Research & Technology

The « Export Restriction Free Travelling Wave tubes Materials » (ERFTM) project is an HORIZON 2020 SPACE Research and Innovation Action, within the frame of “Technologies for European non-dependence and competitiveness” (COMPET-01-2015), starting on April 1rst 2016, with a three years duration.

The ERFTM project aims to develop new European manufacturing processes for preparing material components of power amplifiers based on Travelling Wave Tubes (TWT) for space and ground applications, using raw materials not governed by Export Restriction comprising an helix made with flat ribbon maintained by ceramic support rods.

The studies will advance work from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 (corresponding to experimental proof of concept) to TRL 6 (technology demonstrated in industrially relevant environment), in compliance with the non-dependence action “U7 – Power Amplification TWT materials” as described in the Joint Task Force (European Commission, European Space Agency, European Defence Agency) document upon the Critical Space Technologies for European Strategic Non-Dependence Actions for 2015-2017.

The main applications of these power amplifiers are Space Satellites and ground applications such as Telecommunications.

The ERFTM project will specify, develop, test and qualify the helix wire materials and the dielectric materials for helix support rods. Both will be subject to a complete qualification process for space TWT and terrestrial communication TWT.
The ERFTM consortium is purely European and includes 2 Thales entities, worldwide leaders in space TWT development and production, 3 industrial technology providers for the raw materials and key involved components and 1 research laboratory for materials characterization.

 

Research made in the framework of ERFTM projects rely on the publications listed below:

  • Yielding and fracture in tungsten and tungsten-rhenium alloys, Raffo P., Journal of the less-Common Metals, 1969 vol: 17 pp: 133-149
  • Potassium bubbles in tungsten wire, Briant C., Metallurgical Transactions A, 1993 vol: 24 pp: 1073-1084
  • Wire drawing failures and tungsten fracture phenomena, Schade P., International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials, 2006 vol: 24 pp: 332-337
  • The recrystallization mechanism of doped tungsten wire, Zhongchun C., Journal of Materials Science Letters, 1990 vol: 9 pp: 782-784
  • Mechanical and microstructural investigations of tungsten and doped tungsten materials produced via powder injection molding, Antusch S., Nuclear Materials and Energy, 2015 vol: 3-4 pp: 22-31
  • Microstructural and mechanical characterization of annealed tungsten and potassium doped tungsten, Palacios T., International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials, 2015 vol: 48 pp: 145-149
  • Mechanisms of fracture in commercial lamp grade tungsten at the ambient, Gaal I., Powder Metallurgy Progress, 2008 vol: 8 (3) pp: 230-241
  • Microstructure and tensile properties of tungsten at elevated temperatures, Shen T., Journal of Nuclear Materials, 2016 vol: 468 pp: 348-354
  • Mechanical properties of tungsten in the transition temperature range, Krsjak V., Journal of Nuclear Materials, 2014 vol: 450 pp: 81-87
  • Reduction of tensile residual stresses during the drawing process of tungsten wires, Ripoll M., Materials Science & Engineering A, 2010 vol: 527 pp: 3064-3072
  • Fatigue behavior of rolled and forged tungsten at 25°, 280° and 480°C, Habainy J, Journal of Nuclear Materials, 2015 vol: 465 pp: 438-447
  • Effect of ductile cladding on the bend transition temperature of ‘wrought tungsten, Watson G., National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1967 pp: 1-20
  • On the oxidation mechanism of pure tungsten in the temperature range 600-800°C, Cifuentes S., Corrosion Science, 2012 vol: 57 pp: 114-121
  • The nature of the brittle-to-ductile transition of ultra fine grained tungsten (W) foil, Németh A., International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials, 2015 vol: 50 pp: 9-15
  • Analysis of AKS- and lanthana-doped molybdenum wire, Iorio L., International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials, 2006 vol: 24 pp: 306-310
  • Creep microstructures and creep behaviors of pure molybdenum sheet at 0.7 Tm, Cho G., International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials, 2016 vol: 60 pp: 52-57
  • Microstructure and strengthening mechanisms of molybdenum alloy wires doped with lanthanum oxide particles, Zhang G., International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials, 2009 vol: 27 pp: 173-176
  • Refractory metals revolutionizing the lighting technology: A historical review, Schade P., International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials, 2015 vol: 50 pp: 23-30