TREE OF LIFE

A multi-band antenna comprising a tree and a plurality of current probes coupled around the tree. US Patent: 8094083B1 ; Inventors: Daniel W. S. TamJohn W. Rockway Current Assignee: US Secretary of Navy

Julia Christensen is currently collaborating with scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to design two spaceship mission concepts that investigate longevity, obsolescence and the future. In an effort to inform a future interstellar mission, Christensen and members of JPL’s “A-Team” are attempting to develop a long-term operational spacecraft that will operate for 200 years, long beyond our current cycles of technological obsolescence. The mission concept, called The Tree of Life, consists of a 200-year operational CubeSat, which will be deployed in low-Earth orbit, that transmits data about its health/operations to a terrestrial tree, which is augmented to act as an Earthly antenna. At the site of the tree, simultaneously, a 200-year dataset is measured to describe the tree’s health and environmental conditions. That data will be translated into audible sonic frequencies that can be transmitted via radio between the tree and CubeSat, so that effectively, the tree and spacecraft can sing together in a 200-year duet. The basis of the tree antenna is derived from US Patent # 8094083B1, which describes a multi-band antenna comprising a tree and a plurality of current probes coupled around the tree (seen here). The first tree-antenna will be implemented at the Jet Propulsion Lab in the summer of 2019.