Read the story of the METHOS Democase lead by Thales Alenia Space that was selected through the OASIS Open Call to jointly develop a mechanically and thermally optimized structure for satellites:
Satellite structures are mostly made of sandwich panels, which have the best stiffness to mass ratio. These structures have to deal with mechanical (stiffness and lightweight) and thermal (heat conduction) performance requirements. The best mechanical solution is based on Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) skins, and the best thermal architecture uses embedded heat pipes, made of aluminum alloy. One of the main issues is the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) mismatch between CFRP skins and Heat Pipes alloy: over the operational range, and considering the curing temperature of the sandwich, this can create high level of internal stresses. The purpose of the METHOS Democase is to find a material / process solution that will decrease radically these internal stresses, in order to make this solution viable for flight hardware and thus access to major benefits at performance and economical levels.
Thales Alenia Space is using the combined services of Tecnalia, CEA, University of Patras, UCLM, Adamant Composites and Blumorpho in order to execute this Democase.