Forced by a recession to diversify, helicopter manufacturer Kaman Aircraft began to manufacture acoustic guitars. Kaman’s engineers used special vibration analysis equipment based on aerospace technology. While a helicopter’s rotor system is highly susceptible to vibration, which must be reduced or “dampened,” vibration enhances a guitar’s sound. After two years of vibration analysis Kaman produced the very successful Ovation guitar. Made of fiberglass, this instrument proved to be stronger than the traditional rosewood and was manufactured with adapted aircraft techniques such as jigs and fixtures, reducing labor and assuring quality and cost control.
Portable X-Ray Device
An X-ray fluorescence (XRF) sensor utilized by NASA to conduct quality control for critical aluminum alloy parts destined for the space shuttle has found another use as a tool that can measure how much soil is removed from household and commercial carpets. This breakthrough came courtesy of NASA and KeyMaster, in collaboration with the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI). The three entities worked together to establish a multifaceted testing program that utilizes an XRF-detectable soil media that can be quantified after a carpet cleaning, to measure the effectiveness of a given cleaning system.
The working relationship between Terra Firma Environmental and Dr. B. C. Wolverton, a former NASA engineer who developed a biological filtering system for space life support, resulted in a natural air purifier that combines activated carbon and other filter media with living plants and microorganisms. The filter material traps and holds indoor pollutants; plant roots and microorganisms then converts the pollutants into food for the plant.
Scratch-resistant & UV Blocking Glasses
Based on NASA technology used to develop a protective welding curtain that filtered out harmful irradiance, Biomedical Optical Company developed the Eagle 457 lens. Used in industrial and consumer products, the lens absorbed 100 percent of all photo wavelengths, which reduced dangerous exposure to eye tissue, and heightened visual acuity. Daimonex furthered NASA’s process and as a result, created the DiamondHard technology used on Bausch & Lomb Ray-Ban Survivors sunglasses, which are scratch-resistant and shed water more easily, which reduces spotting.
Inspired by the headset technology that carried Neil Armstrong’s words from the moon to NASA’s control station, Plantronics’s CA10CD, a technology that offers hands-free operation for up to 150 feet away from the base unit, serves as the perfect solution for contact centers worldwide. While NASA uses the technology in a variety of applications including, refueling, field testing, and vehicle-assembly and range-management operations, these devices are also critical to call centers, radio dispatch centers at police, fire, taxi cab, and utility companies. On the home-consumer front, Plantronics technology is enhancing the overall experience for video game enthusiasts as well.
Tech Traders Inc. sought assistance developing low-cost, highly effective, safe/non-toxic coatings and paints which would create useful thermal reflectance. In cooperation with a group of engineers at Kennedy Space Center, Tech Traders created Insuladd, a powder additive made up of microscopic, inert gas-filled, ceramic microspheres that can be mixed into ordinary interior or exterior paint that, after drying, forms a radiant heat barrier that acts like a layer of insulation. The product works with all types of paints and coatings and is being applied to feed storage silos to help prevent feed spoilage, poultry hatcheries to help moderate temperatures, and on military vehicles, ships and planes such as the F-22 Raptor. It is also available for home use.