Ten Times More Efficient Oxygen Generation on Mars

Ivan Ermanoski, Arizona State University, has NASA NIAC funding to evaluate, computationally and experimentally, the feasibility of a process–thermal swing sorption/desorption (TSSD)–to generate oxygen from the Mars atmosphere with 10x less energy than the state of the art, and bring other breakthrough performance improve-ments. The basis for TSSD is a two-step thermally-driven cycle operating below …

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Megapixel Exoplanet Imaging in Weeks not Years via Gravitational Lens Missions

Slava G. Turyshev and his team are on their phase III NASA NIAC project to develop a solar gravitational lens telescope. At optical or near-optical wavelengths, the amplification of light is on the order of 200 billion times and with equally impressive angular resolution. If we can reach this region beginning at 550 AU from …

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PI Planetary Asteroid Defense

Philip Lubin has been funded by NASA NIAC to study a practical and effective method of planetary asteroid defense that allows for extremely short mitigation time scales if required. The method involves an array of small hypervelocity kinetic penetrators that pulverize and disassemble an asteroid or small comet. This effectively mitigates the threat using the …

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Space Based Starshades Will Make Large Ground Telescopes the Most Powerful Exoplanet Finders

Hybrid observatories will combine a 100 meter diameter starshade in space with a telescope on the ground. The Hybrid Observatory for Earth-like Exoplanets (HOEE) would convert the largest ground-based telescopes now under construction (Giant Magellan Telescope, Thirty Meter Telescope, and Extremely Large Telescope) into the most powerful planet finders yet designed. No other proposed equipment …

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Arrays of Antennas Deployed From Cubesats for Massive Sensing Improvement

Accurate storm predictions not only save resources and money, but also lives. To build the next generation of predictive weather models, we need to measure a storm from space across time over its entire lifecycle, from water vapor to heavy precipitation. To capture the phases of a storm, measurements need to be made at multiple …

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Integrating Quantum Dot Instruments on Solar Sails For Breakthrough Distant Exploration

Missions to the outer planets are an important and exciting part of NASA’s goals because these scarcely visited worlds, particularly the ice giants Neptune and Uranus, undoubtedly hold secrets about our solar system. Unlocking these discoveries will enable us to better understand Earth and the formation and evolution of our solar system and countless others. …

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Cryospheric Quantum Rydberg Radar

Another NASA advanced concpet project is Cryospheric Quantum Rydberg Radar. This is especially interesting to Nextbigfuture because this overlaps with ColdQuanta’s QuantumRF work. Nextbigfuture interviewed ColdQuanta VP Max Perez about Atomic clocks and QuantumRF and Quantum computers. ColdQuanta has close to $100 million in funding and grants. ColdQuanta is doing advanced work with laser arrays …

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