To paraphrase President John Kennedy, we choose to go into space not because it is easy, but because it is hard. Few other human endeavors generate the necessity for invention like space launch and space travel. The new technologies generated from aerospace investments ultimately provide benefits to all the citizens of Earth.

Systems analysts and technology developers have a symbiotic role in the maturation of new aerospace technologies. Without a proper story of how a cool new technology idea might benefit a future application, the technology cannot gain advocacy. SpaceWorks serves as an independent systems analysis capability for many new and revolutionary aerospace technology developments. We typically provide:

  • quantitative modeling and analysis of future aerospace applications using proposed new technologies
  • evaluation of key figures of merit (FOMs) such as cost, reliability, weight, payload, and mission utility
  • comparison of new technologies to existing, business-as-usual approaches to similar problems
  • creation of technology development and investment roadmaps

SpaceWorks' current and recent activities in this practice area include:

Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) Energy Sources

SpaceWorks is a key systems analysis partner to NASA's Langley Research Center for a revolutionary new energy source known as LENR. Safe and controllable energy from a LENR heat source could enable game-changing advances in space launch systems including simple single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) fully-reusable launch vehicles with water as the vehicle's only propellant.

Space-based Solar Power

SpaceWorks is part of the Artemis Innovative Management Solutions team maturing technologies and concepts for a space-based solar power system known as SPS-ALPHA. Large and efficient space-based solar power could offer clean and efficient power beamed directly to Earth thereby reducing dependency on limited fossil fuels and/or existing power distribution networks. This project is sponsored by the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC).

Supersonic Combustion Air Augmented Thrusting (SCAAT) Propulsion

SpaceWorks engineers invented and conducted initial design work for a revolutionary new combined-cycle propulsion device called the SCAAT engine. The SCAAT engine combines beneficial elements from rocket engines and high-speed airbreathing propulsion systems into one integrated engine that offers large thrust, axisymmetric integration, high installed thrust-to-weight ratio, and high propellant bulk density for future space access vehicles and missiles. A brief, public release summary of the engine concept and its application for space launch is available.