New optic fibre sensor-based system developed for safer space vehicles

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Washington, December 10 (ANI): Scientists have developed a new protection system to enhance the safety for space vehicles.

Researchers from the TECNALIA Technological Corporation, through its Aerospace Unit, together with the ITEAM Institute at the Valencia Polytechnic University, the ilicitana Emxys aerospace company and the Institute for Photonic Sciences (ICFO), designed the protection system for the European Space Agency (ESA).

Boffins explained the system was based on optic fibre sensors that help enable the placing of a great number of sensors on the structure of the shuttle, thus increasing the number of available points for the measurement of temperature, "something which, with traditional technologies, has not been viable".

They said: "The incorporation of our equipment in a manned vehicle significantly increases its levels of safety and reliability. With our technology, we can measure the integrity of the highly sensitive tiles of the thermal protection system (TPS) - on re-entering the atmosphere they may have to withstand temperatures of more than 800ºC for several minutes - and, therefore enhance their safety."

The findings were presented on at the ESA installations in the Netherlands. (ANI)

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