Press Release

Space technology landing in Hanover at largest trade fair

By SpaceRef Editor
April 18, 2012
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Propelling the Ariane 5 rocket into space, the Vulcain engine truly reflects Europe’s impressive aerospace achievements. The giant engine will flag ‘ESA Space Apps’ at this year’s Hannover Messe trade fair showcasing impressive space technology spin-offs and their terrestrial potential.

Organised by ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme Office and German MST Aerospace, the ESA Space Apps stand will illustrate how striking product developments and innovative advances are possible in a variety of fields through the transfer of ready available space technologies.

On the opening day – 23 April – the winner of this year’s ESA Space Spin-off Award will be announced. It goes to individuals or an organisation that have carried out a space technology transfer of extraordinary success with significant economic impact and remarkable results in a non-space sector.

ESA Space Apps visitors can discuss with MST and ESA representatives how space technologies can be employed in their fields.

ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme Office has invited several industrial partners to present their products and services, all based on space spin-offs.

From the Cassini-Huygens Saturn mission, Astro- and Feinwerktechnik Adlershof derived a technology for seismic soft-ground probing to predict geological changes in front of the rotary shear blades of underground drilling machines. This is now used by the machine manufacturer Herrenknecht.

Thermal silicon-carbide protection shield technologies developed by IABG for the Hermes spaceplane were adapted for high-performance carbon ceramic brake discs by Brembo SGL Carbon Ceramic Brakes.

Based on spacecraft equipment, Tecnalia Research and Innovation is developing a telecare fall-detector device and an intelligent assistance system for mountaineers and search and rescue teams.

The space expertise of PiMON has lead to the development of novel fibre optics-based sensor monitoring systems for oil and gas pipelines. Vibration and other changes along the lines – such as leaks or illegal tapping – are immediately detected and reported to service personnel.

Special ball-bearing cages developed for space missions like the BepiColombo Mercury probe are now offered by AAC for terrestrial applications.

Fire Suppression Inside is spinning off a technology from ESA’s Proba-2 satellite to suppress overheating and fire in electrical equipment like servers, switches, power distribution units and backup generators.

‘mobile life’ is developing GPS/Galileo-based high accuracy positioning monitoring systems with wireless telemetric sensors for easy location and monitoring of people, animals and freight.

“Europe’s space programmes are important economic drivers, also when leading-edge space technology is transferred to non-space systems and sectors,” explains Werner Dupont of MST Aerospace.

MST is co-organiser of the ESA Space Apps stand and the manager of ESA’s Technology Transfer Broker Network.

“Space technologies enable in many cases everyday products in sectors like automotive, health and household without users and consumers being aware of it.”

At the Hannover Messe, ESA Space Apps is located at stand D56 in hall 2, 23-27 April.

ESA is also present with its ESA Career Info stand at Hall 6, J24/40.

The main mission of ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme is to facilitate the use of space technology and systems for non-space applications to take advantage of Europe’s investments in space research and developments to strengthen the competitiveness of European industry, and at the same time demonstrating the benefit of the European space programmes to Europe’s citizens.

The office is responsible for defining the overall approach and strategy for the transfer of space technologies and systems, including the incubation of start-up companies at ESA business incubation centres and related funding.

Together with its Technology Transfer Broker Network, the office has transferred over 260 technologies since the programme began and is supporting around 100 new start-ups a year.

It has also initiated as a limited partner the Open Sky Technology Fund, a O100 million venture fund which invests in start-ups using space technology.

For more information, please contact:

ESA Technology Transfer Programme Office
European Space Agency
Keplerlaan 1
2201 AZ, Noordwijk
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 71 565 6208

SpaceRef staff editor.