Space research at IKON
Our modern life is hardly imaginable without space travel: communication and television reporting around the world, satellite navigation or precise climate analyzes – all of this would be impossible without space research. Space research provides insights into the development of the earth, the solar system, the universe and new basic knowledge. It is also the basis of numerous innovations, for example in microelectronics or robotics. Many new materials are the result of space research. An extremely heat-resistant yet lightweight ceramic material is used as a brake pad in the automotive industry. It comes from the research for return technologies, in which research is being carried out on heat protection shields for space capsules and gliders.
The content of space research at IKON is oriented towards social needs and in this context provides numerous new technological developments for various branches of industries. At the same time, IKON conducts basic research for the pure gain of knowledge and for the establishment of new research questions in various disciplines. The goal is always to achieve a high level of social and scientific benefit.
The medium-term focus of space research is the development and implementation of innovative SAR technologies, the improvement of broadband access through new approaches for satellite communication, in particular using optical technologies for data transmission; exploring the planets, asteroids and comets in our solar system, including better assessing the possible danger of celestial impacts on Earth; research on reusable components for future carrier systems to secure an independent European access to space, research within space transport propulsion systems with “green” fuels in a space environment and development of robotic systems for the semi-autonomous to autonomous maintenance of satellites and infrastructures in space.
The long-term goals of space research include, for example, earth observation as the basis for research of environmental and climate changes; participation in international missions to explore the solar system and extrasolar planetary systems with the aim to detect extraterrestrial life; the creation of fundamental and generally applicable physical and physiological basic knowledge, astronautical presence in space; the widespread use of optical communication methods for the constant availability of high-quality data; the development of technologies for an early warning system of threats from space, the removal of dangerous objects from space; the development of robots or robotic components for routine use in near-earth orbit; research on components for space propulsion and in relation to the environmental compatibility of fuels.
Worldwide, quantum technologies will become a major driver of innovation and growth in the future.