ArianeGroup and OliKrom develop smart materials to detect mechanical damage

ArianeGroup selects OliKrom for its ArianeWorks program

ArianeGroup and CNES are preparing future generations of European rockets and launching their ArianeWorks innovation platform. It is made up of a fully integrated, autonomous and flexible project team, which promotes disruptive approaches and agile methods. This device operates like a start-up, allowing dynamic piloting of pre-projects, while benefiting from the support of the ArianeGroup and CNES teams. ArianeWorks is in particular in charge of the development of THEMIS, a low cost and reusable rocket stage demonstrator.

La Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine soutient ArianeWorks

ArianeWorks, a program supported by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region

As part of its partnership with ArianeGroup, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Regional Council supports the realization of feasibility studies and proof of concept involving a dozen innovative regional economic players around the low cost and reusable rocket stage project called “Themis” and incubated by ArianeWorks. ArianeWorks is an agile initiative launched by CNES and ArianeGroup to accelerate the preparation of future versions of the Ariane launcher. Themis has been dedicated in recent months as a project of the European Space Agency with an initial phase initiated in the spring and elementary tests from the end of 2020.

In this perspective, the support of the Regional Council of Nouvelle-Aquitaine has enabled the engagement of activities with several neo-Aquitaine SMEs presented on Friday, October 9, 2020 in Saint-Médard-en-Jalles, within the framework of the 2nd annual strategic committee. of the ArianeGroup – Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region partnership. The latter was attended by Alain Rousset, President of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Regional Council and André-Hubert Roussel, Executive President of ArianeGroup.

The following SMEs are particularly concerned:

  • OliKrom (Pessac – 33) on an innovative paint that characterizes mechanical damage at a glance).
  • Shark Robotics (Aytré – 17) for the use of robots for rocket stage safety operations).
  • Flying Whales (Laruscade – 33) for complex transport using the LCA60T airship.
  • Delfox (Mérignac – 33) for the use of artificial intelligence for the automation of launcher data processing.
  • Touch Sensity (Mérignac – 33) for the demonstration of the material health monitoring of the surface of materials by a non-intrusive technology.

OliKrom the expert in color intelligence tracks mechanical damage

Through this partnership with ArianeGroup, OliKrom will exploit the properties of intelligent color change coatings to address the issues of future rockets which must be low cost and reusable. The idea adopted is to develop piezochromic paints, capable of changing color under the effect of stress, in order to track down any mechanical damage.

Matériau piézochrome – OliKrom©OliKrom has a research and development unit capable of adapting the color change trigger threshold to visualize the mechanical deformation behavior of different materials (deformation or elongation), monitoring “material health”. OliKrom’s formulation unit will then integrate these pigments into the desired coating (paint), taking into account technical, economic and regulatory constraints.

About ArianeGroup

ArianeGroup develops and supplies innovative and competitive solutions for civil and military space launch systems, in which it masters the most advanced propulsion technologies. It is prime contractor for the European Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launch vehicle families, for which it is responsible for the design and the entire production chain, until the marketing by its subsidiary Arianespace, as well as the missiles of the French oceanic deterrence. A globally recognized specialist in equipment and propulsion for space applications, ArianeGroup, with its subsidiaries, also brings its expertise to other industrial sectors. A 50/50 joint venture between Airbus and Safran, the group employs nearly 9,000 highly qualified people in France and Germany. Its 2019 turnover is 3.1 billion euros.