April 11, 2020 - NASA has selected the University of Virginia School of Engineering to develop and demonstrate a laser technology that will power exploration on the dark side of the Moon.
UVA Engineering is one of eight universities to receive funding for concept development through NASA’s competitive Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge. NASA selected concepts that could benefit its Artemis program, to study the Moon ahead of a human landing in 2024 or help establish a sustained presence by 2028.
Mool Gupta, UVA Langley Distinguished Professor at the National Institute of Aerospace and a faculty member of the Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, leads the team of undergraduate students who will build a prototype called Beaming of Sun Light Energy via Laser for Lunar Exploration (BELLE). NASA is providing the team just under $125,000 to build and test BELLE. Paul Jaffe, lead electronics engineer for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s power beaming and space solar portfolio, serves as the team’s industry advisor. READ MORE HERE