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Aerospace Technology

Satelitenspiegel.jpg satelite_mirror
What began with the Apollo flights back in the sixties has now reached a tremendous extent. And we make ample use of this technology. For example, it was the countless satellites orbiting the earth that have opened the doors for the unrestricted availability of mobile phones and the wide distribution of navigation systems. Reusable orbital gliders such as the space shuttle have laid the foundation for taking expensive technology, such as the Hubble telescope, the ISS or opto-mechanical mirror systems, into space and supplying and maintaining as well as repairing these.

Space travel puts the highest requirements possible to the materials used. Every gram of weight matters in an orbital glider. Materials used on the exterior skin have to be able to withstand many thousand degrees Celsius of frictional heat. At outside temperatures of approx. –200°C in space the materials must display almost no thermal expansion whatsoever. They have to tolerate the strong electromagnetic radiation and display an enormous mechanical hardness. For example on the Space Shuttle special high-performance fibre composites protect the exterior skin for this reason.

In the production of mirrors and mirror carriers ceramic systems and coatings are also found most frequently on account of their weight advantage and their enormously high rigidity. For example C/ SiC materials are preferably used as holder and carrier material for the ultra light opto-mechanical mirror systems in space.

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