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NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts

ORBITING RAINBOWS PHASE 2

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

Inspired by the light scattering and focusing properties of distributed optical assemblies in Nature, such as rainbows and aerosols, and by recent laboratory successes in optical trapping and manipulation, we propose a unique combination of space optics and autonomous robotic system technology, to enable a new vision of space system architecture with applications to ultra-lightweight space optics and, ultimately, in-situ space system fabrication.

The concept is to optically manipulate and maintain the shape of an orbiting cloud of dust-like matter so that it can function as an adaptable ultra-lightweight surface.

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Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

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