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CATEC achieves another important project for the space sector and will manufacture new components for the JUICE scientific mission

February 1st 2019

Our Center and the CiTD company, along with Airbus and the European Space Agency, will develop new structural fittings in 3D printing for the spacecraft, which will be launched into space in 2022

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CATEC and the Spanish engineering company CiTD confirm their commitment to the space sector and will develop along with Airbus and the European Space Agency (ESA) a new generation of structural fittings manufactured using additive manufacturing technology (3D printing), for the new space science mission JUICE. This mission, led by ESA, aims to develop a space probe that aims to study Jupiter and its satellites: Ganymede, Europa and Callisto.

Within the objective of optimizing the structure of the ship led by the main contractor Airbus Defence & Space and ESA, a campaign to reduce the weight of the mission has been defined, which supports the integration of structural components developed in additive manufacturing. This is where the team integrated by CITD and CATEC will play a fundamental role, thanks to the bet on the application of additive manufacturing to overcome this great challenge to Jupiter. Both entities will be responsible for developing new structural fittings that, thanks to this new technology, allow to lighten their mass by 50% compared to their equivalents developed by conventional technologies.

"We are applying a revolutionary design methodology to achieve structural components with better performance compared to those developed with conventional manufacturing technologies, increasing their margin of safety, and with a weight reduction that goes between 40 and 80%, which will reduce the weight of the mission in approximately 10 kilograms ", explained Marta Garcia-Cossio, Managerof the Aerospace division of CITD.

For his part, the Head of Materials & Processes Department at CATEC’s, Fernando Lasagni, says that it is "to manufacture about 13 components in a high strength aluminum alloy. For this we have to develop a very detailed manufacturing plan, including from the control and verification of the raw material to the inspection methods of the components, in this case based on computed tomography". The consortium is completed by other institutions such as the Basque technology center CTA, responsible for the tests both at the material and component level.

The CiTD and CATEC team is composed of Alejandro Stewart, Lidia Hernandez and Marta Garcia-Cosío (CITD), and Sergio Gonzalez, Fernando Lasagni, Antonio Periñan, Carlos Galleguillos, Javier Santaolaya, Alvaro Herrera and Laura Berrocal (CATEC). The JUICE mission will be launched into space in an Ariane 5 launcher in 2022 and will reach Jupiter in 2030, where it will spend at least three years making detailed observations.

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