The preview image for today’s article could serve as a very complex “guess what’s in the picture” puzzle. However, we will tell you right away that these are test versions of electromagnetic coils that are used in moha space missions. These pieces were printed from pure copper to create magnetic fields of the desired shapes. This is one of more than two thousand research contracts that the agency has awarded over the past thirty years ESA implemented within the General Support Technology Program GSTP (General Support Technology Programme), in which it cooperates with European industrial and academic institutions to finalize promising technologies both for space missions and for the open market.
Electromagnetic coils are used as components in electric motors, magnetic bearings and magnetorquers for controlling the orientation of satellites. As part of a project led by the German company Zarm Technik, a complex manufacturing process for these coils based on 3D printing by laser fusion in a powder bed was developed for the ESA agency. The said GSTP program is now celebrating its 30th anniversary. Since its inception in 1993, it has become an integral part of ESA’s long-term plans. He succeeds in ensuring that the agency has a head start on the technologies it might need one day. Gradually, the entire program developed into the basic building block of the entire technological effort of the ESA agency.
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