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03-039
For Release: June 18, 2003

Katherine K. Martin
Media Relations Office
216/433-2406
katherine.martin@nasa.gov


New Technologies Developed By NASA Recognized by NorTech

Two diverse technologies--one that demonstrates Internet connectivity between moving vehicles and the other a high-temperature thermal barrier/seal--were recently awarded a 2003 NorTech Innovation Award.

The innovative technologies were developed at NASA's Glenn Research Center, Cleveland.

Mobile Internet Protocol Router technology was developed in partnership with Cisco Systems and Western Datacom. The new technology possesses the ability to communicate through an encrypted, mobile network allowing instantaneous and continuous Internet connectivity. The mobile networking technology will make space communications in low-earth-orbiting research vehicles as easy as we now have Internet access here on Earth. Other than NASA's use for space communications and orbiting spacecraft, the technology could also be used by the military for keeping troops in the field informed, or for emergency management services, railroad and shipping systems, the automotive industry and travelers.

Glenn employees Will Ivancic, Satellite Networks and Architectures Branch, and Phil Paulsen, Project Management Branch of the Space Communications Office, worked with a team of engineers from five other companies in the development of the mobile networking technology.

A high-temperature thermal barrier/seal was developed to prevent hot gases from reaching temperature-sensitive nozzle O-rings in solid rocket motors for heavy-lift space launch vehicles including the Space Shuttle. The new braided carbon-fiber thermal barrier is capable of reducing the temperature of the 5500 degree F rocket combustion gas to permit only relatively cool (<200 degree F) gas to reach the O-rings. This new technology also enables the solid rocket motor nozzle joints to be assembled in one-sixth of the time of previous approaches. In addition to playing an important role in the nation's space program, potential industrial applications for the new thermal barrier/seal include sealing furnace doors to prevent escape of super-heated gases and sealing processing equipment in the chemical industry.

rD. Bruce M. Steinetz and Pat Dunlap, both in the Mechanical Components Branch at Glenn, developed the new high temperature thermal barrier/seal.

NorTech Innovation awards, formerly known as the EDI Innovation Awards, are named for the Northeast Ohio Technology Coalition (NorTech), the technology affiliate of Cleveland Tomorrow. The awards honor innovators and companies for creating some of the best new products in Northeast Ohio.

The awards program is sponsored by Key Bank, Ernst & Young, Squire Sanders & Dempsey LLP, the Ohio Department of Development, Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management and its subsidiary Enterprise Development, Inc.

Note To Local Editors: Ivancic resides in Westlake, Paulsen in Avon, Steinetz in Westlake, and Dunlap in Wickliffe.

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