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Composites Components Heading to Jupiter


At this years Hannover Fair SGL Group showed off a component made from the ceramic composite, which is being used in NASA’s Juno mission.

Juno’s principal goal is to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. Underneath its dense cloud cover, Jupiter safeguards secrets to the fundamental processes and conditions that governed our solar system during its formation. As our primary example of a giant planet, Jupiter can also provide critical knowledge for understanding the planetary systems being discovered around other stars.

With its suite of science instruments, Juno will investigate the existence of a solid planetary core, map Jupiter’s intense magnetic field, measure the amount of water and ammonia in the deep atmosphere, and observe the planet’s auroras.

Mounted on a boom outside the spacecraft is this so-called optical bench which holds the magnetometer that will measure the magnetic field of the planet Jupiter.

For this mission, a nonmagnetic material was required that was lightweight and extremely strong at the same time to withstand the high thermal and mechanical stresses during the launch and the space flight itself, which will take over four years.

As a carbon fibre-reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC), SIGRASIC has the optimum material properties. The combination of carbon fibers with a ceramic matrix gives the material high wear and fracture resistance plus the necessary stability to temperature extremes and thermal shock, while also offering the key advantage of light weight.

A well-known application for C/SiC is the carbon-ceramic brake disk, which was fitted as standard for the first time on the Porsche GT2 and is now being used on other luxury and sports cars.

Juno’s principal goal is to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. Underneath its dense cloud cover, Jupiter safeguards secrets to the fundamental processes and conditions that governed our solar system during its formation. As our primary example of a giant planet, Jupiter can also provide critical knowledge for understanding the planetary systems being discovered around other stars.

With its suite of science instruments, Juno will investigate the existence of a solid planetary core, map Jupiter’s intense magnetic field, measure the amount of water and ammonia in the deep atmosphere, and observe the planet’s auroras.

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