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View Full Version : Anybody Else Got An Entry in NASA's "Create the Future" Contest?



Tuckerfan
2007-Oct-17, 09:33 AM
The free (as in "beer") NASA magazine Tech Briefs (http://www.techbriefs.com/) is holding their annual "Create the Future Contest (http://www.createthefuturecontest.com/pages/rules/rules.html) with entries in the following categories:
Consumer Products: Products that increase quality of life in the workplace, at home, during leisure time, or while traveling.

Machinery, Equipment and Component Technology: Products that speed and improve work, manufacturing, or scientific research processes.
Medical Products: Products that improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare.

Safety and Security: Products that enhance the security or safety of individuals, businesses, communities, or nations.

Sustainable Technologies: Products that help reduce dependence on non-renewable energy resources, as well as products designed for other purposes using environmentally friendly materials or manufacturing processes.

Transportation: Products that enable movement of people and goods from one place to another.I've entered my idea for a steam powered car with on-board hydrogen generator. (http://www.createthefuturecontest.com/pages/view/entriesdetail.html?entryID=906)

This place being space geek central ;), I figure that I can't be the only one to have an entry, so who else has one?

mfumbesi
2007-Oct-17, 11:57 AM
I am intrigued by you steam engine.
How will it work?
On the link you provided environmental benefits and performance benefits, but there was no "actual design" information.
The engine you used as a reference from 1925 sounds interesting, but I am too lazy to google.

This allows it to burn conventional fuels (and in emissions tests on a 1925 Doble steam car handily met 2003 California emissions standards while burning kerosene) as well as unconventional fuels, such as bio-diesel, or hydrogen generated from burning aluminum.

Tuckerfan
2007-Oct-17, 02:10 PM
I am intrigued by you steam engine.
How will it work?
On the link you provided environmental benefits and performance benefits, but there was no "actual design" information.
The engine you used as a reference from 1925 sounds interesting, but I am too lazy to google.

See here. (http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/jay_leno_garage/1302916.html)
I took the Doble to the smog station to have its exhaust certified and its emissions are 13 parts per million, which means my 1925 Doble with its 80-year-old technology passes all current smog laws. Nothing like 2 million BTU to burn up all the fuel. There's nothing left over, literally. It's just pffft. Gone.

And here. (http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/08/purdue-research.html)
A 1972 paper by I.E. Smith from Cranfield Institute of Technology summarized past efforts and proposed a mechanism for “Hydrogen generation by means of the aluminum/water reaction”.

However, air-exposed aluminum forms a passivating skin of alumina that protects it from further rapid oxidation. A viable aluminum-water hydrogen system must overcome the protective layer to allow the reaction to continue, while still meeting the other constraints for on-board hydrogen storage or generation. A number of efforts over the past decades have explored the potential of developing an amalgamated aluminum surface that can sustain the reaction with water.

The basic approach taken by Purdue professor Jerry Woodall, the inventor of this aluminum-gallium process, is to disrupt the passivating oxide skin with the gallium component of the alloy.

Mister Earl
2007-Oct-17, 03:37 PM
A very interesting challenge from the folks at NASA. Thank you for making me aware of it, I plan on entering it in the next few days as I research my idea. Forgive me if I do not elaborate on my idea until it is submitted ;)

Fazor
2007-Oct-17, 03:41 PM
A very interesting challenge from the folks at NASA. Thank you for making me aware of it, I plan on entering it in the next few days as I research my idea. Forgive me if I do not elaborate on my idea until it is submitted ;)


Contest begins July 9, 2007 and ends October 15, 2007. We must receive your entry 11:59 pm ET on Monday, October 15, 2007.
I hope your submission is a working time machine ;)

It's really too bad we didn't see this sooner, it could have been fun.

Mister Earl
2007-Oct-17, 05:09 PM
DOH! *Wince*

Well, since I won't be able to partake, I might as well explain what I was thinking. In developing nations, they all seem to have the same problems. They need more electricity, more clean water, and more money. What if you could solve or partially fill all three in one shot?

I was thinking of a shore-based geothermal plant. Piping would pump brine deep underground, heating to near-steam, then looped back up to the surface, driving a turbine for the electricity portion. Then, the water is cooled by piping in plain seawater from offshore and run through a heat exchanger. The "open" seawater system would allow evaporation, and the steam distilled into pure drinking water. The resulting waste salt could be refined and sold as sea salt. There you have it. One plant, three badly needed resources.

I would have had to research the feasibility of it all, and cost comparisons of course, but it seems viable to me.

Delvo
2007-Oct-17, 05:49 PM
It would consume electricity, not produce it.

Tuckerfan
2007-Oct-17, 07:47 PM
It would consume electricity, not produce it.

I don't think so. I recall hearing about a similiar idea invented by Tesla. Lovelock of Gaia fame is advocating a wave driven system to pump cold water from the ocean depths to the surface to cool the surface water down and prevent coral reefs from dying (another advantage of this would be to weaken hurricanes).

Fazor
2007-Oct-17, 08:08 PM
Electricity from seawater also powered the Nautilus. And what a voyage that was! :) (sorry one of my favorite books)

Tuckerfan
2007-Oct-17, 08:17 PM
I hope your submission is a working time machine ;)

It's really too bad we didn't see this sooner, it could have been fun.

Hey, there's always next year! If you subscribe to the magazine (Did I mention it's free?), they send out ample reminders of when it starts.

KaiYeves
2007-Oct-18, 01:03 AM
I'm not an engineer. If they need a logo designer or writer to raise awareness, though, I'm there.
Imagining the future is what I'm all about.

Neverfly
2007-Oct-18, 01:14 AM
Can I submit my son as an entry?
My greatest invention with a lot of potential.

mfumbesi
2007-Oct-18, 10:02 AM
Electricity from seawater also powered the Nautilus. And what a voyage that was! (sorry one of my favorite books)
Wow well spotted.
I loved that book...Captain Nemo rules

Mister Earl
2007-Oct-18, 01:28 PM
Of course my setup would generate electricity. That's how geothermal energy works. You use piping to bring heat from below nearer to the surface, and you use that to flash water to steam. The expansion of the water drives a generator, and bingo! You got juice. The major difference with my setup is simply that I distill the steam into pure drinking water, and reclaim the *waste* salts for sale as sea salt.

KaiYeves
2007-Oct-19, 01:09 AM
I loved that book...Captain Nemo rules
Yes, indeed.

Michael Noonan
2007-Oct-19, 05:00 AM
Consumer Products: Products that increase quality of life in the workplace, at home, during leisure time, or while traveling.


Machinery, Equipment and Component Technology: Products that speed and improve work, manufacturing, or scientific research processes.
Medical Products: Products that improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare.


Safety and Security: Products that enhance the security or safety of individuals, businesses, communities, or nations.


Sustainable Technologies: Products that help reduce dependence on non-renewable energy resources, as well as products designed for other purposes using environmentally friendly materials or manufacturing processes.


Transportation: Products that enable movement of people and goods from one place to another.


This place being space geek central ;), I figure that I can't be the only one to have an entry, so who else has one?


OK category one 'Consumer Products': Products that increase quality of life in the workplace, at home, during leisure time, or while traveling.

Since we now know the asteroids are formed under extreme heat and pressure as discovered a few weeks ago how about 'DIAMONDS THE SIZE OF FOOTBALLS'. Well they are formed under extreme heat and pressure. They are forever and it might just be a private funding boost to get the space program really up and running. It might even receive strong support from some more of the community genuinely interested by 'sparklers in space'. :)

phaishazamkhan
2007-Oct-19, 05:05 AM
I can only think of one and that's reliable and fast space travel to enable emigration off-world.
Everything else that my pea-brain would muster up for the benefit of humanity would be philosophical by nature.
It's a sad commentary that certain people believe that wholesale salvation may lay in technology and commerce.