• BNNT, LLC Builds Nanotube Factory in Newport News, Virginia
BNNT, LLC Builds Nanotube Factory in Newport News, Virginia
On May 1st, 2013 BNNT, LLC, a Newport News, Virginia start-up, began construction of the world's first commercial factory dedicated to the manufacture of Fibril Boron Nitride Nanotubes, "Fibril BNNTTM." Boron nitride nanotubes are as strong as the better-known carbon nanotubes, but are much more heat resistant and much easier to synthesize in a high quality form.
The technique for synthesizing BNNTs was jointly developed by NASA Langley Research Center, the U.S. Department of Energy's Jefferson Lab, and the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA). It was licensed by BNNT, LLC in March 2012
With assistance from the Economic Development Authority of the City of Newport News, Virginia, the several thousand square foot factory is under construction near the U.S. Department of Energy's Jefferson Lab.
The Company projects sales of Fibril BNNTTMto commercial and university laboratories around the world to begin within a year.
For more information about Fibril BNNTs, please visit: www.bnnt.com
LaRC 2013 SBIR And STTR Awards
On April 3, NASA announced its annual selections for Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer(STTR) Program awards. Of the 295 awards made, Langley received: 36 SBIR, 2 select SBIR, 4 STTR awards.
This year, NASA issued two concurrent solicitations for Phase I proposals: a general solicitation for both SBIR and STTR in response to a broad range of research topics; and, a select SBIR-solicitation only for a small group of special topics.
Langley Technologies Exclusively Licensed to Company
Recently, NASA Langley and Allotropica Technologies of Chapel Hill, NC signed an exclusive license agreement for liquid crystal polymer resins. The resins were originally invented for lightweight composite materials by a team of Langley researchers in the Center's Advanced Materials and Processing Branch. Allotropica plans to commercialize the resins for use in components with high-performance requirements.
LaRC Executes Nonexclusive Research License Agreement with GLSEQ, LLC
On Feb. 11, LaRC approved a nonexclusive research license agreement between NASA and GLSEQ, LLC, for Langley's wireless sensor technologies. GLSEQ, a small business located in Alabama, plans to evaluate the technologies for instrumentation and control systems for nuclear power plants (including advanced instrumentation systems for severe accident monitoring). The licensed technologies were jointly developed by the late Stanley E. Woodard; Qamar A. Shams, the late Robert L. Fox, Robert G. Bryant, Head of the Advanced Materials & Processing Branch, and contractor Bryant D. Taylor.
Firm Licenses Langley Technologies
On June 18, 2012, LaRC approved a nonexclusive research license agreement between NASA and Daniels Manufacturing Corporation (DMC) for Langley's wire crimping tool technologies. DMC is located in Orlando, Florida, and plans to market and sell ultrasonic testing equipment for the aircraft, aerospace, and other high-reliability markets. The licensed technologies were developed by William T. Yost, K. Elliott Cramer, and Daniel F. Perey (Langley); and Keith A. Williams of Sonicrimp, LLC, Madison, Wisconsin.
Langley's crimp technology makes it possible to check wire crimp connections by using a handheld tool with a pair of transducers. The tool grasps the crimp joint and one of the transducers sends an ultrasonic signal through the joint. The signal is then received by the transducer. If the signal is low, thereÂ¹s not enough contact at the crimp, and vice versa.
In 2009, the crimp technologies were awarded NASA's Government Invention of the Year.
For additional information, contact Kathy Dezern at x-45704.
NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) Signs Joint Ownership Agreement
On June 12, 2012, LaRC executed a Joint Ownership Agreement (JOA) between NASA and Brigham Young University (BYU), Provo, Utah, for the technology, "Nano-Propellants Based on Aluminum-Hydrogen-Peroxide Ferritin (AI-HPOF)." These particular propellants have the potential to produce a highly-effective rocket fuel.
The technology was jointly developed by LaRC's Dr. Sang H. Choi, Advanced Materials and Processing, Paul A. Westmeyer, NASA HQ, and Richard E. Watt, BYU. The purpose of the JOA is to facilitate a working relationship between the Joint Owners and to define roles and responsibilities for the patenting and commercialization of the technology.
For additional information, contact Kathy Dezern at 757.864.5704
Communications and Navigation Systems Targeted Dissertation Successfully Defended
Langley researcher Sam Miller successfully defended his doctoral dissertation, "A Unified Nano-Satellite Sensing Architecture for Orientation, Docking, and Whole-Sky Imaging" at N.C. State University on June 4, 2012.
The dissertation concept evolved from the camera system developed for the Max Launch Abort System (MLAS) flight experiment. The dissertation specifically targets OCT technology-roadmap item TA05 (Communication and Navigation Systems). The architecture is a component of ongoing Langley nano-satellite research. In addition to nano-satellite applications, the architecture is in current use qualifying V-22 Ospreys for aircraft carrier operations, and is licensed by Magic Leap, Inc. for mobile augmented reality applications.
Check out the short video about Sam's camera system: http://tinyurl.com/MillerCamera
NASA Langley Executes Nonexclusive Research License Agreement with Liquid Measurement Systems
On May 7, 2012, Langley Research Center approved a nonexclusive research license agreement between NASA and Liquid Measurement Systems (LMS) for Langley's wireless sensor technologies. LMS is located in Georgia, Vermont, and plans to evaluate the technologies for fuel level measurement systems to be used in commercial and military aircraft.
The short-term Research License is a new tool that allows companies to "try before they buy." If the evaluation is positive, LMS will then apply for a traditional commercial license.
NASA Partners License Nanotube Technology For Commercial Use
On March 22, 2012, a technique for synthesizing a high-tech material technology, jointly developed by NASA Langley Research Center, the U.S. Department of Energy's Jefferson Lab, and the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), was licensed by BNNT LLC of Newport News, Va. Read the full press release here.
Update on Advanced Materials activities at NASA Langley
Our licensees have been successful in expanding their engineering design space with materials developed by Langley researchers:
Collaboration Leads to New Technologies
NASA Langley recently executed a Joint Ownership Agreement among NASA, Jefferson Science Associates (JSA), which manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility for the Department of Energy, and the National Institute of Aerospace Associates (NIA) for boron nitride nanotube (BNNT) technologies. The agreement facilitates a working relationship among the joint owners and defines roles and responsibilities for patenting and commercializing the technologies.
The related BNNT technologies include both actual materials and the apparatus to manufacture them for a variety of applications. In addition, several of the technologies available for commercialization have just been licensed.
The BNNTs are 95% as strong as Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) and maintain their strength in air to over 800Â°C. They are also electrically insulating and highly thermally conductive.
For information about these technologies and others available through NASA Langley, please visit our Technology Gateway Marketplace: http://tinyurl.com/techgate-market.
Two New Technologies Available!
Langley Technology Has New Licensing Agreement
On February 27, 2012, Langley approved a partially-exclusive license agreement between NASA and Magic Leap, Inc., for Langley's photogrammetry system and method for determining relative motion between two bodies. Magic Leap, a small business located in Hollywood, Florida, plans to develop products in the fields of augmented reality and/or virtual reality for mobile computing and/or wearable display based computing systems. To view the associated technology video, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/techgateMiller
Firm Develops Product From Langley Material
NeXolve, Huntsville, AL, a licensee of Langley Research Center's (LaRC) LaRC-CP1 and LaRC-CP2, recently developed a thermal control material, EPC, that utilizes CP1 and other proprietary additives and coatings to provide environmental protection for airships. They have also used the material to manufacture EPC for two stratospheric programs, both funded by a prime contractor.
Automotive Industry Checks Out NASA Technology
Recently, Langley partnership representatives and research experts participated in a NASA Automotive Industry Workshop at Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH. Major automotive companies and emerging electronic car companies across the industry's value chain learned about NASA technologies for lightweight vehicles, electric cars, and alternative cycles and design tools. Langley exhibited nine unique technologies, including its low-profile wireless sensors and crimp tool, both featured on our website.
New License Issued
On January 23, 2012, LaRC approved an exclusive license agreement between NASA and innoEpi, Inc., for Langley's silicon germanium technologies. InnoEpi, Santa Clara, CA, plans to develop and market single crystal silicon-germanium semiconductor materials for CPUs, memory, power IC chips, and application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) chips.
ESE Industries Tests Material
ESE Industries, Corp., Guaynabo, PR, is testing its composite materials in LaRC's advanced autoclave equipment.
Langley's Low-Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) Technology Available
Check out our latest technology video on our homepage featuring a novel, clean energy technology.
Two New Patents at NASA Langley Research Center in October 2011
The U.S. Patent Office granted two patents for technologies at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) in October 2011. The first patent was for a "Wireless Tamper Detection Sensor and Sensing System." The inventors, Stanley E. Woodard (Deceased) of NASA LaRC and Bryant Douglas Taylor of Swales Aerospace, developed a wireless, connection-free inductor capacitor sensor system that can be placed on, or embedded in materials and structures to monitor for and detect damage. The sensors can also be used to detect package tampering and pilfering. This innovation–SansEC [sans Electrical Connections]–makes sensors more damage resilient and more environmentally friendly to manufacture and use.
The second technology, "Thermoelectric Materials and Devices," was invented by Yeonjoon Park, Sang H. Choi and Glen C. King, James R. Elliott and Noel A. Talcott. The invention provides new noble thermoelectric materials which exhibit a high thermoelectric figure of merit and good material performance. The invention can be employed in thermoelectric power generators, thermoelectric cooling devices, integrated TE cooling devices, thermal semiconductors, thermal sensors, and thermal barriers.
NASA Langley Showcases Novel Additive Manufacturing Technology
On September 20-21, 2011, NASA hosted a two-day industry forum to help bring tomorrow's manufacturing closer to reality. Various key industry stakeholders attended and met to consider the future of electron-beam freeform fabrication (EBF3). NASA Langley's EBF3 team, led by Karen Taminger, presented on the novel system that can be applied to electron-beam welding systems. The forum, sponsored by NASA's Langley Research Center, Old Dominion University Business Gateway, and Virginia Project Lead the Way (PLTW), was facilitated by RTI International.
The forum gave 19 companies, 8 universities and 6 government entities an opportunity to learn about NASA's technology, as well as join in collective discussions on advancements, research, and funding by other government agencies, prime contractors, and universities. The forum had panel discussions on challenges that include qualification and certification, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding and results, data sharing, and innovative designs enabled by electron-beam freeform fabrication. The two-day event also provided one-on-one opportunities for external organizations to privately meet with the NASA team to discuss licensing and partnering interests. Tours of the EBF3 facility, Characterization lab, and Nondestructive Evaluation labs and a reception & market players networking session were also part of the two-day event. Approximately 77 people from 33 organizations attended the forum.
Interested in EBF3, but couldn't attend our forum? Don't worry! Contact us today and we'll happily provide you with more information about the technology!
Interested in one of our technologies but not sure if it will be right for your business? NASA Langley now has a unique licensing option for you. A way to "try it before you buy it."
The important details:
• No pro forma statement is required for a research license application
If our "Research License" sounds right for you, please contact us!Phone: (757) 864-1178 Email: LARC-DLfirstname.lastname@example.org
If you weren't able to attend the conference and meet our team of researchers and tech transfer experts, no worries. You can learn about the materials that were featured at the conference by the "search" feature on our site, or contacting us via the site.
Langley has lost one of its most valued researchers, Dr. Stanley S. Woodard, who passed away at his home on Wednesday, May 18th. Stan was one of the center's most productive researchers, authoring over 80 technical publications, and a prolific inventor, with over 22 patents to his name, including the Richard T. Whitcomb Aerospace technology transfer Award and two R&D 100 Awards. During his 25-year career with NASA, he conducted research in a broad range of disciplines, from spacecraft structural dynamics flight experiments to nuclear physics and advanced solid state actuator and sensor systems design. For his sustained career accomplishments, Stan was most recently awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 2008.
Through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts, TerraMetrics, Inc. worked with researchers at Langley to develop a synthetic vision (SV) display for pilots. The firm’s 3D terrain-rendering engine, known as "TerraBlocks" provides models in real-time. To read the entire story, click here ».
At the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) at the national meeting in Nashville, TN, NASA received four awards for Excellence in Technology Transfer. Two of those were for Langley's "Portable Infrasonic Detection System" and "Safe Wireless Fluid-Level Measuring System." To read more about all of the awards, please visit: http://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/home/feature_flc.html
The U.S. Patent Office has granted three patents for technologies at Langley. The first patent is for "Electrically Conductive, Optically Transparent Polymer/Carbon Nanotube Composites And Process For Preparation Thereof." The inventors, John W. Connell, Joseph G. Smith, Joycelyn S. Harrison, Cheol Park, Kent A. Watson and Zoubeida Ounaies, have effectively dispersed carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into polymer matrices that can help create nanocomposites with a unique combination of properties, including high retention of optical transparency in the visible range, electrical conductivity, and high thermal stability. These nanocomposites can be used to fabricate or formulate a variety of articles such as coatings on a variety of substrates, films, foams, fibers, threads, adhesives and fiber coated prepreg.
The second patented technology, "Epitaxial Growth of Cubic Crystalline Semiconductor Alloys on Basal Plane of Trigonal or Hexagonal Crystal," was invented by Yeonjoon Park, Sang Hyouk Choi and Glen C. King. With this technology, heteroepitaxial semiconductor materials made from cubic crystalline semiconductor alloys can be grown on trigonal and hexagonal substrates. Typical dislocations are reduced by lattice matching of the cubic crystal structure to the underlying substrate structure. This innovation allows for the development of alloyed semiconductor layers of greater thicknesses, resulting in a new class of semiconductor materials and corresponding devices, including improved hetero-bipolar and high-electron mobility transistors, and high-mobility thermoelectric devices.
The third patent was issued for "Controlling Second Harmonic Efficiency of Laser Beam Interactions." The inventors, Norman P. Barnes, Brian M. Walsh and Donald J. Reichle, have developed a novel method for controlling and optimizing the efficiency of a laser. Their new method can be readily adapted to a variety of second harmonic generation-based lasers in both new and existing laser systems.
For more information about these new inventions or other NASA Langley technologies, please visit: http://technologygateway.nasa.gov or contact us at: Phone: (757) 864-1178; email: LARC-DLemail@example.com |
When NASA Langley partners with small businesses through SBIR contracts, it can lead to long term benefits for both sides.
Through SBIR contracts awarded by NASA Langley, Intelligent Light of Rutherford, NJ created a Rotorcraft Computational Aero Acoustics Post-processing System (RCAAPS). The software helps researchers examine large sets of aero-acoustic data generated from computational fluid dynamics simulations by identifying and selecting relevant acoustic and turbulence data. The information enables engineers to quickly determine if certain configurations reduce noise generation. Today, certain aspects of the RCAAPS software have been infused into many NASA projects and programs. They are also being used by many of the top aeronautics and automobile companies.
Boston Applied Technologies, Inc.
Boston Applied Technologies, Inc. (BATi) of Woburn, MA worked with NASA Langley through an SBIR contract to develop a new Q-switch for lidar lasers. Their switch improved upon the state-of-the-art by greatly reducing the amount of energy needed and by significantly increasing its reliability. The improvements resulted in higher quality data collection in pulsed laser devices. Since 2007, BATi has translated their materials expertise to several other industry areas, such as imaging and astronomy markets, through iOptron Corporation. There have been over $500,000 in sales of the Q-switch, related research, and development service efforts.
Continuum Dynamics, Inc.
Through a NASA Langley SBIR contract, Continuum Dynamics, Inc. (CDI) of Ewing, NJ developed a flow solver tool called the Cartesian Grid Euler (CGE) to improve capabilities in modeling airflow around complex arbitrary shapes. The tool's various applications have allowed CDI to reach new markets. Work developed as a result of the original Langley SBIR award has helped the company to add one full-time job equivalent to work exclusively in the simulation area using the CGE-based flow solver. CDI anticipates bringing in approximately $200,000 to $300,000 per year in business through use of this technology. |
Langley recently executed a Joint Ownership Agreement among NASA; Jefferson Science Associates (JSA), which manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility for the Department of Energy; and the National Institute of Aerospace Associates (NIA) for boron nitride nanotube (BNNT) technologies. The agreement facilitates a working relationship among the joint owners and defines roles and responsibilities for patenting and commercializing the technologies.
Our researchers have invented other nanotube materials with unique applications, such as sensors. These small, powerful sensors can be embedded into structures to monitor strain, wear, fatigue, and more. Because they're also highly flexible, the sensors can easily be placed in areas that are normally difficult to instrument like curved surfaces and thin regions.
Langley research, originally intended for pilots and air traffic controllers, now has video gaming applications through a new biofeedback-based controller called "Mindshift." The technology uses physiological signals to modulate the manual inputs a player makes to the buttons or joysticks of a video game hand controller.
The inventors have successfully prototyped Mindshift technology using the Nintendoâ¢ Wiiâ¢ console and the accompanying wireless Wiiâ¢ remote. Additional prototypes have been designed and are being developed to extend this technology's capability to the Playstationâ¢ Moveâ¢, Xboxâ¢ Kinectâ¢, and other game platforms.
The controller system can be used to enhance multi-player game play. For example, in a multi-player environment such as a videogame tournament, it can allow players to interact with the game, and compete with each other, on a psychophysiological level, adding a new dimension to play â as well as expanding the skill set required.
For more information: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/mindshift.html |
NASA's Chief Technologist serves as the NASA Administrator's principal advisor and advocate on matters concerning agency-wide technology policy and programs. The Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT) is responsible for direct management of NASA's Space Technology programs and for coordination and tracking of all technology investments across the agency. The office also serves as the NASA technology point of entry and contact with other government agencies, academia and the commercial aerospace community. The office is responsible for developing and executing innovative technology partnerships, technology transfer and commercial activities and the development of collaboration models for NASA.
Dr. Bobby Braun, NASA Chief Technologist, visited Langley on Tuesday, May 18 th and met with members of the Innovative Partnerships Program (IPP) Office. During the meeting, Dr. Braun discussed the goals of his new office and what roles Langley Research Center will play.
To view clips of his interviews with the media, click here:
Dr. Richard Antcliff, Director of the Strategic Relationships Office, has been appointed as the Center’s new Chief Technologist. In his new role, Antcliff will be a member of Dr. Braun’s new council, which will look at technology development across the Agency from three different aspects: Early Stage Innovation, Game-Changing Technology, and Cross-Cutting Technology. Game-Changing Technology will be led from Langley. Antcliff will also advise and coordinate space technology research at Langley, as he continues to foster creativity and innovation across the Center.
For more complete details, please visit: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/news/researchernews/rn_chieftech.html
The NASA 2010 Innovation Fund recently selected four Langley proposals for funding. The four proposals and project leaders are:
Airborne Wind Turbine Energy Harvesting UAV Systems – Dr. Mark Moore, Aeronautics Systems Analysis
Over 560 submitted abstracts were submitted. From abstracts, the Innovative Partnerships Program Office at NASA Headquarters invited 143 project leaders to submit proposals. 41 of these were selected.
The Innovation Fund is intended to offer an opportunity for the most innovative NASA employees to spend some of their time pursuing “out-of-the-box” concepts that may not fit within the scope of their normal duties. The funding will allow these employees to perform research, analysis and proof-of-concept work on novel and futuristic ideas. The expected result will be a clearer formulation of the concept that will allow for an informed appraisal of its merit for further development. The ultimate goal is to see some of these ideas develop and transform the way that NASA and commercial aerospace enterprises do their work as well as finding beneficial applications in the world beyond.
The Hampton Roads Technology Council (HRTC) recently recognized two Langley researchers for their technology. Qamar Shams and Allan Zuckerwar received the HRTC “Green Economic Alliance Green Innovation Award” for their “Portable Infrasonic Detection System.” The award honors the person(s) or a company that has created the most outstanding green innovation in Hampton Roads for 2009. Both inventors are members of the Aeronautics Systems Engineering Branch, SED.
The Green Economic Alliance (GEA) is dedicated to the cultivation of a prosperous and sustainable economy. The Alliance is comprised of educational institutions, environmental groups, community groups, government partners, labor, and businesses across a wide variety of industries. Our common purpose is to study, plan, coordinate, and implement strategies for sustainable economic development.
Look for an upcoming article on the development of this technology at:
During 2010, the Langley Innovative Partnerships Program (IPP) Team was hard at work, helping to move the Center’s technology up and out, as well as develop numerous partnerships to support technology innovation. We have put together a summary of our accomplishments for the year in this document. If you’d like more information or have any feedback, please let us know.
A Langley technology has been selected as NASA Government Invention of the Year for 2009. K. Elliott Cramer, Daniel F. Perey, and William T. Yost invented “Ultrasonic Wire Crimp Inspection,” which has been patented.
With the invention, it’s possible to check wire crimp connections by using a handheld tool with a pair of transducers. The tool grasps the crimp joint and one of the transducers sends an ultrasonic signal through the joint. The signal is then received by the transducer. If the signal is low, there’s not enough contact at the crimp, and vice versa.
The technique can be applied to many different crimping operations, especially critical connections, like those on flight vehicles. The Aircraft Aging and Durability Project is using the technology to investigate failure of electrical wiring systems in commercial and military airplanes. And, it’s currently being evaluated by the FAA, NAVAIR, and the Coast Guard.
Crimp Tool Setup. Credits: NASA (Click to Enlarge Image)
Langley recently signed a nonexclusive license agreement with PCB Piezotronics for an extreme low-frequency acoustic measurement portable system technology. Qamar A. Shams and Allan J. Zuckerwar originally designed and developed the technology to to detect Clear Air Turbulence for Aviation Safety and other NASA exploration programs.
Shams and Zuckerwar furthered the development of the technology through a Langley Innovation Seed Fund Award. With the funding, they collaborated with a West Virginia firm to develop sensors and algorithms that enhanced their system. The technology is also suitable for detecting infrasonic signals emitted from other man-made and natural events such as wind turbines, microbursts, severe storms, tornadoes, tsunami, ocean waves, and sonic booms.
Acoustic Measurement System
PCB Piezotronics plans to market a low-frequency, low-amplitude acoustic test and measurement system in the areas of earthquake detection, prediction of environmental and weather conditions, and general purpose sound pressure testing.
Wire Crimping Tool
Langley and Sonicrimp, LLC recently entered into a partially exclusive license agreement for Langley’s wire crimping tool technology. Sonicrimp plans to market and sell ultrasonic testing equipment that measures the overall quality and durability of wire crimps. For marketing their equipment, the firm has targeted automated assembly operations in aerospace, military, automotive, and other high-reliability market niches.
This is the same technology that just received the 2009 NASA Government Invention of the Year award. The invention is based on traditional ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation methods. To determine the quality of a contact between a connector and a wire, an acoustic wave is sent through the crimp assembly. As the applied pressure increases and the crimp terminal deforms around the wire, the signal passing through the crimp also changes. The tool then analyzes the changes to identify good and poor crimps.
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Take advantage of these opportunities to visit with Langley experts, managers, and inventors! Discover the many ways that our technologies can add real value and benefits to your business.
Every year, NASA’s “Spinoff” magazine highlights successful technology partnerships that have brought out-of-this-world technologies back down to Earth. This year’s issue features seven Langley-based articles.
Tools Lighten Designs, Maintain Structural Integrity
Insulating Foams Save Money, Increase Safety
Polyimide Resins Resist Extreme Temperatures
Modeling Languages Refine Vehicle Design
Robust Light Filters Support Powerful Imaging Devices
Langley signed a partially exclusive license agreement with Kelvin International Corporation (Newport News, VA) for wireless sensor technologies. Originally invented as an easier and more efficient way to use sensors on aircraft and spacecraft as well as other vehicles, the company has plans to market built-in liquid level sensors using the non-contact sensors for bio-storage containers.
Unlike most "wireless" sensors that must be electrically connected to a power source, the wireless sensor system works without batteries or receivers, so it can safely be put almost anywhere. Recently, the system won “One of 100 Top Innovation Awards,” presented by R&D magazine.
Magnetic Field Response Measurement Acquisition System
Recently, LaRC also signed a nonexclusive license agreement with Tetramer Technologies, LLC of Pendleton, SC for commercial applications of Langley’s electro-active polymer composites technology. With its high durability and high sensitivity, the technology was developed to improve sensing and actuation in future structures, such as aircraft made from smart materials. Tetramer plans to market high-performance piezopolymer composites in film, fiber, and fabrics incorporating the technology.
Side view of bending actuation of electro-active polymer without (left) and with (right) an electric field
For more information on these or other Langley technologies, please visit the Technology Marketplace.
Thirty-three small companies will receive 2008 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 2 Awards to develop technologies for the Langley. The awards address specific technology gaps in mission programs and projects. Successful SBIR-developed technologies have supported numerous NASA efforts, including modern air traffic control systems, Earth observing spacecraft, the space shuttle, the International Space Station and Mars rovers.
Innovative research areas among the selected proposals include:
The SBIR program is a highly competitive, three-phase award system. It provides qualified small businesses with opportunities to propose unique ideas that meet specific research and development needs of the federal government.
For a list of the awards, please click here.
Several Langley researchers are being honored for their innovative achievements in the world of semiconductor physics. Their remarkable two-fold discovery has just won a 2009 R&D 100 Award in the category of “Materials and Metals.” The winning team includes: Dr. Sang H. Choi, Dr. Yeonjoon Park, Mr. Glen C. King, and Mr. James R. Elliott.
The new material, Rhombohedral Lattice-Matched SiGe, is the world’s first silicon germanium semi-conductive alloy that can be fabricated in relatively thick layers without any defects or dislocations. Since the new Langley lattice-matched SiGe has higher electron mobility than single crystal silicon, it lays the groundwork for the development of ultra-fast chipsets beyond that of the current state-of-the-art semiconductor chips, such as those used for integrated circuits.
For the past 50 years, only two semiconductor alloy engineering models have been used globally to manufacture chips. But, while they were developing their new alloy, the team discovered a third modelâthe rhombohedral-triagonal model. With this model, they developed “Rhombohedral Hybrid Band-gap Engineering,” which can used to fabricate thousands of new alloys and millions of new device structures very cost-effectively.
R&D Magazine’s “R&D 100 Awards for 2009,” recognizes the 100 most significant proven technological advances of the year. The winning of an R&D 100 Award provides a mark of excellence known to industry, government, and academia as proof that the product is one of the most innovative ideas of the year.
Dr. Yeojoon Park with Rhombohedral Lattice-Matched SiGe.
X-ray Crystallography Equipment for Evaluating Rhombo-
RICHMOND — Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that for the second time during his administration, CNBC has named Virginia its “Top State for Business.” This best-in-the-nation ranking was based on a wide range of factors, from workforce quality to broadband infrastructure, and reaffirms that “Virginia has what it takes to emerge from an economy turned upside down.” Virginia received CNBC’s top ranking in 2007 and was ranked second in 2008. This is the fourth time in the last month that Virginia has received national acclaim as a top place to do business.
According to CNBC, Virginia has the 7th best economy nationally in 2009, up from 17th in 2008. The business channel also cited Virginia’s reasonable sales, personal income and corporate tax rates as key contributors to Virginia’s ranking as America’s Best State for Business, 2009.
In late June, the Innovative Partnerships Program (IPP) Office played host to about 40 delegates from the International Business Wales (IBW) group. The IBW works to establish and strengthen global business partnerships. Inventors and representatives from Langley’s advanced materials, sensors, and non-destructive evaluation project areas were invited to talk about their technologies with the delegates. In addition to technical presentations, demonstrations, and exchanges, the delegates toured several key facilities at the Center. Langley’s project and program leads and the Welsh visitors discussed potential future partnerships for technology development.
IBW delegates tour Langley’s Flight Test Article Development
Recently, NASA’s Innovative Partnerships Program, working with the Office of the Chief Engineer at NASA Headquarters, selected 20 projects for the 2009 NASA Innovation Fund. The fund was established to advance work from NASA innovators on novel technologies and concepts that have the potential to revolutionize the way NASA performs its missions such as enabling new capabilities in space flight, science, aeronautics or exploration, as well as providing potential solutions to other national and global challenges. The following two proposals that were awarded are from Langley.
Because axial tension and compression loads significantly impact truss structures, the structures are often designed to be heavy and durable. Two NASA researchers have teamed on a project that could provide a new solution for an ultra-lightweight, truss-like structural element.
David Paddock from Langley’s Landing Systems Engineering Division, and Ian Fernandez, from Mechanical Systems and Materials Engineering at Ames Research Center, have teamed to develop an “Axial Curved Element Structural Beam.”
Their design and analysis will show that large elements of the structure can be made and match analytic predictions for nearly any length and load. The new type of structure could be valuable to a number of planned elements for NASA’s Constellation vehicles. It could also help to reduce the mass of truss structures for a number of other types of vehicles.
Dr. John Connell from Langley’s Advanced Materials & Processing Branch has partnered with Dr. Yi Lin from the National Institute of Aerospace on developing technology to mitigate lunar dust from spacesuits, radiators, rovers and habitats. For any long-term lunar mission, dust presents a major challenge for keeping surfaces clean. The current strategies for dust mitigation require electrical energy, but Connell and Lin have another very unique idea.
The two researchers are planning to mimic gecko feet. Gecko can keep their feet clean even in dirty environments because the tiny microscopic hairs that help them adhere to different surfaces also act as self-cleaning brushes. For their project, Connell and Lin will develop nanostructured polymer arrays simulating gecko setae to test in commercially available filter membranes.
Giant leaf-tail gecko Uroplatus fimbriatus clinging to glass. Credits: Wikipedia
Close-up of the underside of a gecko's foot as it walks on a glass wall. Van der Waals force interactions between the finely divided setae (hairs on the toes) and the glass enables the gecko to stay in place and walk on the seemingly smooth glass. Credits: Wikipedia
A close up of a gecko’s foot as it walks on a glass wall.
Researchers from Langley and Johnson Space Center (JSC) have teamed to develop a new manufacturing system. The system uses electron-beam freeform fabrication (EBF 3). Although the EBF 3 process has been used for sometime, the Langley-Johnson process, which uses a wire-feed design, is radically different. According to Langley’s Karen Taminger, “We’re actually trying to build entire parts from nothingâjust from building up the wire, or we’re using this to build significant components on a new part.” Although the team has an eye on building components in microgravity environments for life and work in space, the EBF 3 system has numerous down-to-Earth applications. You can learn more about this technology by clicking here ». To watch the video, click here»
Inventors at NASA Langley Research Center have done it again! The Agency’s 2008 “Commercial Invention of the Year” has been awarded to John W. Connell, Joseph G. Smith, Jr., and Paul M. Hergenrother (retired), all from Langley. Their invention, “Composition of and Method for Making High Performance Resins for Infusion and Transfer Molding Processes,” has resulted in a high temperature resin, known as “PETI-330.” PETI-330 is specifically designed to use in fabricating composite materials through low cost processes.
Wired News identified the Speedo LZR Racer Swimsuit as one of the top ten technology breakthroughs for 2008. Langleys wind tunnels were the proving grounds for selecting just the right aerodynamic material for the suit.
For more information on "Wired", click here.
For more information on Speedo LZR Racer Swimsuit, click here.
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Langley's Polyimide foam, FPF-44, has been named NASA's commercial invention of the year for 2007. FPF-44 is a multi-use insulating foam invented by Roberto Cano, Brian Jensen and Erik Weiser from NASA Langley, and Miguel Vazquez of Polyumac Techno Core Inc. in Hialeah, Fla. In addition to being lightweight and fire resistant, the foam can be thermal formed into a variety of shapes. FPF-44 is one of Langley's many unique space-age materials with many down-to-earth applications. Please contact (757) 864-1178 for more information on this technology.
Annually NASA publishes Spinoff, a magazine featuring successfully commercialized NASA technologies. For more than 40 years, the NASA Innovative Partnerships Program (IPP) has helped to transfer these technologies to the private sector, as well as back into federal programs and projects, all of which have societal benefits. The commercialization contributes to new products and services in health, medicine, industry, consumer goods, transportation, public safety, computer technology, and environmental resources. Each year, Spinoff carries 40 to 50 articles highlighting the technologies.
In response to a recent NASA Research Announcement (NRA), the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate has selected eight companies to develop landing sensor technology for its Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) Program. Two of the firms, Advanced Scientific Concepts (ASC) and Fibertek, Inc., have previously partnered with Langley through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts. For the ALHAT project, Fibertek and ASC will support the development of 3D imaging LIDAR technology.
Every 12 months, teams of experts selected by Chicago-based R&D Magazine name their choices of the year's 100 most innovative ideas. NASA LaRC researchers, competing in an international pool that includes industry, universities, and government labs, were selected as one of the recipients of this prestigious mark of excellence. LaRC's winning technology, "The SansEC Geometric Sensing Patterns," was developed by Dr. Stanley Woodard of Langley's RTD's Structural Dynamics Branch and Mr. Bryant D. Taylor of ATK Space Division. This electrically conductive and open-circuit wireless sensor requires no electrical connections, offering greater durability, damage resiliency, reliability, and functional diversity, and it's easy and affordable to produce.
"When I hit the water, I feel like a rocket." That's world champion swimmer Michael Phelps, commenting on his new Speedo swimsuit. Warnaco Inc., the U.S. licensee of the Speedo swimwear brand, approached NASA Langley to test its fabric samples, focusing on less drag reduction. According to Langley researcher Steve Wilkinson, "we evaluated the surface roughness effects of nearly 60 fabrics or patterns in one of our small low speed wind tunnels." "We were looking to understand and manage skin friction and the drag on materials," said Jason Rance, who heads up Speedo's research and development center. "The leaders on that thought are NASA. They've spent a lot of time looking for ways to reduce the drag on their spacecraft." After extensive testing in the Langley facility, Warnaco down-selected fabric for the new suit, which Speedo calls the "world's fastest swimsuit." "They were a fantastic partner," Rance said. "They gave us a very clear base, which we then used in determining which fabric to use." Phelps, a gold and bronze medalist at the 2004 summer Olympics, will be wearing one at the Olympics in Beijing this summer. "I can't wait to race in it." To date, the Speedo suit, called the "LZR Racer," has helped set 18 new world records.
Caplan Taylor Enterprises, Newport News, Va, has licensed a wireless sensor system technology invented by Langley researchers, Stan Woodard and Bryant Taylor. The system uses magnetic fields to deliver power to and acquire measurements from sensors. Its wireless design eliminates the need for direct contact between the sensor and the data acquisition system as well as arc-induced ignition risks. It has been used to measure fluid levels in airplane landing gear struts.
Atmospheric science researchers at Langley and the University of Hawaii have teamed to build the Raman and Laser Ablation Spectroscopy (LAS) capability within NASA. These techniques are being actively developed as a candidate for future Mars climate and atmospheric composition studies. The partnership has allowed Langley to tap external expertise in these measurement techniques and bring the Center's sensor and system know how to bear on refining the technology for future space applications. In addition, the capability now resides internal to NASA and can be used in support of future joint proposal efforts.
Roberto Cano, Brian Jensen, Erik Weiser, all from Langley and Juan Vazquez, PolyuMac TechnoCore, Inc., have won the 2008 NASA Commercial Invention of the Year award for their "Polyimide Foams." The durable polyimide foam materials are cured by a microwave process, reducing cost and increasing the production rate over competing polyimide foams. The foams can be flexible or rigid, structural or non-structural, are highly durable, and their density can be varied widely to suit a broad range of applications. The products provide excellent insulation for sound, cryogenics, heat and cold, and can be used as fire protection since they have no harmful combustion products and have been proven at 400 F.
Langley-invented Wireless Sensor Licensed
Recently, a nonexclusive license agreement between NASA Langley Research Center and 3D Plus USA, Inc. was approved.
The firm plans to commercialize Langley's Radiation Tolerant Intelligent Memory Stack (RTIMS) modules. The RTIMS is integrated onto a compact printed circuit board that provides two gigabits of error-corrected digital memory.
On Wednesday, NASA's Innovative Partnerships Program Seed Fund announced the selection of 38 partnerships that will advance key technologies to meet critical needs for NASA's mission. These Seed Fund projects will address technology barriers with cost-shared, joint-development programs.
On Friday, October 26, 2007, NASA Langley Research Center hosted its first annual technology exposition event, called "TeXpo."
The Technology Gateway video can now be seen on YouTube. The video is a sample of some of the latest technologies and facilities at Langley, along with comments from the people who make them possible.