NIAC

futureVacuum airship would work in thin atmosphere of Mars

Researchers propose to overcome some of the limitations of current technologies for Mars exploration and even extend current operational capabilities by introducing the concept of a vacuum airship. This concept is similar to a standard balloon, whereas a balloon uses …

energyFusion-Enabled Pluto Orbiter and Lander

The Direct Fusion Drive (DFD) concept provides game-changing propulsion and power capabilities that would revolutionize interplanetary travel. DFD is based on the Princeton Field-Reversed Configuration (PFRC) fusion reactor under development at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. The mission context we …

futureNASA NIAC second phase funding for thin film 4000 ISP Branecraft

This effort will further develop the active membrane spacecraft concept called “Brane Craft” initially studied in a NIAC Phase I grant. The Brane Craft is an essentially two-dimensional spacecraft with integrated solar cells, power system, communications, command and control, attitude …

energyNASA Concept to use 100 MW beamed power for ion drive that is 20 times better

John Brophy at NASA Jet propulsion laboratory combines a near term 100 megawatt laser beamed power system to enable an ion drive with 70 megawatts of power and 58000 ISP. They propose a new power/propulsion architecture to enable missions such …

futureNASA advanced innovations funds 22 new visionary space concepts

NASA is preparing for a future that could include soft robotic spacecraft with flexible surfaces that can anchor to an asteroid, and an artificial gravity device for long-duration, deep space missions, along with other technologies that so far has been …

futureQuantum Enhanced Machine Learning

New research provides a Rosetta Stone that translates the language of reinforcement learning to the quantum realm. It tackles sticky questions like what it means for a quantum agent to learn and how the history of a quantum agent’s interaction …

asteroidsFully Automated Unmanned Garages have arrived where the Whole Parking building is robotic and enables more cars to be parked in expensive city real estate

Self-driving cars have not fully arrived but fully automated parking garages have arrived. The 22 garages already are using automated systems to store and retrieve vehicles, and it’s starting to scale up. Ground is breaking soon on a parking structure …

esailIndia’ economy is not ready to quintuple within 15 years

In April 2016, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant gave a 2032 date to India becoming a $10-trillion economy, a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India should dream of a $20 trillion economy but did not fix a target. …

colonizationUS Military Research Labs will take commercial technology for a constant game changing third offset innovation

The US Army, Navy and Air Force all have dedicated research labs The military research labs are currently pursuing what is called the third military offset strategy. First offset – nuclear weapons In the Cold War, the U.S. and its …

futureLanding drones on a manned aircraft is the hard part of new motherships

General Atomics, which builds the iconic Predator, has rolled out its offering for DARPA’s Gremlins program, blandly called the Small Unmanned Air Vehicle (SUAS). The goal: Build drones — and equally critical, a launch and recovery system — that can …