Invention of the Year

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Government Award Winner

Award Title:

Solar-Powered Refrigeration System

Lead NASA Center:

Johnson Space Center (JSC)

Award Category:

Government

Case Number:

MSC-22970-1

Summary:

his refrigeration system uses solar power to drive a DC compressor in a conventional insulated case. It can function anywhere in the world without batteries or a power grid supply. It is in production for about $2700 per unit and is being used for vaccines and other medications in underdeveloped areas of the world.


Commercial Award Winner

Award Title:

Toughened Uni-piece Fibrous Reduced Oxidation Ceramic (TUFROC) Thermal Protection System

Lead NASA Center:

Ames Research Center (ARC)

Award Category:

Commercial

Case Number:

ARC-15201-1

Summary:

TUFROC raised the operating temperature for lightweight reusable thermal protection from 2000 to 3000 degrees. It was flown successfully on the X37B. It is a multi-part system and is comparable in cost to ablative thermal protection.


Honorable Mention

(alphabetically by NASA Center)
  • Spatial Standard Observer, Ames Research Center (ARC-14569-1)
  • Composite Case Armor, Glenn Research Center (LEW-17954-1)
  • Pivot 2.0: Radiation Hardened, Fast Acquisition/Weak Signal Tracking GPS Receiver, Goddard Space Flight Center (GSC-14793-1)
  • Time Frequency Analysis Based On Extrema Sifting, Goddard Space Flight Center (GSC-14608)
  • International Berthing Docking Mechanism (IBDM), Johnson Space Center (MSC-23933-1)
  • Thermal Stir Welding Apparatus, Marshall Space Flight Center (MFS-31559-1-DIV)