Perigeo project: the UAVs and the space race
Perigeo project aims to develop a platform for investigating new space technologies by using unmanned aircraft for performing flight tests.
The objective of this project is to develop an infrastructure to investigate new technologies in space programs, which currently are not carried out because it cannot be tested for being considered very risky, for example “when a satellite is launched, is only done once, so there is few opportunities to demonstrate new technology in space”, said Augusto Caramagno, responsible for business aerospace engineering in Deimos Space.
The aim is to minimize risk and lower evaluation and qualification costs for new technologies.
Perigeo project will enable
Test new technologies in controlled environments, applicable to four different scenarios of space missions: Earth observation, atmospheric flight, interplanetary flight in proximity of celestial bodies (asteroids, comets,…) and ship descent and landing.
One of the aspects to be investigated is the use of new materials such as graphene ( whose discovery has earned the Nobel Prize in Physics) for the heat shielding that protects space missions earth reentry.
The companies involved in Perigeo project are: Elecnor Deimos, Aernnova, Ixion, Embention, Aerlyper, SCR and AD-Telecom, and public agencies that collaborate are Catec, INTA, Carlos III University, Polytechnic University of Madrid or Aviation Technology Center.
In total the Perigeo project will involve about 70 people and will run for a period of three years until 2014.
“One of our goals is to develop new technologies before reaching the prior check to the space launch phases with costs between 30% and 35% lower than current systems”, says Caramagno. It also seeks to shorten the time in R&D.
The role of Embention in PERIGEO project focuses on:
- Accuracy improvement of cargo distribution systems with parafoil shaped platforms.
- Guided parafoil control for high precision landing.
- FCS (Flight Control System) research for high aerodynamic efficiency fixed-wing vehicles.