The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded a contract to Haydale to develop non-metallic gas tanks for its spacecraft propulsion systems.

The deal is a part of ESA’s technology de-risking project. Currently, space propulsion supply chain requires low-cost reliable components for small satellite launches.

Under the contract, the company will initially focus on designing a large de-risked tank model, which will help in producing development models for full testing.

The company’s non-metallic system is expected to serve as an efficient, affordable alternative that will fit ESA’s requirement.

With low lead time, the system can also be provided in different configurations according to the needs of the end-user. The company has experience in working with graphene, silicon carbide and other nanomaterials.

ESA has also identified other satellite technology manufacturers, who are currently working on specification and tank design development.

ISP International Space Propulsion will be working with Haydale.

Haydale CEO Keith Broadbent said: “This funding will allow Haydale to develop existing knowledge in the space industry and we look forward to developing the technology alongside our partners.

“We are pleased to have gained the support of the Airbus DS Tank Product Group, who are interested in the development of competitive non-conventional pressure vessel products and can provide clear design drivers, thanks to their invaluable expertise. With the UK space market growing, Haydale is delighted to be part of this progression.”