Technische Universität Wien
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Project: "Anorganic Joining of Optical Components to CTE-matched Substrate Materials" (on-going)

This recently started project (ESA contract No. 4000126253/18/NL/AR) is a joint project between Fraunhofer IOF Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (Jena, Germany, Dr. Erik Beckert) and TU Vienna/research group "Nanomaterials and Composites". The objective of this activity is the development of adhesive free mounts through soldering technique, for exotic optical materials used in space applications. A major consideration shall be on achieving a minimised impact of the bonding technology onto the optical performance of the component. A first order impact would be the impact onto the alignment state of the component, while second order impacts, nevertheless not less critical, are the introduced mechanical stress, the outgassing of volatile materials, and the change of material compositions e.g. due to diffusion processes. These effects, even in case of minimisation, shall be discussed to be measured and characterised during and after environmental cycling. Last but not least the wave front error induced by the stress shall be measured.

Selected bonding technologies can address the issues by e.g. using anorganic bonding material, by carefully selecting or tuning the mechanical and thermo-mechanical properties of the bonding material, and by applying and functionalising (in particular solidification) the bonding material locally and in a short period of time of less than 1 min.

Project: "Cryo-thermophysical properties of MMCs" (completed)

The project (ESA contract No. 4000105706/12/NL/CBi) between European Space Agency ESA/ESTEC (Noordwijk, NL) and TU Vienna/research group "Nanomaterials and Composites" focussed on the correct determination of the thermo-physical properties of metal matrix composites in the temperature range of 4K up to ambient temperature. Different MMC materials like Ag and Al-based diamond and C-fibre composites had been investigated.

The project started in July 2012 and ended in January 2014 and was performed within a cooperation between the "Nanomaterials and Composites" group (project leader), the Group of Prof. Ernst Bauer (Institute of Solid State Physics at TU Vienna) and the company RTBV Space Technology Consultancy Vienna, DDr. Hans Georg Wulz.

Project: "Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs) as high performance metallic material" (completed)

The objective of this  ESA-project (ESA contract No. 4000108672/13/NL/CBi) was to select, optimise, and characterise metal matrix composites with respect to challenging space applications. The development shall be validated by manufacturing and testing an elegant breadboard. Despite the clear benefits that MMCs can bring, the processing of these materials is often challenging as it requires high pressure or high temperature. These materials are most of the time targeting high end applications for which the market size remains small. As such, they are well suited to fulfil space application requirements.

The project started in July 2013 and ended in 01/2015 and was performed within a joint cooperation between the "Nanomaterials and Composite" Group at TU Wien, RTBV Space Technology Consultancy Vienna, DDr. Hans Georg Wulz and AAC Aerospace and Advanced Composites GmbH, Wr. Neustadt (project leader).


Project "Carbon Nanotubes MMCs" (19128/05/NL/PM) (completed)

Details see "focus of research - Carbon Nanotube MMCs"