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LION: Lithium Oxygen Batteries for NASA Electric Aircraft [ one among Five New
Ideas to be Explored by NASA]

One obstacle for widely adopting electric-powered aircraft is

the extraordinary demand for storing enough energy in batteries,
even for small planes traveling short distances. A potential answer is the
use of Lithium-Air (Li-Air) batteries, which have the highest
theoretical energy storage capacity of any battery technology.Li-Air
batteries are �breathing batteries." That means that as the battery
is drained of its energy,oxygen is pulled into the battery to react with
Lithium ions, and as the battery is being charged, the oxygen is
expelled.Unfortunately, standard electrolytes � the internal material that
enables the battery to work � when used with Li-Air batteries
quickly decompose during operation, making the battery useless after only a
few charge/discharge cycles.

This team of researchers will investigate the feasibility of designing,

novel, ultra-stable electrolytes that are resistant to decomposition
so the batteries will last longer, allowing aircraft to extend the distance
they can fly.

Event 2- Science Olympiad Events/Mystery Box

Each team member will build a paper airplane to be flown a distance of 8

meters (26.3 feet), stopping as close as possible to a paper
target secured flat to the floor. Airplanes must be of a folded aerodynamic design
(crumpled wads of paper do not qualify). This is an accuracy
event, and so the object is for the airplane�s nose to rest as close as possible
to the center of the target. Flying and sliding straight
toward the target is more important than how long the plane stays aloft.

On the day of the event, teams arrive 15 minutes early meet with their coaches.
Starting at 9:00 am, teams will be given 10 minutes to practice
building and throwing airplanes. Practice materials include sheets of 8 in. x 11
in. printer paper, 5 cm strips of masking tape, and scissors.
At 9:10 am, all practice planes and practice materials will be collected and
removed from the competition area.

In the first phase of the competition, students build their airplanes. At this
point, coaches are no longer allowed to work with their teams.
Each member of a team will be given one clean sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch paper and 5
cm of masking tape with which to build an airplane. Students do
not have to use the masking tape. Students may not use any other materials to
build their plane. Each student will also be given a pair of
scissors to use, if needed. Building does not begin until material and supplies
have been passed out to all students.

Starting at the same time, each team member will be given 5 minutes to build a
plane for the competition.Teammates may use the same design or a
different design in constructing their planes. A student may request a new sheet
of paper as long as the request is made within the five-minute
building period. However, the student�s first sheet of paper must be removed from
the competition area.

All building stops at the end of five minutes. No changes to the plane�s design
can be made from this point. Students place their airplanes in a
holding box provided for each team. The planes stay in their box until the team is
called to the throwing area. Planes are thrown in the next
phase of the competition. Each team will designate a first thrower (Player A) and
a second thrower (Player B). Teams with three members will
have a third thrower (Player C). Two throwing lanes�lane 1 and lane 2--will serve
the competition. Team 1 begins by removing their planes from
their holding box. Team 1 steps up to the throwing lanes, with Player A standing
behind a line, marked by tape, at the beginning of lane 1, and
Player B standing behind a line, marked by tape, at the beginning of lane 2.

The teammates throw simultaneously from these designated spots without stepping
over the line. Stepping over the line during a throw constitutes
a foul, and that throw is disqualified. If the team has a third teammate (Player
C), then Player C throws from the second lane once the other
planes have come to a complete stop. Once all of a team�s planes have skidded to
a stop, judges use measuring tape to measure the distance from
the nose of each plane to the center of its target. Judges record the distance for
each player on Team 1�s score sheet, rounding to the nearest
whole number. Team 1 players retrieve their planes, place their planes in their
holding box, return to their seats, and wait for round 2.

Students may not change the design of their plane between rounds. Members of Team
2 step up to the throwing lanes and proceed as explained
above. Judges measure and record distances accordingly. The remaining teams
follow suit until the end of round 1.

Once each team has successfully completed the first round of throws, teams proceed
in the same order as before for round 2. As teammates perform
their second attempt, judges measure and record distances on team score sheets
until every team has completed round 2.

The final phase consists of scoring the results. Judges give the team score sheets
to the event coordinator who is responsible for calculating
final scores. Each two-person team will have a final score based on the sum of
two measurements: the shorter distance to the target for Player
A added to the shorter distance to the target for Player B. Each three-person team
will have a final score based on the shorter distance to the
target for Player A added to the average of the shorter distances for Player B and

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