New deal inked to space test meta-optical surfaces
25 May, 2023
A new engineering study has been commissioned by the European Space Agency (under PECS, the Program for European Cooperating States), to prove the reliability of meta-optical elements for space use in a collaboration between the ESA, Bulgarian start-up company LaboraXpert and TMOS, the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Transformative Meta-Optical Systems.
In the first study of its kind, it will determine whether meta-optical components can withstand the pressures of space launch and prolonged exposure to the space environment.
TMOS Centre Director Prof. Dragomir Neshev says, “The demand for Earth observation data is growing, yet the industry still faces the challenge of size and weight constraints when sending a payload into space. Meta-optics will allow for the simultaneous advancement of the functionality and miniaturization of remote sensing systems. This study will provide information towards the development of robust space applications using meta-material optical elements.”
LaboraXpert’s CEO, Dr. Vesselin Vassilev, says, “Space is a booming industry that relies on developing advanced technologies and solutions in various domains. It offers a great opportunity to demonstrate the performance of the advanced imaging systems our company is developing. TMOS’s research goals align closely with our company’s determination to provide ground breaking multi-spectral sensors for space and other applications. We hope this is the first step of a longer term applied R&D collaboration.”
Prof. Neshev says, “We believe meta-optics will enable a new set of innovative applications because of its ability to miniaturise complex optical devices and provide additional embedded functionality of optical systems. Meta-optics significantly outperforms bulky traditional optics in its low size, weight and power requirements, which will have a great benefit for the space industry. Space environment applications are tough ones to succeed in.This project with LaboraXpert and ESA is an indication of the quality cutting-edge technology TMOS is pioneering.”
Both Prof.Neshev and Dr. Vassilev hope this project foreshadows a deepening of advanced industry and research collaboration between Europe and Australia.
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