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

November 21, 2007
 
RELEASE : 07-054
 
 
NASA Glenn Projects Selected to Advance Technologies
 
 
Cleveland - Six projects that will advance technologies critical to both space exploration and aeronautics will be led by NASA's Glenn Research Center. In collaboration with industrial partners, these jointly funded projects will address technology barriers and further develop key technologies to meet critical needs for NASA's missions.

These projects are a part of a total of 38 partnerships awarded by the NASA Innovative Partnerships Program (IPP). This year's IPP projects at Glenn will contribute $1.5 million, with an additional $2 million of industry effort and $3.8 million of NASA program funding, for a total value of $7.3 million in support of the Glenn projects.

IPP, a NASA-wide program, funds collaborations between NASA centers and industry to develop innovative technologies in support of the four NASA Mission Directorates: Science, Exploration Systems, Aeronautics Research and Space Operations.

The one-year projects will involve collaboration among three principal partners: a NASA partnership manager at Glenn; a co-principal investigator within NASA; and an external co-principal investigator from the private sector, academia or other government laboratory.

"The NASA Innovative Partnerships Program provides opportunities for Glenn to partner with the private sector to produce and enhance results of NASA's work in exploration and aeronautics," said Kathleen Needham, chief of Glenn's Technology Transfer and Partnerships Office. "Glenn's staff has once again demonstrated their creativity and willingness to collaborate with external partners to define some very exciting projects with the potential to yield value to both NASA and industry."

The six projects managed by Glenn, and its partners, are:

Generalizing Moon Tire Technology -- Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Akron, Ohio

Goodyear, which developed the original tires for the Apollo Lunar Lander, is working to develop a new generation of airless, non-rubber, wire mesh tire to allow for use of heavier, longer-range exploration and lunar construction vehicles required for NASA's exploration goals. New tools will be developed to assess the tire structure as it relates to various terrains, both on the moon and on Earth.

Lunar Regolith Excavation, Handling and Processing Technology Development and Demonstrations for Outpost Operations -- Northern Centre for Advanced Technology, Inc (NORCAT), Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

NORCAT will work to design and demonstrate new technologies that can be used to "mine" the moon for critical consumables such as water and oxygen. The machinery used for this mining will need to be very reliable and to operate in the extremely harsh lunar environment, which includes extreme temperatures and temperature variations, hard vacuum, partial gravity and highly abrasive and intrusive soil particles.

Human-rated Space Power Systems Pallet Demonstrating Fuel Cells, Lithium-Ion Batteries and Advanced Thermal Management Technologies -- Partners: The Boeing Company, Huntington Beach, Calif.; Teledyne Energy Systems, Inc., Hunt Valley, Md.; Center for Space Power, College Station, Texas

This partnership will work on a preliminary design of a space power systems pallet. This pallet must incorporate an advanced proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, a lithium-ion battery with advanced charge control management systems and advanced thermal technologies. It will be used to provide a means to space validate critical technologies under development by all the partners, with the potential for flight testing the resultant system on either the space shuttle or the International Space Station.

Low-Density Turbine Blade Superalloys for Improved Engine Performance and Reduced Emissions -- Honeywell Aerospace, Phoenix, Ariz.

Honeywell will scale-up and test a NASA-patented superalloy in a lower density, stronger turbine blade with the potential to provide improved performance, reduced fuel burn and reduced emissions in subsonic aircraft.

Development and Validation of Foam-Metal Acoustic Liner for Attenuation of Turbofan Engine Noise -- Williams International, Walled Lake, Mich.

A small business-jet-class turbofan engine will be supplied by Williams to allow NASA to test the use of foam-metal liners in close proximity to the rotor with the goal of achieving a significant reduction in aircraft noise.

Demonstration of Polymer Cross-Linked Aerogel Blanket Insulation -- Aspen Aerogels, Northborough, Mass. Parker Hannifin, Cleveland, Ohio

A Glenn-developed process to improve the strength of aerogel materials through the addition of cross-linked polymers. Aspen Aerogels, a world leader in the commercial production and sales of aerogel composite materials, will work to scale-up the production of the material, and Parker Hannifin will assess the applicability of the aerogel composite materials for hose insulation for a number of industrial applications.

For information about the Innovative Partnerships Program, visit:

http://ipp.nasa.gov/

For information about Glenn on the Internet, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/glenn

 

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