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Supporting NASA to Uncover New Space Exploration Technologies and Innovations

Jacobs announces winner of space technology challenge. The competition directly engages the public in the process of advanced technology development to enhance critical aspects of human spaceflight.

In support of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, a Jacobs team recently sponsored a nationwide competition to identify new space exploration technologies or innovations with game changing and breakthrough potential. Discover how the inaugural winning technology will enhance critical aspects of human spaceflight safety, affordability and more!

Enhancing critical aspects of human spaceflight

In support of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, a Jacobs team recently sponsored a nationwide competition to identify new space exploration technologies or innovations with game-changing and breakthrough potential. 

The space technology challenge directly engages the public in the process of advanced technology development to enhance critical aspects of human spaceflight safety, affordability, schedule or capability.

The inaugural winners? A team of Georgia Tech student researchers led by Professor W. Jud Ready. As winners of the Jacobs Space Technology Challenge, they’ll receive a $10,000 prize for their proposal entitled, “Ionic Liquid Interactions with Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes for Supercapacitors.”

The winning-project will create and characterize chip-scale electrochemical double layer (ECDL) ‘supercapacitors’ for rechargeable energy storage. Student researchers at Georgia Tech will fabricate supercapacitor electrodes using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) embedded within an etched silicon wafer. The CNTs will be further functionalized by both chemical and physical techniques and coupled with a tailored ionic-liquid-based electrolyte. 

“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.” 

Potential applications for these supercapacitor devices include miniature sensors, energy harvesters and Internet of Things (IoT) communication devices as wearable sensors for astronauts to monitor crew health and spacecraft environmental conditions – enhancing safety, affordability and capability in human spaceflight. We’ll work with the Georgia Tech team to further develop their new technology in cooperation with NASA to solve the challenges of human exploration of space.

As NASA’s largest services provider, Jacobs has provided integrated solutions to help solve the complex challenges of space exploration for more than 70 years.

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