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).


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

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

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

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

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

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

The major manufacturers for aviation are Airbus in Europe and Boeing in the US. Keeping sufficient qualified human capital and industrial companies in Europe requires a coordinated effort by the EU and member states. The R&D is expected to take a decade before being implemented in spacecraft. The European Space Agency intends to use new systems. Space exploration and exploitation are seen as major goals for many countries. This chapter may be most interesting for decision makers on future research priorities in nanotechnology and in aerospace. It is negotiating with Russia and the EU about space collaborations. engine components. Europe’s market size is expected to remain constant. Of these patents. Budgets amount to billions of euros per year. Airbus expects a need for 16. with other important global players in Russia. SMEs provide services and additional expertise in R&D to major corporations. 23 are registered in the USA and 17 in European countries. the gossamer spacecraft and space solar power. Japan and India also have space policies.spacecraft. the US will decline and Asia will increase its market share. The expected market size is €1. The European Commission’s Aerospace policy (STAR21. 9 . Several EU funded projects support SME’s in the aerospace sector. new architectures and to explore technologies to reinvent the design of space missions. and intends to develop a new. Visionary applications of nanotechnology in space include molecular nanotechnology and electronics for space. They have developed a strategic research agenda to accomplish this. and homeland security and defence. surface treatment and coatings. This chapter may be most interesting for industrialists and economic and innovation policymakers.601 new passenger aircraft. 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 2020.48 trillion. Choices of priorities in nanotechnology R&D for space must be based on the technological readiness and applicability. reusable spacecraft and collaborate with the EU on satellite navigation and science and technology. nano and pico satellites. Chapter 6 consists of an economic analysis of the European aerospace sectors. China has put a person in space. The US aims for space exploration are in manned missions to the moon and Mars. Russia still launches the most spacecraft. and electronics. batteries. while the European public funding is only 25% of US public funding. in smaller aircraft in the EU market and larger ones in Asia Pacific. and wants to send missions to the moon. The global market for airline passenger traffic is expected to increase 5. Research in nanotechnology for aerospace applications has already led to 62 patented inventions in materials. the space elevator. Brazil. Canada and Ukraine. propellants. The European Technology Platform ACARE states that the investment in R&D by the private sector in Europe is comparable to the US.3% per year until 2023.

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

NASA 2001) Space elevator. EU STAR21) 2023: 16.48 trillion (ch6. 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. ch4) 11 . architectures & technologies to reinvent design of space missions (ch6) Aircraft weight half of current conventional (ch3. colonisation. autonomous satellites swarm (ch4) Technical subsystem Black box using nanosensors. Boeing.601 new aircraft needed.Table 1. 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. Airbus) ESA: new systems.1 summarising trends in the whole report. CNT based electronic noses. autonomous nanorobot swarm (ch4) Quantum devices for information management (ch4) 5-10 years More stringent regulations incl.6) Nanotechnology applications in aerospace will enable new activities and require changes in legislation (ch8) Satellite on chip. market size €1. CNT based lab on a 2015: fuel cells for onboard aircraft systems (ch3.

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

......3..... Nanostructured metals ..................... 16 2............................4.........1 Layered silicate (clay) nanocomposites .. 34 3.. 36 3........4............7.............. Electronics .............................7.................... 58 4.............. 50 4..4 The advancement of severe plastic deformation ............. Fuel cells .......... 23 2....4 Electronics conclusion................... 21 2..................3........................ 18 2..........3.. Solar cells .......4........................................... 49 4.................... Global life support................................... Conclusion .................................. 30 3.........2 Definitions .................. Propellants ......2 Materials conclusion ..................2 Materials .................. Life support .. Sensors........................................................................1 Introduction........................................7...........................................5................................ 43 4............ Engines ...............................3.....3.......3....................5............... 37 3.....3................................................... 39 Chapter 4 Review of state of the art of technology and future trends in Spacecraft ....................... 28 3............................................................... 20 2....................... 16 2............ 59 4... 22 2......... 39 3...............................................................................................................4.....................................1......2 Nanofibres/carbon nanotube in polymer nanocomposites .............. 38 3............. 40 4...............4..................4..............................................................................5.............2.............................................................1................................1.. 20 2........ 45 4........................... Coatings.......5 Energy conclusion ................................. 54 4......4.7 Polymer Nanocomposites.............................. 6 Chapter 2 – Nanomaterials in Aerospace.................................................... 19 2..... 51 4..................7..........................3............. Nanoelements ................................................ 53 4.............. 59 13 .......................................... 56 4.....1 Introduction..................................7....... 2 Chapter 1 Executive summary and introduction ..... Electrical/electronic components and hardware .........1 Carbon nanotubes for transistors .................................................................................................................................................. 49 4.................1..2 Memories / Data storage........ 26 Chapter 3: Review of state of the art of technology and future trends in Aeronautics.........................3... Energy generation and storage........7............................3..........................1 Introduction ..2................................................................................... 54 4................. Batteries .3 Classification ................................. 16 2....6.... 40 4...............................Table of contents: Nanotechnology in Aerospace ...................2......................................6 Publications and Conferences ....7........ 55 4.......1...... Materials using nanoelements ....... 21 2.................5 The projects related to aircraft company business . 58 4.2 Advancement of Nanotube-Reinforced Composites........2......................................................3 high-performance PNCs resins ............................................ Others ........ 17 2.....................4... 22 2... 42 4.......................... Airframe and components...................1...2..................................................

.............. 86 5..... 90 5...... Textile ...................................2 Nanomaterials for space craft structure .....................................3 Satellites / Payloads conclusion: . 84 5........................... 89 5........... 88 5........................1.................................4 Life support conclusion .. 95 5...................... Satellite subsystems...... 103 Chapter 6: Economic Aspects .............................7 Quality and affordability.................................................. 67 4........................6..8 Conclusion .... 107 6................................ 101 5.........................5 Environment. Satellites / Science payloads ...............7 Nanomaterials and thin films for spacecraft ....................................................1.......................................................... 90 5................................1............................. 89 5.....................4 Aircraft avionics.............15 SME .............. 74 4..9 Future concepts for Guidance & Control ......... 114 6...9 Conclusion ...... 89 5.......2.2.......... 94 5..2...... Science payloads .. 80 5....................4...................... 63 4.......1... Space colonisation ....1.......4.................2.... Medical systems ................................................................................................................ 90 5...........2...... 64 4................. 68 4............................................ 83 5..................3 Space ..................1..........6.....1..................5 Sensors ..........6 Safety and Security.....7............................................1................................................... 75 4..................3...................................................................................... 80 5.......1 Introduction......... Space elevator........2........................................1....1 Aeronautics ..........2..................................................................................................8 Visionary Applications................ 81 5..12 Funding and investment................ Processing and Transmission...............4 Futuristic visions conclusion ....................... 99 5...................... 100 5.............................5.................................................6. 72 4...7....................13 Policy..............................7..............1.............................................1...............7............................................ 77 Chapter 5: Summary of Needs in Aerospace Research ................................... 105 6... 98 5..4 Data Storage..............................................1.........................................10 Current Research ...........................................2...........16 Conclusion . Autonomous systems ...... 105 6......................2.... 77 4.......1 Patenting of Nanotechnology Advances that have Applications in the Aerospace Industry ..3 Energy Production and Storage..2............................1..11 Aeronautics application in other industries..............2.....................................2 Aviation.......4 How can Nanotechnology Impact on these Strategies? ................. 86 5.. 86 5.............. 63 4..2.. 82 5...................5..1........... systems and equipment................................................................... 85 5..1......1 Global markets in the aviation industry....8 European Air Transport System ............5..................... 72 4...................................2 Airframes ....... 60 4.................1.3................. 81 5............. 111 6.............................. Futuristic visions ...........6 Life support systems ......... 105 6........................................1 Introduction ......................... 90 5..... 114 14 ..........2 Statement of needs for Research and Development in Space .......................7....................1..........................6.........2................3 Propulsion .............................. 73 4................................. 92 5........14 Education and Training ...........................

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

In the aerospace industry.Chapter 2 – Nanomaterials in Aerospace 2. the possibility of obtaining improved mechanical properties by the conventional methods of cold working.2 Advancement of Nanotube-Reinforced Composites The extraordinary stiffness. there is a great need for new materials which exhibit improved mechanical properties. Specifically. higher than that of diamond (ten times higher than that of any other available material). high toughness. transparent windshield. The 6th EU Framework Project ‘NanoRoadSME (Nanomaterial Roadmap 2015)’ has published a report entitled “Overview on Promising Nanomaterials for Industrial Application”. it focuses on carbon nanotube-reinforced polymers and materials produced by severe plastic deformation (SPD). solution hardening. Materials possessing high strength at a reduced mass and size make lighter aircraft with lower fuel consumption. the timelines for possible industrial applications. The state of the art of polymer nanocomposite research is also reviewed. etc. 2.1 Introduction This chapter identifies some of the technical challenges and the key research efforts in the field of nanomaterials for aerospace applications. With a potential high strength-to-weight ratio and multifunctionality. However.. carbon nanotube reinforced polymer composites may provide a unique 16 . Also included in the report are the projected cost and market evolution of each material’s technology. and a list of companies and institutes actively involved in aerospace nanomaterial R&D. lacquer safety and polymer matrix composites. precipitation hardening. changeable conductivity and the specific tensile strength of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) makes them eminently suited as reinforcing elements in macroscopic composites. The current trend is to integrate intelligence and multifunctionality into the varied components of aerospace systems and vehicles. The development of new materials with tailored properties is a primary goal of today’s materials science and engineering. has been almost exhausted. Selected European projects and world conferences related to aerospace are included. This report identifies the following trends in materials for automotive and aerospace applications: lighter and stronger materials.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This CFPP coating system exhibits higher abrasion resistance against plastic media blasting than the topcoat. and then be hard enough and have enough friction to prevent the slide slippage of the threads that causes loosening. corrosives. energetic electrons. making the aircraft ready to fly again (Kovar et al. has been demonstrated. solvents. alkalis. 2006). Joints exposed to these conditions retained about 95 % of their strength. Vibra-Tite is a solvent solution of acrylic polymers that is brushed onto the threads and dries within a few minutes. Vibra-Tite from ND Industries (Loctite Corp. Microscopic examination of fractured surfaces of the joints showed that the surface-modified polymer essentially failed cohesively within the adhesive (Bhowmik et al. 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. 2006). radiation. allowing adjustment of fasteners and reuse after disassembly. It permits selective stripping of the topcoat without removal of the primer or conversion coating. pliable nature. To simulate conditions in space. Vibra-Tite has been used on assembly screws on the treadmill on the International Space Station and other applications (Dunn. and protons. Alternatively. Vibra-Tite does not adhere strongly to the fasteners. it seems likely that Vibra-Tite is able to cold-flow to fill all the void spaces in a threaded assembly. and gamma-rays at a dose rate of 37 kGy/h. and fire. The adhesive had a service temperature range of -260 to +370 ºC and was highly resistant to acids. the polymer was subjected to low-pressure plasma treatment with a 13.56MHz radio-frequency glow discharge for 120 s at 100 W power with nitrogen as the process gas.) is a unique threadlocking and sealing product. The PBI composites were prepared by using an ultra-high-temperature-resistant epoxy adhesive to join the two polymer sheets. Before preparing the composite. The topcoat may be selectively stripped off when required and a fresh topcoat reapplied.which forms chemical bonds with the conversion coat and a conventional aircraft topcoat. the joints were exposed to cryogenic (-196 °C) and high temperatures (+300 °C) for 100 hrs. A considerable increase in the joint strength was observed when the polymer surface was modified by either process. Because of its soft. 2006). 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. 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. All threaded fasteners tend to loosen under vibration.

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. On the other hand. ductility and lightness.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%. stiffness. Reduced weight leads to lower costs and better ecological compatibility due to reduced fuel consumption. increased globalisation. 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. There is also a need for new sensors and miniaturised electronic components. Main reasons are GDP growth. toughness. In the aviation industry engine improvements are also under investigation. the need for lighter materials is even stronger in space applications. To satisfy these expectations aircraft companies are looking for new technologies. The results obtained in these sectors can be transferred easily to aircraft when the technologies are ready for industrial use. In addition. and population growth (see chapter 6). long lifetime. the materials should be corrosion resistant. so that the development of new materials is mainly driven by the space industry. The main objective is to reduce the weight of the airframe. but to a smaller extent compared to space applications. (Plano. although these developments are mainly driven by other application fields such as the automotive or information and communication sector. impact resistance. This value is 100 times as high as it is in the automotive sector. 2002) The most important properties addressed by aerospace materials are strength. 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. 28 .

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

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

3. 31 .1). Fibre-reinforced polymers • Carbon Nanotubes (CNT): Hollow tubes of one (SWCNT. 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. 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. 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 10.1. multi walled carbon nanotubes) layer(s) of graphite. reinforced with carbon nanotubes. single walled carbon nanotubes) or more (MWCNT. Figure 3. can lead to a weight reduction of 60-70% compared with current fibre-reinforced polymers. Estimations are made that aluminium. good adhesion to the polymer matrix and achieving a high loading rate.000-fold increase in price compared to standard fibres and the lack of an appropriate industrial-scale production method. Advantages of nanomaterials are: • ultra high strength to weight ratio • improved hardness.A further improvement can be expected by substituting micrometre fibres in these composites by fibres in the nanometre range. Technical problems include a lack of methods to achieve spatial alignment of CNTs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

is the alignment and the adhesion of the carbon nanotubes in the matrix. carbon. ceramic. 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. connected by covalent chemical bonds. nylon.2. The second problem is concerning the transfer of the molecular properties to macroscopic materials are still unsolved.g. Carbon nanotubes tend naturally to agglomerate. reinforced polymers.average price is about $500 per gram and the average quantity production is about 100g per day). Materials using nanoelements 4.1. Polymers A polymer is an assembly of large molecules consisting of repeating structural units. Composites Composite materials are being produced by mixing nanotubes. composites. thermal or mechanical properties. The properties of composites that can be significantly improved are thermal and flame resistance. Nanoparticles can be introduced in polymer to improve their electrical. Such composite materials can provide significant enhancement in the 45 . Nanoparticle reinforced polymers is being developed by NASA through the SBIR program. According to VDI. e.2. polymers and ceramics. But carbon nanotubes have the potential to revolutionize several space technologies. nanowires. or metal matrices.1. or monomers. A partnership between NASA and Idaho Space Material (ISM) (NASA.2. 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. 4.1. so that the loading rate of carbon nanotubes is limited to a little weight percentage and problems of viscosity appear at high loading rate. 4.1. polyphenole or polyimide can be used as polymer matrix. fullerenes in polymer. suitable nanoparticles such as silicates (in particular montmorillonite clay). NASA has conducted the initial qualification tests of nanoparticles reinforced polymers for space application. decrease permeability. nanoparticles. charge. e. moisture and chemical resistance. Another problem with the production of carbon nanotubes composites.1.1.2.g. POSS (Polyhedral Oligomeric SileSquioxanes) are under consideration. dissipation and conductivity. 2006) will allow NASA to benefit the high rate carbon nanotubes production (50g per hour) to develop next generation metals.1. Epoxide.

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

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

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

4. communication between the 6 +: normal . 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. resistance. This research will find applications in the longer term than nanoparticles integration. charge dissipation Improve thermo mechanical properties Improve thermo mechanical properties. allow creation of electric properties like failure detector Integration of electronic component to create new functions Interest6 ++ + +++ +++ ++ Perspective Short term (in test) Short term Middle term Middle term Long term Notice: research on carbon nanotubes integration seems the most promising but carbon nanotubes manufacturing and integration into an existing structure is still not totally controlled. decrease permeability. 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. electrical. 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.2. Electronics Electronics is everywhere on a spacecraft. optical characteristics. attitude determination.3. This is all the more true with nanoscale materials because of their small size and specific characteristics. 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. 4. radiations resistant Improve thermo mechanical properties. stronger and cheaper structure. 2006). +++ : very strong interest 49 . ++: strong interest .2 Materials conclusion Nanoscale materials represent a major stake for spacecraft because of the opportunity they bring to build new structures with specific thermal. flame. Finally. It controls all the vital systems of the vehicle (orbit.

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

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

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

Aerospace Corporation http://www. 53 . It can then be digitally reconstructed from the images taken after each cut (Ives et 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. data storage increase Space harsh conditions resistance (radiations). Finally modelling and characterisation is the most active sector of space research in electronics because it represents a relevant stake to pursue the “zero failure” objective of main space missions.1 : NANO-3D.structure containing the features of interest is physically deconstructed. 4.html A complementary approach is to prevent geometrical defects by performing simulation software. 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).aero. 2005).. Figure 4.4 Electronics conclusion Nanotechnologies in electronics components are not yet available for space missions even if they promise several applications especially in facing space radiation.3. 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 sector. data storage increase Space harsh conditions resistance (radiations).

This subsystem is a key component for current space stakes because smaller energetic systems. Propellants Propellants are typically a power source essential for rockets or shuttles.4. All spacecraft also need efficient energy storage and conversion systems during flights for their orbiting and their other on board subsystems. energy storage.1.4. The energy problematic is common to all the spacecraft. 4. Autonomy improvement is also very important in the case of emergencies situations and can be determinant to save a mission. with better outputs can allow spacecraft to be more autonomous and so to stay in space for farther missions.4. energetic materials. Weight and size decrease with efficiency increase to avoid self heating of electrical power subsystem also make cheaper vehicles. Propellants usually used for space launching are ammonium per chlorate (NH4ClO4). The most common formulation is aluminium nanoparticles mixed with molybdenum trioxide (MoO3) or bismuth trioxide (Bi2O3). 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. 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. Rockets and shuttle need huge propulsion energy for launching using propellants. Energy generation and storage Spacecraft electrical power subsystem (EPS) typically provides four basic functions: power source. The aluminium particles sizes range between 60 and 120 nm and experimentally measured combustion wave speeds varied between 420 and 460 m/ and satellites need adapted propulsion systems smaller with high energy conversion rate. The American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics as well as SNPE8 are currently exploring ways to improve those using nanoparticles of Aluminium. power distribution and power regulation and control. As propulsion subsystem is an energy liberation component.asp 54 . Nanotechnologies can be used to enhance current propellants essentially with the introduction of nanoparticles.snpe. 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. http://www. Combustion wave speeds in excess of 1km/s with an under 8 SNPE is a chemical group specialised in explosives.

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

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

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

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

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. wastewater treatment and sensors. According to NASA. There are numerous applications of nanotechnology within life support. (VDI. monitoring the life on the International Space Station or in shuttles is a real challenge. hygiene.those topics because energy is a key point for future spacecraft according to the increasing need of autonomy. decontaminating.1. Global life support As long travel mission for human far exploration are seriously engaged. health monitoring. filtering. 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. nanotechnologies can find potential application in gas storage. air cleaning and filtration. monitoring of water quality. 2003) 59 .5. carbon nanotubes integration is more a middle term vision because of the difficulties for its manufacturing. Various types of metal oxide and ceramic nanopowders can be used to improve the performance of electrochemical sensors. With the development of longer manned mission and space tourism. avoiding moistures. 2003) 4. Nanotechnologies can bring technological solutions to astronauts’ daily problems. 4.5. waste water treatment. pressure monitoring. ventilation. control of air quality and humidity. Life support Life support is becoming a key research axis in space sciences. Gas sensors: The electronic nose based on gas sensors is used for monitoring air quality and to detect fire warning. Nanotechnology is expected to improve the selectivity of these gas sensors. The important life support tasks have been summarised by VDI as oxygen supply. enhancing on board life management become a necessity. heat absorption and rejection. (VDI. CO2 removal.

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

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

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


ST5). 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.5 : CANEUS http://www. data management. 2005) Target Costs for Satellite Classes Show 100x improvement! Total Cost $316 M $4.g.nasa.000 kg Sat 1-10 kg $3.0 M Large >10.nps. Delft University of Technology and Systematic. autonomous navigation (in 2011).cgi?order=&sat_code=STA3&sat_name=Starshine3&tab_id=general 66 . OPAL mission.g.the on board nanotechnologies integration.gsfc.8M Nano Sat Pico Sat 0.0 M $100.csba.2M $0. power management.1M $0. nanotechnologies will not revolutionize the miniaturization process because MEMS technologies have already allowed significant weight reductions. To achieve the goal of on board testing.5M $0.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. Delphi C3. 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. TECH SAT 21).4M Figure 4.1-1 kg $1. coordinated formation flying (in 2011) (Delft University of Technology and Systematic.0M $ • Optimise structure and function of various payloads that will be described in this part. communications and control. 2005 and Star shine 3 Satellite10) Thus. 10 See: http://ilrs.0M 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 ( $2. several engineering schools build satellite programs for their students. attitude and stationkeeping.0M $0. They are also implicated in test research program called Space Test Program (SPT) to test various new technologies directly on board satellites (e.

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

2005)) were achieved but a CANEUS project is currently focused on research for low mass. bacteria). nanophotonic waveguide potentially suitable for interconnections needed to build “photonic chips” (Aerospace America.2.g.6. 4. or physical components. In this case sensor miniaturisation will reduce this ability and thus may compromise measurements.Propulsion subsystem: Because non-ideal forces can make a satellite move from its trajectory. 68 . imaging tools) in the case of scientific mission and the communication instruments in the case of commercial satellites. propulsion subsystem is needed to mitigate this effect.2.2. 2005).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. Several studies were conducted to study the feasibility of miniaturized propulsion subsystems. Science payloads Science payloads are anything that a spacecraft carries beyond what is required for its operation during flight. three main kinds of payloads have been identified: • Sensors • Imaging instruments • Communication systems 4. Sensors Sensors will use electronics technologies developed in part 2.6. Various technologies are being developed to make sensors based on nanotechnologies such as quantum dots. nanocrystals to enable wavelength-selective emission.. carbon nanotubes. They can be used to detect biological components (e.2 of the present report according to their functions. 2005). 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. 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. planet atmosphere composition).1. chemical components (e. high energy density storage systems and micro-nanotechnology based batteries for providing adapted solutions of miniaturized propulsion system according to the kind of space mission. Even if there are several different payloads according to their mission. This includes the instruments for analysis (sensors.

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

html 4. Communication Nanotechnologies can contribute to the enhancement of data handling.3. radars (to collect information of the inside of the planet). no nanotechnologies applications have been identified except the possibility to introduce carbon nanotubes based electronics in instruments. between earth and spacecraft. the Aerospace Corporation http://www. communication intra satellite. altimeters. A communication system is often made by an antenna to receive and/or emit data. ultra violet.Figure 4.2. photometers for both visible. inter satellite. 4. Imaging instruments Imaging instruments include cameras. 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.6.6.6 : REBR. MEMS-based phased-array antennae are also investigated. In the long-term these could prove important because 70 .gov/centers/ames/multimedia/images/2005/blackbox. Except this future application. infrared. Concerning instruments themselves. For example. Even if power data transmission will be different according to the distance to transfer and the kind of mission. technologies developed find applications in all the communication structure.2. This latter can be build with carbon nanotubes as it investigates by NASA for antenna at optical frequencies.2. spectrometers.nasa. 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.

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

some space dreams that currently appear like science fiction may be achieved one day and surely with the help of nanotechnologies. Indeed as flying was considered as science fiction two centuries ago. To promote scientific researches for space futuristic vision like space elevator or space colonisation.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.esa. 4.7. As an example aerospace scientist continued to explore the use of nanoscale glass ceramic that enhances internal communication via photonics.6. harsh space conditions resistance First nanointegrated object for Satellites / Payloads conclusion: The most spectacular scientific improvements in the satellites and payloads topic are the progress made to build more integrated smaller devices. harsh space conditions resistant Enhance security of information Interest +++ +++ Perspective Short term Very short term (available) Middle term Long term + +++ 4. Small device integrating several sensors resisting to harsh space conditions Improve their efficiency.htm 72 . ESA also explores what can be space future with a collaborative project called Ariadna12. Futuristic visions If in the near future applications of nanotechnology seem possible for traditional missions.usra. 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. 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 See: http://www. their applications have a huge potential to achieve some very old human dreams. This topic has identified the main activities in nano and pico satellites. 11 12 See: http://www.

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).


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

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.8 Conclusion Since 1957 and the launch of the first spacecraft." will have great advantages over current systems. 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. 4.4 Futuristic visions conclusion Al those perspectives are in a long-term future and will may not be the most appropriate in this future.are fully retractable. So it explains why nanotechnologies for space applications are more a perspective than a reality. when joined together in "swarms. All systems are being designed to adapt and evolve in response to the environment. 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.7. 4. The swarm has abundant flexibility so it can change its shape to accomplish highly diverse goals. the space sector has known several technological enhancements allowing more and more scientific explorations and the development of commercial applications. the following scheme shows several applications developed in space laboratory according to their potential time to market. allowing the pyramid to shrink to the point where all its nodes touch. This is the NASA first step to completely autonomous robots. So to summarize potential nano applications in the space sector in a chronological vision.g. Some nano applications can be considered as short term perspective (e. nanosensors) and other are more visionary (e. molecular electronics). It is important to note that most of those applications are middle or long- 77 .g. Nanotechnology is an emerging field that just begin to find applications in ground devices. But what is sure is that space agencies. These miniature TETwalkers.

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

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”. 79 . This summary is only conclusions of what was said in this report and under the only valuation of the author.

2004-1). further and faster to aircraft that are more affordable to travel in. security. The Advisory council for aeronautical research in Europe has set a strategic agenda for research that addresses important issues such as environmental pollution.1: Goals for European Aeronautics set by the Advisory Council for aeronautical research in Europe 80 . safety. 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. operations and airports. 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. and an efficient air traffic management system. maintenance and disposal of aircraft and related products. Figure 5. quality and affordability. The maximum value from funds has been envisaged by facilitation of a European national and private research programs. 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 need in aeronautics research objectives has changed from a generation ago from being higher. safer and cleaner for the environment and quieter for residents around airfields. The educational policies should be framed to ensure adequate scientists. New standards of quality and effectiveness have been identified as goals to accomplish in order to make European aerospace more competitive. 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.Enabling 99% flights to arrive and depart within 15 minutes of departure time in all weather conditions.Chapter 5: Summary of Needs in Aerospace Research 5.1 Aeronautics Aeronautics is a thriving sector in Europe with two million people employed in manufacturing. engineers and other skill sets are available for the aeronautics sector (ACARE4Europe.

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

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

The change in the atmospheric chemistry is complex and not understood very well. reducing taxi time and eliminating circling.system that is expected to drive down costs significantly (ACARE4Europe. 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.1. braking system) in hydraulic power generation should be under further consideration. Strategies for combating climate change have been suggested such as combining routes of large aircraft. 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. 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 Environment The impact of carbon dioxide and Nox emissions from the aircraft has added significantly to the greenhouse gas effect. encouraging short haul flights. Further research in the new low drag wing-body blended aircraft design is expected reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50%. lower cruise speed. 2004-2). 5. 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. Goal Environment Research Challenge Drag reduction through conventional and novel shapes Fuel additives Noise reduction New Propulsion concepts Emission reduction Environmentally friendly production.g. 2004-2).1: Relating environmental goals and research challenges 83 . maintenance and disposal Better aircraft/engine integration Table 5.

Development of designs in more adaptive structures would reduce the need for additional control surfaces. Protection against electromagnetic threats and secure communication data link are essential for the aircraft. Noise produced by aircraft is another problem that is being addressed by better design of aircraft.6 Safety and Security Post 9/11 the security of the aircraft and passengers is considered of paramount importance. Development of on-board explosive detection systems equipped with high sensitivity sensors and alarm systems. development of non-lethal devices for terrorist neutralization.1. Micro-nanotechnologies are expected to provide novel concepts to reduce the noise in the aircraft. The Nox emissions are dependent on the take off weight and range of the aircraft. New combustion technology and injection systems should be developed to achieve an 80% reduction in Nox. acoustic measurement under cryogenic condition and combustion are required for improved aircraft design. weight reduction and efficient engine. geared fan and contra fan have been developed to reduce noise but complete elimination cannot be achieved without a radically new design. 84 . Nox control remains a main problem that is not addressed even by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by improving thermal efficiencies. bio fuels. Alternative fuels such as liquid hydrogen. Protection against missile attacks on passenger aircraft should be developed. The use of biometric controls for pilot identification. 2004-2). 5. enhanced video monitoring of passengers are some measure to be further considered. engines with reduced complexity and weight thereby reducing the fuel consumption. 2004-2). Research in lean combustion should be considered in order to meet the goals. are expected to deliver higher standards of security for aircraft (ACARE4Europe. using heat signature reduction while providing detection and jamming facilities. Research in low noise component design. Automatic collision detection and deviation from flight plan are important technology solutions to be considered and implemented.Research in other strategies such as reduction in emission by reducing fuel burning has been proposed by aerodynamic improvements. synthetic fuels and liquefied natural gas are should be considered for further development (ACARE4Europe. 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 laminar flow design is needed for aerodynamics though innovation is required to reduce the complexity. The need for measuring techniques for boundary layer. landing gear faring and acoustic panels should be further developed. New engine designs such as the ultra high by pass ratio.

7 Quality and affordability Improving the quality of the flying and the flight experience has been an important driver.1. Strategic Goal Quality and Affordability Research Challenge Permanent trend Monitoring Flexible cabin Environments Passenger services Anticipatory maintenance Systems Integrated avionics Air Transport management related airborne Systems Novel materials and structural concepts Lead-time reductions Integrated design manufacturing and maintenance systems Advanced design methods System validation through modelling and simulation Concurrent engineering Table 5.Goal Safety Research Challenge Flight hazard protection Advanced avionics Probability and risk analysis Computational methods Human error checking systems Table 5.2: Relating Goal and Research Challenge for Safety and Security 5.3: Research needs from Strategic Quality and Affordability goals translating to research challenges 85 . The research challenges that relate to the quality and affordability have been stated in the table 5.3 below.

1. systems and sub systems. application needs and requirements. 86 . Enhancement in the computing power with the application of nanotechnology to transistors is expected to greatly enhance centralized and dispersed operations.1. Improvements in computing power are also expected to bring benefits to robotics leading to the development of independent robots controlling specific tasks. 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 5.1.10 Current Research The research can be broadly divided into 5 themes in the nanotechnology sector: structure and materials. intelligent and integrated ATM ground.4.4: Relating European Air Transport System relation with Research Challenges 5.9 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. The table below gives the overview of some of the associated research challenges in Table 5. reliability and packaging. Strategic Goal European Air Transport System Research Challenge Innovative ATM operational concepts Advanced.8 European Air Transport System Europe is aiming to integrate the air transport system by improving management of air transportation. 5. missions and collaborations.5.

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

2006). The Surrey Space centre has been researching satellite on a chip development for future distributed space missions.environments. EADS in collaboration with Albert Ludwig University is also developing low maintenance MEMS packaging for rotor blade integration. Nanosensors for gas detection in space and ground applications are being developed by ASRC aerospace.11 Aeronautics application in other industries Novel solution developed for aerospace applications has benefited other industries as well. 5.1. 2006). The EADS micropak project is developing a novel modular system for packaging integrated Microsystems for future applications. 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. EADS is developing high temperature MEMS pressure sensors including reusable packaging for rocket engine application. Thermo elastic damping in vibrating beam accelerometers has been studied using a finite element approach by University of Liege and ONERA. materials for artificial limbs. d. Bio Inspired micro driller for future planetary exploration is being researched by ESA and University of Surrey. Design of packaged RF MEMS switching on alumina substrate is being developed by Xlim. composite materials. Design and performance of quartz inertia micro sensors has been investigated by ONERA. The example are aerodynamic design of cars. 88 . Packaging and reliability testing Magma Space technology is involved with developing. disc braking for cars and trains and anti-lock braking system. CNES is conducting research in spacecraft control and command. MEMS reliability studies such as accurate measurement of beam stiffness using nanoindentation techniques. EADS CCR is developing a MEMS sensor to design a life consumption monitoring system for electronics (Caneus. software systems for displays. The National research council in Canada has been researching micro fibre optical sensor interrogation systems for aerospace applications. manufacturing and verifying micro-electro mechanical louvers. Swedish Space Corporation in collaboration with Nanospace AB is developing MEMS based components and sub-systems for space propulsion. The fabrication and performance testing of miniature electro thermal thrusters using microwave-excited micro plasmas has been developed by Kyoto University (Caneus. CNES and Nova MEMS are involved in hermiticity assessment of MEMS packaging –leak rate measurements based on Infrared spectroscopy. New technologies for a space launcher telemetry system are being developed by Astrium Space Transportation.

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. Reviewing the research needs ACARE has recommended an increase in funding by 65% over a 20-year period that is being invested currently.1. A multi-disciplinary approach to training with excellent communication skills.1. Another trend observed with graduating students is the fall in the number of students being recruited by the technology supply chain.6% of the GDP to the individual member states. the demand for specialists with good fundamental knowledge of aerospace is set to rise.1. 5. Indirect benefits through lifestyle and the way business is being done has been estimated to be 10% of the GDP.12 Funding and investment Aerospace and aviation is considered an important sector for Europe. 2004-1). The annual turnover and number of people employer in US in this sector is more than twice of that by EU. There has 89 . With the falling level of graduates taking up science and technology education. 5.thermal imaging camera’s for rescue and police work and advanced business project management. 5. It has been estimated that public funding in US is three times that of the European Union and its member states. 2004-1). Measure to increase the production of research output is required as opposed to importing the research outputs.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. A skills shortage is expected in the aerospace sector partly due to demographics and reduced attractiveness of the aerospace sector. 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.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. Similarly the amount of US export in the aerospace sector is also known to be twice of the European Union (ACARE4Europe. In addition 50. open mindedness and cultural awareness is required.000 additional human resources would be required to fulfil the need to research goals.

5. This would require development of lean practices that improve the performance of the SME. 5.1 Introduction The exploration of the vastness of space has driven the active development of space programmes in various countries. 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.2. An exhaustive survey of 384 organizations in Europe.15 SME The supply chain orientation is so that large companies play a central role in integration.2 Statement of needs for Research and Development in Space 5.16 Conclusion Aeronautics and aviation is an important sector for the European industry. The SME business in the supply chain would need to implement global best business practices and leverage industrial alliances to become more competitive.been an alignment between courses offered at Universities and aerospace employers needs. 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. 90 . Greater research is required in the development nanotechnologies for aeronautic applications. The identification. The implementation of emerging technologies in aeronautics lags a decade or in some cases even more.1.1. The need for a pan European accreditation has also been beginning with a voluntary system in the aeronautical discipline has been made. With the increased global competition. North America and Asia has revealed that 74% of research is being conducted in research institutions (illustrated in figure 1). 5. The technological development has also spurred activity that has been beneficial for terrestrial applications as well. development and implementation of nano-scale technologies in aeronautics would increase the global competitiveness of this industry. There is also an imminent need to increase communication between research communities in aeronautics research and nanotechnology research. 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.

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

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

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

to enhance proton transfer and therefore efficiency. This section will examine the technical challenges that need to be overcome before these technologies can be used in spacecraft. or Graetzel. solar cells. Quantum dot solar cells have also been considered as an alternative solution. silicon/beryllium or tellurium/selenium. thin films and membranes with nanometre dimensions are applicable in a range of energy generation and storage devices such as fuel cells. Fuel cells are considered as an alternative to batteries in space applications. Areas that require research include anti-reflective coating and collectors. Organic dyebased. however. the optimum material combinations need further exploration for example from the III-V semiconductors or combinations of silicon/germanium. Other areas that require further development include the proton exchange membrane. Solid oxide fuel cells operate at a much higher temperature and are more efficient. super capacitors and batteries.2.5. At present research is focused on III-V semiconductors such as gallium arsenide and indium phosphide. 94 . The main disadvantage of such dye-based solar cells is the low conversion efficiency (10% maximum efficiency in experimental systems). Solar cells Nanomaterials have tremendous potential for increasing the efficiency of solar cells. Fuel cells Fuel cells combine hydrogen (fuel) and oxygen (from air) to produce water and an electric current. a. Fuel cells with the exception of direct methanol fuel cells require hydrogen. b. Research on the nanoporous layer of titanium dioxide and novel dye molecules is aimed at increasing this efficiency (Institute of Nanotechnology. solar cells are also the subject of much research due to a low manufacturing cost. and overcoming this is the focus of much current research. direct methanol fuel cells face the problem of carbon monoxide poisoning of the catalysts. however they require ceramics that are stable at high temperatures.3 Energy Production and Storage Nanomaterials. 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. Methanol is easier to store. However. 2006). Nanotechnology research in this sector is focused on improving efficiencies by enhancing the performance of catalysts. membranes and hydrogen storage. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nanotechnology can play an important role in reducing the weight. and the development of dedicated integrated circuits for communication systems (Torres et al. Further development is required of smart components with built in sensing capabilities and load monitoring. 102 . For picosatellites technical breakthrough is required in areas such as microfuel cells. corrosion. turbulence in weather. Research is required in areas such as high strength nanocomposite plastics and biomimetic structures to reduce weight. navigation and energy generation. Among other solutions needed are tether technology for the cable. infrared and solar) based on optical fibres or MEMS. Micromachined devices can provide improved integration in propulsion. c. 1996). Monitoring the health and safety of the constellation has been regarded as another major challenge for such nanosatellite systems. and vibrations created by the flowing winds. Nano and Pico satellites Constellations and swarms of miniaturized satellites and probes have been envisaged such as the nanosatellite (1. 2006). Nanotechnologies that have potential application in nanosatellites but require further integration studies are sensors (magnetic. 2000). communication. such a system would require research and development of an extremely high strength-to-weight ratio material. 1999).10 kg).1 kg) and the satellite on a chip (less than 100g) concept. One of the main research challenges for the constellation of nanosatellites is the information systems that will require very high processing speeds and nanoelectronics may be able to provide solutions.12 The desired strength for a space elevator is 62 GPa with carbon nanotubes having a stiffness (Youngs modulus = 1 TPa and tensile strength = 200 GPa). a suitable propulsion technique (potentially electromagnetic propulsion). 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. The increased integration of nanotechnology is expected to lead towards satellite on a chip.b. size and power consumption of smaller satellites. Carbon nanotubes have been proposed as a suitable material as they has the right strength to weight ratio. picosatellite (0. There is also a need for improved propellants such as those based on nano-dispersed aluminium. Research has to be achieved in adaptive structures with skins for improved thermal control.1. micro-thrusters and nuclear-batteries (Simonis & Schilthuizen. and here nanosensors can play a very important role (Johnson et al. and development of supporting infrastructure before this concept can be turned into reality (NASA. 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. However.

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

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

and that long-term R&D goals are well defined. that worker mobility between Member States is supported. prosperity and security. and the strategies that are being developed by the various sectors to ensure economic success. It concludes with a presentation of patents utilising nanotechnology that are applied to the aerospace industry. Europe must remain at the forefront of key technologies if it is to have an innovative and competitive aerospace industry. According to the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE. 6. The STAR 21 report recommends four governing principles for Europe’s aerospace industry: 1. 2.Chapter 6: Economic Aspects 6. because of its nature. the report highlights the need for evaluating and harmonising competition policies and tax incentives amongst member states. and in 2002 published a Strategic Aerospace Review for the 21st Century (STAR 21). environment and security and defence. It is directly associated with. ensuring that adequate training schemes are established (that also take account of continued education and training). Aerospace is vital to meeting Europe’s objectives for economic growth.2 Aviation The aerospace industry is a significant contributor to economic wealth worldwide. globally. 2004-1) the European air transport industry directly 105 . and the role that SMEs will play in this. 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. It discusses the impacts on civilian aviation and space exploration. the EC and the EU parliament. the result of the efforts of an advisory group with members from industry. 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. 4. 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 2020.1 Introduction This chapter describes the economic impacts that the aerospace industry has in the EU in particular. security and quality of life. 3. transport. but also. To ensure that the aerospace industry in the EU continues to succeed. A strong. and influenced by a broad range of European policies such as trade. The European Commission (EC) has recognised the central importance of the aerospace industry to innovation.

org/en).primarily a military aircraft manufacturer. Tupolev Air transport alone is estimated to account for approximately 18% of all international trade.manufactures both military and civil aircraft ( However.000 employees (www. but also produces small civil aircraft (www. The 6 individual companies are: • Sukhoi. It had sales of €468 million in 2004 (www.contributed €220 billion to European GDP (or 2. Furthermore. Brazil.yak. other important global players are located in Russia.irkut. the aerospace industry generated $170 billion (€133 billion) in sales during 2005. • • • • Brazil The Brazilian company Embraer manufactures small to medium sized passenger aircraft that are used by a number of global airlines.ilyushin. As of April 2007 these are to be merged into one company by the Russian government. but with several small to medium size civilian aircraft (www. Civil aircraft orders are of the order of €780 million per annum (www. 2006). and taking into account ancillary business. it is estimated that total employment within the industry in Europe is some 3 million.migavia.primarily involved in military aircraft design.oldest Russian aeronautics company. Toulouse and Hamburg (both Airbus). It has over 17.6%) in 2004. and that this will increase to 5 to 7 million by 2020.the largest Russian aircraft manufacturer (both military and civil) with a reported 14% of global output of aircraft products (25% for military aircraft).manufacturer of the famous MiG fighter planes.embraer. The new company. Manufactures both military and civil aircraft (www. In 2005 it had revenues of 3. Canada. A. Yakovlev. with profits of $11 billion (€ billion). 106 . an estimated 10% of GDP.87 billion). is being established in an effort to streamline operations and improve the Russian aviation industry’s global competitiveness (Russian Minister. but with plans to increase its percentage of civilian aircraft manufacturing from 13% to 45% over the next 10 years.tupolev. The most important sites for the global civil aerospace industry are Seattle (Boeing). 2006) The major manufacturers in the industry are Airbus in the EU and Boeing in the US. and Ukraine: Russia There are 6 manufacturers of civilian aircraft in Russia. • Irkut. (Napier. Mikuyan. In the US. with Airbus commanding slightly over half of the global market share. Ilyushin.68 billion USD (€2. United Aircraft Building Corporation (UABC).com/english/content/home).

will require an estimated 16.800 and profits in 2005 of 8.9 trillion USD (€1.2. This buoyant mood is also felt by airlines within the EU.601 new passenger aircraft. At present approximately 40% of exports by weight from Asia to North America and Europe are delivered by air.html).com). while the US is expected to fall from 33% to 26% and Asia-Pacific increase from 25% to 31%. In monetary terms this equates to some 1. Airbus forecasts that only 15% of today’s passenger aircraft will still be in service with their current operators in 2023.3 billion) (www.3% per annum over the period 2004-2023.48 trillion). However. 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. Air cargo is also expected to expand over the next 17 years at a rate of 5.Learjet.1 billion USD (€6. and Global. This increase in By 2023 it is expected that air 107 .838 in 2003 to 21. 6.759 in 2023. combined with the need to renew older aircraft.Canada Bombardier Aerospace manufactures 3 families of small civilian jet aircraft. falling to an estimated 1. Despite staggering net losses in the US market over the last 6 years (13 billion USD in 2001. Challenger. Ukraine Antonov ASTC originally designed military aircraft for the former Soviet Union (and famously the largest aircraft ever built: the An-225 Mriya transport). It has a global workforce of 26. Typical maximum life-spans for aircraft range from 37 years for small jets to 35 years for others. contributing 26% to operating costs in 2005 (compared with 14% in 2003). EU airlines have seen net profits of between 1 and 2 billion USD in the same period (IATA). The market share on a regional basis looks quite different. one of the other key issues is the relative cost of fuel to the airlines.7 billion USD in 2006). Although this loss in the US market is largely a result of decreased passenger numbers in wake of September the 11th.bombardier. however in product value terms this is almost 75%.9% per annum.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. Over the next 17 years Europe is expected to retain its share of the market at 32%.antonov. Airbus forecasts that the number of passenger aircraft in service will double from a fleet of 10. since 1992 it has also manufactured small to medium sized civilian aircraft (www. with Europe expected to have the largest demand in terms of aircraft numbers. In many cases large passenger aircraft are “recycled” as cargo aircraft before this point.

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

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

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

including those from outside the space sector. with an increase in public spending in the USA. To achieve this will require both “discovery and competitiveness”. Space Exploration. In the EU. telecommunication and navigation. China and India. Russia. the European Space Agency (ESA) has set forth an ambitious plan for development split into two areas: Mandatory Activities and Optional Programmes (ESA.development of space education offices to provide support for young students and graduates. “how does the Solar System work?”. Ariane 5 ARTA. "the future of space flight is in using new systems. and China (although other countries such as Japan and India have established Space Agencies and programmes). In addition. new architectures and exploring technologies to reinvent the design of space missions”. The specific projects attracting funding are: Envelope programme. space exploration and exploitation is seen as a major goal for many different nations. CSG (Guyana Space Centre) Resolution. “what are the fundamental laws of the Universe?”. The Technology Transfer Programme has been very successful not only for the aerospace industry but the wider economy. earth observation. According to Dario Izzo of ESA’s Advanced Concepts Team (ACT).supports the Earth Observation programme including the participation of Third countries. it has a budget of €1. launchers. “how did the Universe originate and what is it made of?” • The General Studies Programme (GSP) continues to develop basic science. ARTES programme. and Launchers. ISS Exploitation. • • • • The level of investment for the Optional Activities is even higher (€3.8 billion). ELIPS 2. The Earthnet Programme. Education.1 billion) for basic R&D.covering topics in the following areas “what are the conditions for life and planetary formation?”.9 billion set aside for proposals for new activities in Earth Observation Applications. Telecommunications. According to the ESA website 111 .1 billion in the following areas in the period to 2010: • The scientific programme (€2.3 Space Despite a decline in the commercial market for space since 2000. 2005). EU. The Technology Research Programme (TRP) looks at developing cross-cutting technology developments.6. 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. The leaders in space technologies at present are: the US. Vega VERTA. The Mandatory Activities have a budget of €3. human spaceflight and exploration. Russia. ACEP (Ariane 5 Consolidation and Evolution Preparation).

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

It plans to develop a new re-usable spacecraft called Kliper (although a suitable contractor has yet to be identified). and Japan's National Space Development Agency (NASDA). 2005). (€1. 2006). and then to Mars) and the use of space in support of homeland security and defence. It employs 20. including science and technology.1 billion USD (€860 m) and employs 110. and has plans for human spaceflight and exploitation of the moon. China has plans to send unmanned and manned flights to the moon. Russia still remains the one launching the greatest number of billion) over the first 10 years of the strategy. the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL). two new launching pads. stimulating agreement between the Russian GLONASS and the European Galileo satellite navigation systems. Japan established its own space agency. The Russian Federal Space Agency is responsible for space science research.7 billion. It is also looking to collaborate more closely with the EU after the US blocked closer cooperation with the ISS (BBC). In the interim it has plans nearer to earth. and is in negotiations with Russia over joint missions to the moon and Mars. and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) for its own use and those of international customers. around 258-280 billion yen p.000 people and has a budget of approximately €550 million. 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).5 billion from 2006 to 2015 (Forbes. China is one of only 3 countries to have put a person in space (in 2003 using the Shenzhou spacecraft) (China. Russia. and satellite systems for telecommunications and earth observation. the EU and ESA signed a cooperation agreement on space. JAXA’s vision comes with large investment. India aims to put an astronaut in space by 2014 (a programme that is estimated to cost €1. The EU and Russia are also engaged in a dialogue on space cooperation. On 10 March 2006. The EU is also collaborating with Canada and the USA on a bilateral basis and in the International Space Station.isro.they are successful (payments will be made in stages based on achieving targets).7-1.000 people. Of all the countries involved in space exploration. send missions to one of the two moons orbiting Mars. and double the number of earth orbiting satellites to 70. The US is focused on 2 priorities: space exploration (particularly a manned mission to the moon. Turnover in the EU is also 113 . The Chinese Space Programme contracts most of its work to the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).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. One of the major challenges to the EU space industry is the fact that in the US over 75% of funding for R&D comes from the Department of Defence and NASA (while in the EU it is 50%). It aims to achieve a leading global position in reliability and capability for both launch vehicles and satellites. The Indian Space Research Organisation was established in 1972 and has developed launch vehicles (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. which has registered capital of 1. with a budget of some €12. www.a.

024 entries for “nano-optics”. advances in nanotechnology with applications to these areas are expected also to be spun-out into other industries. storage and transmission”. It is likely. sensing or actuating”. In space applications.4. as well as delivering alternative future propulsion systems. and will require continued and concerted action at the EU level.960 entries for “nanotechnology for interacting. on aircraft wings).090 for “nanomagnetics”. In this respect FP7 funding for space related R&D is €1.g. The title and abstract for each patent is given in Table 1.115 entries for “nanotechnology for materials and surfaces”.significantly lower than the US (€5 500 million compared with €33 700 million. pollution and noise pollution.000 results for nanotechnology in total.g.htm 114 . The impact will be on fuel economy.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. that many of these patents will have potential applications in the aerospace industry.en.4 billion from 2007 to 2013. heatresistant coatings) and electronic sub-systems. In the future it is envisaged that nanocomposites will offer not only enhancements in strength and reduced weight but also added functionality. 6. nanotechnology is expected to impact on fuel and energy systems. and more than 100.espacenet.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).172 entries for “nanotechnology for information processing. 10. approximately a four-fold increase from FP6 (European Commission FP7 fact sheet). the worldwide patent database contains approximately 28. As described above. and 16. 27. 1999 figures). The distribution of these patents by search term is shown in Figure 1 and by country in Figure 2. such as decreased ability to form or retain ice (e. In contrast. 16 See www. 6. This inevitably puts EU industry at a competitive disadvantage. structural materials for launch vehicles (e. although not explicitly stated. Nanomaterials in engine components could also improve fuel efficiency. On closer inspection of each patent’s abstract and description only 46 of these appear to be based on nanotechnology applications.

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

The patents fall into a number of different categories including: materials. electronics.2. especially for transportation vehicles Body contacting media has surfaces with micrometric. adhesive.1. surface treatment and with applications stated for the aerospace industry. components for engines. casting composition. Number of nanotechnology patents with applications in the aerospace industry by country.or nanometre structuring. automobile finishing. particularly for vehicles Surface treatment for aerospace applications. electronics.espacenet. propellants. and as a parquet flooring lacquer Freshwater system in a commercial aircraft Waterless vacuum toilet system for aircraft Toilet system with reduced or eliminated flushing requirement.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. 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 . adapted to the respective media Cabin window arrangement for an aeroplane Toilet system. batteries. 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. micro powder produced by the method and its application Epoxy resin having improved flexural impact strength and elongation at rupture Preparation of nano composites by organic modification of nano filler useful as a paint. in aircraft construction. Nanotechnology patents listed through EPO website (http://gb.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 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...3 Environmental benefits Applications of nanotechnology in aerospace are expected to lead to potential benefits for the environment. Modifications of the surface of nanomaterials can alter biochemical reactivity and should be reflected in calculations of absorbed and effective dose. whereas pilots. accidents caused by re-entry of satellites have been reported occasionally. Piotr Tucholka (2002) presented some “Major challenges for environmental studies”. Studies have shown that modifying the surface of nanomaterials with surfactants or biocompatible polymers (e. The magnitude of the protective response is generally proportional to the magnitude. These benefits include reduced fuel consumption. polyethylene glycol) reduces the toxicity in vitro (Derfus et al. 7.7.2. more environmentally sound coatings and on-board environmental control sensors.g. 2004) and alters the half-life and tissue deposition in vivo (Ballou et al.. because astronauts can spend months inside a spacecraft. Development of new test methods to evaluate novel behaviour of nanomaterials in vivo.1 Health risks Health impacts of nanomaterials are the most pressing concern in spacecraft.2. Standardized dosing protocols have yet to be established. most current research is performed in vitro. cabin staff and passengers don’t spend more than some hours at a time in a commercial aircraft. satellites or other objects in earth orbits which may fall out of orbit or collide with each other in space. Any surface modification has the potential to strongly influence the material’s reactivity. The last factor is the main source of chronic adverse health effects. Consequently. not chronic exposure. In the past. not in vivo. 2004). and assesses acute exposure. In general. and new in vitro tests may be necessary to predict novel in vivo behaviour. including the need for global monitoring of environmental conditions and better understanding and calibration of 123 . and duration of exposure. 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. complexity. 7.

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

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

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

policies and codes of practice. These are currently focused on general toxicology and exposure scenarios in the workplace and exposure of the environment and the human body. policies. policies and codes of practice. legislation. There seems to be a need for complementing these plans with additional life cycle analysis of the materials intended for use in aerospace applications. personal communication. Their implications and effectiveness will be discussed. October 2006). for the safe production and use of nanoparticles will be produced. When the first nano-norms appear. which have been put in place or are under development. results will be published at http://www. the discussion and investigation of EHS risks and benefits of engineered nanomaterials and nanodevices in aerospace is barely getting off the ground. legislation. ethics.” “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.aerospace. legislation. Current research agenda’s for risk assessment of engineered nanomaterials intended for application in aerospace are relevant. Exposure 19 This project runs from 1 February 2005 until 31 January 2007.html 127 . (Source Ivo van der Werff. The European debate takes place in ECSS. Ways in which existing legislation is applied to the macroscale counterparts of nanoparticles will also be examined.impartnanotox. NEN. 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. these are likely to be applied also to individual sectors including aerospace.” The project aims “to survey national. health and safety related to nanomaterials for applications in all sectors including aerospace are framed. Guidelines and recommendations for the institution of future European ethical issues. and Dutch companies are involved in it.” 7.19 This implies the following: “Standards. and codes of practise. In the EU funded NANOTOX–project.7 Conclusion To conclude. will be assessed and reviewed. It is not yet clear if there will be a need for nanospecific norms. There is a need for identifying the main possible concerns and opportunities. The discussion about nanotechnology is starting in aerospace norms and standard setting circles. international and European standards. ethical issues.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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xml ESA: ECARE-SME: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) NASA ESA MNT roundtables: https://escies.AeroSME: www.html NanoroadSME: roadmap on nanomaterials for aeronautics.afrlhorizons. EASA: www.asp European Space Technology Platform: AFRL Horizons: (projects and bi-annual conferences) ACARE4Europe: Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe: EADS Space: www.unoosa.eads. CANEUS: International Development of MNT for Aerospace United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs: ICAO: International Civil Aviation Organisation: The Integral Satcom Initiative: http://www.acare4europe.html European Commission Space Policy: > downloads.html European Centre for Space Law: 150 European Aviation Safety Agency.html European Cooperation on Space Standardisation: Aerospace Corporation: http://www. www.

com: Integran webpage.nanovic.ohionanosummit.html ISRO: www.htm Nanovic webpage.NASA Nanotechnology R&D: http://www.html NNI: 151 Nanocompositech: JAXA: http://www.nanocompositech.Aerospace&p=61 Nanovobs: Ohio Nanosummit: http://www.arc.

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