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We are developing a patented in-Space manufacturing system that will provide a method of producing huge carbon composite 3D structures in space. A prototype system has been successfully built and tested under ‘near space’ conditions at Magna Parva’s Leicester development facility. It demonstrates the potential for the production of assemblies, equipment or even buildings from fully cured and consolidated carbon fibre materials, potentially miles in length.
Our patented (link to patent: GB2500786B ) precision robotic technology manufactures 3D space structures using a supply of carbon fibres and a resin that are processed by pultrusion through a heat forming die in a continuous process, producing cured carbon composite elements of extraordinary length that also encompass intelligent elements such as sensors, fibre optics or wiring. As the resin and materials behave differently in space, the development has included testing under both ambient atmospheric and vacuum conditions. While pultrusion itself is an established manufacturing process, it has now been scaled down to a size where the equipment can be accommodated on spacecraft, and further work is under way to advance the technical readiness of the concept.
We are actively seeking new ideas for possible uses of the technology from end-users, systems integrators and Agencies, some examples below:
The in-Space composite structure manufacturing system would be well suited to provide the rigid structural elements required by any Moon or Mars base construction, with transportation and re-supply of raw materials only being simpler than transporting the entire structure from EarthBase Structures
The structural boom in-Space manufacturing system can be used to move instruments/spacecraft/optics away from the main spacecraft but remain structurally linked even over significant distancesDeployment/Formation Flying
As opposed to conventional deployment technology, with our system Antennae of virtually unlimited length are possible vastly increasing capabilityAntennae/Reflectors