Arx Pax, the Los Gatos,California-based company that made Marty McFly's fictional hoverboard in "Back to the Future" a reality, announced on Wednesday some details about its Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA.
The creator of Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA) and hover engine technology said that its collaboration with the U.S. space agency is aimed at using MFA, which provides magnetic elevation, to create micro satellite capture devices that are capable of couple and manipulate satellites from a distance.
The technology can be achieved by using a magnetic tether between the objects and brings about images reminiscent of the tractor beam featured in "Star Trek."
Greg Henderson, CEO of Arx Pax, said that the possible uses for this technology include manipulation of different types of objects at a distance without the need to touch or collide with them such as moving a satellite, or making it stationary sans physical contact.
The device that NASA and Arx Pax plan to develop will boost the capabilities and efficiencies of microsatellites, which is anticipated to pave way for new possibilities in the field of space exploration research. It could also have other useful applications.
A coordinated team of satellites, for instance could help with the study of the climate change or in the study of the surface of an asteroid.
Henderson said that the space agency realized that this is a fundamental tool and that Arx Pax would provide NASA with a means to manipulate objects in space without the need to touch them.
"Our collaboration marks a significant milestone for Arx Pax," Henderson said. "It's exciting to work hand-in-hand with NASA's brilliant team of scientists and engineers. We're thrilled about the potential impact we can make together."
The focus is currently on linking up Cubesats, lightweight satellites that the space agency and other researchers use to monitor the Earth and which may be eventually deployed to explore further into space.
"CubeSats are in close proximity already," Henderson said. "We're trying to figure out how do you link them together, connect them and move them around relative to one another."
Arx Pax has been touting that its MFA technology could provide protection to both humans and structures when earthquakes and other natural disasters strike. The Hendo Hoverboard, which the company, unveiled last year is the first application for this patent-pending MFA technology.
Photo: Robert | Flickr