Yesterday, Universitat de València opened the European High Power Space Materials Laboratory, promoted by ESA and Val Space Consortium

Yesterday, July 9th, Universitat de València opened the European High Power Space Materials Laboratory, promoted by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Val Space Consortium (VSC). This laboratory is located at Universitat de València’s school of engineering (ETSE). María José Catalá, Minister for Education in the Valencian Government and VSC’s chairwoman, and the principals of Universitat de València and Universitat Politècnica de València, Esteban Morcillo and Juan Juliá, attended the event.

The chairman of Science and Robotics Exploration at ESA, Álvaro Giménez, the CDTI’s chairman and General Secretary for Science, Technology and Innovation, Román Arjona, the mayor of Burjassot, Jordi Sebastià, and Paterna, and one of the heads of ESA, Carla Signorini, attended as well.

The laboratory is located at Universitat de València’s Burjassot/Paterna Campus. Facilities include a clean room 100.000 (ISO 8) OF 75 m2. It has a surfaces spectroscopy equipment which determines the materials composition, an equipment for materials’ suface coating, another one to determine the air evacuation time when the components rise inside the space rockets, and a tool aimed to carry out straylight studies of surfaces. The new laboratory will devote to the study of the materials inside spacecrafts and satellites with the goal of assuring its optimal functioning under conditions of high power of radio frequency.

This new laboratory belongs to the ESA’s laboratories network and its main goal is to offer assistance and support to current and future projects.

At present, the laboratory is involved in the mission to planet Mercury BEPI-Colombo, being developed by ESA, which analyzes the high temperature behaviour (up to 400oC) of several materials aimed to be included in the mission.

Moreover, the lab contributes to provide knowledge and services to companies and other entities. It will analyze many materials for them, which may help in the development of space related patents at a European level.

Technical features and the laboratory equipment make it a model in its field of activity, which will allow many visits from international experts to find out the forms of work and experiences being conducted in it.

The new facilities are in addition to the High Power RF Space Laboratory, also promoted by ESA and VSC, which was opened two years ago at Universitat Politècnica de València. Both laboratories make up the research centre for the Val Space Consortium, made up, in its turn, by Generalitat Valenciana, City Council of Valencia, Universitat de València and Universitat Politècnica de València. 

Universitat de València’s Principal, Esteban Morcillo, stated that this new laboratory is an example of cooperation among universities, public institutions and companies, and it confirms the Universitat’s scientific power, which has a large experience in the astronomical field. This experience stems from Jeroni Muñoz – XVIth century – and reasserts with the building of the UV’s Astronomical Observatory, more than a century ago, one of the first among the Spanish universities.

Since the beginning of the joint activity of VSC and ESA, thirty-one trials campaigns for the global aerospace industry have been conducted, with more than two hundred laboratory tests, which gets over the initial foresights.

The Valencian laboratories inside the ESA network also carry out an important research and development task with other research teams at the Valencian, Spanish and European universities. The let new doctors to be instructed in the aerospace field.

Besides, the research groups at UV and UPV related to this project are in their turn linked to the microcluster titled ‘Tecnologías de Alta Potencia en Radiofrecuencia: comunicaciones espaciales y aceleradores’ (High power technologies in radio frequency: space communications and accelerators). This microcluster falls under the framework of VLC/CAMPUS, the joint International Excellence Campus of Universitat de València, Universitat Politècnica and the Valencian delegation of CSIC.

The European High Power Space Materials Laboratory and the High Power RF Space Laboratory are co-financed by the European Fund for the Regional Development (FEDER) at the European Union.

Last update: 10 de july de 2012 08:17.

News release