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Press release | Event | Matter ＆ the Universe | Astrophysics | New technologies
On 17th June, EU funded FP7 project SR2S (Space Radiation Superconducting Shield) hosted a one day workshop on the theme of ‘Superconducting Magnet Technology for Space’. This workshop took place in the CEA Institute in Paris, France. The workshop was organised and facilitated by project partners CEA with the support from the SR2S project coordinator, INFN and the project’s dissemination partner, Carr Communications.
Speaking after the workshop, SR2S project coordinator, Professor Roberto Battiston, INFN and President of the Italian Space Agency said:
“SR2S has provided innovative technologies to be used in developing large active superconducting shields for the protection of astronauts during long duration deep space missions. The feedback from attendees was very positive. Industry are interested in contributing to the progression of the SR2S technologies readiness level over the next two decades. We look forward to receiving the means to advance the SR2S project after it will end this December, aiming to bring the SR2S shield technologies to market within the not too distant future.”
Project coordinator, Roberto Battiston chaired the workshop and SR2S project partners presented the progress of the SR2S project to participants in the workshop. Topics that were discussed included:
Workshop organizer, Dr Bertrand Baudouy of CEA said:
I was delighted with the large turnout for the SR2S workshop. The participation of a wide variety of expert speakers and the quality of their presentations underlined the importance and critical need for the SR2S protective shielding mechanism to be brought to full commercialization.”
The SR2S project will end in December 2015. However, the success of this project will provide a pathway for the further development of the protective shield for astronauts which should be launched in the market within the next 2 decades.
The aim of the project has been to develop, validate and increase the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the most critical technologies related to a magnetic shielding system for protecting astronauts’ lives during long duration space missions.
Long duration permanence in deep space or on the surface of planets not protected by a thick atmosphere and/or magnetosphere represent a challenge which remains, as today, unsolved. Long term exposure to Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) and Solar Energetic Particles (SEP) is thought to cause a significant increase in the probability of various type of cancers. Means to adequately shield the astronauts from the ionising radiation are required in order to realistically plan for exploration missions to Mars, Near Earth Asteroids or for setting on the Moon surface.
This study has conducted a technical and scientifically driven exploration of the feasibility of a superconducting magnetic shield, comparing the various possible magnetic configurations and analysing its merits as well the challenges of this approach. It also includes the development of some key enabling technologies to be used to build such a spacecraft shield.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 313224.
SR2S is a Collaborative Project under the EU Seventh Framework Research Programme – Space Theme. The total project cost is €2,740,898.84 of which €1,995,853.44 has been contributed by the EU.244.5 person months will be expended by the partners over the 3 year duration of the project. The project started in January 2013.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.