NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program Phase II Award: Up to $500,000 for 2 Years
Diffractive Lightsails Grover Swartzlander Rochester Institute of Technology
Solar sails are propelled by the free and abundant momentum afforded by sunlight. Propulsion and navigation are achieved by directing reflected or transmitted light away from the natural direction of sunlight. The magnitude and direction of this radiation pressure force depends on factors such as the light deflection angle, the angle of the sail with respect to the sun, and the distance from the sun. Sail areas spanning hundreds of square meters have been envisioned for nearly 100 years for a wide range of space missions that are not practical for chemical rockets.
The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program recently awarded 25 grants for the development of visionary new technologies. Here we’re going to take a closer look at three Phase I awards focused on advanced propulsion.
PROCSIMA: Diffractionless Beamed Propulsion for Breakthrough Interstellar Missions Chris Limbach Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station
Advanced Diffractive MetaFilm Sailcraft Grover Swartzlander Rochester Institute of Technology
Radioisotope Positron Propulsion Ryan Weed Positron Dynamics
Each award is worth up to $125,000 for a nine-month study. Descriptions of the awards are below. (more…)
WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — NASA is investing in technology concepts that include meteoroid impact detection, space telescope swarms, and small orbital debris mapping technologies that may one day be used for future space exploration missions.
The agency selected 25 early-stage technology proposals that have the potential to transform future human and robotic exploration missions, introduce new exploration capabilities, and significantly improve current approaches to building and operating aerospace systems.