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Lightweight & Composite Materials Student dives into the Adventure of Space Travel

FH Upper Austria student fulfils childhood dream

For many young people, space travel is a fascinating adventure. This is also the case for Lightweight & Composite Materials student Alexander Auinger (27) from Neumarkt im Hausruckkreis. He can now apply his interest to a real space project. In the course of his Master's thesis for Peak Technology, he is working on the Galileo navigation satellite project and developing a quality assurance system for the production of pressure tanks.

The Holzhausen-based high-tech company Peak Technology, which develops and produces, for example, for Formula 1 cars, space rockets or hydrogen storage systems, won the contract to produce pressure tanks for the European navigation satellite project Galileo. The reproducibility and quality of the pressure tanks produced with the help of a winding process is crucial here. 

"This winding process has more than 50 different influencing variables, some of which are difficult or impossible to measure or verify. Therefore, as part of my master's thesis, I am working on which influencing variables are really relevant and also measurable," Auinger reports and adds: "Our goal is to be able to better understand the winding process. With this know-how, we can then reduce scrap costs and achieve the desired reproducibility."

Feasibility study carried out

"In a feasibility study, I analysed a measurement using profile sensors for pressure tank production and found that automated measurement of the influencing variables, such as width, gaps, overlaps and twists, is possible," the lightweight construction student continues: "Furthermore, I checked whether the data can be transformed to the tank and, using evaluation software, the errors can be analysed using a digital twin." 

Future-oriented industry

Alexander Auinger was already interested in the exciting and future-oriented composites industry after graduating from HTBLA Andorf. After three years of work experience in this field, he started the study programme Lightweight Construction and Composite Materials at the FH Upper Austria Wels Campus, where practical training is very important. 

Lightweight construction and composites are considered a key cross-sector technology for the sustainable use of resources and a decisive game changer in the fight against climate change. "Components with low weight contribute enormously to saving energy during transport and already during production," says Prof. DI Dr. Roland Hinterhölzl, Head of the FH degree programme "Lightweight and Composite Materials" at the Wels Campus. This would also enable other forms of mobility, for example in the form of air taxis, cargo drones or with a different type of propulsion, e.g. with hydrogen. In aerospace, lightweight construction is crucial to enable global networking through digitalisation.
"In the LCW programme you get a good overview of all the possibilities of lightweight construction as well as composite manufacturing and a lot of current research questions are addressed, which gives you a great basis for future challenges," says Auinger.

Those who are also interested in space travel, Formula 1, hydrogen tanks, etc. should quickly find out about a Lightweight Construction & Composite Materials degree programme. The hot application phase is currently underway. Inform yourself quickly and apply! More information at www.fh-ooe.at/lcw 


Photo credits: Image source: Peak Technology
Caption: Alexander Auinger at the new 4-fold winding robot from Peak Technology.

Enquiry contact: Alexander Auinger BSc, Student Lightweight & Composite Materials, Tel.: 0660/5182208, E-Mail: alexander.auinger@students.fh-wels.at 

FH Prof. DI Dr. Roland Hinterhölzl, Head of the Lightweight Construction & Composite Materials course, Tel.: 0699/12032113, E-Mail: roland.hinterhoelzl@fh-wels.at