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The Technology Transfer and Partnerships Office
Area of Expertise
empty Industrial Processes

As GRC scientists develop new materials and devices, they also deal with manufacturability issues.  They improve processes for making existing materials and devices, while striving to reduce cost, produce a more uniform and repeatable product, eliminate hazardous materials, and develop continuous processes to replace batch processes.





Technologies Available for Licensing 

GRC patents available for licensing.

Title Description/Abstract
Mobile Sensing Platform Surveys Hazardous Scenes+ Go to full description
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Hard, Corrosion-Proof Nickel-Titanium Material for Use in Mechanical Components+ Go to full description
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Aerogel-Reinforced Composites+ Go to full description
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Offset Compound Gear Inline Two-Speed Drive+ Go to full description
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Cellular Reflectarray Antenna (CRA)+ Go to full description
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A High-Temperature Enabled Communication Circuit for DC Power Lines+ Go to full description
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Packaging and Integrating Microphotonic Devices+ Go to full description
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Method for texturing surfaces of optical fiber sensors used for blood glucose monitoring + Go to full description
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Devices and methods of operation thereof for providing stable flow for centrifugal compressors + Go to full description
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Unitized Regenerative Fuel Cell System + Go to full description
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Acoustic Seal + Go to full description
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Large area plasma source + Go to full description
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Synthesis of Asymmetric Tetracarboxylic Acids and Corresponding Dianhydrides + Go to full description
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Synthesis of Asymmetric Tetracarboxylic Acids and Dianhydrides + Go to full description
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Miniaturized Metal (Metal Alloy)/PdOx/SiC Schottky Diode Gas Sensors for Hydrogen and Hydrocarbons Detection at High Temperatures + Go to full description
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Energetic Atomic and Ionic Oxygen Textured Optical Surfaces For Blood Glucose Monitoring + Go to full description
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Protective Coating and Hyperthermal Atomic Oxygen Texturing of Optical Fibers Used for Blood Glucose Monitoring + Go to full description
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Improved Interphase Coating of Ceramic Matrix Composites for High Temperature Applications+ Go to full description
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Self-Sealing, Smart, Variable Area Nozzle for Dynamic Flow Control in Gas Turbine Engines+ Go to full description
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Resilient, Flexible, Pressure-Activated Seal for Use in High-Temperature Conditions+ Go to full description
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High Work Output Ni-Ti-Pt High-Temperature Shape Memory Alloys and Associated Processing Methods+ Go to full description
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Extension of the Lifetime of Hall Thrusters for Longer Operating Time and Less Frequent Replacement+ Go to full description
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Novel Short-Backfire Antenna Supports Wireless Networks, Telemetry + Go to full description
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Near-Field Scanner Evaluates Multiple Antennas Quickly and Inexpensively + Go to full description
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Braking/Holding Device Uses MR Fluid to Achieve High Load Capacity + Go to full description
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Miniaturized Electrochemical CO2 Sensor Operates in Range of Environments, Temperatures + Go to full description
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Method and Apparatus for In Situ Monitoring of Solar Cells + Go to full description
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Radiation Particle Detector Has Space and Terrestrial Applications + Go to full description
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Lightweight Offset Compound Gear Drive Transfers High Power at High Speed + Go to full description
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Optical Communication Device Transmits Low-Power Signals Over Noisy Background + Go to full description
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Actuator Operated Microvalves Permit and Prevent Gas, Fluid Flow + Go to full description
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High-Temperature, Radiation-Hard, Digital Logic and Analog Devices + Go to full description
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Low-Cost RF MEMS Switches with Improved Operational Reliability + Go to full description
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500°C Durable Integrated Circuit Chips + Go to full description
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Process for Significantly Improving Properties of Silicon Carbide (SIC) Fibers + Go to full description
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Low-Cost Method for Thermal Spraying of Coatings Using Resonant Pulsed Combustion + Go to full description
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Safe, Low-Cost Alternative to Polymerized Monomeric Reactant-15 Resins + Go to full description
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Improved Magnetic Circuit for Hall Effect Plasma Accelerator + Go to full description
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Waterless Dust Removal Device for Solar Cells + Go to full description
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Method for Mitigating Magnetic Field Emissions of ASRGs+ Go to full description
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SiC Fabrication Method Speeds Production, Enables Functionality up to 1,000°C + Go to full description
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New Circuit Topography for JFET Digital Logic Gate Structure+ Go to full description
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Nanoelectronic Device Detects Toxic Gases and Explosives+ Go to full description
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Novel Method for Making Lightweight, Compact Fuel Cells+ Go to full description
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Dual-Mode Combustor Handles Speeds Between Mach 0-20+ Go to full description
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Dual-Mode Hybrid Engine: A Next-Generation Electric Propulsion Thruster+ Go to full description
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Wireless Inductive Power Device for Safer and More Efficient Aircraft+ Go to full description
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High-Efficiency Power Module Provides Radar, Communications, and Navigation+ Go to full description
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Modular Battery Charge Controller Enhances Fault Tolerance+ Go to full description
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New Lunar Dust Simulant with Nanophase Iron+ Go to full description
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High-Temperature Lubricant Coating for Ultra-Efficient Engines+ Go to full description
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Low-Density, Single-Crystal Superalloy Enables Low-Cost Manufacturing+ Go to full description
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Benign Photo-Oxidation Method for More Robust Carbon Nanotubes+ Go to full description
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Fast and Cost-Efficient Method for Stabilizing Shape Memory Alloys+ Go to full description
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Purification Method for Nanomaterials+ Go to full description
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Mechanical Components From Highly Recoverable Low Apparent Modulus Materials+ Go to full description
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Precision Technique for Pre-Stressing Hard, Highly Elastic Materials+ Go to full description
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Secure Optical Communications Using Quantum Modulation Spectroscopy+ Go to full description
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Novel Sensor Measures Liquid Propellant in Low-Gravity, Low-Thrust Conditions+ Go to full description
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Optimized Tuner Selection More Accurately Estimates Engine Performance+ Go to full description
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Ka-Band Waveguide Two-Way Hybrid Combiner for MMIC Amplifiers+ Go to full description
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Device Optically Detects Shocks in High-Speed Vehicle Inlets+ Go to full description
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Nanomaterials for More Sensitive and Responsive Gas Sensing+ Go to full description
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Atomic Oxygen Fluence Monitor Predicts Durability of Spacecraft and Components+ Go to full description
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Temperature-Sensitive Coating Enables Easy Measurement up to 600° C+ Go to full description
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Robust Sensors Detect Ablation in TPS Materials+ Go to full description
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Novel Instrumentation Improves Vehicle Safety+ Go to full description
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Raman Spectroscopy for Time-Resolved Multiscalar Combustion Diagnostics+ Go to full description
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Portable Unit for Metabolic Analysis (PUMA)+ Go to full description
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Cost-Effective Method for Fabricating Diamond-Dispersed Composite Coatings+ Go to full description
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Package for Protecting Sensors and Electronics in High-Temperature Environments+ Go to full description
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Compact, Lightweight, Acoustic Liner Reduces Subsonic Jet Engine Noise+ Go to full description
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Lightweight, High-Strength Hybrid Gear for Rotorcraft+ Go to full description
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High-Voltage Water Purification for Water Recycling or Point-of-Use Applications+ Go to full description
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Cascading TESLA Oscillating Flow Diode for Stirling Gas Bearings+ Go to full description
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In-Situ Solid Particle Generator Operates in High-Temperature, Extreme Environments+ Go to full description
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Cascading TESLA Oscillating Flow Diode for Stirling Gas Bearings+ Go to full description
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Microtube Ignition System for Use in Rockets, Backyard Grills, and More+ Go to full description
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Improving Engine Responsiveness During Emergency Landing Conditions+ Go to full description
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New Foil Bearing Increases Load Capacity, Reliability+ Go to full description
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Next-Generation Flywheel Systems for Power Storage Feature Bearingless Motor-Generators (MGs) and Sensorless Control + Go to full description
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Low-Cost, Rugged, High-Efficiency Solar Cell+ Go to full description
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High-Speed, Customizable Touchdown Bearing for Flywheels+ Go to full description
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Flywheel Pulse-and-Glide System Improves Drivetrain Efficiency+ Go to full description
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Polarization Dependent Whispering Gallery Modes in Microspheres+ Go to full description
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Iridium Interfacial Stack (IrIS) Functions as a Diffusion Barrier for Oxygen, Gold+ Go to full description
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Method for Fabricating Ultra-Thin SiC Microstructures+ Go to full description
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Wireless Nanoionic Radio Frequency Switch for Actuation, Communications, Radar, and Sensing+ Go to full description
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Atmospheric Turbulence Model Simulates Range of Altitudes and Conditions+ Go to full description
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Polymer Electrolyte-Based Ambient Temperature Oxygen Microsensor for Environmental Monitoring+ Go to full description
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High-Speed Smart Camera Detects Supersonic Inlet Shocks + Go to full description
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Adaptive Processing Element Operates Within Microcontrollers + Go to full description
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Adaptive Phase Delay Generator Eases Synchronization Tasks for Testing Facilities+ Go to full description
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Inexpensive Microsensor Fabrication Process Permits Selective Tailoring for Specific Uses + Go to full description
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Liquid Tin Electrodes for Direct Conversion of JP-8 Fuel using the NASA BSC Solid Oxide Fuel Cell+ Go to full description
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 Partnership Opportunities 

Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have developed a high-temperature optical sensor that can operate in environments up to 1,000°C. The technology employs a novel method to package and process fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs), which are short segments of optical fiber designed to reflect a particular wavelength. This method drastically increases FBG thermal stability and operability. The resulting thermally stable chemical composition gratings (CCGs) in communication grade fibers are a key component of the sensor, which can accurately monitor the performance of advanced engines, furnaces, and reactors. This technology significantly extends applicability of optical sensors to high- temperature environments where other measurement techniques are unreliable, dangerous, or unavailable.

Innovators at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have developed a new method for producing a shock- and corrosion-proof superelastic intermetallic material — NiTiNOL 60 (60NiTi) — for use in ball bearings and other mechanical components. These superelastic materials can withstand tremendous loads and stresses without permanent deformation or denting. At the same time, the nickel-titanium alloy is immune to corrosion and rust, unlike mechanical components made from iron or steel. In addition, the material does not chemically degrade or break down lubricants, a common problem with existing bearing materials. This material is best suited for oil- lubricated rolling and sliding contact applications requiring superior and intrinsic corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity, and non-magnetic properties.

Scientists at NASA’s Glenn Research Center (GRC) have developed a method for fabricating low-density, flexible aerogel composites for use as thermal insulation for myriad applications. This insulation is ideal for a variety of environments that require insulation materials that can withstand temperatures of up to 1200 °C. This innovation significantly advances the state of the art for composite insulation systems, reducing adherence problems and thermal conductivity limitations of conventional aerogel insulations. It also improves performance with lower weight, lower density, and higher efficiency. These favorable factors contribute to greater applicability of aerogel insulation.

› See related success story, New Agreement Streamlines Licensing Process for High-Temperature Aerogel

Scientists at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have developed a simple, lightweight, inline two-speed drive that can be used either as an overall transmission or as a supplemental add-on input transmission (i.e., overdrive or underdrive) for rotary-wing aircraft and other applications benefiting from variable-speed transmission. This Offset Compound Gear (OCG) extends the range of capability of existing transmissions for aerospace and industrial applications.

NASA Glenn Research Center invites companies to license a new concept design for terrestrial satellite dishes and communications systems. Glenn’s Cellular Reflectarray Antenna has been developed and tested for use with next-generation Ka-band satellites, although it can be used with all bands of satellite communication. The design’s flat, planar configuration all but eliminates the wind-loading problems associated with larger parabolic reflectors for dish systems. The technology also offers unique features that provide ease of installation and improved signal reception while deterring piracy and theft of subscription satellite services.

The Spring Tire
[LEW-18466-1]

The result of a successful collaborative effort between NASA’s Glenn Research Center and The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, the Spring Tire overcomes the load-bearing and distance limitations of tires previously used on NASA’s Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle, and offers high resiliency even when damaged, making it ideal for harsh terrestrial environments on Earth. The tire contains load-bearing helical springs, requires no air or rubber, and uniquely contours to the terrain surface while consuming less energy than other tires. Because it is constructed without any air or rubber, the tire can be used in the harsh temperature extremes of space and as a safer alternative for military and off-road vehicles in which traditional pneumatic tires can fail when hit by bullets or driven over sharp terrain.

NASA’s Glenn Research Center is offering a sensor and actuator networking innovation applicable to smart vehicle or component control. This innovation requires no additional connectivity beyond the wiring providing power. This results in lower system weight, increased ease and flexibility for system modifications and retrofits, and improved reliability and robustness. The technology was specifically designed for harsh, high-heat environments but has applications in multiple arenas. The device is compatible with most communication protocols.

Researchers at NASA Glenn Research Center have invented a packaging methodology for integrating a microphotonic millimeter wave receiver (MMWR) using a microphotonic resonate disk on a silicon substrate. Digital information is modulated with an optical beam using a microphotonic resonate disk. This optical beam carrying the digital data signal is coupled into a fiber-optic cable for transmission, providing better signal strength over long distances that is not prone to cross-talk or electromagnetic interface. Because it integrates the optical coupling mechanism onto a silicon substrate, this innovation eliminates the need for bulky equipment to translate the signal. The carrier structure can be made quite small and simple. The technology has wide applicability and can be used with cellular equipment, including pico-cells, local area networks, and “last mile” applications that take signals to the neighborhood level.

The Optimal Trajectories by Implicit Simulation program version 4 (OTIS 4) simulates the trajectory performance of a wide variety of vehicles. Primarily a point mass, three-degree-of-freedom (3DOF) simulation program, OTIS 4 has options that allow six-degree-of-freedom (6DOF) simulations. The user inputs the vehicle models; there are no embedded, vehicle-specific aerodynamic or propulsion models. Flight paths can be generated with respect to any of the major bodies in the solar system. OTIS 4 allows progressively more detailed simulations as the vehicle and mission design advance.

NASA’s Glenn Research Center has enhanced its process for developing polymer cross-linked aerogels (X-Aerogels). Glenn previously was able to increase the strength without adversely affecting the porosity or low density by cross-linking silica and other oxide aerogels with a polymeric material. However, these aerogels still were subject to brittle failure. The improved process now provides flexible linking groups as part of the monolith structure, boosting the strength, elasticity, and resiliency of the aerogel.


Listen to the Innovation Now Radio Show podcast:


Download this podcast (right click and "save as")


See also, polyimide aerogels.

Researchers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have patented a solvent-free process for preparing novel imide oligomers that have a low-melt viscosity and are thus amenable to low-cost processing such as resin transfer molding. Curing the oligomers produces thermoset polyimide resins with high-temperature performance capabilities that are suitable for use in high-quality polymer composites with carbon, glass, or quartz fiber. The unique melt process without a solvent provides a manufacturing advantage over the expensive high boiling solvents previously needed to produce the oligomers. This process also eliminates the need for tedious and high-cost solvent removal.

 

Researchers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have patented a device and fabrication method related to a new miniaturized Schottky diode hydrogen and hydrocarbon sensor. At high temperatures, many gas-detecting sensors are not able to maintain sensitivity and stability due to chemical reactions between their catalytic metal sensing layer and substrate layer. Typically, reactions between layers can lead to the formation of metal silicides that render the sensor insensitive to hydrogen and hydrocarbon materials. As a result, this leads to decreased hydrogen and hydrocarbon detection sensitivity and degradation of the sensor device. Glenn’s patented gas sensing structure is comprised of a catalytic sensing layer, a substrate layer of SiC, and a barrier interlayer located between the catalytic sensing layer and substrate layer. The major innovation of this work is the use of palladium oxide as this barrier layer to prevent detrimental reaction products (e.g., metal silicides). The sensor has high sensitivity and stability due to the strength of the barrier interlayer, and provides gas detection at temperatures ranging from at least 450 to 600 degrees Celsius.

Additional information related to this portfolio
› NASA Glenn's Advanced Gas Sensors and High-Temperature Pressure Sensors

Flywheel energy systems are simple in concept. An electric motor is used to spin up a wheel or rotor to store energy, and energy is discharged by an electric generator, thus spinning down the flywheel. While the electromagnetic battery concept is decades old, recent advances in high-strength lightweight composite materials, magnetic bearings, and power electronics technology have brought renewed interest in flywheel energy storage technologies. Advances make possible flywheel speeds that can equal or exceed the energy storage capability of traditional chemical batteries. NASA’s Glenn Research Center invites companies to license this flywheel technology, which has implications not only for spacecraft applications but also for the transportation, utility, and manufacturing industries.

Listen to the Innovation Now Radio Show podcast: "Flywheels Put a New Spin on Power Storage"
Download this podcast (right click and "save as")

NASA’s Glenn Research Center has developed the Portable Unit for Metabolic Analysis (PUMA) to provide highly precise real-time measurements of human metabolic functions. PUMA is a battery-powered, wearable device that measures concentrations of carbon dioxide and oxygen in inhaled and exhaled breath as well as heart rate, temperature, gas pressure, and inhalation and exhalation airflow rates. The device relays data wirelessly to a laptop computer for real-time analysis. Because the technology is packaged into a compact and wearable unit and can be used anywhere, a multitude of applications are possible, from ensuring the health and safety of astronauts, pilots, divers, and miners to monitoring patients with pulmonary disease and evaluating fitness levels of soldiers and athletes.

NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) seeks to transfer technology for further development and production of its polymer cross-linked aerogels (X-Aerogels). These mechanically robust, highly porous, low-density materials are 3 times denser than native aerogels, but more than 100 times stronger.

See also, polyimide aerogels.

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 Relevant SBIR/STTR Opportunities 

SBIR Subtopic Number Title
A2.01 Materials and Structures for Future Aircraft (link opens new browser window)

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 Recent Activities and Articles 

R&T REPORT 2007

+ Download complete 2007 R&T Report

  • Manufacturing Process for Polymer Cross-Linked Aerogel Composites Developed
  • Technology for Integrating Ultra-High-Temperature Ceramic Composites With Metallic Systems Developed
  • Joining of Carbon-Carbon Composites to Metals Demonstrated for Thermal Management Applications
  • Design, Fabrication, and Performance of Open-Source Foil Bearings Demonstrated
  • Electrical Resistance Tested as a Nondestructive Evaluation Technique for Silicon Carbide/Silicon Carbide Composites
  • Microelectromechanical Systems Packaging Technique and Chip Fabrication Method Developed for High-Temperature, Harsh-Environment  Silicon-Carbide Pressure Sensors
  • Silicon Carbide Integrated Circuit Fabricated and Electrically Operated for 2000 hr at 500 C

NASA Tech Briefs

2011

2010

2009

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 Additional Related Resources 

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 Success & Recognition 

SUCCESS STORIES

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AWARDS

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  • Page Last Updated:
    July 31, 2013
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