Bremen  /  October 01, 2018  -  October 05, 2018

69th International Astronautical Congress

Exhibition hall, booth 5 F70

The demands on materials in aerospace technology are extreme. Greatest weight reduction, the stress caused by very rapidly changing temperatures and the enormous mechanical loads require the development of high-performance coatings. As part of the Fraunhofer SPACE Alliance, the Fraunhofer IST presents the latest coating developments for space applications:

CFRP waveguide antennas

The requirements for antennas for satellite applications are high: a basic requirement in the aerospace industry is to save as much weight as possible. Conventional antenna materials such as copper are excluded for this reason. Carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) consisting of carbon fibres and resins is comparatively light and strong, but on the other hand it lacks the required electrical conductivity which has become the main focus of the Fraunhofer IST scientists. With a specially developed galvanic process, they succeeded in providing the waveguide with a thin conductive coating of copper inside and outside, which also withstands the extreme temperature fluctuations prevailing in space.

Metallized CFRP mirrors for outer space

Optical mirrors for space applications must have extraordinary stability due to the constantly changing thermal stresses in outer space, but also due to the high mechanical stresses at lift-off of a rocket. For this reason, as rule optical mirrors are manufactured of metals, ceramics, or glasses. These materials have a high specific weight and are the cause of tremendous costs at start. Consequently, at the Fraunhofer IST work is underway on a significantly lighter alternative: Mirrors of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. From the field of optical coatings for space applications the Fraunhofer IST presents multilayer optical filters on glass or polymers, narrow bandpass and edge filters as well as large area dielectric multilayer beam splitter coatings with low wave front error.