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New “Made in Italy” thermal protections for future re-entry programs successfully tested at CIRA<img alt="" src="" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> “Made in Italy” thermal protections for future re-entry programs successfully tested at CIRANew “Made in Italy” thermal protections for future re-entry programs successfully tested at CIRA<p style="text-align:justify;">With the successful test campaign carried out in SCIROCCO Plasma Wind Tunnel, the qualification of the new Italian ceramic material (C/SiC) is completed.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The demonstration of this technology, developed by CIRA in collaboration with Petroceramics, can be considered the success of an all-Italian supply chain that, from north to south, brings together CIRA's research activities in the field of space re-entry technologies and industrial high-tech capabilities of Petroceramics in the automotive sector.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The positive outcome of the test paves the way for Italy's affirmation in the field of structural thermal protection systems also in the frame of the European Space Agency (ESA) future programs.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The test concerned a full flap demonstrator, of about 400mm x 300mm, exposed for ten minutes to a high-enthalpy hypersonic flow representative of the re-entry conditions from Low Earth Orbit. The component reached temperatures of about 1200 ° C without suffering any kind of deterioration, thus confirming its capability to be used as reusable thermal protection.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"With the Space Rider Program, ESA intends to provide Europe with a space transport system integrated with the new Vega C launcher. This will allow access to space and re-entry from Earth orbit in an economic, reusable and, above all, independent way for several space applications and more. - said Giorgio Tumino, Program Manager for ESA development programs Vega and Space Rider - ESA has followed all the progress that CIRA and Petroceramics have made to bring their original technology to an advanced level of readiness. The success of the tests, performed on a model of the flap that will guide the vehicle in the hypersonic flight phase during re-entry, proves that the new technology can be used on the real component".</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Compared to the recent tests carried out at SCIROCCO in support of NASA ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) program, this new success represents for CIRA a much wider result. In addition to allowing Italian participation in important international programs, this collaboration demonstrates CIRA ability to develop competitive and strategic technologies in close cooperation with national highly innovative small and medium enterprises" - said the CIRA Chairman, Paolo Annunziato.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">CIRA and Petroceramics, thanks to their experience in the production of long fiber composites for aerospace applications, on one hand, and in the liquid silicon infiltration techniques of the high-end automotive sector, on the other, have developed a new reinforced ceramic composite that can be produced with a rapid and economical manufacturing cycle. The success of the test is the demonstration of the material capability to withstand very high thermal and mechanical stresses in an oxidizing environment.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Massimiliano Valle, CEO of Petroceramics based in the Kilometro Rosso Science and Technology Park, said: "Our collaboration with CIRA allows us to extend the applications of our technologies to the space sector. Space has always been driver of technological developments, with great benefits to other fields in terms of innovative solutions and skills. It is exciting to see now how our capabilities developed in other business sectors can be transferred into space applications. We are grateful to CIRA for having involved us in this opportunity and very satisfied of the collaboration with the great skills we found in Capua".</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Roberto Battiston, President of the Italian Space Agency, commented on the success of the test: "We look with enthusiasm at these collaborations that highlight the combination of a dynamic and innovative industrial sector and the technological capabilities of Italian research centers and universities. Putting together the public and private systems is the best way to be competitive in the frame of the "New Space Economy" driver of economic development of a country. ASI has the task to promote and support the infrastructure investments to provide our country what is necessary to compete globally. These good results are a demonstration of the rightness of the choices made and are an incentive for those we are undertaking".<br></p>2018-05-17T22:00:00Z

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