Czech ADVACAM will help NASA increase the safety of astronauts of the first crewed flight to the Moon since 1972

Published: 18.05.2021 Related countries:  Singapore Singapore

Czech ADVACAM will help NASA increase the safety of astronauts of the first crewed flight to the Moon since 1972

Czech ADVACAM will help NASA increase the safety of astronauts of the first crewed flight to the Moon since 1972   Czech company ADVACAM will help answer one of the most important questions of space travel: “How to protect crews and equipment from the negative effects of cosmic rays?” NASA will use the results of the research for the Artemis program, a mission planned for 2024 when, for the first time in history, a woman will fly to the Moon. Artemis will also be NASA's first crewed flight to the Moon since 1972. Radiation research will be provided for NASA by the US State University of Louisiana (LSU) which invited the cooperation of Czech company ADVACAM, an innovator and manufacturer of unique imaging detectors used today, for example, by astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS). ADVACAM will thus become the first Czech company whose product will reach the Moon. The Intuitive Machines Nova-C lunar landing module, which will carry the ADVACAM detector, will be launched from the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in the first quarter of 2022. The module will spend two weeks on the surface of the Moon before succumbing to the lunar night. “We have models and predictions for human health risk on the Moon, but we don’t yet have actual measurements of the radiation composition on the lunar surface.” says assistant professor Jeffery Chancellor of LSU. “Now that we’ll get real data, we can use it to validate our estimations and increase the safety of future space travel.” Data will be collected by highly sophisticated ADVACAM MiniPIX TPX3 miniature cameras recoding traces of individual particles of space radiation. "Our development team minimized the detector size, weight and power consumption to make it ideal for use in space," says Jan Sohar, ADVACAM CEO. ADVACAM's state-of-the-art detectors, which have undergone NASA's highly rigorous certification process for use in extreme space conditions, will face a new challenge – they will not fly inside a spaceship like on the ISS, but will be located on the module's external arm. "Our detector will be exposed to huge temperature cycles with fast transitions from shade to direct sunlight. Temperature differences will be more than a hundred degrees Celsius. The detector has to be robust but it has to remain sensitive at the same time.” explains Jan Jakůbek, ADVACAM CSO. The module, which will orbit the Earth several times and then head for the Moon, will collect data throughout the flight. " All the data we measure in space will be sent to Earth. This mission is unique because ADVACAM gets a completely unlimited bandwidth for data transfer. This is not common at all." adds Jakůbek. " ADVACAM’s philosophy is continuous innovation and the search for solutions to yet unsolved imaging tasks. The core of the company is a strong scientific team that operates fully commercially. Today we sell our detectors globally to various industries. We believe that the data and experience from this mission will move us further again" says Sohar.   The MiniPIX TPX3 detector, which will fly to the Moon, is based on ADVACAM's long-term cooperation with the Institute of Technical and Experimental Physics of the Czech Technical University and the international Medipix2 and Medipix3 collaborations which are coordinated at CERN. It builds on more than two decades of development of the sophisticated Medipix and Timepix family of chips. This technology has also been adapted for use in space in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA). The development of the detector was supported by a grant from the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade within the Rademet project.  


Contact: Marketa Kinska, tel. +420 608 253 252, marketa.kinska@advacam.com ___________________________________________________________________________  

About ADVACAM The company ADVACAM (established in 2013) followed-up on long-term scientific research of imaging chips at CERN. Originally designed for experiments in nuclear physics, these chips represent a radical breakthrough in the capabilities of imaging technologies. They offer much greater sensitivity and provide significantly more information – the difference in quality is a turning point. Some of the scientists and developers from the international team of researchers also came from the Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics (IEAP) at CTU, from a group led by Dr. Jan Jakůbek. A few years ago, the quality of the developed technology reached the required level and therefore Jakůbek, together with experienced entrepreneur Jan Sohar, decided to establish ADVACAM as a spin-off of CTU. Patented detectors equipped with Medipix and Timepix family of chips by Medipix 2 and Medipix3 collaborations have been sold to more than 20 countries. One of the customers is NASA, which uses the detectors on the International Space Station (ISS), and plans to use them in a mission to the Moon as well. ADVACAM detectors are most often used for industrial X-ray radiography. Currently, ADVACAM has two spin-off projects: Radalytica and InsightART. Both companies use ADVACAM detectors in combination with a robotic system. While Radalytica is developing a system for inspection of composite materials and preclinical testing of small animals, InsightART is closely focused on fine art analysis.