Grades 9-12 (OPSPARC 2017)

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NASA Contest
NASA Contest

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Grades 9-12 (OPSPARC 2017)

Design Review

Create your own Spinoff

Be a JWST Researcher

In your own words, what is Spinoff technology?A spinoff technology is any innovation or invention that was originally created for use by NASA in outer space that has been repurposed into everyday life.Identify a JWST Spinoff technology that you will modify to create your own Spinoff technology. Tell us about the Spinoff and how it works.The JWST technology that I will modify is the Lotus Coating used on the Mars rovers and Lunar vehicles. The Lotus coating is a protective layer that mimics the nano-texture of a Lotus plant. The Lotus coating has hydrophobic properties that acts as a dust-mitigation system. It can prevent most liquids and particles, as well as ice from sticking to and damaging any surface that is applied to. One of the benefits is that it can be applied in several ways (brush, spray, etc.) and onto both rigid and flexible surfaces. State the problem clearlyAfter many natural disasters, like volcanic eruptions or hurricanes and earthquakes, rescue services have to often provide medical care on the scene in unsanitary conditions. This, coupled with travel to a safer environment, greatens the risk of secondary infections. Secondary infections can cause death even if the original injury did not. What have you learned that may lead to an innovative JWST Spinoff technology?(Keep a list of questions you have about Spinoff technology.)I have learned that this technology acts as a protective coating and prevents any particles from sticking to the surface.Pick one Spinoff to create an invention that uses the technology to solve a problem you identify in your home, school or neighborhood. The Spinoff that I am choosing is Lotus Coating Which mission originally used this technology?The Mars rovers and lunar vehicles were the first to use this technology, as it was developed to help keep the vehicles clean and operational longer.What are the greatest obstacles you anticipate with designing your own Spinoff innovation?The greatest obstacles that I anticipate with designing my own Spinoff innovation are the cost and the legal issues that come with a medical innovation. Also, the technology currently never been tested on human skin, and may cause reactions. Also, depending on how the innovation works, medical professionals may require additional training in order to be able to operate it.

What criteria and constraints should you consider as you create a new use for the technology? CRITERIA:It has to be functionalNeeds to be applied to Human rescue after natural disastersHas to be a NASA SpinoffMold to any shapeMust work in a variety of settings without failureCONSTRAINTS:Must cost a reasonable priceImpede mechanical functioningCannot be harmful to humansWhat criteria will be the most difficult to meet? Why?The criteria that will be the most difficult to meet Is that it has to work in a variety of settings without failure. Rescue workers and efforts, which is what the purpose of this Spinoff would be, face a variety of settings, including extreme temperatures, as well as precarious situations where any number of things could go wrong. For example, if it is place on breathing masks for those who are searching through debris after a volcanic eruption, it cannot allow for the dust from the pyromatic cloud to stick to it, should the volcano start to erupt againDescribe, in detail, possible designs that met your criteria.IDEA 1: The first idea is to coat the outside of uniforms with Lotus covering to prevent the buildup of debris on rescue workers uniforms, thus making them easier to spot from air or farther away. By coating the workers uniforms, they can focus solely on helping people instead of worrying if they can be seen.IDEA 2: Coating the outside of bandages with lotus covering to prevent dust and water from getting into open wounds. In rescue situations, many of the people who require assistance are injured. It is important for them not to get secondary infection from obstacles that are encounter while they are being retrieved. BY coating bandages with lotus covering, you are preventing, water, dust and ice from getting into the wound.IDEA 3: Coating lense with lotus coating to prevent dust build up. When rescue workers are looking for people, it is vital that their equipment is functioning properly. By adding Lotus to the lense(s) of their equipment, it prevents misreadings and needing to stop and clean the lenses repeatedly, increasing the amount of time that can be used per trip to search for survivors.For your winning design, justify why it was selected over other designs.My winning design is Idea 2 because it is the most practical design, requiring the least amount of adjustments for it to be functional. Also this design would have the largest impact, helping to decrease the amount of deaths caused by medical treatment in unsanitary conditions. Since it would function the same way as a normal bandage, it wouldn’t require any extra medical training in order to operate. Also, should something happen to the medical professional during the rescue, most people would still be able to operate it. This also decreases any worries if the coating isn’t hypoallergenic, since it won’t come into direct contact with the skin.

Test and Evaluate the Design:My solution would function well in the field as it is easy to operate, like a bandaid. The simplicity of this bandage is a strength that is possess as it doesn’t require special training in order to operate. However, there is always the possibility that someone may be allergic to the lotus coating. Taking this into consideration, the coating would not go all the way to the edge of the bandage. Share the solutionThe bandage isn’t very flexible due to the lotus coating which makes adapting a single bandage to a variety of wounds hard. In the case of using this bandage for rescue operations, this would prove to be problematic as rescue workers won’t necessarily always have the time to search through many different styles of bandages or to even carry them around.Refine the Solution:To improve my design i would look into ways to make the coating more flexible. Other options might include having the coating on a separate piece from the normal bandage so that it can be applied afterwards, like a plastic wrap. Another option might be looking into using it as a spray to apply onto the bandage after application to the wound. However, this could run into an issue if the lotus spray proves to not be hypoallergenic.

Microscopic images of the original covering designed by NASA

The Lotus plant that this project is based off of.

3D rendering of the prototype bandage. The blue represents the covering, though it likely would be the same color in real life.

3D rendering of the microscopic texture of the spray that gives it its qualities

A basic rendering of how the bandage would work.


Teresina BerniGrade 10Engineering and Science University Magnet School


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