Superconducting technology for cleaner aeroplanes

The prospect of cleaner, hybrid aeroplanes is becoming a reality. Thanks to CERN’s expertise in superconductivity, new concepts with drastically reduced emissions are emerging. Technologies used by CERN such as superconductive power transmission lines and current leads are promising options to significantly increase the performance of electric propulsion systems. CERN takes a deep interest in supporting efforts and projects aimed at evaluating the potential and feasibility of these technologies.

prototype Roebel cable to be used to wind a HTS accelerator demonstration dipole
X (Image: CERN)

Towards the first superconducting magnet in space

In space, high-field superconducting magnets based on high temperature superconductive (HTS) materials can have several promising applications: from very high resolution astroparticle spectrometry, to active shielding to protect astronauts from harmful radiation, and even debris removal.

One leading project in this field is the HTS Demonstrator Magnet for Space (HDMS), developed with the Italian Space Agency, the University of Trento and TIFPA. In the event of a successful demonstration, a scaled-up model could be integrated into a space experiment to become the first ever superconducting magnet for space.