| Steelmaker Tata Steel and the Dutch Research School for Astronomy (NOVA), signed a research cooperation agreement at the Hanover Messe in the presence of Minister Kamp of Economic Affairs.
At first glance it seems an odd collaboration: a steel producer that works together with astronomers. Yet this collaboration is more logical than it seems at first sight. TATA Steel produces, processes and distributes high-quality steel products. The company is the fifth largest steel company in the world and uses the latest technologies. TATA Steel is looking for solutions to automatically detect very small (0.01mm) defects and contaminants in large surface areas of steel. These steel sheets are rolling of the production line at high speed.
NOVA, the Dutch Research School for Astronomy, develops scientific instruments that monitor the night sky constantly, looking for very small changes. When astronomers observe a change, they investigate further with different types of telescopes. They unravel the light which is coming from an object, which reveals a lot of information about the chemical composition of stars and planets. Techniques used in astronomy are also useful in terrestrial applications. For example, you can detect contaminants or defects with the aid of the polarization of light.
NOVA and Tata Steel will examine whether the techniques developed in astronomy also offer a solution for the challenges in steel production. This applies not only to the extremely sharp look, but also the super-fast processing of large amounts of data.
In the picture from left to right: Ramon Navarro, head of the NOVA optical- infrared instrumentation division, Theo Henrar, CEO of TATA Steel Netherlands and Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs.
Science for Competitiveness is a key topic for the Netherlands 'Nationale Wetenschapsagenda'.