LOBSTER Democase introduction

May 9, 2022

Read the short story of the LOBSTER Democase led by Zarm Technik company that was selected in the 2nd cut-off of the OASIS Open Call:

In this Democase, bio-inspired design techniques create a satellite reaction wheel rotor to improve the wheel’s system performance. Current rotors are built from multiple parts, resulting in high assembly costs and rotor imbalance. The rotor imbalance is a disturbance that defines the reaction wheel rotor loads and the wear in the bearings, limiting the reaction wheel’s lifetime. Combining different parts to a single part and optimising the component shape according to the load would lead to significant imbalance reduction and system improvement (e.g., mass savings). Such a considerable system improvement starts early in the manufacturing process. Therefore, this project focuses on optimal design for loads and manufacturing. A demonstrator shall validate the concept. The use of advanced manufacturing (AM) techniques, such as casting with nano-enabled materials, permits the production of complex bio-inspired structures.

Especially for space industry SMEs, it is vital to analyse the AM processes from a business perspective to handle the disruptive ideas of new space. A market and process cost analysis are therefore being conducted as part of the Democase. Technological challenges for the Democase are developing the topology optimisation process and, in the next step, the implementation of AM to the process requirements. Since the market for topology optimised and advanced manufactured reaction wheels have not yet been tapped, there is a high business potential to answer the new space call.

The LOBSTER Democase is using the combined services of AWI, Tecnalia, Sisteplant, CEA, University of Patras and Blumorpho.