Anglo-Italian Aero Sekur is seeking partners for the next phase of development of its Spacecrew Emergency (SPEM) module after tests performed at the CIRA (Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali) plasma wind tunnel proved the thermal integrity of the atmospheric re-entry pod. Having confirmed the capability of the inflatable structure to withstand the high temperatures of re-entry, Aero Sekur continues to study a range of applications for the product, including returning samples to earth, and as a space lifeboat.
“The re-entry pod enables us to combine expertise in flexible structures with our knowledge of space applications,” said Aero Sekur business unit director Giacomo Giovangrossi. “A number of material structures were evaluated before pioneering a composite design comprising silicon rubber and alumina blankets. The structured layer approach is a breakthrough as it provides an ablative outer surface where the silicon layer pyrolizes during exposure to extreme heat.”