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Bio-composite structure in space applications

Programme Reference
Prime Contractor
Bcomp AG
Start Date
End Date
Bio-composite structure in space applications
The objective of this activity is to consider the bio-composite materials developed so far in Europe for space application and apply this material to build a typical space structure, i.e. the central cylinder of a spacecraft for a generic LEO missionto be flown with the VEGA launcher. This structure shall be tested against mechanical and environmental load and for demisability.
In the last years, the interest in the development of bio-composite materials for space application has increased and the development of such materials has started with the aim of reducing the environmental foot print of our space missions.
At the ESA, material developments have been undertaken in order to design and develop a demisable bio-composite material for load carrying applications in spacecraft platforms, payloads and equipment. These materials have been characterised against mechanical and environmental loads. Also demisability tests are being performed in order to check compliance with the ESA/ADMIN/IPOL(2014)2 the Space Debris Mitigation Policy for Agency Projects.
Having now available a set of bio-composite material suitale for space application, the next step is to consider a space application and verify the applicability of such materials for a generic LEO mission. ;In order to do that, the following activities shall be accomplished:
  • Material State of the Art Review
  • Design analysis and manufacturing of LEO spacecraft structural component to be selected.
  • Demonstration test campaign shall be performed on the demonstrator structure and test evaluation shall be presented with compliance status to the requirements of the target application.
  • A development plan shall be established covering foreseen efforts to achieve TRL 6 in potential future ESA studies for bio-composites. The development plan shall also describe the possible application range for current state-of-the-art biocomposites in space structures applications.
  • An evaluation of the environmental benefits for bio-composites for the selected space structure application shall be performed and reported.
Application Domain
Generic Technologies
Technology Domain
20 - Structures
Competence Domain
2-Structures, Mechanisms, Materials, Thermal
32-Clean Space
Initial TRL
Target TRL
Public Document
Executive Summary
Executive Summary
Final Presentation