Periodic Reporting for period 1 - OrbEx (Innovative Low-Mass Tanks for a Low-Cost European Micro-Launch Vehicle)
Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2017-07-31
The objectives of this SME Instrument Phase 1 feasibility study were to build on prototyping of this innovative concept, to explore the feasibility of realizing the tank concept using composite materials.
We assessed whether:-
• this project is technically possible, without requiring export-controlled technology from overseas, using European materials suppliers and EU partners;
• how it could be implemented in subsequent development and volume production steps leading to a highly differentiated, low cost, micro-launcher capable of launch from mainland Europe.
We entered into more advanced discussion with one supplier, under NDA, to select materials to support prototyping.
In parallel we identified a prototype manufacturing partner in the UK, and we intend to proceed to a demonstration article with this partner.
We intend to apply for an SME Instrument Phase 2 award to support this activity.
This allows the development of a unique new technical capability in Europe, which is currently patent pending, and which opens options for a range of new patents flowing from this core IPR.
This will allow a lower cost access to space from mainland Europe, and the development of a small satellite launch industry generating around €1.1B in Economic benefits over the decade 2020-2030.