1. Documentation and specific requirements definition. The development of new "multifunctional" self-healing advanced composite materials requires a good knowledge of the specific working conditions with respect to a precise well defined structure, mission and space environment, took as reference. The first step towards the proposed objective is the general space environment requirements definition for new developed materials, based on ESA technical documents (i.e. ECSS-E-ST-10-04C- Space Environment) corroborated with the proposed concepts for the Self-healing (SH) space structures. Besides the functional and environmental requirements, an assessment of the concept and approaches for the new "multifunctional" self-healing advanced composite materials, are to be considered as part of achieving this objective. All these inputs are used in selecting the space structure reference to be later scaled designed and manufactured and to define the test matrix used within test campaign for the new "multifunctional" self-healing advanced composite material (concept/approach) validation
2. Design, new materials development and assessment of the Final Structural Solutions. The design of the space component took as reference, shall be the first step. Furthermore, the new materials, precursor's development will focus on satisfying the specification (requirements) resulted from the activities corresponding to the first technical objective. This task involves an iterative approach in developing new precursors, identifying the concepts, the approaches, proposing the solutions with respect to integration methods and self-healing mechanisms currently not implemented, preliminary analysing the expected performances and completing a detailed matrix of configurations, which are subjected to a first evaluation through both numerical and experimental analysis in order to finally define the Final Structural Solutions. As part of Final Structural Solutions assessment process several iterations are planned towards achieving the desired requirements, with each iteration involving modifications of the design in accord with numerical simulations and test results but also with the requirements.
3. Manufacturing of the new "multifunctional" SH space structures (hardware) Scale Space structures Hardware's will be manufactured and evaluated (dimensional, NDT and quality control) in the preselected configurations: Final Structural Solutions. As part of developing the space structures, activities related to technology of fabrication, technical parameters and protocol but also adjustment of the current Final Structural Solutions (if passing from laboratory to hardware scale cause problems with respect to the self-healing mechanisms) are also covered in meeting the current objective.
4. Tests for functionality evaluation and detailed characterization of the proposed solution The test plan will be based on the requirements identified as part of the first objective of the project. The main aspect is related to proving the self-healing and "multifunctional" performances of the new developed composite materials. Verification of the final Scale Space structures Hardware's iteration will conduct to a preliminary specification. Also a development plan for the further development of the Space structures Hardware's at larger scale but also optimization solutions (based on a project results assessment study) will be drafted for completing the project.
The project activities will focus on the study and development of different materials, structural designs, precursor configurations for the new self-healing multifunctional composite materials /structures and will prove their functionality during experimental testing campaign (structural analysis, thermal cycling, mechanical and hypervelocity impact tests). The project end products and results will be the Scale Space structures Hardware's developed using the new "multifunctional" self-healing advanced composite materials developed within the study, evaluated trough tests proving the self-healing concept proposed by the project proposal and meeting the structural and environmental requirements for space, as well as its functionality.