This time two years ago, ENBIO opened its Space Technology Centre in Clonmel, Ireland. Funded by the European Space Agency, it was custom built to allow ENBIO to coat mission-critical flight hardware for ESA’s most advanced spacecraft: Solar Orbiter.
Over the last two years, the team at ENBIO have worked to extend their SolarBlack process to be capable of coating complex geometries, such as for the communications array, with optimal quality. The ENBIO team have also brought their new SolarWhite process online and are hard at work coating flight hardware with this revolutionary, new coating.
Both SolarBlack and SolarWhite are now established as market leading coatings for the thermal protection of spacecraft in extreme environments. SolarWhite is now being investigated for use on Europe’s next generation of telecommunications satellites – it could allow for significantly more signal to be processed through the satellite, allowing for much more satellite capacity to be included in a smaller payload. This, along with other developments, could be a key driver in improving Europe’s competitiveness in the satellite manufacturing capabilities.
ENBIO’s Space Technology Centre has benefited enormously from its location in Clonmel where it is surrounded by other high technology firms, particularly Contax who provide onsite support on demand.
Of course the Centre couldn’t run without its two driving forces – John Collins and Tom Guiry – who ensure that every part leaves the plant with the best possible coating for the customer and for the mission.