Space technology serves European citizens in many non-space applications

ESA at the Hanover Fair 2002

03/05/2002 210 views 0 likes
ESA / About Us / Corporate news

"You're cooking fish tonight, I can smell it all over the house!" is a phrase many cooks hear. Solutions to this and other daily problems were demonstrated by ESA at the recent Hanover Fair 2002 in Germany.

ESA’s stand, organised by MST Aerospace, the Technology Transfer broker in Germany, presented more than 15 new examples of space technology ready to be used in non-space applications.

'Technology from Space' at Hanover Fair 2002
'Technology from Space' at Hanover Fair 2002

"We have registered a growth in interest from industry to take advantage of space technology and inventions," said Werner Dupont, Managing Director of MST Aerospace. "Last year we launched our virtual market place and visits to this website are steadily increasing". MST Aerospace is part of the European Space Technology Transfer Network which has representatives in ESA Member States and which has been set up to promote the use of space technology in the non-space sector.

The MST stand had 30 000 visitors during the six days of the fair and staff were kept busy demonstrating the technology transfers on display. Several radio channels also took the opportunity to tape interviews on an innovative technology transfer.

Nuna Solar Car - 2001 winner of World Solar Race across Australia
Nuna Solar Car - 2001 winner of World Solar Race across Australia

One very special exhibit that drew much attention was the Dutch Nuna-Solar Car that won the 3010 km World Solar Challenge race across Australia last November. Nuna team members were at the stand ready to answer questions and demonstrate the different space technologies that went into this innovative car, such as carbon fibre and Kevlar composites, highly efficient Gallium Arsenide solar cells, lightweight Lithium-ion batteries and a power management system.

Other uses for space technology presented at the fair included:

  • a method to diagnose skin cancer based on algorithms to locate new faraway galaxies
  • sensors to control pollution from home heaters first developed to test re-entry space vehicles
  • cooking hoods to eliminate fumes which use technology developed to test airflow around launchers
  • sensors to check health and for sports use developed from techniques used to see micro-meteorites onboard ESA spacecraft
  • improved lithography and CDs which use expertise from Envisat and ERS
  • fire extinguishers with cool solid gas generators developed from space applications
  • innovative housing using ideas developed to enable astronauts to live on Mars
Space origin certification of products or manufacturing process
Space origin certification of products or manufacturing process

"This year at the fair we have launched the ’Space Technology Inside’ label, which certifies the space origin of products or their manufacturing process," said Werner Dupont. "The aerospace sector will remain an excellent pool of ideas for technological innovations. ESA’s space projects such as Envisat and its participation in the International Space Station offer a multitude of new aerospace technologies with a high terrestrial benefit."

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