NASA has announced its picks for the winners of the annual International Space Apps Challenge. Winners include a apps that track the spread of pollen to help commuters avoid the largest plumes, to holographic models of Earth and emergency shelter that can be quickly deployed to disaster zones.
The event is designed to spur innovation and find solutions to common and out-of-this-world solutions to problems in space and here on Earth. The competitors work in team for 48 hours in cities around the world. Local judges select their favorite ideas and pass them on to National and world judges. This year, the event focused on six categories: best use of data, best use of hardware, best mission concept, galactic impact, most inspirational and, as always, the people’s choice award.
The judges have made their choices, but Noosphere would like to point out our favorite ideas that were not chosen. Here then is Noosphere’s picks for the best of the rest:
3 SMART BOYS
Project: OXYGEN PRODUCTION SYSTEM FROM MARS SOIL
Noosphere believes that going to Mars is not a question of “if”, but “when”. One thing that we are going to need once we arrive is a plentiful supply of Oxygen. Luckily for us, there is a plentiful supply on Mars in the form of water and iron oxide (rust) These 3 Smart Boys have designed a way to automatically extract this oxygen from the Martian soil with little robots and then bring it back to the habitats. Their robot car can operate without any human intervention and even right itself if it happens to overturn.
PÚLSAR RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Another question that needs to be answered once we arrive to Mars, is where will we live? The most likely immediate solution will be inflatable domes that can be transported cheaply from Earth. The major problems that they see with this solution is that these domes are expensive transfer from the earth, lack protection from solar radiation, have poor thermal and acoustic insulation and are vulnerable to strong storms or meteorite attacks. Pulsar Research and Development has a plan to reinforce these domes using Martian regolith, doubling the number of plants that humans live on!
The Diversity project takes another look at the living quarters inside these martian buildings. They are not only designing furniture for Martians to sit on, they are building a space on Earth for Earthlings to develop them. This team realized that the real work begins when the conference is over. The team hope to solve the problems of creating and designing the internal equipment and furniture of a station on Mars or any other planet.
They are creating a space where they will help young engineers push the boundaries of conventional thinking in many directions. They plant to build several such complexes around the world to fundamentally change the way these problems are approached by including the layman in the process. They have developed a real model for training enthusiasts in robotics, electronics, and control systems, as well as an interactive helper application. They hope that by building these labs, generations of young learners will take their ideas to the skies, and beyond.
Team Spacer is from the city of Dnipro, where Association Noosphere and EOS Data Analytics Inc. combined their efforts to host the NASA Space Apps Challenge for the first time. Their efforts were rewarded by team Spacer who advanced further than any other team in Ukraine, ending up at 8th place in global voting for the people’s choice award.
Project: SAVE WATER SAVE LIFE
The Englitas team has their eye on cleaning up the Earth – in particular in the water. The system includes a main ship that controls several drones bots that will suction up waste in water and transport it back to the main ship. The system will automatically collect data from NASA data portal about the location of most polluted areas in a sea, ocean or river. Englitas envisions that the main ship would be solar powered, and be able to process the waste. Plastic could be melted down into blocks that could be easily transported back to shore.
Project: EARTH TREK
Team SATrek knows that there are few places more exciting than space and public engagement is key in the pursuit of aerospace exploration. NASA shares gigabytes of data about its missions, but this is very difficult for the average person to take in. EarthTrek is an interactive 3D web application that compiles data from NASA’s EOS program and presents it in an easy to understand format, allowing more people to learn about and engage with the different missions.
Users will be able to see satellite images, view real-time orbital positions of satellites, view 3D models of satellites, learn about the instruments on each satellite and see when the ISS (International Space Station) will pass over their heads.