Volume 5, Number 5 September/October 1997
|Technology Opportunity Showcase highlights some unique technologies that NASA has developed and that we believe have strong potential for commercial application. While the descriptions provided here are brief, they should provide enough information to communicate the potential applications of the technology. For more detailed information, contact the person or office listed. Please mention you read about it in Innovation.|
SENTEC Corporation and NASA's Lewis Research Center seeks a commercialization partnership or licensing agreement for the fiber-optic high-temperature sensor. It has the potential to operate within and monitor temperatures from 0 to more than 800 degrees Celsius in harsh environments, covering the entire required propulsion system control temperature. It is compact, lightweight, immune to electromagnetic interference and much more reliable than other optical sensors.
White light travels between an optical fiber and a metal surface, encountering a Fabry-Perot interferometer, sending back a reflected white light interference fringe that travels to a spectroscopic detector. This detector is connected to a computer that reads the interference fringes, converting the data into consistent fringe spacing temperatures. Applicable industries include aeronautics, military vehicles and nuclear and industrial power plants.
For more information, contact Dr. Margaret Tuma at Lewis Research Center.
Call 216/433-8665 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
System Fault Detection and Accommodation
Lewis Research Center seeks to transfer its Fault Detection, Isolation and Accommodation (FDIA) real-time detection technologies for improving system operability, extending the system and minimizing maintenance while maximizing performance. These technologies have been tested and simulated in various aircraft components, such as: a sensor validation scheme processing equal output and original input vector data for an estimated true measurement for the controller; an on-line estimation algorithm for real-time input/output estimated fault parameter data; and use of experts' heuristic knowledge to identify known component faults not covered by other techniques. Potential applications include systems continuously monitored for high performance, such as aircraft engines, automobiles, chemical plants and other automated tasks.
For more information, contact Dr. Ten-Huei Guo at Lewis Research Center.
Call 216/433-3734 E-mail: email@example.com
Photonic Switching Using Light Bullets
Ames Research Center seeks a commercial partner, with an interest to license, that has the ability to demonstrate experimentally an invention, Photonic Switching Using Light Bullets, that uses pulses of light (bullets) to perform higher speed and efficient all-optical switching. This is an essential operation of all communications networks, digital computers and signal processing systems.
NASA researchers have performed computer simulations and developed designs for an all-optical switch made of readily available, relatively inexpensive nonlinear materials, resulting in a performance of low-power, high-speed switching in a small device. Such a device can be easily manufactured using current semiconductor manufacturing techniques. To date, light bullets have been studied only theoretically, and some disagreement exists over the conditions that are necessary for them to exist and function.
The required switching present in communications systems and networks is limiting in speed because only electrical, acoustic or magnetic forms of switching are used. Light bullet switching is a special form of an all-optical switching device called solitons. When these pulses of light propagate in a nonlinear medium, they maintain their shape and are self-guided because of the balance of diffraction, the medium's group velocity dispersion and nonlinear self-phase modulation. This results in a change in each light bullet's direction, transmitting them into predetermined output channels.
NASA sees a major advantage for massive parallelism (in space) and pipelining (in time). The rapid proliferation of information technology in all areas and the ever-increasing power of computers and data storage devices are beginning to fuel a potentially massive demand for network interconnection.
Contactless Magnetic Slip Ring
Ames Research Center seeks to license for commercial applications the patent pending called Contactless Magnetic Slip Ring. The device transmits reliable and efficient power or data without a conventional slip ring's physical contact between stationary and rotating frames or parts. It uses rotating, inductive components supported by air or mechanical bearings and resists dirt, wear and unwanted arcing. The device requires low maintenance, offers a lower long-term cost and is easily manufactured. Potential commercial applications range from simple toys to sophisticated medical equipment, electrical motors and alternators, such as in helicopter rotors and centrifuges and in situations where there is explosive gas and risk of sparks.
For more information about the two preceding technologies, contact Cathy Pochel
at Ames Research Center.
Call 650/604-4595 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please mention you read about it in Innovation.