NASA Nanotechnology Roadmap

Multi-Functional Materials

^SSjir Revolutionary Aircraft

Concepts (30% less mass, 20% less emission, 25% increased range)

High Strength

Materials

Reusable Launch Vehicle (20% less mass, 20% less noise)

^SSjir Revolutionary Aircraft

Concepts (30% less mass, 20% less emission, 25% increased range)

Autonomous Spacecraft (40% less mass)

Adaptive Self-Repairing Space Missions

Autonomous Spacecraft (40% less mass)

Adaptive Self-Repairing Space Missions

Bio-Inspired Materials and Processes

Increasing levels of system design and integration

High Strength

Materials

Increasing levels of system design and integration

Materials

Single-walled Nanotube fibers

Nanotube composites

Integral thermal/ shape control

Smart „ skin" materials

Biomimetic material

Systems

Electronics/ computing

Low-Power CNT electronic components

Molecular computing/ data storage

Fault/ radiation tolerant electronics

Nano electronic „brain" for space Exploration

Biological computing

Sensors/ components

In-space nanoprobes

Nano flight system components

Quantum navigation sensors

Integrated nanosensor systems

NEMS flight systems

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2002

2004

2006

2011

2016

Illustration 7: NASA Nanotechnology Roadmap (Source: Center for Nanotechnology, NASA Ames Research Center 2001)19

Illustration 7: NASA Nanotechnology Roadmap (Source: Center for Nanotechnology, NASA Ames Research Center 2001)19

The long-term nanotechnology research approaches of NASA, most of which are at present still in the range of basic research, are based predominantly on "Bottom up" strategies of the molecular nanotechnology. That is to be understood as the controlled building of materials and structures from molecular components by linkage of physical, chemical and biological principles. The control and technical utilization of molecular-biological functions and self assembly phenomena play an important role here. The vision of intelligent, adaptive and evolvable space systems as proposed by NASA scientists are based on the convergence of nanotech-nological, biotechnological and information technological research fields (see illustration 8).

19 (http://www.ipt.arc.nasa.gov)

Revolutionary Technology Vision: The "Zone of Convergence"

Information Technology

Illustration 8: Visionary technology developments by convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology and information technology (Source: NASA 2001)

Main areas of NASA nanotechnology research are (see figure 9):

• Nanomaterials (high strength materials, materials with programmable, intrinsic sensing and compensating properties etc.)

• Nanoelectronics (data processing and communication systems with minimized energy consumption, highly integrated nanodevices for miniaturized space systems etc.)

• Biomolecular nanotechnology (Lab-on-a-chip-systems for biomedical and scientific in-situ detection, nanotechnological methods for diagnostic, therapy and autonomous self medication of astronauts etc.)

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