Nanotechnology for research and health monitoring in space

The possibilities for research and travel in space are rapidly increasing. So is the need for cutting-edge and space-proof technology. Imec welcomes partners to optimize its unique portfolio for adventures in the earth’s orbit ... and beyond.

The ‘final frontier’ is definitely opening up. The space industry is ready for its big bang, giving birth to a new universe of extraterrestrial scientific and business opportunities.

This is due to two trends:

  1. commercialization of low-earth orbit – Now it’s possible to develop commercial activities on the International Space Station (ISS). And soon, dedicated commercial platforms will be launched.
  2. exploration of deep space – More than fifty years after the first moon landing, we’re once again ready to visit our neighboring worlds – starting with the Moon and Mars.

While access is increasing, space remains a challenging environment in which to travel, perform research or manufacture.

To tackle these challenges, imec is ready to translate its nano- and digital technologies for use in health monitoring and research in space.

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Research in space

From solar panels to implantable heart monitors and water-purification systems, ... a lot of innovations that we now take for granted are the results of space research. And that number can only increase now that more and more companies and academic institutions are recognizing the added value of scientific research in space.

The unique conditions in environments such as the ISS – mainly microgravity – can increase our knowledge in domains such as life sciences, material science and medicine. Even manufacturing in space is becoming a viable option.

To overcome challenges such as limited crew time and weight and volume limitations, we need state-of-the art equipment that’s suited for research in space:

  • fully enclosed
  • highly automated
  • extremely integrated and downsized
  • low-power

As a world-leading research hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, imec has the infrastructure and knowhow to assist you in optimizing nanotechnologies for space research:

Space health

One of the questions that research in space will need to answer is: ‘What’s the effect of long-duration space travel on the human body?’

To better manage the health risks, we will need to continuously monitor the physical and mental condition of astronauts, and the exposures, such as radiation, that they’re subjected to.

In addition to the technologies mentioned above, imec’s considerable track record in the development of connected health solutions, which includes approvals by regulatory agencies including the FDA and the PMDA, is ready for a sequel in outer space.

Incidentally, those improvements in astronaut healthcare transcend their usefulness in space. They can lead to solutions for challenges in equally challenging environments on earth, such as emergency care in remote areas or during disaster situations.

Read the press release about the funding imec received from NASA to advance space health diagnostics.

Want to take your research in space and space health monitoring to a higher level?

Imec USA Florida is a US-based R&D center and a part of one of the world’s leading research hubs in nanoelectronics and digital technologies – with more than 4000 researchers, a 12,000 m² cleanroom, and a global ecosystem of universities and companies across the value chain.

Whether you’re a company, research institute or space agency, we’re ready to assist you in designing your space-proof systems and applications. You’re also welcome to join one of our research programs and shape its roadmap.

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