Edinburgh, 21 February 2022. – The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the University of Auckland joined up to conduct research on carbon fibre technology to be used for spacecraft as well as laser light data transmission, the University said. The projects are two of eight awarded a share of NZ $8 million by the Ministry of Business and Innovation.
The carbon fibre project will investigate carbon fibre reinforced polymers used in space launch vehicles, solar panels and antennas among others. These composites have many advantages over metals as they are lightweight and more flexible.
The project’s aim is to establish how these materials perform under space-like conditions. Scientists will also conduct research on whether these would survive atmospheric re-entry.
The other study will determine how laser light technology can be used to transmit information from fast-moving spacecraft. Laser light has the advantage of transmitting more information, more securely than traditional radio waves, the University said.