NASA Seeks New Energy Storage Solutions

Fly wheel NASA

One of NASA’s current modules to store rotational energy for use by spacecraft, the G2 flywheel. Photo: NASA

[Via Satellite 04-15-2014] NASA is pursuing new energy storage technologies to replace the battery technology it has used for the majority of its space exploration projects. The agency released a call for proposals to solicit technologies that will be used to power the space program and other government agencies, such as the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E).

“Over the next 18 months, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate will make significant new investments that address several high priority challenges for achieving safe and affordable deep-space exploration,” said Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for space technology at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

The inquiry from NASA has two category areas: “high specific energy system level concepts” and “very high specific energy devices.” The former will focus on cell chemistry and system level battery technologies, while the latter will apply to technologies that go beyond the theoretical limits of lithium batteries, while maintaining cycle life and the demanded safety elements. NASA expects to make approximately four awards for Phase One of this process, ranging up to $250,000 awarded for each proposal.

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