By Andy Choi
US-based Cleantech Open has been chosen as a partner for the management of the Night Rover Challenge. This competition is part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges completion which is aimed at identifying technologies that will help in storage of energy for space robotic rover missions to be held in the future. The winners of this competition will be awarded prize money of $1.5 million.
Participants in this competition have to device ways to collect solar energy and create storage systems in order to help rovers in operating during daylight and darkness. The systems would be required to accumulate thermal energy and photons and use that energy during the night to help the rover in moving towards its destination. According to Larry Cooper, program executive for the Centennial Challenges program of NASA, Cleantech Open’s expertise and innovations make it an ideal partner for this challenge.
Cleantech Open will manage the competition along with YouNoodle which is a start up company based in San Francisco. The companies will jointly publish the rules and invite competitors for registrations. NASA provides the prize money for the competition and the cost of managing the competition is covered by non-profit organisations through private sponsorships. Winners will receive the prize money only upon successful demonstration. NASA has conducted 21 Centennial Challenges competitions and has given total prize money of $4.5 million to 13 teams from all walks of life.