Critical Nanotechnology Products for NASA Nanoengineered Materials

• High strength/mass, smart materials for aerospace vehicles and large space structures

• Materials with programmable optical/thermal/mechanical/other properties

• Materials for high-efficiency energy conversion and for low temperature coolers

• Materials with embedded sensing/compensating systems for reliability and safety

Nano Electronics

• Devices for ultra high capability, low-power computing & communication systems

• Low-power, integrable nano devices for miniature space systems

• Bio-inspired adaptable, self-healing systems for extended missions

• Quantum Devices and systems for ultrasensitive detection, analysis and communication

Biomolecular nanotechnology

• Bio-geo-chem lab-on-a-chip for in situ science and life detection

• Nanoscale sensing, assessment and therapeutics delivery for medical autonomy

• Molecule-to-organism bio process modeling, digital human and cybermedicine

• Tools for direct study of space-induced medical effects and countermeasures

Illustration 9: Main themes of NASA nanotechnology research (Source: NASA 2001)

An important element of the nanotechnology research of NASA is the use of materials and components, which are based on carbon nanotubes. For this, a multiplicity of potential applications is postulated within the range of structure materials, nanoelectronics, sensor technology and bio-medicine (see NASA 2000), which are described in detail in chapter 5. NASA will co-operate in some areas with other organizations:

• Radiation-hard devices and materials (DoD) Numerous cooperations

• Biosensors, Lab-on-a-chip-Systems, environmental monitoring (DoE, of NASA with other DoD NIH) federal agencies and

• Drug delivery, non-invasive health monitoring (NIH) private companies

• Miniaturized space systems (DoD)

• Efficient energy generation and storage (DOE)

Also in co-operation with enterprises, NASA forwards developments

SBIR-Programme of within the range of nanotechnology. Here in particular, the Small Busi-

NASA for short to medi ness Innovation (SBIR-) programme of NASA should be mentioned, um term nanotechnology applications in space which promotes technology developments through small enterprises.

This concerns predominantly application orientated research for a short to medium-term time horizon. This research deals in particular with applications of nanomaterials and -layers. Also in the frame of SBIR programmes of other US agencies, in particular the DoD, nanotechnological developments are promoted with relevance for the space sector.

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