The space agency picked the proposals based on an independent peer review process as part of the second phase of NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program, NASA said Wednesday.
“Technology drives our futures in exploration, science and commercial space; and investments in these advanced concepts must be made to ensure we will have the spectrum of capabilities for the near term and well into the 21st century,” said Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for space technology at NASA.
A proposal by C.K. Walker of the Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona calls for a 10-meter, sub-orbital balloon reflector as a telescope inside a high-altitude balloon.
Marco Pavone of Stanford University proposed a spacecraft-rover hybrid for solar system explorations, while T.H. Prettyman of the Planetary Science Institute put forward an idea for a deep mapping technology to probe the interior of small solar system bodies.
S.J. Ben Yoo at the University of California, Davis submitted a proposal for a planar photonic imaging sensor and a granular media imager concept as key element for a space aperture was the idea of Marco Quadrelli from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Awards under NIAC Phase II could amount to $500,000 for two years and proposers will be able to develop concepts from the first phase of the program, NASA says.