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Weekly Space Hangout

Jun 3, 2022

Developing reliable, renewable, and safe power/energy storage systems is a key requirement for future space missions, both within our solar system and those venturing beyond it, as well as for establishing a permanent human presence on the moon and/or Mars. Are fuel cells one solution to this need? And what exactly constitutes a fuel cell? Find out tonight as we are joined by Ian Jakupca from NASA's Glenn Research Center.

After graduating from the University of Dayton, Ian began developing specialized flow control components, instrumentation and electrochemical stacks for aerospace systems at the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio in 2000. His initial work supported the development team working on the next generation Space Shuttle Orbiter fuel cell power system before transitioning to oxygen and hydrogen generation through water electrolysis and regenerative fuel cell energy storage systems. This early component work supported efforts to monitor and operate regenerative fuel cell energy storage systems in vacuum environments. Over time his work expanded to system-level designs to meet the requirements of a range of vehicles.

Ian's primary research interest is the efficiency of integrated electrochemical systems with a focus on low-power techniques to manage reactants, heat, power and instrumentation. He led multiple system design and demonstrations efforts for air-independent (H2/O2) primary and regenerative fuel cell systems. To date, he has innovation awards for software and hardware and is the lead author on over 20 external publications.

As the Fuel Cell Technology Lead at NASA Glenn Research Center, he supervises and consults for multiple technology development projects involving ISRU electrolysis, primary fuel cells, and regenerative fuel cells for space and aerospace applications. To learn more about the research being done in fuel cell technology (and more!) view the following presentations:

Also be sure to check out the Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium (LSIC).


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