Invention of the Year

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2008 Award Winners

Government Award Winner

Award Title:

High Speed Three-Dimensional Laser Scanner with Real Time Processing

Lead NASA Center:

Ames Research Center (ARC)

Award Category:

Government

Case Number:

ARC-14652-1

Summary:

Mold Impression Laser Tool (MILT) unit mounted on a robot

The MILT unit is mounted on a robot for automated scanning of damage to a thermal protection system component.

The High Speed Three-Dimensional Laser Scanner with Real Time Processing invention has found application in the Mold Impression Laser Tool (MILT), a hand-held instrument used to scan Space Shuttle tiles to detect and measure the amount of any damage. The MILT unit wirelessly transmits flaw dimensions and location information to a laptop computer enabling the operator to easily take measurements up to several meters away without cumbersome cables.

Several MILT instruments are currently in use at the Kennedy Space Center where they provide accurate and reliable tile flaw information for the Shuttle maintenance crews. MILT technology been adapted for other NASA programs, including the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), the Stardust Sample Return Capsule Program, and the Mars and Lunar Rover Programs. It has also been adapted to a robot arm for automated scanning of thermal protection system components.


Commercial Award Winner

Award Title:

PETI 330: Composition of and Method for Making High Performance Resins for Infusion and Transfer Molding Processes

Lead NASA Center:

Langley Research Center (LaRC)

Award Category:

Commercial

Case Number:

LAR-15834-1

Summary:

PETI-330 composite parts

PETI-330's flowability allows it to be used to fabricate complex structures for high-temperature applications.

The Composition of and Method for Making High Performance Resins for Infusion and Transfer Molding Processes invention has found application in a high-temperature resin known as PETI-330. It is specifically designed for use in the fabrication of composites using low-cost processes such as resin transfer molding, resin infusion, and vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM).

PETI-330 is the only commercially available, off the shelf (COTS), high-temperature resin that has both the low and stable melt viscosity required for VARTM processes, and provides high temperature structural mechanical properties in composites. In addition, under license, pre-impregnated carbon fiber tape products are being manufactured intended specifically for airframe and jet engine applications.