- Associated Press - Sunday, June 14, 2015

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - NASA is giving $100,000 to aerospace engineering researchers in Daytona Beach to apply concepts from kite-surfing to a solar-powered project in space.

A team of professors at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University got the grant to develop a communications platform that could stay stationary up to 60,000 feet above the Earth while running off power from the sun and the wind. The platform would consist of two gliders connected by a cable and resemble equipment used by kite surfers.

Embry-Riddle professor William Engblom says platforms like this could expand observational capabilities for NASA’s earth science missions and increase communications bandwidth and availability in remote parts of the country. They also cost less than other satellite networks.

If the first phase is successful, the team could be eligible for additional NASA grants.


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