The demands imposed upon the fuel tanks are particularly stringent. On the one hand, they should safely bring the satellites to their pre-defined orbits. On the other hand, they should dissolve completely upon re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.
For this purpose, Peak Technology relies on new materials. The titanium usually in use is replaced by aluminium and the heat resistance of the carbon fibre sheath is lowered. The tank consists of an extra-thin inner layer of aluminium, which is filled with krypton or xenon and encased in carbon fibre.
Due to the enormous cost of a satellite launch, there is no fault tolerance at all. That is why Peak Technology not only works with external partners for the simulation, but also with the Austrian Foundry Institute (OGI) in Leoben and Hypersonic Technology Göttingen GmbH (HTG) specialising in re-entry analyses and satellite aerodynamics.
First launches scheduled for 2021
Peak Technology engineers began development work on the ESA project in June 2019. This work should be completed by the end of 2020. In the middle of 2021, the first fuel tanks from Austria will likely begin their journey into orbit.
Read our related blog about bio-based carbon materials from Upper Austria.