implement global best business practices and leverage industrial alliances to become more competitive. The technological development has also spurred activity that has been beneficial for terrestrial applications as well.

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

92 .com). and production of CNTs of a uniform size and in high volume (Science Daily. design impact resistance space stations or astronaut suits. Further research is required for the successful demonstration of their reinforcing properties.nanocompositech. New research is required in light nanocomposite materials. miniaturized cooling loops and heat exchangers. and improving safety and flexibility of space missions. Materials such as metals reinforced with ceramic fibres such as silicium carbide. 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. Production issues have limited the use of CNTs in reinforced polymers. thermal expansion and low density. alignment and adhesion of carbon nanotubes in reinforced polymers (www. aluminium oxide and aluminium nitride are being examined for application in various airframe structures of spacecraft. 2003).2. Nanoparticles such as silicates (montmorillonite) and POSS (polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane) are also being considered for reinforcing polymers. Applications based on CNTs are expected only in the long term. 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. 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. These include: development large-scale production methods ( proof of concept and validation. uniform dispersion of CNTs in the matrix of the composite material. Each of these research needs or concepts is considered of some strategic importance to the space objectives. CNT yarns could be potentially used for weaving larger fibres that may have applications in electromagnetic shielding. The various technology solutions are at different stages such as fundamental or basic research. Metal matrix composites have excellent properties such as high heat resistance. applied research. 2003). Reduction of costs is also an important parameter for space missions. thermal conductivity. Nanomaterials research could contribute to the successful achievement of these goals. 5.2 Nanomaterials for space craft structure Space research has been driven by the goal to reduce the lift-off mass of spacecraft. However further research is required to develop macroscopic components that may translate into applications (Zweck & Luther. thermal control elements. 2005).space.

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

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

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

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

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

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

polymer films and electrochemical sensors based on tin oxide. Bimolecular nanotechnology is another area in which NASA is actively developing a biological-geological-chemical laboratory for life detection and science. One of the main problems faced on long flightmanned mission is that of radiation from space. Space applications of sensors may have terrestrial applications. astronomy. Therefore research is being undertaken to monitor. Research is required in decreasing quantum losses and improving quantum yields of the nanoporous silicon. Quantum well IR sensors have been developed based on gallium arsenide fabricated using molecular beam epitaxy. 2005). Although the spacecraft shield will protect the craft. 5.2. Infra-red (IR) sensors are used for satellite-based observation of the earth. Research is required in improvement of sensors based on quantum wells. Research is also ongoing in the area of nanoscale sensing. Schottky diodes are used for detecting hydrogen or hydrocarbons under extreme conditions. Research is required in validating the use of Schottky diodes and increasing the sensitivity. 99 . research of the atmosphere. prevent and treat these effects (AIAA. Research is also needed on nanopowders used as coatings on sensors for improved sensitivity and robustness.Ann Harbor to develop nanosensors based on nanoparticles that will monitor the effect of radiation in space. Further research is required in integrating electrochemical sensors with CMOS circuits. Sun sensors based on nanoporous silicon are expected to benefit from nanomaterials research. especially in the automotive industry. The absorption of gas molecules on the surface of the diode produces a change in the electrical conductivity. ventilation. adaptable and self-healing systems for extended missions. reducing weight of heat exchangers by using nanomaterials.6 Life support systems NASA is researching bio-inspired. Research is required in realizing these sensors for long wave infrared radiation. Further research is also required in integrating the sun sensors into spacecraft such as satellites. pressure monitoring. on 6 month long mission to mars the most advanced heat shield will may not be able to protect the astronauts. NASA is working in collaboration with University of Michigan. Nanotechnology may potentially offer solutions for supporting life functions such as oxygen and nitrogen storage. navigation and optical data communication. quantum wires and quantum dot nanostructures. assessment and therapeutic delivery for medical autonomy.

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

vacuum and high pressures. Feasibility studies are required in visionary applications such as solar sails for interplanetary spacecraft and extremely light solar generators for solar powered satellites. Intelligent sensing requires research in areas that combine novel material properties such as optical. heal and replicate in response to changes in the environment. An approach inspired by bottom-up nanobiotechnology may provide a novel solution. 101 . Molecular Nanotechnology and electronics for space NASA is aiming to develop structures and systems that can adapt. Other applications where thin film technology can be usefully applied are – large telescopes. Research is also need in intelligent multi-functional structures that can be used for active control.8 Visionary Applications Visionary applications are. One of the main challenges for the bio-inspired approach is the extreme environment of space where there are high temperatures. Biomimetic material development is required to realize enhanced functionalities such as selforganization. strain tolerant and have high adhesion strength. thermal and mechanical. The heat insulating layer of rocket engines are required to be temperature stable. self-healing and self-replication.2. evolve. For example. at most. However. Organic molecules such as benzene have potential in future nanoelectronic circuits. a. mirrors and antennas. further research is required to improve the level of current obtained from molecular electronic devices (Globus. Problems in synthesizing such molecules have also been reported. 5. 1999). and it is essential that they are developed with rigorous fail-safes to ensure safe application. at the basic research stage.Thermal protection layers are used in the re-entry to act as heat shields and for thermally insulating the rocket engines. a bio-inspired approach based on viruses and bacteria could pose a hazard to human health. molecular connections are among the main problems to be solved before molecular computing at femto second can become a reality. as they can act as building blocks. Finally. high radiation. robust. Research is needed in manufacturing processes such as pulse laser deposition that ensures high precision and reproducibility. Artificial self-replicating systems are considered to be in their infancy. and require several technological solutions before they can be reliably applied in space.

and the development of dedicated integrated circuits for communication systems (Torres et al. Among other solutions needed are tether technology for the cable. 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.1 kg) and the satellite on a chip (less than 100g) concept. micro-thrusters and nuclear-batteries (Simonis & Schilthuizen. navigation and energy generation. and vibrations created by the flowing winds.10 kg). 1999).1. picosatellite (0. infrared and solar) based on optical fibres or MEMS. 2000).b.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). Nanotechnologies that have potential application in nanosatellites but require further integration studies are sensors (magnetic. Research is required in areas such as high strength nanocomposite plastics and biomimetic structures to reduce weight. 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. a suitable propulsion technique (potentially electromagnetic propulsion). turbulence in weather. The increased integration of nanotechnology is expected to lead towards satellite on a chip. 102 . 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. Micromachined devices can provide improved integration in propulsion. There is also a need for improved propellants such as those based on nano-dispersed aluminium. Monitoring the health and safety of the constellation has been regarded as another major challenge for such nanosatellite systems. corrosion. Further development is required of smart components with built in sensing capabilities and load monitoring. c. 1996). such a system would require research and development of an extremely high strength-to-weight ratio material. Nano and Pico satellites Constellations and swarms of miniaturized satellites and probes have been envisaged such as the nanosatellite (1. For picosatellites technical breakthrough is required in areas such as microfuel cells. Research has to be achieved in adaptive structures with skins for improved thermal control. size and power consumption of smaller satellites. 2006). and development of supporting infrastructure before this concept can be turned into reality (NASA. and here nanosensors can play a very important role (Johnson et al. Nanotechnology can play an important role in reducing the weight. Carbon nanotubes have been proposed as a suitable material as they has the right strength to weight ratio. However. communication.

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

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

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

ilyushin. However. Air transport alone is estimated to account for approximately 18% of all international trade. with Airbus commanding slightly over half of the global market share. but with several small to medium size civilian aircraft (www. 2006). is being established in an effort to streamline operations and improve the Russian aviation industry’s global competitiveness (Russian Minister. (Napier. and Ukraine: Russia There are 6 manufacturers of civilian aircraft in Russia. A. and taking into account ancillary €220 billion to European GDP (or 2.6 billion).87 billion). The most important sites for the global civil aerospace industry are Seattle (Boeing).migavia.manufacturer of the famous MiG fighter planes. but with plans to increase its percentage of civilian aircraft manufacturing from 13% to 45% over the next 10 years.the largest Russian aircraft manufacturer (both military and civil) with a reported 14% of global output of aircraft products (25% for military aircraft).primarily a military aircraft manufacturer. Canada. In 2005 it had revenues of 3.yak. Ilyushin.S. it is estimated that total employment within the industry in Europe is some 3 million. 2006) The major manufacturers in the industry are Airbus in the EU and Boeing in the US. the aerospace industry generated $170 billion (€133 billion) in sales during 2005. Toulouse and Hamburg (both Airbus). • Irkut.68 billion USD (€2.irkut. Brazil. Tupolev but also produces small civil aircraft (www. The 6 individual companies are: • It has over 17. with profits of $11 billion (€8. Yakovlev. United Aircraft Building Corporation (UABC).sukhoi.oldest Russian aeronautics company. Mikuyan.000 employees (www. an estimated 10% of GDP. Manufactures both military and civil aircraft (www. It had sales of €468 million in 2004 (www. Civil aircraft orders are of the order of €780 million per annum ( both military and civil aircraft (www. and that this will increase to 5 to 7 million by 2020. As of April 2007 these are to be merged into one company by the Russian government. other important global players are located in Russia. Furthermore.6%) in 2004. 106 .ru/eng).primarily involved in military aircraft design. In the The new company. • • • • Brazil The Brazilian company Embraer manufactures small to medium sized passenger aircraft that are used by a number of global airlines.

838 in 2003 to 21. In monetary terms this equates to some 1.601 new passenger aircraft.1 billion USD (€6. Over the next 17 years Europe is expected to retain its share of the market at 32%.2.3% per annum over the period 2004-2023. 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. By 2023 it is expected that air 107 . 6.bombardier. contributing 26% to operating costs in 2005 (compared with 14% in 2003).48 trillion). while the US is expected to fall from 33% to 26% and Asia-Pacific increase from 25% to 31%. However. Challenger. It has a global workforce of 26. This buoyant mood is also felt by airlines within the EU. falling to an estimated 1. Air cargo is also expected to expand over the next 17 years at a rate of 5.1 Global markets in the aviation industry According to the Airbus “Global Market Forecast 2004-2023” world passenger traffic is expected to increase by 5. with Europe expected to have the largest demand in terms of aircraft numbers. Despite staggering net losses in the US market over the last 6 years (13 billion USD in 2001. Airbus forecasts that the number of passenger aircraft in service will double from a fleet of 10.html).com). 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. This increase in demand.9% per annum. and Global.7 billion USD in 2006). In many cases large passenger aircraft are “recycled” as cargo aircraft before this point. will require an estimated 16. Although this loss in the US market is largely a result of decreased passenger numbers in wake of September the 11th. The market share on a regional basis looks quite different. since 1992 it has also manufactured small to medium sized civilian aircraft (www.9 trillion USD (€1. combined with the need to renew older aircraft. one of the other key issues is the relative cost of fuel to the airlines.759 in 2023.3 billion) (www. Ukraine Antonov ASTC originally designed military aircraft for the former Soviet Union (and famously the largest aircraft ever built: the An-225 Mriya transport). Airbus forecasts that only 15% of today’s passenger aircraft will still be in service with their current operators in 2023. however in product value terms this is almost 75%. Typical maximum life-spans for aircraft range from 37 years for small jets to 35 years for and profits in 2005 of 8. At present approximately 40% of exports by weight from Asia to North America and Europe are delivered by air.antonov.

This essentially means linking major destinations together by larger aircraft. Regulation. which will further increase the demand for hub flights and underlines the need for larger aircraft to service this region. ACARE has set goals of reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 50%. larger aircraft.there needs to be continued development of different aircraft sizes: large aircraft for hub-based flights. As a result aircraft turnaround will be faster and passenger capacity will increase.there are two airline strategies in place for connecting destinations: hub and point-to-point. The remainder will be met by increasing passenger numbers through more aircraft. and it is estimated that increased productivity across the industry will contribute approximately 0. Air Traffic Management. 108 .8% of the yearly growth in RPKs. reducing NOx emissions by 80% and decreasing noise pollution by 50%. only 40% have been lucrative enough to survive. As part of its strategy. and offer greater convenience to passengers. with Europe favouring point-to-point. 10 of these cities will be in the AsiaPacific region. smaller versatile aircraft for point-to-point. Aircraft size. Of the two. intra-regional flights while Asia-Pacific has a larger demand for hub flights. 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). 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). Routes. One issue now is that packaging of such high-value goods takes up relatively more of the cargo space. of the 47 routes opened between secondary or tertiary cities. Conversely. with passengers connecting via these and flying on to their final destination by smaller regional aircraft. In contrast. almost 90% have proved successful and are still in operation today. point-to-point flights link secondary or tertiary cities. such that there is greater demand for larger capacity aircraft. 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.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 regulations on greenhouse gas emissions will have a major impact on the air traffic industry. This favours hub based routing for the major airlines. Passengers. and increasing the frequency of 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). What are the strategies that the industry sees as necessary to ensure continued growth? Both efficiency and capacity increases are required. Within different regions the preponderance of the two types of strategy varies. The industry metric is revenue passenger kilometre (RPK). hub-based flight patterns are the most economical and long-lived.cargo from Asia to North America will be greater than Europe to North America.

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

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

Ariane 5 ARTA. “what are the fundamental laws of the Universe?”. The Mandatory Activities have a budget of €3.9 billion set aside for proposals for new activities in Earth Observation Applications. The Technology Research Programme (TRP) looks at developing cross-cutting technology developments. Russia. launchers.8 billion). Telecommunications.1 billion) for basic R&D. telecommunication and navigation. ACEP (Ariane 5 Consolidation and Evolution Preparation). In the EU. According to Dario Izzo of ESA’s Advanced Concepts Team (ACT). • • • • The level of investment for the Optional Activities is even higher (€3.1 billion in the following areas in the period to 2010: • The scientific programme (€2. ARTES programme. The leaders in space technologies at present are: the US.covering topics in the following areas “what are the conditions for life and planetary formation?”. According to the ESA website 111 . “how did the Universe originate and what is it made of?” • The General Studies Programme (GSP) continues to develop basic science. new architectures and exploring technologies to reinvent the design of space missions”. 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. China and India. The Technology Transfer Programme has been very successful not only for the aerospace industry but the wider economy. 2005). with an increase in public spending in the USA.supports the Earth Observation programme including the participation of Third countries. The specific projects attracting funding are: Envelope programme. ISS Exploitation.6. ELIPS 2. The Earthnet Programme.development of space education offices to provide support for young students and graduates. human spaceflight and exploration. and China (although other countries such as Japan and India have established Space Agencies and programmes). Russia. and Launchers. EU. “how does the Solar System work?”. In addition. the European Space Agency (ESA) has set forth an ambitious plan for development split into two areas: Mandatory Activities and Optional Programmes (ESA. earth observation. Vega VERTA. Education. "the future of space flight is in using new systems. CSG (Guyana Space Centre) Resolution. Space Exploration. including those from outside the space sector.3 Space Despite a decline in the commercial market for space since 2000. space exploration and exploitation is seen as a major goal for many different nations. To achieve this will require both “discovery and competitiveness”. it has a budget of €1.

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. It designs. it has resulted in: • more than 200 successful transfers of space technologies to nonspace sectors.3 billion.(www. around 1500 jobs created yearly. however the partners will only receive this money if 112 .esa.6 billion USD. some 36 incubators within the European Space Incubator Network (ESINET).6 billion with an order backlog of €11. develops and produces Ariane launchers. navigation systems. while the Department of Defence had 18. 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. insulation. atmospheric re-entry In 2004 it had revenues of €2. NASA is investing in commercial space transportation by opening up a competitive tender for supply to the International Space Station (ISS). more than €30 million attracted in venture capital and funding. which employs over 11. The primary commercial agency for fulfilling the EU’s space aspirations is EADS SPACE. a portfolio of over 450 active space technologies available for transfer and licensing. is responsible for the design and manufacture of satellite systems for both civilian and military telecommunication and Earth observation purposes. the Columbus laboratory and the ATV cargo vessel for the International Space Station. Astrium. Formula 1 has utilised advanced technologies developed within the aerospace industry to design lighter cars.000 people. • • • • • • • over €800 million cumulative turnover generated in both space and non-space sectors. vibration damping. propulsion systems and space equipment. Two industrial partners (Space Exploration Technologies [SpaceX] and Rocketplane-Kistler [RpK]) will each share approximately 500 million USD to achieve this goal. cooling systems and many more. In 2008 the ESA’s Columbus laboratory will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS). ballistic missiles for France’s nuclear deterrent force. In the US even larger budgets are available: in 2004 NASA had a budget of 16 billion USD. some 15 start-ups within the European Space Incubator (ESI). Examples of inventions that have applications in other industrial sectors include: airbags. carbon brakes. Another company within EADS SPACE. over 30 new companies established as a direct result of exploiting technologies. Recently.html).

with a budget of some €12. The Russian Federal Space Agency is responsible for space science research. The EU and Russia are also engaged in a dialogue on space cooperation.they are successful (payments will be made in stages based on achieving targets).5 billion from 2006 to 2015 (Forbes. Russia. 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 has plans for human spaceflight and exploitation of the moon.9 billion) over the first 10 years of the strategy. It is also looking to collaborate more closely with the EU after the US blocked closer cooperation with the ISS (BBC).to 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. Turnover in the EU is also 113 . www.a.isro. the EU and ESA signed a cooperation agreement on space. In the interim it has plans nearer to earth. and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) for its own use and those of international customers. 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).000 people. and Japan's National Space Development Agency (NASDA). (€1. and double the number of earth orbiting satellites to 70. 2006). and satellite systems for telecommunications and earth observation.000 people and has a budget of approximately €550 million.7-1. the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL). around 258-280 billion yen p. including science and technology. Japan established its own space agency. JAXA’s vision comes with large investment. It employs 20. The Chinese Space Programme contracts most of its work to the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). China is one of only 3 countries to have put a person in space (in 2003 using the Shenzhou spacecraft) (China.7 billion. two new launching pads. The Indian Space Research Organisation was established in 1972 and has developed launch vehicles (Polar Satellite Launch 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%). 2005). stimulating agreement between the Russian GLONASS and the European Galileo satellite navigation systems.1 billion USD (€860 m) and employs 110. and then to Mars) and the use of space in support of homeland security and defence. and is in negotiations with Russia over joint missions to the moon and Mars. which has registered capital of 1. On 10 March 2006. The US is focused on 2 priorities: space exploration (particularly a manned mission to the moon. China has plans to send unmanned and manned flights to the moon. It plans to develop a new re-usable spacecraft called Kliper (although a suitable contractor has yet to be identified). send missions to one of the two moons orbiting Mars. It aims to achieve a leading global position in reliability and capability for both launch vehicles and satellites. India aims to put an astronaut in space by 2014 (a programme that is estimated to cost €1. Of all the countries involved in space exploration.

4 billion from 2007 to 2013. The distribution of these patents by search term is shown in Figure 1 and by country in Figure 2. although not explicitly stated. In space applications. Nanomaterials in engine components could also improve fuel efficiency. In this respect FP7 funding for space related R&D is €1. 27. and more than 100. 6. As described above. structural materials for launch vehicles (e.090 for “nanomagnetics”.g.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. In the future it is envisaged that nanocomposites will offer not only enhancements in strength and reduced weight but also added functionality. 16 See www. 10. on aircraft wings).en. In contrast. heatresistant coatings) and electronic lower than the US (€5 500 million compared with €33 700 million. 6. and 16.1 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 worldwide patent database contains approximately 28.024 entries for “nano-optics”. 18.000 results for nanotechnology in total. This inevitably puts EU industry at a competitive disadvantage. sensing or actuating”. It is likely. that many of these patents will have potential applications in the aerospace industry.espacenet.4. The impact will be on fuel economy. and will require continued and concerted action at the EU level.960 entries for “nanotechnology for interacting. pollution and noise pollution. approximately a four-fold increase from FP6 (European Commission FP7 fact sheet).115 entries for “nanotechnology for materials and surfaces”. advances in nanotechnology with applications to these areas are expected also to be spun-out into other industries.htm 114 . The title and abstract for each patent is given in Table 1. storage and transmission”. On closer inspection of each patent’s abstract and description only 46 of these appear to be based on nanotechnology applications.g. as well as delivering alternative future propulsion systems.172 entries for “nanotechnology for information processing. such as decreased ability to form or retain ice (e. nanotechnology is expected to impact on fuel and energy systems. 1999 figures).

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. A-G: numbers of patents in the category “nanotechnology” using the search terms: “aerospace”.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. cosmonautics using the search term “nano*”. or methods of. There were 5 duplicated results between the searches giving a total of 46 patents. “extraterrestrial” or “aviation”. cosmonautics and nano* Figure 6. winning materials from extraterrestrial sources” and “nano*”. “rocket”. “airplane”.1. aviation. H: numbers of patents in the category Aircraft.” “spacecraft”. “satellite. 115 . “aircraft”. “aeronautic*”. or “apparatus for. aviation. No results were returned for “nanotechnology” plus “space exploration”.

adhesive.or nanometre structuring.1. 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. Table 6. batteries.espacenet. adapted to the respective media Cabin window arrangement for an aeroplane Toilet system. 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 with applications stated for the aerospace industry. electronics.2. components for engines. automobile finishing. especially for transportation vehicles Body contacting media has surfaces with micrometric. propellants. Number of nanotechnology patents with applications in the aerospace industry by country. surface treatment and coatings. 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. Nanotechnology patents listed through EPO website (http://gb. in aircraft construction. electronics. 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 . particularly for vehicles Surface treatment for aerospace applications.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. casting composition. The patents fall into a number of different categories including: materials.

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 .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. aircraft and the like Improved lighting system lamp units used on airport taxi-ways. 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.

Switzerland. plus Bulgaria. It both networks aeronautical SMEs and allows prospective project coordinators to identify “researchintensive SMEs”. Israel. and includes 32 countries: the 25 EU member states. or the final product validated. Iceland. and Turkey. there is significant overlap in aerospace R&D for civil and military purposes.5 Role of SMEs As described above. It is a joint activity between the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) and the EC. Romania. AeroSME is one of the main instruments that have been set-up to aid the involvement of SMEs in EU-funded projects in aerospace. Other initiatives to support SMEs include: European Communities Aeronautics REsearch+ (ECARE+) which is funded under FP6 from 01. which specialises in coatings and material analysis and characterisation. by the US manufacturer or 118 . The NAVOBS+ project which supports the participation of SMEs in R&D projects in the field of Space infrastructures (e. which specialises in surface treatment technologies and NanoCraft (www.6 Conclusions Europe is in a relatively strong position as regards its current market share in aviation technologies.02. Furthermore. In other cases. On the website is a database of over 1000 SMEs which can be searched by country.g. to maintain the stated US objective of “supremacy in aerospace”.com/dymonics).bekaert. which can further compound the competitive disadvantage of EU industry. Ultimately this means that an EU manufacturer may not be able to include US technology if the final product (e. 6. 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. 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. 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. this is not the case for space technologies. satellites). Norway. However. aircraft or satellite) is sold to a country with which the US has trade restrictions. SCRATCH is another EU-funded project that supports SMEs in the aeronautics industry to establish consortia and submit project proposals to the EC.06 for 30 months. as certain technology developments in the US are subject to restrictive trade agreements.nanocraft.g. technology or keyword. devices may be subject to which are largely dominated by the US. Using “nano” as keyword search term however identifies only two SMEs: Bekaert Dymonics NV (www.6.

wear resistance.g. In the absence of a comparable EU technology this has the potential to severely restrict markets. and decreasing environmental impacts. and increasing their functionality (e. engineering antifouling surfaces). Other applications include communication and navigation. etc) thus reducing fuel consumption. nanotechnology enabled systems should provide novel energy production and storage. ductility.approved organization. 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. sensors and electronics. Through advances in nanotechnology it is expected that the aerospace industry will be able to address issues of improved and novel propulsion systems. 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. 119 . Advances in materials will be through decreasing the weight required for structural components (through increased strength. In the longer term.

in polymer matrix composites. airborne nanoparticles in the cabin or released from the plane or spacecraft in the air are likely to constitute the biggest potential hazards. EU and its member states and other countries. For applications of nanomaterials in aerospace. In many cases. Health and Safety Aspects 7.1 Introduction Applications of nanotechnology in the aeronautics and space sectors are rather new in themselves. Maynard et al. As demonstrated in earlier chapters. cutting. 120 . little research has been done on Environment. 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. Nano workplace health & safety issues. The aerospace production shop floor will be one of the first locations affected by potential release.). Health and Safety aspects of nanotechnology in aerospace. Nanoforum.g. e. 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. Most concern is focused on free engineered nanoparticles which may be released in the air. Battelle 17 See for an overview of recent developments and publications. research strategies have been developed (e. EHS will be used as shorthand for the three fields. in most cases. the potential health and environmental risks of engineered nanoscale materials for all applications constitute a great concern for policy makers worldwide. will certainly be applied. "Best practice" engineering controls and PPE (personal protective equipment). At the Dec. During normal use.Chapter 7: Environment. a universal issue involves standard shop floor processing (sanding.17 In the USA. With nano modified composites. Therefore. 2005 and click the button “safety and environment” on top of the page www.g. such fixed nanoparticles may be released in the environment due to wear (abrasion) or by accident. animals and the environment.nanoforum. On the one hand.The postulation that these abrading processes will not release free engineered nanoparticles will be challenged.2006 International Conference on Nanotechnology Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety (NOEHS). as required. etc. 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.g. a considerable variety of nanostructured materials and nanodevices are aimed at incorporation in aeronautics and aerospace in the future. will be addressed early on before shop floor production is considered. drilling. water or soil.

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 quality. introducing nanomaterials or nanodevices such as sensors into aeronautics can also bring environmental. 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. In this part of the report.Toxicology Northwest presented results of a release comparison study of simulated Boeing shop floor sanding a "control" composite versus a nano modified composite. remote sensing applications and other nanomaterials and devices. round 2 : www. under controlled conditions. we summarise the available literature and come up with suggestions for further research.acunu. On the other hand. Environmental benefits include less use of energy and materials.2 EHS risks Environment. 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. 7. The focus is on response to engineered nanoscale materials explicitly intended for application in the aeronautics or space sectors. The general debate about EHS aspects of engineered nanomaterials in the workplace is also relevant to aerospace industry. A review of this debate goes beyond the scope of the present report. integrating nanosensors networks in composite materials to monitor structural integrity of the hull. health and safety benefits. filters for purifying air and water etc. 2005). 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. Safety may be improved by applying fire retardant nanomaterials.doc 121 .org/millennium/nanotechrd2.

humans and animals. An aerospace and defence company was the first to be audited. 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.03 responsible for Nanotechnology Environmental & Occupational Health & Safety. 2006) 122 . (Boeing.Nanoparticles as surface coverage to make it harder.” (Garner. but a similar recycling process could perhaps eventually be found useful for carbon nanotube composites. Since the late 1990s. (Thayer. but were not recycled due to a lack of a market for the scrap materials. 2006) The general research agenda for EHS aspects of engineered nanomaterials is also applicable to applications in aerospace. The EHS risk potential of nanotechnology applied in aeronautics outlined by Boeing reflects the general global nanosafety research agenda. Boeing is represented by their Environmental Assurance group on the ASTM International Subcommittee E56. 2005) Nanostructured metals have been applied in aerospace since the 1990s. Health and Safety implications. first in landing gear components. 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. These composites do not contain nanomaterials. fruits etc). because only the grain size of crystals inside a metal matrix is of nanodimensions. Boeing Phantom Works and several subcontractors are working on a composite recycling project for carbon fibre composites from aircraft since 2003. such markets were identified and it became interesting for Boeing to develop recycling schemes. The life cycle should be assessed to be sure. 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 (2006) does not see indications of any EHS issues with nanostructured metals. 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. smoother. Carbon fibre composites have been applied in aircraft since the early 1990s.

7.. Piotr Tucholka (2002) presented some “Major challenges for environmental studies”. polyethylene glycol) reduces the toxicity in vitro (Derfus et al.. and assesses acute exposure. cabin staff and passengers don’t spend more than some hours at a time in a commercial aircraft. 2004) and alters the half-life and tissue deposition in vivo (Ballou et al. because astronauts can spend months inside a spacecraft. accidents caused by re-entry of satellites have been reported occasionally. In the past. 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. including the need for global monitoring of environmental conditions and better understanding and calibration of 123 . These benefits include reduced fuel consumption. and new in vitro tests may be necessary to predict novel in vivo behaviour.. The last factor is the main source of chronic adverse health effects. whereas pilots. 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. Modifications of the surface of nanomaterials can alter biochemical reactivity and should be reflected in calculations of absorbed and effective dose.7. not chronic exposure. satellites or other objects in earth orbits which may fall out of orbit or collide with each other in space. 2004). most current research is performed in vitro. Standardized dosing protocols have yet to be established. Studies have shown that modifying the surface of nanomaterials with surfactants or biocompatible polymers (e. Consequently. 7.2 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.3 Environmental benefits Applications of nanotechnology in aerospace are expected to lead to potential benefits for the environment. and duration of exposure.g. not in vivo.1 Health risks Health impacts of nanomaterials are the most pressing concern in spacecraft. complexity.2.2. more environmentally sound coatings and on-board environmental control sensors. The magnitude of the protective response is generally proportional to the magnitude. Any surface modification has the potential to strongly influence the material’s reactivity. In general. Development of new test methods to evaluate novel behaviour of nanomaterials in vivo.

advancing more environmentally sound technologies. 2006) An important aspect is the environmental control.4 million in development of new nanotechnology based coatings for aerospace.” Other advantages mentioned are not specific for the aerospace sector. “Dave Whelan.and micro technologies are well-suited to provide significant improvements in these applications. including waste and air emissions reductions. Environmental sensors distributed throughout the ship keep track of contaminants in the air and water (Meyyappan. (Woelcken et al. He believed “nano. (at that time) Boeing Phantom Works General Manager. if the lighter planes. in turn. 124 . like those used in petroleum well monitoring are adapted or adaptable to environmental problems…” Light and strong nanomaterials (e. 2006). Some other beneficial applications have already been mentioned in earlier chapters such as alternative energy sources for aircraft and spacecraft. along with other materials such as carbon-fibre reinforced plastics or alumina-based materials. carry a heavier load of passengers and based observations and their relation to parameters of the objects. Dastoors. Spacecraft have closedloop environments with the ability to reclaim air and wastewater. e. this potential environmental benefit may be limited by rebound effects. 2005) Boeing (2005) foresees EHS benefits due to applications of nanotechnology. commented he believes that it will make possible: ‘Specialised coatings so that planes don’t need repainting’. the use of POSS (polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes) may result in zero volatile organic compound (VOC) coating development. (CCN Matthews. 2005) Airbus is also interested in nanotechnology for enhancing the environmental friendliness of their airframes.g. 2003) This may help reduce aircraft fuel consumption. lower energy consumption due to nano-surface treatment for environmental benefits. No details are disclosed.g. (Ellen et al. Also. polymer nanocomposites) may be applied to produce lighter aircraft. Several already existing applications. 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. The Canadian government is investing $3. However. (Mulcair.

Embedded micro and nanosensors for measuring structural integrity can be included in future generation aircraft structural components. (Flinn. 2006) 7. Safety of people on the ground and the environment can profit from improved disaster management by earth observation and satellite communication. The existing relevant European Union policies and legislative framework is summarised below. These sensors incorporate dendrimers. Carbon nanotubes embedded in composites can be used as an artificial nervous system. 125 .5 Safety benefits Nanomaterials and devices are expected to enhance the safety of aircraft and spacecraft. 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. (Thostenson. Especially on commercial aircraft. or in the form of life support systems in spacecraft and possibly also aircraft. Solutions include cantilever-based MEMS (Waitz. Scientists at Michigan University Ann Arbor’s Centre for Biologic Nanotechnology are developing nanosensors for monitoring the health impact of space radiation on astronauts. 2005) Katrin and Harald Kneipp of Harvard University have proposed nanosensors for astronaut health monitoring based on surface enhanced Raman scattering (Kneipp & Kneipp.7.4 Health benefits Health benefits can occur if nanomaterials can replace toxic materials currently applied in aerospace. The nanotubes make up only 0. 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. 2006) 7. nanosensors and smart materials can improve safety for the people on board considerably. By running an electrical current through the web of nanotubes. micro cracks in the material can be detected. Safety of people on board can profit from application of vibration and flame resistant nanomaterials and nanosensor networks embedded in composite materials. also Kneipp et al. 2006).15% of the material and are evenly distributed through the composite.6 EHS Regulation Regulating Environment. 2006) and other MNT-based sensors (Blue Road Research.

the EC has presented an Action Plan on energy efficiency. EU innovation policy under FP7 includes the greening of air transport. The EC is in favour of developing green aircraft according to the thematic strategy on air pollution (EC. There is currently no formal cooperation between the two ISO committees ISO/TC 229 for nanotechnologies and ISO/TC 20 for 126 . The aviation industry is consolidating at European level. 2005). safety and security in transport. intelligent transport systems and engine technology providing increased fuel efficiency and promoting the use of alternative fuels. too little is probably known about the impacts of nanotechnology to determine if current regulations are sufficient. it is necessary to develop aircraft designs which better protect the safety and health of passengers. In the Dutch standards committee dealing with nanotechnology. The EC aims to reduce this dependence on oil supplies through innovative energy efficiency and alternative energy solutions. Air transport accounts for 9% of EU oil consumption.” (EC regulation 1592/2002) In 2006. “Although airlines have reduced fuel consumption by 1-2% per passenger-kilometre in the last decade and noise emission from aircraft has declined significantly. On 19 October 2006. “In order to respond to increasing concerns over the health and welfare of passengers during flights. by innovation. Currently. p 8) The EU is a major world player in air transport equipment. making engines more efficient. A broad set of common safety standards is enforced with the help of the European aviation agency EASA. 2007-2012) and proposing legislation to include the aviation sector in the EU Emission Trading Scheme (end of 2006). no representatives of aerospace participate. The EU aims to be a world leader in sustainable transport solutions. 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. The EC wants to reduce environmental impacts whilst maintaining the competitiveness of the sector.” (EC.The European Commission has reviewed and updated its Transport policy mid 2006. 2006. and will likely apply also to aerospace. It includes strategies to stimulate higher energy efficiency of aviation through the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research project (SESAR. This is the general situation. 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. “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”.

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

exposure scenarios of astronauts. Relevant regulations should not be limited to airworthiness criteria. The novelty of nanoscale materials arises from the fact that with the size decrease the properties of the materials change. e.scenarios due to release of engineered nanomaterials in the air at high altitudes and in the cabin environment are also needed. cabin personnel and passengers must be developed. as well as life cycle assessments of the nanomaterials applied in aircraft and spacecraft to identify possible environmental exposure scenarios. 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. Whether international regulations could ever prevent potential future disasters is problematic. but also promote the use of Best Available (environmental) Techniques under the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control policy of the EU.g. To obtain the optimal environment. Specific for aerospace applications. health and safety is urgently needed. 128 . pilots. Communication between parties involved in standardisation of the aerospace sector and of nanotechnology also needs improvement. may be accompanied by increased environmental. health and safety risks. between the relevant ISO Technical Committees. 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. health and safety benefits of nanotechnology in aerospace. however. This is true for all applications of engineered nanoscale materials including aerospace and is being addressed worldwide. scenarios must be developed and used to decide on research priorities and regulation. which. The public acceptance of some EHS aspects of nanotechnology in aerospace may be ambivalent. Development of instruments and methods for nanomaterials characterisation considered crucial for testing impacts on environment. For example.

Or nanotechnology may enable better life support systems in space stations and spacecraft.Chapter 8: Ethical. 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. because they can enable activities which were not possible or too expensive before.1 Introduction Society and new technologies mutually influence each other’s development.nanoforum. nanotechnology will change current practices and norms and values governing the air transport and space sectors. most developments focus on reducing the environmental burden of air travel and on improving on-board safety and health. but focus on the relevant issues and regulatory framework for nanotechnology applications in aeronautics and especially outer space. Most of the issues and discussions are likely to focus on outer space. On the other hand. as discussed in chapter 7. In the aeronautic sector. 20 See Nanoforum (2005) or click the button “More” followed by “Society Issues” on top of the webpage www. Technology & Society (STS). 129 . microsystems and nanotechnologies can enable small satellites. stimulating longer astronauts’ missions. since space travel and commercial uses of outer space in satellites.g.20 In this chapter. Legal and Social Aspects 8. E. or autonomous systems for exploring other planets. large scale systematic research programme 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. space tourism and other activities are more recent than large-scale air travel and for an overview of relevant developments and publications. as has been demonstrated in many case studies in the field of Science. which can be used on a larger scale for earth monitoring. we will not review all the literature on ethical. legal and social aspects of nanotechnology in general. Nanotechnology is one of the first emerging technologies where policy makers and researchers have initiated a deliberately constructed. Legal and Social Aspects or Implications of a new science and technology area in an unprecedented early phase of development.

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

systems. ESA. licensing. while denying adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to the US national interests. The EU space policy includes international collaborations including “aspects of international trade ‘fair competition’ and market access through the regulatory environment (WTO. member states. the United States (US). At the same time they will oppose the development of new legal regimes. 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.The European Union (EU) is developing a European Space on a caseby-case basis. allocations of frequencies and orbital slots within the International Telecommunications Union). European Space Agency (ESA) and EU Member states as well as other countries including Russia. They declare the conduct of US space programs and activities a top priority. the roles of EU. which seem to imply that the US reserves the right to protect their own national security in space. legal and technological components of space affairs. national space agencies and other organisations.html See: http://ec. These items include systems engineering and systems integration capabilities and techniques or enabling components or 22 23 See: http://ec. The European Commission has published a Communication on European Space Policy – Preliminary Elements in May 2005 (European Commission.europa. other restrictions or arms control agreements restricting US activities. export controls. implying that technologies which are or will soon be available on the world market can be exported freely. shall be approved only rarely. 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. in which the current principles of governance in space can evolve. China and Israel. The aim is to develop a strategy for space technology development coordinating the activities of the EU. guided by a number of principles.europa.23 The US President established the White House’ new National Space Policy on 31 August The policy includes effective export policies. 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.”22 The EU is coordinating a common European – United Nations position on the political. technologies and components. 2005). They are also developing a regulatory and institutional framework.html 131 .

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

24 Richard H. How we structure nanotechnology related outer space use today will influence development for decades. 2) Ethical implications of applications of nanotechnology in planetary and outer space exploration. The international community is currently in the process of developing ethical declarations. The first group is a more immediate concern.5 on “Social. cheaper and increasing their use. We show progress in the discussion by briefly summarising relevant literature in chronological order. because the earth observation and communication satellites are already there. but nevertheless discussed already by proponents as well as opponents. security and safety of humans and our earthly society and environment. treaties and legislation to govern human activities in outer space as has been reviewed above. including reduction of the payload to energy ratio which may enable new missions. Societal implications of nanotechnologies and studies needed are outlined in section 6. using other planets as quarantined nanotechnology test beds. There is also largely an issue of risk. (Caneus. These issues can be divided in two groups: 1) Implications for privacy. 25 October 2006.3 Ethical. and considering terraforming other planets.Societal. in the case of sending out autonomous “thinking” systems to other planets and who is responsible for what they do there. 2001). 2006) 8. starting with the question of the adaptation of humankind to outer space. The first meeting has been in Montreal. Smith includes several positive opportunities of nanotechnology for outer space exploration.pdf 133 .org/loyola/nano/NSET. The second group is a very long term concern. carrying out risky experiments in outer space or attempts at terraforming other planets. and the determination of the possibility of contamination either of or 24 http://www.wtec.satellites. as opposed to air travel and terrestrial policies. and nanotechnology can only be a factor in making them smaller. The more detailed discussion of how the uptake of nanotechnology in aerospace may lead to new ethical.g. e. Legal and Social Aspects Most Ethical. Ethical and Legal Implications of Nanotechnology” of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) report on Societal implications of nanotechnology (Roco & Bainbridge. These implications should be viewed in the context of decades. legal and social issues is reviewed below. Legal and Social issues are related to outer space. 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.Implications/nanosis65.

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

therefore we had to make this distinction in the present report. new 25 The Nanoforum contract precludes covering military activities. 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.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. 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. 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. Even though he mentions nanotechnology. such that these developments should be regulated from the start to avoid conflicts related to fundamental property rights. While carried out in the interest of one’s own security. The debate on such longer term but not unprecedented developments is barely emerging. These developments are only to a limited extent influenced by nanotechnology. security and safety of people and the environment on earth. but the development and uptake of nanotechnology in aerospace is fenced in and guided by these global political developments.Security measures are inherently ambiguous. Such additional research should not distinguish between military and civilian research as this distinction does not really exist in the aerospace sector. The uptake of nanotechnology in outer space is in the short time likely to strengthen the urgency of existing ethical concerns such as privacy. it often decreases the security of others. He predicts that applications of nanotechnology in space may enable such a new colonialism and land-grab. Patrick Lin (2006) explores potential ethical issues of space exploration.25 Subsequently. 135 . We propose some suggestions for further research: Current and proposed projects on Ethical. the argumentation is more general space ethics. 8. administration and security. The way out of this dilemma is agreed international limitation with verification of compliance. leading to arms races and decreased stability (security dilemma). as miniaturisation will lead to cheaper and more abundant satellites orbiting earth. including the rationale to explore space in the first place.

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

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