[ArianeGroup] Open innovation: revealing plastic deformation
Testimony of Ariane Group on the partnership with OliKrom
This collaboration concerns the development of a breakthrough innovation in the field of space.
Extract. "The added value of the OliKrom team is above all its high level of technical expertise based on its extensive experience. This is essential because a space launcher is above all a complex system whose total control is essential for reasons of reliability and safety. A second advantage is its agility, with an incremental approach that allows us to test solutions very quickly." Philippe Briant.
Open innovation in space makes smart materials take off
"ArianeWorks is made up of some 15 employees, and is in direct contact with the scientific teams and the General Management of ArianeGroup and CNES. Our agile project management and rapid decision-making create an operating mode that SMEs and start-ups can relate to," said Charlotte Bakouche, head of partnerships and business development at ArianeWorks. "The idea behind the Themis project is to use technological innovations from outside the space sector for applications that we would not necessarily have thought of right away. Today, at least twenty innovations have already been studied in the form of proofs of concept. Among these, the OliKrom proof of concept was carried out as part of a broader partnership between ArianeWorks and the Conseil Régional de Nouvelle Aquitaine.
Future reusable launcher
"Reusable launchers will be operational for future generations of Ariane. The current demonstration phase covers numerous tests such as those on tanks and engines. The agile method makes it possible to break out of the traditional space development framework by multiplying the tests to move quickly towards tangible results. The demonstrator will be finalized in 2025, paving the way for industrialization. "continues Charlotte Bakouche.
On the technical side, Philippe Briant of ArianeGroup's Research and Technology Division says, "My mission is to detect future technologies and establish collaborations with SMEs and start-ups. We are better when we work together, and open innovation with deep-tech players can set us apart from our competitors. "OliKrom technologies have been studied by ArianeGroup since 2018, two proofs of concept have already focused on the validation of composite demolding and then on preventive corrosion detection. This third project is more specifically part of ArianeWorks and concerns plastic deformation.
"A key element of the economics of reuse is to be able to quickly revalidate a stage for the next launch. The objective is to reduce maintenance and make it as inexpensive as possible so that the economic model is as relevant as possible. In particular it is necessary to ensure the total integrity of the tanks, hence the search for a global detection method. The solution of a color change revealing a possible plastic deformation is thus evaluated in this project and the initial proof of concept is positive. Making the structure functional and intelligent is part of the research areas to gain in performance and OliKrom solutions can meet these needs. "
Technicality and agility
"The added value of the OliKrom team is above all its high level of technical expertise based on its extensive experience. This is essential because a space launcher is above all a complex system whose total control is essential for reasons of reliability and safety. A second asset is its agility, with an incremental approach that allows solutions to be tested very quickly. Finally, on a more personal level, I am also sensitive to the humility of the employees and the frankness of the exchanges. "concludes Philippe Briant.
ArianeWorks in brief
ArianeWorks is the innovation platform created in 2019 by CNES and ArianeGroup whose objective is to accelerate the reusability roadmap for future European launchers and, in particular, the Themis reusable first stage demonstrator. Themis is designed to validate low-cost solutions, but also to contribute to the energy transition of the industry, making it totally eco-responsible: biofuel, infrastructure rehabilitation, clean transportation, etc. ArianeWorks has taken on a major dimension through partnerships with the European Space Agency (ESA), industrial companies and laboratories, SMEs and start-ups. As the space market opens up to new players, ArianeWorks must be able to analyze technological innovations to make the right choices in the shortest possible time.
What is a smart material?
A smart material is sensitive, adaptive and evolutive. It has functions that allow it to act as a sensor, an actuator or even a processor. It is thus capable of spontaneously modifying its physical properties, for example its color, in response to natural or provoked excitations, coming from the outside or the inside.