The NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI) was established to pursue “deliberate investments in innovative, early-stage, and potentially revolutionary aviation concepts and technologies.”
NARI announced the 2013 (Round 3) Seedling Fund Phase I Awards on January 28, 2013 and twenty NASA civil servants received awards of $150,000 for research efforts lasting 12 months.
NASA Langley Research Center’s Doug Wells of the Aeronautics Systems Analysis Branch was awarded a grant as Principal Investigator for a concept project titled Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) Aircraft. The discipline area is Propulsion/Airframe integration.
Wells holds a 2007 Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Western Michigan University, and is expecting to graduate with a Masters Degree from Georgia Institute of Science this year!
Wells was also named in the Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research – Phase II report [.pdf] as a member of the Virtual East team in the workshop that developed advanced concepts and a future timeline for Boeing, NASA and others to generate green aircraft. The team evaluated LENR as having “important advantages, but extremely high risk – if it works, revolutionary to World energy.”
Period of performance for the NARI project grant is February 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014. Efforts that show significant progress after a year could be selected to receive a larger grant for 12 more months of research.