Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD) has won a contract with the European Space Agency to build a prototype fuel tank to meet growing demand for low-cost components from the satellite 'constellation' market.
The company said the final design of a graphene-based gas tank is being developed by “prominent producers of satellite technology” for eventual manufacture.
Chief executive Keith Broadbent said that Airbus was providing “support” on the design of the tank, with the US aerospace giant “interested in the development of competitive non-conventional pressure vessel products”.
Haydale will formulate and model a tank prior to the manufacture of development models for full testing, also working alongside sector experts ISP International Space Propulsion Ltd in conjunction with the UK Space Agency.
The ESA has awarded the contract as the demand for low-cost components grows amid a proliferation of small satellite launches from the likes of Elon Musk’s Starlink project and others planned by Amazon.com as part of its Project Kuiper.
With the constellation market set to increase rapidly, Broadbent said Haydale’s non-metallic system offers a low-cost alternative with reduced lead time that can be offered in a wider range of configurations to exactly suit the end user requirement.
“This funding will allow Haydale to develop existing knowledge in the space industry and we look forward to developing the technology alongside our partners,” said Broadbent.