Features

2013 Create the Future Design: Aerospace & Defense Category Winner

Microwave Extraction of Water for Space Propellant Edwin Ethridge, Ph.D. NASA (retired), Huntsville, AL Space exploration is extremely expensive because very large rockets are required to put small payloads into space. Large reductions in launch mass will come from production of inspace rocket propellant from in-space water. Vast quantities of water are present at the lunar poles, on Mars, comets, and some asteroids. Using the in-space resource of solar energy, in-space water can be split into hydrogen and oxygen for propellant. Molecular water can even be used for the reaction mass ejecta with ion engines for missions to Mars and beyond.

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2013 Create the Future Design: Grand Prize Winner

ChemoPatch™ Alydaar Rangwala, Nikhil Mehandru, Aaron Perez, and Brandon Sim Theratech, Loudonville, NY The world is facing a global cancer crisis. In 2011, 13.7 million new cancer cases and 8.6 million cancer deaths occurred worldwide. More than half of the new cases, and nearly twothirds of deaths, were in developing countries. Despite substantial innovations, there remains a lack of treatment methods that are cost-effective enough to be widely and practically implemented in these countries.

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App of the Month: Moon Tours

Moon Tours is the mobile version of the NASA’s Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal (LMMP), a repository for over 600 geospatial lunar data products and imagery. These include digital elevation maps, slope maps, rock and hazard maps, mineralogy maps, and imagery from the Apollo missions to the latest data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Users can calculate the distance between two locations on the Moon, search for the names of features such as craters and hills, and view lunar terrain data rendered in real-time 3D. Free for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/moon-tours/id696977262?mt=8

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On-the-Fly Disaster Relief Apps

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Qatar Computing Research Institute have developed new tools that allow people with minimal programming skill to rapidly build cellphone applications that can help with disaster relief. The tools are an extension of the App Inventor open-source software that enables nonprogrammers to create applications for devices running Google’s Android operating system by snapping together color-coded graphical components.

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If They Can Make it There...

A custom 3D printer made by Mountain View, CA-based company Made in Space is the first off-Earth manufacturing device scheduled for arrival at the International Space Station (ISS) in 2014. The 3D Printing in Zero-G Experiment will validate the capability of additive manufacturing in zero gravity.

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Advisory Systems Save Time and Fuel for Airlines

Software provides Boeing pilots with suggested shortcuts in real time. In the 1990s, Heinz Erzberger led a team at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California to develop a suite of automated tools to reduce restrictions and improve the efficiency of air traffic control operations. Called Center-TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control) Automation System (CTAS), the suite included a traffic management advisor that was adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Another one of the tools, Direct-To, has followed a different path.

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2013 Create the Future Design Contest

The 2013 Create the Future Design Contest — sponsored by COMSOL, SAE International, and Tech Briefs Media Group (publishers of NASA Tech Briefs) — recognized innovation in product design in eight categories: Aerospace & Defense (new this year), Consumer Products, Electronics, Machinery & Equipment, Medical, Safety & Security, Sustainable Technologies, and Transportation & Automotive. On the following pages, you’ll meet the Grand Prize Winner, as well as the winners and Honorable Mentions in all eight categories. Congratulations to this year’s winners, and thanks to the more than 900 entrants from across the globe who submitted their design ideas. To view the entries online, visit www.createthefuturecontest.com

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