viernes, febrero 15, 2008

Nano aerospace


by Gregor Wolbring

January 15, 2008

Nanoscale will increasingly have an impact on numerous commercial, military and space aero-applications.

A NATO lecture series has been developed on nanotechnology aerospace applications. Interestingly, a paper published in 1999 covered the application of molecular nanotechnology in aerospace.

The Open-Site free internet encyclopedia has a write-up about the purpose, needs, problems and solutions of nanotechnology research for aerospace.

The most complete publicly available report on nanotechnology applications in non-military aerospace was published recently by the Nanoforum. It says this Nanotechnology in Aerospace 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 and explicitly excludes any military R&D and applications.”

The following table reports timelines and expected trends. Table entries refer to chapters in the report.

Level of integration

0-5 years

5-10 years

>10 years

Societal boundary conditions for nanotechnology in aerospace

Current treaties and regulations guide nanotechnology R&D (ch8)

More stringent regulations incl. EHS regulations require (nano) innovations in aeronautics (ch3)

Global & national aims: space exploration & exploitation (ch6)

Nanotoxicology and occupational nanosafety research ongoing (ch7)

Aircraft passenger numbers will increase by 5%/year until 2023 (ch3,6)

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)

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)

European public and private aeronautic R&D funding €100 billion by 2020 (ch6, EU STAR21)

EU stimulates SMEs in space sector (ch6)

2023: 16,601 new aircraft needed, market size €1.48 trillion (ch6, Airbus)

Technical system

Nano/picosatellites (ch4)

Russia: new reusable spacecraft (ch6)

ESA: new systems, architectures & technologies to reinvent design of space missions (ch6)

Satellite on chip, autonomous satellites swarm (ch4)

Aircraft weight half of current conventional (ch3, NASA 2001)

Space elevator, colonisation, autonomous nanorobot swarm (ch4)

Technical subsystem

Black box using nanosensors, CNT based electronic noses; CNT based lab on a chip/biochip (ch4)

2015: fuel cells for onboard aircraft systems (ch3, Boeing, ch4)

Quantum devices for information management (ch4)

Battery using nanoelements, quantum dot solar cells, drug delivery, CNT based imaging instruments (ch4)

Material / component

2009: apply metallic materials in mass markets (ch2, Lux 2006)

Industrial scale Severe Plastic Deformation process for metallic nanomaterials? (ch2)

2020: over 163 million kg nanomaterials in composites, value $2 billion (ch2, Freedonia, 2006)

2006: 62 patented inventions of nanotech for aerospace (ch6)

Need for lighter, stronger materials for aeronautics (ch3)

2020: 40% of nanoclay/CNT polymer composites will be applied in aerospace (ch2, Freedonia, 2006)

Clay-polymer nanocomposites for flame retardant panels and high performance components in aerospace (ch2)

CNT filled polymer composites (ch2,4) CNT reinforcing coatings, CNT in transistors, CNT based memory, MRAM (ch4)

Smart materials, bio memory (ch4)

Nanoparticles reinforcing polymers and composites, nanoparticles in propellants (ch 4)

High performance polymer nanocomposite resins (ch2)

Smart textiles (ch4)

Nanotechnology is everywhere, and every area deserves our attention. Advances made in nano related to aerospace will find their way into other areas and vice versa. It is essential that every area be monitored -- for its own sake and for its potential impact on other fields.

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