Agriculture & Food

Plasma processing of waste and biofuels

Plasma accelerators developed as methods of electronic propulsion in space are being used to process waste products in gasification plants and as a method of ‘burning’ biofuels. This is still in the development stage.

Quick reacting magnetic ball valve

Developed for the comet lander Philae, part of the Rosetta mission, this magnetic ball valve is now being mass produced for the automotive industry and for purifying contaminated water.

Packaging potato crisps

A new packaging technique that ensure crisps do not break when dropped into the bag is based on a similar probe used
to land a spacecraft.

Novariant™ AutoFarm® RTK AutoSteer (auto-steered tractor)

Farm tractors can be robotically controlled using GPS technology to ensure precision farming, which in turn improves crop yields and reduces environmental pollution, as well as reducing operating costs.

Radiant barrier

Thin metallised plastic designed for temperature control in spacecraft – is now being used to better insulate homes, schools and offices. This material – known as the space blanket – is also widely used by the emergency services to keep people warm as it is lightweight and portable, and has excellent thermal qualities. It is also used for large packaging protection in the food industry.

Plants ‘text message’ farmers

A sensor developed to help astronauts measure water levels has been adapted to help farmers measure plant water levels, as the sensor can send a text message when the plant needs watering.

Measuring water content in Spanish ham

A technology originally devised to detect the water retention of astronauts is being used to measure the level of water retention in hams. The detection tool is now employed in the production lines of  Spanish ham producers to ensure strict quality control standards are met.

  • AGRICULTURE AND FOOD

 “Used for large packaging protection in the food industry… this material – known as the space blanket – is also widely used by the emergency services to keep people warm as it is lightweight and portable, and has excellent thermal qualities”

Agriculture and Food

BENEFITS

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Developed for the comet lander Philae, part of the Rosetta mission, this magnetic ball valve is now being mass produced for purifying contaminated water.

Measuring water content in Spanish ham

A technology originally devised to detect the water retention of astronauts is being used to measure the level of water retention in hams.

Clean affordable power

Fuel cells developed for applications on Mars can also be used to produce eco-friendly power on Earth.

Space cameras detect viruses

Cameras designed and developed for ‘capturing’ black holes are now being used to take precise pictures of viruses to help researchers and medics develop treatments.

Cochlear implant

Electronic and vibration sensor systems used by a deaf engineer working for NASA resulted in the breakthrough development of the cochlear implant.

Excimer laser angioplasty system

A laser system originally developed to study the atmosphere in space from satellites has now been adapted to produce a medical tool which can treat heart disease.

Diabetic insulin pumps

Piezoelectric technology was developed for European satellites to absorb energy through kinetic movement. It is now used in a wristwatch sized strap that can be worn by people with Type 1 diabetes and holds 2–3 weeks’ supply of insulin.

Monitoring forests and fires

Direct readout satellite technology developed to analyse gases and particles in space has been installed on towers and masts connected to a remote central office to monitor forests and detect potential fires.

Early warning of biological threats

Originally used when searching for life on Mars, biosensor technology has been further developed to detect targeted biological warfare. These sensors can detect disease-carrying bacteria, viruses and parasites, and issue alerts for rapid action.

Real-time train updates

Software designed to process complex data to plan satellite operations is being used with the rail network.

Improved vehicle assembly lines

Spacecraft docking mechanisms use a live camera feed and software for object recognition. This is now used to improve the speed and precision of car assembly lines which use robotic devices.

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