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NASA Challenge: Reducing Exposure to Galactic Cosmic Rays through Active and Passive Shielding

AWARD:  $29,000 USD
DEADLINE: Withdrawn
POSTED: Apr 30 2015
SOURCE: InnoCentive

NASA is seeking solutions for decreasing astronauts’ radiation exposure from Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) while on long duration crewed missions in free space. The GCR present a ubiquitous and omnidirectional radiation source that yields a persistent exposure rate which can lead to unacceptable cancer risk for deep space missions lasting 150 days or more.  This Challenge solicits solutions utilizing configurations of passive and/or active shielding aimed at reducing exposure to the GCR for such missions. 

This Challenge requires only a written proposal.

Challenge ID: 9933638
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Challenge Overview

Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) pose a significant health risk to astronauts traveling in space. Unlike the short duration exposures presented by Solar Energetic Particles (SEP) and the trapped particles of the Van Allen belts, which can be mitigated through modest amounts of passive shielding, trajectory selection, and operational procedures, the GCR present a ubiquitous and omnidirectional radiation source that requires much more sophisticated reduction techniques. This Challenge seeks solutions for the reduction of GCR exposure to astronauts by utilizing configurations of passive shielding, active shielding, or a combination of both. The focus is to maximize radiation protection while keeping parasitic mass as low as possible. 

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted.  The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker.

Please note that this Challenge requires a detailed, rigorous mathematical model and calculations and/or simulation in order to quantifiably demonstrate the reduction in GCR exposure expected from the proposed system. Submissions lacking this in-depth approach will not be considered for an award.

To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker.  Instead, they will grant to the Seeker non-exclusive license to practice their solutions. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on June 29, 2015.  Late submissions will not be considered.

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An InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge builds upon an idea but is not yet a proof of concept. A solution to a Theoretical Challenge will solidify the Solver's concept with detailed descriptions, specifications and requirements necessary to bringing a good idea closer to becoming an actual product or service.

This Challenge is a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge, meaning that the Seeker is requesting non-exclusive rights to use the winning solution. By contrast, Theoretical-IP Transfer means that Solvers must relinquish all rights to the Intellectual Property (IP) for which they are awarded. For these forms of a Theoretical Challenge, Solvers that do not win retain the rights to their solution after the evaluation period is complete. The Seeker retains no rights to any IP not awarded.

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