Jacobs has announced the winners of a nationwide competition to identify new space exploration technologies or innovations, in support of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. The challenge directly engaged the public in the advanced technology development process, with an eye toward enhancing critical aspects of human spaceflight safety, affordability, schedule or capability.
The winning team — a group of Georgia Tech student researchers was led by Professor W. Jud Ready — will receive a $10,000 prize for their proposal titled “Ionic Liquid Interactions with Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes for Supercapacitors.”
“Jacobs continues to drive innovation and new technologies into all our operations,” said Aerospace, Technology and Nuclear Senior Vice President Steve Arnette. “This creative prize challenge approach is another way to engage our high performing workforce, academia and industry partners to make that happen.”
The project aims to create and characterize chip-scale electrochemical double layer “supercapacitors” for rechargeable energy storage. The student researchers plan to fabricate supercapacitor electrodes using carbon nanotubes embedded within an etched silicon wafer.
Potential uses for these supercapacitor devices include miniature sensors, energy harvesters and internet of things communication devices. These could serve as wearable sensors for astronauts to monitor crew health and spacecraft environmental conditions, thus enhancing safety, affordability and capability in human spaceflight.
Jacobs plans to work with the Georgia Tech team to further develop the new technology in cooperation with NASA, to solve the challenges of human exploration of space.