8.Opportunities & Outreach related to this project

8.1 Developing Space Experiment Opportunities

Student teams working with the PI have been developing two experiments for flight opportunities on the Space Shuttle. The first is a Student Experiment in Microgravity (SEM) module, which is scheduled for the next opportunity to launch a powered SEM module. The experiment is a cylindrical acoustic resonator containing Styrofoam balls, with ports in the cylinder at the expected nodal planes to inject liquid epoxy resin after the sound field is turned ON. The entire experiment has to be miniaturized, and packaged inside a small container, with total automation including feedback control of the resonant frequency.

The objectives here are

1) to record video of the formation of a solid wall, and its dynamic characteristics in the relatively clean microgravity environment of the Shuttle (expected g-jitter less than 0.01g)

2) to return a solid sample for structural and material analysis of objects formed using acoustically tailored force fields.

Prototype integrated circuit boards are being built for final testing.

The other experiment opportunity is a Getaway Special (GAS) module. Here, a deposit has been paid, and we are on the waiting list but the GAS program is itself facing uncertainty. The payload in this case can be around 80lbs, with a larger resonant chamber. The effort at this point is mainly on design and documentation, to obtain experience with payload development on this scale.

8.2 Papers & Presentations

1. Ganesh, B.A., Komerath, N.M., Large-Scale Construction for a Space-Based Economy, In Laubscher, B.E., et al, (Ed). Space 2002/Robotics 2002 Proceedings of Space 02, ASCE Conference on Space Manufacturing ASCE, March 2002, pp.262-268.

2. Komerath, N.M.,  Wanis, S.S., Ganesh, B.A., Czechowski, J., Tailored Force Fields for Space-Based Construction Invited Seminar, National Reconnaissance Office, Washington DC, July 2002.

3. Komerath, N.M., Wanis, S.S., Czechowski, J., Tailored Force Fields for Space-Based Construction. STAIF-02-084, accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the STAIF conference, Albuquerque, NM, February 2003.

4. Komerath, N.M., ISS To Island-1: Synergistic Architecture For A Space-Based Economy Proceedings of the Space Resources Utilization Roundtable, Houston, Texas, October 2002.

5. Gopalakrishnan, P.,Wanis, S., Changeau, D., Dierks, C., Zaidi, W., Hardy, J., Rangedera, T., Rupnarine, D., Sharpe, I., Tsuda, M., Komerath, N., To Mars and Beyond. Georgia Tech Team Proposal to the 2003 NASA Means Business Competition. November 2002.


8.3 Outreach

Table 8.1 Student participation

  Student Status  
Joseph Czechoswski Junior, College of Computing, GIT CATIA drawings, design and stress analysis issues in the construction of the Habitat in Lunar L-2
Balakrishnan A. Ganesh PhDcandidate, School of AE, GIT Space-basedeconomy and costing issues
Priya Gopalakrishnan M.S.candidate, School of AE, GIT Space-basedeconomy and costing issues; NMB Team leader
Joshua Hardy Senior, School of AE, GIT Radiowave use in TFF
Sam Wanis PhDcandidate, School of AE, GIT AcousticShaping issues, development of theory to predict generalized TFF. 
Waqar Zaidi Junior, School of AE, GIT Graphics& Animation
Mitsuyo Tsoda Freshman, School of AE, GIT NMB proposal team
Ian Sharpe Junior, School of EE, GIT NMB proposal team
Carrie Dierks M.S.Candidate, School of Literature, Communications and Culture, GIT NMB proposal team
Dominique Rupnarine Junior, School of EE NMB proposal team
Tyson Stuart PhDcandidate, School of EE, GIT SEM circuit design
Thilini Rangadera Freshman, School of AE, GIT NMB proposal team
Donald Changeau GraduateStudent, School of Technology & Public Policy, GIT NMB proposal team

8.4 Media Coverage

1. New Scientist, a well-known British publication, has done two articles over the past 2 years describing first our Acoustic Shaping work (Out of Thin Air, Sep. 2001) and the Tailored Force Fields work (Rubble-Rousing in Space, October 11, 2002). 

2. These articles have excited considerable interest, worldwide, showing a very high level of public interest in the prospects for developing business and living environments beyond Earth. Some examples are in Items 3 and 4 below.

3. Josh Magazine, New Delhi. Recently, an article has appeared in Josh, a childrens magazine published in Hindi in New Delhi, describing the Tailored Force Fields work and its relevance to future habitats and economic opportunities in Space. 

4. Malayala Manorama, a Kerala (India) Based newspaper, has also presented a full-page Sunday Supplement article on the TFF work. 

5. An on going interaction has been developed with the Astronomer community interested in Near-Earth Objects regarding ideas for developing extraterrestrial resources.

6. United Press International, and a Danish science magazine have expressed strong interest in developing stories related to our work for young audiences.


8.5 Examples of public reaction to the idea of Tailored Force Fields

· New Scientist, October 2002 Radio gets rubble-rousing BYLINE: Bennett Daviss http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99992901

Radio waves could construct buildings in space 11 October 02 Bennett Daviss

"..Huge buildings could be conjured up in space using nothing more than focused radio waves to push individual components into place. Radio-controlled construction would get around one of the obstacles to colonising space- the need to ferry heavy construction equipment into orbit and suppor tthe people who will operate it... The scale does not daunt NIAC directorRobert Cassanova. "We see the idea as a way to build very large structuresin space economically and with a minimum of manual labour," he says. "If you're able to move materials using waves, you could eliminate the need for large numbers of astronauts and the infrastructure to support them"..."

· Whitley Streiber's Unknown Country (Daily News of the Edge) http://www.unknowncountry.com/news/?id=2042

How to Build in Space-If We Ever Get There 15-Oct-2002 

"...Huge buildings could be built in space using radio waves to move the pieces into place. Radio-controlled construction would make it unnecessary to move heavy construction equipment into orbit. It would also eliminate the need for space-walking construction workers…"

· A/CCNews about Minor Objects

Asteroid/Comet Connection A Central Library of Links to News Direct from Asteroid/Comet Explorers & Reporters Everywhere http://www.hohmanntransfer.com/news.htm 

An article in the 12 October New Scientist, "Building in space using waves"[new link], reports Narayanan Komerath's proposal to NASA's Institute of Advanced Concepts (NIAC) to use focused radio waves as force fields to build large structures in space with minimal human labor. ... Concepts (NIAC) to use focused radio waves ... sending a squad of solar-powered radio ... NIAC has an abstract of Komerath's ... ForceFields for Space-Based Construction ...


ForceFields to the Rescue

Posted By: Brian @ 7:00 PM (MST)

There have been quite a few sci-fi books that include or assume large work forces of spacewalkers for building stations and other large structures in microgravity. This is hazardous stuff; nasty momentum events, micrometeorites, cosmic rays, and space debris are all waiting to puncture, pulverize, or poach exposed human bodies (space suits are too flimsy for much more than minimal protection). Robots are expensive, somewhat fragile and slow-moving, and lack versatility. But it may be possible to tune radio waves to match the dimensions of construction components and shove them around and assemble them by remote control. P.S. -- Sounds to me like a good way to clear out all the orbital crud now threatening satellites and launch vehicles.



Mid-Term:L2 Habitat
Far-Term:Radio-Wave Construction