Coating to Help Europe's Telecom Satellites Keep Their Cool
Eurostar Neo from Airbus Defence and Space
A surface coating originally developed for medical implants is set to safeguard the next generation of European telecom satellites.
Irish company ENBIO initially tailored its CoBlast process to produce improved titanium implants, but space engineers were quick to identify its potential to help satellites withstand the intense solar radiation encountered in orbit.
A metal’s oxide layer is stripped and the coating bonded directly to the underlying metal, all in a single step. The coating effectively becomes an integral part of the metal. The result are highly stable surfaces, with robust optical and thermal behaviour, whose characteristics can also be customised as desired.
As an additional benefit, the room-temperature and ambient pressure process is fully environmentally friendly, with no special handling needs or harmful residues.
“We began work in the space sector through ESA, applying thermal protection for its science missions,” explains Kevin O’Flynn of ENBIO.