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).


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

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

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

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

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

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

surface treatment and coatings. propellants. This chapter may be most interesting for industrialists and economic and innovation policymakers. The US aims for space exploration are in manned missions to the moon and Mars. in smaller aircraft in the EU market and larger ones in Asia Pacific.spacecraft. 23 are registered in the USA and 17 in European countries. China has put a person in space. engine components. Chapter 6 consists of an economic analysis of the European aerospace sectors. Canada and Ukraine. the space elevator. Visionary applications of nanotechnology in space include molecular nanotechnology and electronics for space. 9 . They have developed a strategic research agenda to accomplish this. the US will decline and Asia will increase its market share. The R&D is expected to take a decade before being implemented in spacecraft. Brazil. the gossamer spacecraft and space solar power. and homeland security and defence. nano and pico satellites. The European Commission’s Aerospace policy (STAR21. The European Space Agency intends to use new systems. Budgets amount to billions of euros per year. and electronics. Of these patents. The major manufacturers for aviation are Airbus in Europe and Boeing in the US. SMEs provide services and additional expertise in R&D to major corporations. The expected market size is €1.601 new passenger aircraft. Russia still launches the most spacecraft. Europe’s market size is expected to remain constant. Choices of priorities in nanotechnology R&D for space must be based on the technological readiness and applicability. Japan and India also have space policies. Several EU funded projects support SME’s in the aerospace sector.3% per year until 2023. Airbus expects a need for 16. This chapter may be most interesting for decision makers on future research priorities in nanotechnology and in aerospace. batteries. and wants to send missions to the moon. reusable spacecraft and collaborate with the EU on satellite navigation and science and technology.48 trillion. with other important global players in Russia. Keeping sufficient qualified human capital and industrial companies in Europe requires a coordinated effort by the EU and member states. The global market for airline passenger traffic is expected to increase 5. new architectures and to explore technologies to reinvent the design of space missions. Research in nanotechnology for aerospace applications has already led to 62 patented inventions in materials. 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. It is negotiating with Russia and the EU about space collaborations. and intends to develop a new. The European Technology Platform ACARE states that the investment in R&D by the private sector in Europe is comparable to the US. Space exploration and exploitation are seen as major goals for many countries. while the European public funding is only 25% of US public funding.

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

CNT based electronic noses. EU STAR21) 2023: 16.6) Nanotechnology applications in aerospace will enable new activities and require changes in legislation (ch8) Satellite on chip. architectures & technologies to reinvent design of space missions (ch6) Aircraft weight half of current conventional (ch3.48 trillion (ch6. autonomous nanorobot swarm (ch4) Quantum devices for information management (ch4) 5-10 years More stringent regulations incl. ch4) 11 . NASA 2001) Space elevator. CNT based lab on a 2015: fuel cells for onboard aircraft systems (ch3. Airbus) ESA: new systems.601 new aircraft needed. Boeing. Level of integration Societal boundary conditions for nanotechnology in aerospace 0-5 years Current treaties and regulations guide nanotechnology R&D (ch8) Nanotoxicology and occupational nanosafety research ongoing (ch7) Impact of nanotechnology in aerospace on society Need to start life cycle analysis & exposure scenarios for aerospace applications of nanomaterials (ch7) Need action to stimulate EHS benefits of nanotechnology for aerospace (ch7) Nanotechnology applications in aerospace will enable new activities and require changes in legislation (ch8) Economic factors affecting nanotechnology uptake in aerospace Space budgets amount to billions of euros per year (ch6) EU stimulates SMEs in space sector (ch6) Technical system Nano/picosatellites (ch4) Russia: new reusable spacecraft (ch6) European public and private aeronautic R&D funding €100 billion by 2020 (ch6.1 summarising trends in the whole report. 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.Table 1. autonomous satellites swarm (ch4) Technical subsystem Black box using nanosensors. market size €1. colonisation.

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

............................................................... 42 4.............................................. 23 2...............3 Classification ............................2 Nanofibres/carbon nanotube in polymer nanocomposites .................................. 22 2..6..........................Table of contents: Nanotechnology in Aerospace ....................3 high-performance PNCs resins ........ 18 2...........3.............1.. 2 Chapter 1 Executive summary and introduction .............. Fuel cells ........................1.................................................................................. 58 4....3...................................................................................................... 40 4............................. Engines ...........3...................... 59 13 ..................................2.............4...................................5 Energy conclusion ................................ Nanoelements .. Coatings..............................................2.... 55 4..................7 Polymer Nanocomposites.3.7............... 58 4....................... 59 4........5......................4...7.....................................4.......5 The projects related to aircraft company business ............... 53 4........... 34 3................1. Solar cells .......2 Materials conclusion .............. 36 3........ 30 3...................1...................1..1................ Propellants ................1 Introduction......1 Layered silicate (clay) nanocomposites ...... 20 2...................3.....2 Advancement of Nanotube-Reinforced Composites......................................3............................................................................... 16 2... Batteries ................... 43 4............2................ 45 4...............6 Publications and Conferences .......3..................................... 20 2........................ 16 2....4...... 28 3...............................4.......................................... 54 4. 54 4....................................................... 26 Chapter 3: Review of state of the art of technology and future trends in Aeronautics...............2 Materials .4........ 17 2.................................................................................... 39 Chapter 4 Review of state of the art of technology and future trends in Spacecraft ...................... Nanostructured metals .................................. Conclusion .............................. Energy generation and storage................. 49 4...........4 Electronics conclusion........2............................ 19 2........... 6 Chapter 2 – Nanomaterials in Aerospace...... Sensors................... Others ...3......................7.................................3.......... 21 2...............4.............................. 37 3................ Global life support............................................................................................................3..2 Memories / Data storage.......5............. Materials using nanoelements ............................... 49 4..7....... Electrical/electronic components and hardware ............... Life support ...................................................................................... 21 2.......................................................................................... 40 4......... 56 4......................... 22 2.1 Introduction ................................7..................................................7................................. 51 4..........7............. 39 3...... Electronics .......2......1 Carbon nanotubes for transistors ...................... Airframe and components.........4.. 16 2................. 38 3.............5.. 50 4........4 The advancement of severe plastic deformation ...1 Introduction....................2 Definitions .........................

.........8 European Air Transport System ..3 Satellites / Payloads conclusion: .........................1.......................10 Current Research ........... 95 5.......5 Sensors .............. 90 5................1........................................ 72 4............. 83 5.......................... 111 6.............6...................... Space elevator.. 82 5.............................................6....................... Processing and Transmission...6 Safety and Security...........................1 Introduction....................3 Energy Production and Storage.................... Autonomous systems ...5........12 Funding and investment...2 Statement of needs for Research and Development in Space .......................2...... 85 5..4 Aircraft avionics.........5....1 Patenting of Nanotechnology Advances that have Applications in the Aerospace Industry ................................................ Science payloads .... 105 6..............5.....7..................................................2........... 99 5...............................1................................ 81 5............................................... Satellite subsystems....... 60 4...................7 Nanomaterials and thin films for spacecraft ........ 90 5....................2........ 75 4..................1.....................1.......................1.....8 Visionary Applications...................... 94 5............ 80 5.......3 Propulsion ......2...............................8 Conclusion ............................1 Global markets in the aviation industry..............................1..... Space colonisation .......................................13 Policy...... 63 4.................................................................................................2 Airframes ... 114 6......................1....................................................... 63 4. 90 5...................4 How can Nanotechnology Impact on these Strategies? ...............................3..9 Conclusion ............... 92 5................... 103 Chapter 6: Economic Aspects .3......1......15 SME ......... 89 5.............. 88 5....9 Future concepts for Guidance & Control ................................2...............................2............................ 105 6.......................1 Aeronautics ............................4 Futuristic visions conclusion ................................ 80 5....7....1.................... 98 5..... 77 4........... 77 Chapter 5: Summary of Needs in Aerospace Research ........ 84 5............. 86 5........4..7..................................... 72 4..........................2......................... 90 5.............................................14 Education and Training ...2.... 89 5....2............ systems and equipment........... 89 5........ Futuristic visions .4 Data Storage..................................................... 73 4...........2 Nanomaterials for space craft structure ................................................................................................................................ 81 5......................................... 86 5.................................1........1 Introduction ...............................................2..1..............4 Life support conclusion ......1..................................................... 107 6.........7.... 68 4.......... Textile .......... 101 5.6......................................2.......7..16 Conclusion .... 67 4.....4......... 64 4...........................2 Aviation...................................... Satellites / Science payloads ......................2.................................7 Quality and affordability..........1......................................... 86 5...........3 Space .......6....................11 Aeronautics application in other industries...1.........1. 100 5...........2....... 105 6....................................................6 Life support systems ............................................................................................................. 74 4....................... 114 14 . Medical systems ....................1....5 Environment......

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

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

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

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

The research also includes micromechanical modelling of CNT reinforced composites and feasibility studies into future exploitation routes. One of the routes to ease these restrictions is offered by a modification of existing SPD techniques. cooperation with external suppliers and strategic partners is essential. in order to meet future challenges and to incorporate worldwide best state-of the-art technological solutions.) for all types of aircraft. The global aims of VIVACE are to reduce the time to market. The project entitled: “Nano-Structured and Reinforced Composite Materials” is being undertaken at Imperial College London (2006). QinetiQ of Farnbourough in Hampshire. pressure bulk heads. and Chemical Engineering. although nanotechnologies promise significant benefits for aerospace applications. UK also collaborates in the project. 2.5 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. Polymer) Matrix Composites” is taking place at universities in the Netherlands to develop 19 . The project is collaboration between three departments within the College – Aeronautics. a ‘maintenance-free’ airframe and environmental friendliness. Chemistry. The Value Improvement through a Virtual Aeronautical Collaborative Enterprise (VIVACE) consortium is a €70 Million European Project which is led by Airbus. there are some limitations to their wider use which result from the current restrictions on the cost and size of SPD processed elements. an increased integration of the supply chain and substantial reduction of the operating costs. Finally. including CNT-reinforced polymer fibres.There is clearly a great potential for bulk nanostructured materials. particularly in the aerospace industry. 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. it must be stated that to introduce products having a nanometal structure into the market. the Airbus Industry in Stade is interested in manufacturing some composite parts (vertical stabilisers. However. Another route aims at the development of new methods. all of which are well recognised names in the aerospace and IT industries. and CNT reinforced thermoset resins. For example. etc. However. This project pursues a range of approaches to nano-reinforcement of polymer composites. CNT-grafted carbon fibres. For this purpose. mature and robust solutions are mandatory. The project entitled: “Self-Healing Intermetallics (Metal. and includes 50 partners.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

can lead to a weight reduction of 60-70% compared with current fibre-reinforced polymers. Figure 3. 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. Advantages of nanomaterials are: • ultra high strength to weight ratio • improved hardness. single walled carbon nanotubes) or more (MWCNT.1). Technical problems include a lack of methods to achieve spatial alignment of CNTs.3.1. 31 .000-fold increase in price compared to standard fibres and the lack of an appropriate industrial-scale production method. multi walled carbon nanotubes) layer(s) of graphite. Fibre-reinforced polymers • Carbon Nanotubes (CNT): Hollow tubes of one (SWCNT. 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. 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.A further improvement can be expected by substituting micrometre fibres in these composites by fibres in the nanometre range. reinforced with carbon nanotubes. wear resistance and resilience • thermal shock. good adhesion to the polymer matrix and achieving a high loading rate. Estimations are made that aluminium.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The space sector has been a strategic field for all the industrial But new technologies are also being developed to face traditional space constraints – • • Facing high levels of radiation with suitable materials and electronics.pdf 41 . extra solar system exploration2).qc. health management knowledge have to be developed to meet the challenges of harsh environment in space. Of the 6376 launches. commercial applications are expected to present colossal potential opportunity for communication. http://www. GPS and space tourism companies.8% were military spacecrafts and 43.2% were civilian. As costs are considered proportional to weight. studying them for 1 2 The spacecraft encyclopedia. life support.sciencepresse. between the extreme cold of Mars. The remaining spacecrafts launches have been exploration missions. energy). 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. Facing extreme temperatures and temperature variation (e. As spaceflights become common.nasa. 56.78 launched in 2005. Space exploration is the oldest human dream and the present national space programs are very ambitious (e. Mars manned flights.html NASA strategic plan. http://www. Technological improvements can bring solutions to achieve those objectives. • The development of commercial space applications will be faced with the problem of decreasing costs. 1674 communication or weather satellites were also launched1. 245 manned missions have been launched in this period. • As nanotechnologies cover all the scientific fields implicated in spacecraft enhancements (materials.g. The following factors are considered to be pushing new technology development in space• The ambition of national space programs to enhance their space knowledge such as that of NASA to push human frontiers to the moon and beyond by longer exploration. Energy generation and storage sub systems. Titan or Pluto exploration and extreme heat of atmosphere re-entry) Facing mechanical constraints of launching by suitable engines and electronics.g. This goal will require the development of autonomous spacecraft and in the case of manned mission consider technical developments to sustain life in space.

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

They bring new properties to existing materials e. That’s why a rapid description of the two main elements found in nanomaterials for space applications seems important. nanoparticles are already used in mass production materials like in automotive industry. Finally materials nano structured can allow the construction of lighter structure and the development of nanocomposites. Nanoparticles Nanoparticles were the first discovered nanoelement and so their engineered processes are the most controlled. nanotubes. Due to their high mechanical strength and resistance against heat and radiation. satellites) and most of the applications described here concern structural materials. creation of specific optical properties with the addition of TiO2 nanoparticles. Indeed. because at that level the wall of temperature is a very stringent factor. electrical isolations or fire protection applications. Several new sensors such as infrared sensors. New electronic properties can allow building materials with integrated sensors (e. as heat protection material. nanoparticle reinforced polymers.• • • New thermal properties can solve the problem of extreme temperature variation. 4. According to the control of their engineering.g. the tire industry has been using SiO2 nanoparticles in order to improve mechanical and thermal properties for a few years.g. composites. not only for the structure but also for components. The early applications are already emerging 43 . They can be used in several devices (as bulk or surface) for materials or electronics. coating). The nanomaterials with new properties may be used in spacecraft (rockets. Nanoelements The nanomaterials considered are in fact nanoelements such as nanoparticles or nanotubes incorporated into different kind of materials (polymer. housings of solid-propellant rockets. have potential applications in various components in space as lightweight structural materials. Nanoscale engineered materials built with basic nanoelements such as nanoparticles. nanoporous 3D specific network can present interesting characteristics for spacecraft applications. to detect materials cracks) or materials for electronic components. shuttle. gas and pollutants sensors can also be created.1.2. or with nanotextured.

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

so that the loading rate of carbon nanotubes is limited to a little weight percentage and problems of viscosity appear at high loading rate. nanoparticles.1. 4. polymers and ceramics. The second problem is concerning the transfer of the molecular properties to macroscopic materials are still unsolved. Nanoparticle reinforced polymers is being developed by NASA through the SBIR program.1. composites. Composites Composite materials are being produced by mixing nanotubes.g.1. 4. NASA has conducted the initial qualification tests of nanoparticles reinforced polymers for space application.1. Nanoparticles can be introduced in polymer to improve their electrical.2.g. suitable nanoparticles such as silicates (in particular montmorillonite clay).2. is the alignment and the adhesion of the carbon nanotubes in the matrix. Another problem with the production of carbon nanotubes composites. fullerenes in polymer. moisture and chemical resistance. Materials using nanoelements 4. nylon. dissipation and conductivity. thermal or mechanical properties. ceramic. 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. polyphenole or polyimide can be used as polymer matrix. e.1.2. According to VDI. But carbon nanotubes have the potential to revolutionize several space technologies. Such composite materials can provide significant enhancement in the 45 . or metal matrices. A partnership between NASA and Idaho Space Material (ISM) (NASA. reinforced polymers. POSS (Polyhedral Oligomeric SileSquioxanes) are under consideration. carbon.1.1.average price is about $500 per gram and the average quantity production is about 100g per day). 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. or monomers. Epoxide. 2006) will allow NASA to benefit the high rate carbon nanotubes production (50g per hour) to develop next generation metals. e.2. nanowires. connected by covalent chemical bonds. charge. Carbon nanotubes tend naturally to agglomerate. The properties of composites that can be significantly improved are thermal and flame resistance. decrease permeability. Polymers A polymer is an assembly of large molecules consisting of repeating structural units.

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

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

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

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

Thus nanotechnologies applications for spacecraft electronics are essentially spin off from ground electronics sector because they pursue the same goals: decreasing price. It is all the more important as electronics devices use nanotechnologies because some characteristics they engender are not foreseeable. proton irradiations have no effects on the electrical properties of carbon nanotubes based field effect transistor.1010 – 4. The only specific constraints of spacecraft that can influence the development of space specific nanotechnologies for electronics. Kwanwoo Shin at Sogang University showed that: First. Secondly.1012 cm-2 that is comparable to the space environment. A recent study of Prof. None of the 50 . electronics device became more radiation tolerant when their dimensions are reduced. is the exposure to highs rates of radiation. 4. For this specific aspect the best technologic answer is carbon nanotubes that show natural high radiation resistance properties.different parts of the vehicle. 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.1 Carbon nanotubes for transistors Carbon nanotubes have potential to become the base of almost electronics devices for spacecraft.3. Nevertheless it is important to note that nanotechnologies in spite of their prefix “nano” don’t represent a huge potential for miniaturization. Experiences were made with carbon nanotubes based field effect transistors exposed to 10-35 MeV proton beams with a fluency of 4. Not only do they present exceptional conductive characteristics but they also have a non-negligible advantage for space use: their radiation resistance. 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 will be useful to detect and anticipate failures due to space harsh conditions. And nanotechnologies show promises to achieve these goals by the use amongst others of carbon nanotubes. increasing performances. energy transformation) and all the science payloads. Indeed nanotechnologies promise enhancement of actual electronics devices properties reducing their size. Finally an important aspect of nanoelectronics for spacecraft as well as for nanomaterials will be modelling and characterisation of electronics devices.

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

Thus. That’s why The Aerospace Corporation created an innovative tool for failure analysis at the nanoscale. 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. highdensity non-volatile Random Access Memory. This innovation involves using the change of SEM image contrast and brightness caused by removal of surface carbonaceous deposit as an end point. SRAM and flash memory.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. MRAM This magneto electronic storage technology presents several advantages for space application such as low energy consumption. Nantero is developing this technology and announce in 2006 the routine production of carbon nanotubes for their memory applications7. such as DRAM.3.pdf 52 . 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 Even if applications are expected in a middle-term carbon nanotubes based memory represent a huge potential of spacecraft applications because of their space radiations resistance. This structure increases data quantity stored by 107.developing this technology.nantero. (VDI. NRAM NRAM is carbon nanotubes based memory. visualization. Experiments were also made with data storage on diamonds with Fluorine and Hydrogen atoms on its surface. 4. 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. New and innovative uses of advanced analytical techniques are needed that allow imaging. 2003) The use of spintronics in this field represents conception advantages and potential size decreasing.

1 : NANO-3D. Aerospace Corporation http://www.structure containing the features of interest is physically deconstructed. 53 . Finally modelling and characterisation is the most active sector of space research in electronics because it represents a relevant stake to pursue the “zero failure” objective of main space missions. data storage increase Space harsh conditions resistance (radiations).org/publications/crosslink/fall2005/03. 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 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. It can then be digitally reconstructed from the images taken after each cut (Ives et al. 4. 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). 2005). Figure Electronics conclusion Nanotechnologies in electronics components are not yet available for space missions even if they promise several applications especially in facing space radiation.html A complementary approach is to prevent geometrical defects by performing simulation software.3. data storage increase Space harsh conditions resistance (radiations).

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

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

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

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

a polyaniline derivative. offer numerous advantages for space applications. That is why powerful and miniaturized batteries are needed to improve portative tools autonomy..5 Energy conclusion Various types of energy generation and storage already exist.. whose dimensions and power density can be adapted to the respective chip components. Cathode material can be built with carbon aerogels. 2003) 4. 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. The increasing miniaturization of electronic components requires flexible batteries that can be integrated into circuits. nanoparticles of cobalt nickel and ferric oxides in the electrode material (Poizot et al. Other experiments report increasing energy density with MnO2 or poly (o-anisidine) (POAS). are currently investigated as well as Li and K intercalation in single-wall carbon nanotube bundles and/or multiwall nanotubes. Batteries Space power systems used high performance batteries such as lithium ion or nickel metal hydride accumulators for powering devices. such as Cu.4. 2000) can increase reversible charge capacity by 600%. In lithium ion batteries. (VDI. with nanomaterials TiO2 as cathode. vanadium oxide or LiCoO2-particles and anode with Sn/Sb oxides. Nickel hydrogen or nickel metal hydride batteries are essentially used in small sized elements like for extra vehicular activity (EVA) suit devices and experiments. Nanotechnologies have the potential to improve their achievements. reducing their size and so their costs. carbon nanotubes. 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. A significant improvement in both the current Ni/H and Li/C battery technologies with respect to the current storing capacity and discharging efficiency is expected. Carbon nanotube anodic layers around metal cathodes. Nanostructured materials offer improvements power density and durability by controlling the charge diffusion and the oxidation state on a nanoscale level (Khullar et al.4. 2003). Carbon nanotubes and fullerenes therefore provide an alternative to current anode fabrication technology with graphitic carbon. Thin film batteries (in particular Li ion batteries). 2004 cited in VDI.4. Those applications are explored for both ground and space sectors but space research is more focused on 58 .4.

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

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

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

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


data management. TECH SAT 21).nu/activities/recap/060509/caneus. ST5). 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.5M $0.gsfc. Delft University of Technology and Systematic.nps. 2005 and Star shine 3 Satellite10) Thus. On the other hand they can bring solutions for various satellites stakes: • Improve satellites autonomy for deep space mission using technologies developed in the part dedicated to energy.the on board nanotechnologies integration.8M Nano Sat Pico Sat 0.nasa.cgi?order=&sat_code=STA3&sat_name=Starshine3&tab_id=general 66 . Several examples can be quoted: The NPS CANEUS program goal is to transform satellite from a prohibitive tool to a consumer good and consider launch of a satellite including advanced nanotechnologies for 2009 in those components: Thermal management control.g.pdf NASA has several missions already including micro technologies on nano or picosatellite (e. coordinated formation flying (in 2011) (Delft University of Technology and Systematic.g. They are also implicated in test research program called Space Test Program (SPT) to test various new technologies directly on board satellites (e. autonomous navigation (in 2011). attitude and stationkeeping.5 : CANEUS http://www.0M Target Costs ($ million) Satellite Mass Group (including Manufacturing Launch Insurance fuel) $154.1-1 kg $1.0 M $100.0M $62. 10 See: http://ilrs.csba. nanotechnologies will not revolutionize the miniaturization process because MEMS technologies have already allowed significant weight reductions. • Optimise structure and function of various payloads that will be described in this part.1M $0.4M Figure 4. power Delphi C3.0M $0. OPAL mission.0M $2. To achieve the goal of on board testing. communications and control.000 kg Sat 1-10 kg $3.2M $0. several engineering schools build satellite programs for their students.0 M Large >10. 2005) Target Costs for Satellite Classes Show 100x improvement! Total Cost $316 M $4.

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

bacteria).1. 68 . 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. 4. Sensors Sensors will use electronics technologies developed in part 2. This includes the instruments for analysis (sensors.g.6. propulsion subsystem is needed to mitigate this effect. In this case sensor miniaturisation will reduce this ability and thus may compromise measurements. Various technologies are being developed to make sensors based on nanotechnologies such as quantum dots.2. 2005).2. Even if there are several different payloads according to their mission. Several studies were conducted to study the feasibility of miniaturized propulsion subsystems. chemical components (e. carbon nanotubes. nanophotonic waveguide potentially suitable for interconnections needed to build “photonic chips” (Aerospace America. 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. planet atmosphere composition). or physical components.Propulsion subsystem: Because non-ideal forces can make a satellite move from its trajectory.. They can be used to detect biological components (e. 2005)) were achieved but a CANEUS project is currently focused on research for low mass. 2005).2. 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. Science payloads Science payloads are anything that a spacecraft carries beyond what is required for its operation during flight.g. three main kinds of payloads have been identified: • Sensors • Imaging instruments • Communication systems 4.2 of the present report according to their functions.6. imaging tools) in the case of scientific mission and the communication instruments in the case of commercial satellites. nanocrystals to enable wavelength-selective emission. 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.

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

This latter can be build with carbon nanotubes as it investigates by NASA for antenna at optical frequencies.6.2. infrared. Concerning instruments themselves. radars (to collect information of the inside of the planet).2. 4.6 : REBR. no nanotechnologies applications have been identified except the possibility to introduce carbon nanotubes based electronics in instruments. spectrometers.3. 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. 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. Except this future application. the Aerospace Corporation http://www. inter satellite. Imaging instruments Imaging instruments include cameras. MEMS-based phased-array antennae are also investigated.html 4.nasa. In the long-term these could prove important because 70 .6. communication intra between earth and spacecraft. photometers for both visible. A communication system is often made by an antenna to receive and/or emit data.Figure 4. altimeters. 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. Communication Nanotechnologies can contribute to the enhancement of data handling. ultra violet.

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

int/gsp/ACT/ariadna/index. This topic has identified the main activities in nano and pico satellites. their applications have a huge potential to achieve some very old human dreams.niac. See: http://www.usra. Futuristic visions If in the near future applications of nanotechnology seem possible for traditional missions.esa. Indeed as flying was considered as science fiction two centuries ago. 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. harsh space conditions resistance First nanointegrated object for space.6. Small device integrating several sensors resisting to harsh space conditions Improve their efficiency. some space dreams that currently appear like science fiction may be achieved one day and surely with the help of nanotechnologies.Finally it is important to notice that not only traditional optical data transmission are improved by nanotechnologies but also nanotechnologies allow the building of materials with innovative properties that can play a role in data handling. To promote scientific researches for space futuristic vision like space elevator or space colonisation. ESA also explores what can be space future with a collaborative project called Ariadna12.7. harsh space conditions resistant Enhance security of information Interest +++ +++ Perspective Short term Very short term (available) Middle term Long term + +++ 4. NASA has an institute devoted to those questions: the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC11) has the mission is to promote forward-looking research on radical space technologies that will take between 10 to 40 years to come to fruition. As an example aerospace scientist continued to explore the use of nanoscale glass ceramic that enhances internal communication via photonics. 11 12 See: http://www.3 Satellites / Payloads conclusion: The most spectacular scientific improvements in the satellites and payloads topic are the progress made to build more integrated smaller devices.htm 72 .

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

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

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

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

maintenance and disposal of aircraft and related products. 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 .1: Goals for European Aeronautics set by the Advisory Council for aeronautical research in Europe 80 . security. New standards of quality and effectiveness have been identified as goals to accomplish in order to make European aerospace more competitive. engineers and other skill sets are available for the aeronautics sector (ACARE4Europe. maintenance and air traffic operations Environment Reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 50% Reduction in perceived noise by 50% Reduction in NOx emission by 80% Reduction in environmental impact of the manufacture. further and faster to aircraft that are more affordable to travel in. and an efficient air traffic management system. 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. The creation of a new framework that assist organisations to work more effectively in achieving industrial priorities is one of the goals for supporting the growth of the industry. The Advisory council for aeronautical research in Europe has set a strategic agenda for research that addresses important issues such as environmental pollution.1 Aeronautics Aeronautics is a thriving sector in Europe with two million people employed in manufacturing. The maximum value from funds has been envisaged by facilitation of a European national and private research programs. The need in aeronautics research objectives has changed from a generation ago from being higher.Enabling 99% flights to arrive and depart within 15 minutes of departure time in all weather conditions. operations and airports. quality and affordability. Figure 5.Chapter 5: Summary of Needs in Aerospace Research 5. The educational policies should be framed to ensure adequate scientists. 2004-1). safer and cleaner for the environment and quieter for residents around airfields. safety.

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

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

1: Relating environmental goals and research challenges 83 . Goal Environment Research Challenge Drag reduction through conventional and novel shapes Fuel additives Noise reduction New Propulsion concepts Emission reduction Environmentally friendly production. In order to accomplish environmental goals the development of oil free systems and replacement of polluting hydraulic fluid with more electrical technologies (for e. reducing taxi time and eliminating circling. Further research in the new low drag wing-body blended aircraft design is expected reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50%. braking system) in hydraulic power generation should be under further consideration.5 Environment The impact of carbon dioxide and Nox emissions from the aircraft has added significantly to the greenhouse gas effect. lower cruise speed. 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. 2004-2).1.g.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. maintenance and disposal Better aircraft/engine integration Table 5. 2004-2). 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. The change in the atmospheric chemistry is complex and not understood very well. 5. encouraging short haul flights.

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

3: Research needs from Strategic Quality and Affordability goals translating to research challenges 85 .7 Quality and affordability Improving the quality of the flying and the flight experience has been an important driver. The research challenges that relate to the quality and affordability have been stated in the table 5.2: Relating Goal and Research Challenge for Safety and Security 5.Goal Safety Research Challenge Flight hazard protection Advanced avionics Probability and risk analysis Computational methods Human error checking systems Table 5. Strategic Goal Quality and Affordability Research Challenge Permanent trend Monitoring Flexible cabin Environments Passenger services Anticipatory maintenance Systems Integrated avionics Air Transport management related airborne Systems Novel materials and structural concepts Lead-time reductions Integrated design manufacturing and maintenance systems Advanced design methods System validation through modelling and simulation Concurrent engineering Table 5.1.3 below.

missions and collaborations. reliability and packaging. Enhancement in the computing power with the application of nanotechnology to transistors is expected to greatly enhance centralized and dispersed operations.1.4. Strategic Goal European Air Transport System Research Challenge Innovative ATM operational concepts Advanced.4: Relating European Air Transport System relation with Research Challenges 5. 86 .8 European Air Transport System Europe is aiming to integrate the air transport system by improving management of air transportation. The table below gives the overview of some of the associated research challenges in Table 5.10 Current Research The research can be broadly divided into 5 themes in the nanotechnology sector: structure and materials. 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. systems and sub systems.1. 5. application needs and requirements. intelligent and integrated ATM ground. Improvements in computing power are also expected to bring benefits to robotics leading to the development of independent robots controlling specific tasks.1.5.9 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 Boeing Company is investigating the enhancement of conductivity in composite materials using nanotechnology (Caneus. University of Minnesota has been investigating layer-bylayer self-assembly of carbon nanotube patterns and interconnections. Airbus has investigated the requirements for airframe enhancement using nanotechnologies (Caneus. Novel surface-micro machined micro mirrors for optical MEMS beam manipulators are being investigated by University of Toronto for aerospace applications. Other research in carbon nanotube for space applications is being conducted at NASA investigating multifunctional characteristics of embedded structures with carbon nanotube yarn. Minnesota State University has been evaluating the shear properties of polymer nanocomposites (Caneus. Monolithic silicon based micro thrusters for orbital and altitude control.a. b. Systems and sub-systems There is a significant amount of work being done in MEMS for aerospace applications. 2006). Design and fabrication of Non-powered MEMS trajectory sensors are being developed by CEA.CNRS. Kyushu University in Japan is studying the contemporary technology and applications of the MEMS rocket. c. Studies are being conducted in the use of carbon nanotubes for aerospace applications by University of Rome and INFN. MEMS based one-shot electro thermal switches for system reconfiguration is being developed by LAAS. DAM and CNAM in France. 2006). The Tokyo University of Science is involved in developing application of MEMS technology to a Light wave antenna for communication in space and aeronautics. 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. The Northwestern Polytechnic University is investigating the use of MEMS in aerodynamic flow control. are fabricated using the MEMS technology by Carlo Gavvachi Space and CNR IMM. Politecnico di Milano has been researching MEMS integrated electro-fluid-elastic modelling for aerospace applications. Damping properties and dynamics of nanoparticles for reinforced damping material are being researched by NAS of Belarus. Colibrys have developed standard MEMS capacitive accelerometer for harsh 87 .Laboratori Nazionali de Frascati. Structures and Materials Carbon nanotubes are one of the most important nanomaterials being developed for aerospace applications. Application needs and requirements ASRC aerospace and NASA have jointly collaborated to investigate the application of sensors in space vehicles. 2006). Presens has been studying silicon MEMS pressure sensors for aerospace applications.

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

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. 2004-1). 5. The benefits from the sector are creation of 3 million jobs and 2. It has been estimated that public funding in US is three times that of the European Union and its member states.6% of the GDP to the individual member states.1. open mindedness and cultural awareness is required. 5.12 Funding and investment Aerospace and aviation is considered an important sector for Europe. A multi-disciplinary approach to training with excellent communication skills. There has 89 . 5. Reviewing the research needs ACARE has recommended an increase in funding by 65% over a 20-year period that is being invested currently. Contrasting the initiative to the American effort where 87% of the known airliners are being built.1. 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. Another trend observed with graduating students is the fall in the number of students being recruited by the technology supply chain. With the falling level of graduates taking up science and technology education. The annual turnover and number of people employer in US in this sector is more than twice of that by EU. Measure to increase the production of research output is required as opposed to importing the research outputs.000 additional human resources would be required to fulfil the need to research goals.13 Policy The new investment in research and development programme would become successful only when organisation would conduct their research in Europe thereby retaining their bases. A skills shortage is expected in the aerospace sector partly due to demographics and reduced attractiveness of the aerospace sector. Indirect benefits through lifestyle and the way business is being done has been estimated to be 10% of the GDP.thermal imaging camera’s for rescue and police work and advanced business project management. 2004-1). the demand for specialists with good fundamental knowledge of aerospace is set to rise. In addition 50. Similarly the amount of US export in the aerospace sector is also known to be twice of the European Union (ACARE4Europe.1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

759 in and profits in 2005 of 8. In monetary terms this equates to some 1.bombardier. however in product value terms this is almost 75%. contributing 26% to operating costs in 2005 (compared with 14% in 2003).html). one of the other key issues is the relative cost of fuel to the airlines.7 billion USD in 2006). Despite staggering net losses in the US market over the last 6 years (13 billion USD in 2001.1 billion USD (€6. 6.838 in 2003 to 21. while the US is expected to fall from 33% to 26% and Asia-Pacific increase from 25% to 31%. Typical maximum life-spans for aircraft range from 37 years for small jets to 35 years for others. 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.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. However.Canada Bombardier Aerospace manufactures 3 families of small civilian jet aircraft.3 billion) (www. with Europe expected to have the largest demand in terms of aircraft numbers. By 2023 it is expected that air 107 . since 1992 it has also manufactured small to medium sized civilian aircraft ( This increase in demand.601 new passenger aircraft.9 trillion USD (€1. and Global. Although this loss in the US market is largely a result of decreased passenger numbers in wake of September the 11th.3% per annum over the period 2004-2023. It has a global workforce of 26. falling to an estimated 1. Airbus forecasts that the number of passenger aircraft in service will double from a fleet of 10. EU airlines have seen net profits of between 1 and 2 billion USD in the same period (IATA).antonov. The market share on a regional basis looks quite different. Airbus forecasts that only 15% of today’s passenger aircraft will still be in service with their current operators in 2023. Over the next 17 years Europe is expected to retain its share of the market at 32%. will require an estimated 16. At present approximately 40% of exports by weight from Asia to North America and Europe are delivered by air.48 trillion). This buoyant mood is also felt by airlines within the EU.9% per annum.2.Learjet. combined with the need to renew older aircraft. Ukraine Antonov ASTC originally designed military aircraft for the former Soviet Union (and famously the largest aircraft ever built: the An-225 Mriya transport). In many cases large passenger aircraft are “recycled” as cargo aircraft before this point. Air cargo is also expected to expand over the next 17 years at a rate of 5. Challenger.

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

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

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

“what are the fundamental laws of the Universe?”.1 billion in the following areas in the period to 2010: • The scientific programme (€2. human spaceflight and exploration.9 billion set aside for proposals for new activities in Earth Observation Applications. space exploration and exploitation is seen as a major goal for many different nations. The Technology Transfer Programme has been very successful not only for the aerospace industry but the wider economy. To achieve this will require both “discovery and competitiveness”. Vega VERTA. The Mandatory Activities have a budget of €3. Space Exploration. “how does the Solar System work?”. ELIPS 2. The leaders in space technologies at present are: the US.development of space education offices to provide support for young students and graduates. telecommunication and navigation. and China (although other countries such as Japan and India have established Space Agencies and programmes). including those from outside the space sector.supports the Earth Observation programme including the participation of Third countries. The Technology Research Programme (TRP) looks at developing cross-cutting technology developments. In the EU. it has a budget of €1.6. “how did the Universe originate and what is it made of?” • The General Studies Programme (GSP) continues to develop basic science. Russia. new architectures and exploring technologies to reinvent the design of space missions”. ISS Exploitation. In addition. EU.3 Space Despite a decline in the commercial market for space since 2000.1 billion) for basic R&D. with an increase in public spending in the USA. According to Dario Izzo of ESA’s Advanced Concepts Team (ACT). earth observation. ARTES programme. launchers. Russia. "the future of space flight is in using new systems. Education. The Technology Transfer Programme (TTP) focuses on commercialising new technologies through the support of new startups and the creation of “European Space Incubators” in ESA centres. Ariane 5 ARTA. The Earthnet Programme.covering topics in the following areas “what are the conditions for life and planetary formation?”. ACEP (Ariane 5 Consolidation and Evolution Preparation). and Launchers. China and India.8 billion). The specific projects attracting funding are: Envelope programme. According to the ESA website 111 . 2005). • • • • The level of investment for the Optional Activities is even higher (€3. the European Space Agency (ESA) has set forth an ambitious plan for development split into two areas: Mandatory Activities and Optional Programmes (ESA. Telecommunications. CSG (Guyana Space Centre) Resolution.

6 billion with an order backlog of €11. some 36 incubators within the European Space Incubator Network (ESINET). some 15 start-ups within the European Space Incubator (ESI).int/SPECIALS/Technology_Transfer/SEMZ5TRMD6E_0. In the US even larger budgets are available: in 2004 NASA had a budget of 16 billion USD. The primary commercial agency for fulfilling the EU’s space aspirations is EADS SPACE. over 30 new companies established as a direct result of exploiting technologies. Another company within EADS SPACE. a portfolio of over 450 active space technologies available for transfer and licensing. Galileo (a joint programme between the ESA and the EC) finally moved towards becoming a reality with the launch of its first satellite (GIOVE-A) on the 28th December 2005. it has resulted in: • more than 200 successful transfers of space technologies to nonspace sectors. develops and produces Ariane launchers. • • • • • • • over €800 million cumulative turnover generated in both space and non-space sectors. It designs.esa. Two industrial partners (Space Exploration Technologies [SpaceX] and Rocketplane-Kistler [RpK]) will each share approximately 500 million USD to achieve this goal. cooling systems and many more. vibration damping. carbon brakes. which employs over 11. Examples of inventions that have applications in other industrial sectors include: airbags.(www. propulsion systems and space equipment. is responsible for the design and manufacture of satellite systems for both civilian and military telecommunication and Earth observation purposes.html).000 people. NASA is investing in commercial space transportation by opening up a competitive tender for supply to the International Space Station (ISS). while the Department of Defence had 18. Recently. navigation systems. In 2004 it had revenues of €2. around 1500 jobs created yearly. ballistic missiles for France’s nuclear deterrent force. 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. Formula 1 has utilised advanced technologies developed within the aerospace industry to design lighter cars. more than €30 million attracted in venture capital and funding.6 billion USD.3 billion. the Columbus laboratory and the ATV cargo vessel for the International Space Station. Astrium. insulation. however the partners will only receive this money if 112 . atmospheric re-entry vehicles.

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

advances in nanotechnology with applications to these areas are expected also to be spun-out into other industries.172 entries for “nanotechnology for information processing. In the future it is envisaged that nanocomposites will offer not only enhancements in strength and reduced weight but also added functionality. 16 See www.en. 6. 18. heatresistant coatings) and electronic sub-systems. and 16. In space applications.4.1 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). 6. On closer inspection of each patent’s abstract and description only 46 of these appear to be based on nanotechnology applications. This inevitably puts EU industry at a competitive disadvantage. approximately a four-fold increase from FP6 (European Commission FP7 fact sheet).024 entries for “nano-optics”. the worldwide patent database contains approximately 28.espacenet. The distribution of these patents by search term is shown in Figure 1 and by country in Figure 2. that many of these patents will have potential applications in the aerospace industry.000 results for nanotechnology in total. storage and transmission”.g. and more than 100. It is likely. and will require continued and concerted action at the EU level.960 entries for “nanotechnology for interacting. nanotechnology is expected to impact on fuel and energy systems. Nanomaterials in engine components could also improve fuel efficiency.115 entries for “nanotechnology for materials and surfaces”.4 billion from 2007 to 2013. pollution and noise pollution. although not explicitly stated. In contrast. 27. In this respect FP7 funding for space related R&D is € 1999 figures). structural materials for launch vehicles (e. 10. such as decreased ability to form or retain ice (e.090 for “nanomagnetics”.g. sensing or actuating”.htm 114 . As described above.significantly lower than the US (€5 500 million compared with €33 700 million. The impact will be on fuel economy. The title and abstract for each patent is given in Table 1. as well as delivering alternative future propulsion systems. on aircraft wings).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.

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

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

photon tunnelling imaging probes Broadband light-emitting diode Aluminium matrix composite and method for making same Electromechanical memory cell ESD coatings for use with spacecraft Uncooled tunnelling infrared sensor Embedded nanotube array sensor and method of making a nanotube polymer composite Transparent composite panel Magnetorheological nanocomposite elastomer for releasable attachment applications Nanocomposite layered airfoil Oya computerized glider Spacecraft sculpted by solar beam and protected with diamond skin in space FR FR FR FR IT JP JP KR SE US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US US 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 5 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Entries found using the search terms that contain no obvious nanotechnology applications: Patent Turbofan or turbojet arrangements for vehicles craft. aircraft and the like Improved lighting system lamp units used on airport taxi-ways. 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.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 .

devices may be subject to It is a joint activity between the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) and the EC.bekaert. and includes 32 countries: the 25 EU member states.g. 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. satellites). On the website is a database of over 1000 SMEs which can be searched by country. technology or keyword. AeroSME is one of the main instruments that have been set-up to aid the involvement of SMEs in EU-funded projects in aerospace. 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. or the final product validated. which specialises in surface treatment technologies and NanoCraft (www. Switzerland. which specialises in coatings and material analysis and characterisation.nanocraft. Furthermore. which are largely dominated by the US. which can further compound the competitive disadvantage of EU industry. by the US manufacturer or 118 . Iceland. Using “nano” as keyword search term however identifies only two SMEs: Bekaert Dymonics NV (www. plus Bulgaria. aircraft or satellite) is sold to a country with which the US has trade restrictions. to maintain the stated US objective of “supremacy in aerospace”.02.5 Role of SMEs As described above. SCRATCH is another EU-funded project that supports SMEs in the aeronautics industry to establish consortia and submit project proposals to the EC. 6. The NAVOBS+ project which supports the participation of SMEs in R&D projects in the field of Space infrastructures (e.g. and Turkey. Norway. Israel.06 for 30 months.6.6 Conclusions Europe is in a relatively strong position as regards its current market share in aviation technologies. However. this is not the case for space technologies. It both networks aeronautical SMEs and allows prospective project coordinators to identify “researchintensive SMEs”. there is significant overlap in aerospace R&D for civil and military purposes. Ultimately this means that an EU manufacturer may not be able to include US technology if the final product (e. In other cases. 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 as certain technology developments in the US are subject to restrictive trade agreements. Romania. Other initiatives to support SMEs include: European Communities Aeronautics REsearch+ (ECARE+) which is funded under FP6 from 01.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2006). The existing relevant European Union policies and legislative framework is summarised below. (Flinn. nanosensors and smart materials can improve safety for the people on board considerably. By running an electrical current through the web of nanotubes. Embedded micro and nanosensors for measuring structural integrity can be included in future generation aircraft structural components. Safety of people on board can profit from application of vibration and flame resistant nanomaterials and nanosensor networks embedded in composite materials. (Thostenson. The nanotubes make up only 0.5 Safety benefits Nanomaterials and devices are expected to enhance the safety of aircraft and spacecraft. micro cracks in the material can be detected. 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. Carbon nanotubes embedded in composites can be used as an artificial nervous system. 2006) and other MNT-based sensors (Blue Road Research. 2006) 7.4 Health benefits Health benefits can occur if nanomaterials can replace toxic materials currently applied in aerospace. Safety of people on the ground and the environment can profit from improved disaster management by earth observation and satellite communication. 125 . Solutions include cantilever-based MEMS (Waitz. These sensors incorporate dendrimers.6 EHS Regulation Regulating Environment.15% of the material and are evenly distributed through the composite. 2005) Katrin and Harald Kneipp of Harvard University have proposed nanosensors for astronaut health monitoring based on surface enhanced Raman scattering (Kneipp & Kneipp.7. or in the form of life support systems in spacecraft and possibly also aircraft. also Kneipp et al. 2006) 7. 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. Scientists at Michigan University Ann Arbor’s Centre for Biologic Nanotechnology are developing nanosensors for monitoring the health impact of space radiation on astronauts. Especially on commercial aircraft.

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

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

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

Chapter 8: Ethical. or autonomous systems for exploring other planets. as has been demonstrated in many case studies in the field of Science. as discussed in chapter 7. Most of the issues and discussions are likely to focus on outer space. large scale systematic research programme on Ethical. Or nanotechnology may enable better life support systems in space stations and spacecraft. 20 See Nanoforum (2005) or click the button “More” followed by “Society Issues” on top of the webpage www. legal and social aspects of nanotechnology in general. nanotechnology will change current practices and norms and values governing the air transport and space sectors.g. On the other hand. 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. we will not review all the literature on ethical. Nanotechnology is one of the first emerging technologies where policy makers and researchers have initiated a deliberately constructed.nanoforum. E. Technology & Society (STS). most developments focus on reducing the environmental burden of air travel and on improving on-board safety and health. microsystems and nanotechnologies can enable small for an overview of relevant developments and publications. Legal and Social Aspects or Implications of a new science and technology area in an unprecedented early phase of development. In the aeronautic sector. since space travel and commercial uses of outer space in satellites. because they can enable activities which were not possible or too expensive before. space tourism and other activities are more recent than large-scale air travel and transport. 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.1 Introduction Society and new technologies mutually influence each other’s development. Legal and Social Aspects 8.20 In this chapter. but focus on the relevant issues and regulatory framework for nanotechnology applications in aeronautics and especially outer space. 129 . stimulating longer astronauts’ missions.

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

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

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

cheaper and increasing their use. legal and social issues is reviewed below. starting with the question of the adaptation of humankind to outer space. using other planets as quarantined nanotechnology test beds. Smith includes several positive opportunities of nanotechnology for outer space exploration. carrying out risky experiments in outer space or attempts at terraforming other planets. 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.pdf 133 .wtec. 2001). in the case of sending out autonomous “thinking” systems to other planets and who is responsible for what they do there. but nevertheless discussed already by proponents as well as opponents.Societal. The first group is a more immediate concern. The international community is currently in the process of developing ethical declarations. 25 October 2006. We show progress in the discussion by briefly summarising relevant literature in chronological order. and considering terraforming other planets. How we structure nanotechnology related outer space use today will influence development for decades. Societal implications of nanotechnologies and studies needed are outlined in section 6.5 on “Social. because the earth observation and communication satellites are already there.24 Richard H. including reduction of the payload to energy ratio which may enable new missions. as opposed to air travel and terrestrial policies. Legal and Social issues are related to outer space.g. (Caneus. The more detailed discussion of how the uptake of nanotechnology in aerospace may lead to new ethical. security and safety of humans and our earthly society and environment.satellites. and nanotechnology can only be a factor in making them smaller. The second group is a very long term concern. These issues can be divided in two groups: 1) Implications for privacy. 2006) 8. These implications should be viewed in the context of decades. Ethical and Legal Implications of Nanotechnology” of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) report on Societal implications of nanotechnology (Roco & Bainbridge. e.Implications/ 2) Ethical implications of applications of nanotechnology in planetary and outer space exploration. Legal and Social Aspects Most Ethical. There is also largely an issue of risk. The first meeting has been in Montreal.3 Ethical. and the determination of the possibility of contamination either of or 24 http://www. treaties and legislation to govern human activities in outer space as has been reviewed above.

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

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

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

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