Results tagged “MIT”

Shrink-wrapping Spacesuits

For future astronauts, the process of suiting up may go something like this: Instead of climbing into a conventional, bulky, gas-pressurized suit, an astronaut may don a lightweight, stretchy garment, lined with tiny, musclelike coils.

SPHERES in Space

In the International Space Station's Kibo laboratory, NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins, Expedition 37 flight engineer, conducts a session with a pair of bowling-ball-sized free-flying satellites known as Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES.

Progress and Future of MIT SPHERES

A presentation was made recently at the Future In-Space Operations (FISO) Working Group Telecon titled "SPHERES Overview" by Dr. Alvar Saenz-Otero, MIT SPHERES Lead Scientist. SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites) provide researchers with a long term, replenishable, and upgradable testbed for the validation of high risk metrology, control, and autonomy technologies for use in formation flight and autnomous docking, rendezvous and reconfiguration algorithms.

NASA Solicitation: SPHERES INSPIRE II

"NASA Headquarters has a requirement for support services, algorithm development, hardware development and integration, and the execution of specific Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-requested technology development and science experimentation based on the unique SPHRERES facility onboard the International Space Station (ISS). NASA Headquarters intends to purchase these services from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sole source. MIT Space Systems Laboratory is uniquely qualified to perform these supporting services, algorithm development, hardware development and integration, and to enable the execution of specific DARPA-requested technology development and science experimentation because they created the SPHERES facility and hold proprietary ownership of the date. MIT has proprietary rights to the software components of the SPHERES facility and is uniquely qualified to integrate the Universal Docking Ports (UDPs) and Robotic Arms, and to expand the software components to enable this hardware to be used both by DARPA researchers and Zero Robotics Competition." More

"A penny-sized rocket thruster may soon power the smallest satellites in space. The device, designed by Paulo Lozano, an associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, bears little resemblance to today's bulky satellite engines, which are laden with valves, pipes and heavy propellant tanks. Instead, Lozano's design is a flat, compact square -- much like a computer chip -- covered with 500 microscopic tips that, when stimulated with voltage, emit tiny beams of ions. Together, the array of spiky tips creates a small puff of charged particles that can help propel a shoebox-sized satellite forward. "They're so small that you can put several [thrusters] on a vehicle," Lozano says. He adds that a small satellite outfitted with several microthrusters could "not only move to change its orbit, but do other interesting things -- like turn and roll." Lozano and his group in MIT's Space Propulsion Laboratory and Microsystems Technology Laboratory presented their new thruster array at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' recent Joint Propulsion Conference." More

"The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced 15 Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) grants for fiscal year 2012, awarding nearly $30 million to 68 investigators at 26 institutions. During the next four years, teams of researchers will pursue transformative, fundamental research in three emerging areas: flexible electronic systems that can better interface with the body; design of self-folding materials and structures; and optimizing large-scale chemical production from photosynthesis. Results from this research promise to improve human health, engineering design and manufacturing, and energy sustainability. Four EFRI research teams will pursue biocompatible electronic systems that offer new capabilities for health care. Integrating microelectronics with conformable substrates, these flexible bioelectronics systems will interact seamlessly with the body to advance medical monitoring, detection and/or treatment in a patient-friendly form." More

What: NASA/MIT Innovative Conceptual Engineering Design 2012 - Innovation Bootcamp - Solving NASA's Epic Challenges

When: June 24-June 29, 2012

Where: Multiple locations over the 1-week period (Burton Conner House, 33-116, 9-057)

Contact: Sydney Do sydneydo@mit.edu

- Are you passionate about solving "epic" multidisciplinary problems, while inspiring and educating high school students in STEM disciplines?

- Want to learn methods for fostering your own creativity as you develop concepts to address tough research problems?

- NASA and MIT AeroAstro are running the ICED2012 Program, aimed at using the creativity of the crowds to address some of NASA's biggest challenges related to the human exploration of Mars

- We are looking for grad students with diverse research backgrounds to come up with out-of-the-box ideas, and teach high school students to do the same

- More information and application details here http://bit.ly/ICED2012

Bot Battle in Space

Spheres Final Robot competition in Zero-gravity

"School teams from Europe and America have been commanding robots competing in the Spheres ZeroRobotics tournament in space. The arena: 400 km above Earth on the International Space Station. Student teams could send a single piece of instruction software to control the small robotic 'Spheres'. The goal of the tournament was to earn points through masterful operation via guidance and navigation control algorithms as well as choosing the best tactics to win the game."

NASA/MIT/DARPA Robotic Challenge

NASA Joins MIT and DARPA for Out-of-This-World Student Robotic Challenge

"NASA will join the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and high school student teams from the U.S. and abroad for the third annual Zero Robotics SPHERES Challenge on Monday, Jan. 23. The event will take place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass., and be broadcast live on NASA Television from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST."

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