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GRC News Release 03-035

For Release: June 5, 2003

Katherine K. Martin
Media Relations Office

NASA Technologies Benefitting Public Good Recognized

Six new technologies leading to cleaner, quieter, safer, more affordable and more efficient air travel have been selected to receive NASA's Turning Goals into Reality (TGIR) Awards for innovativeness. The research on these technologies was managed by the Agency's Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, with participation from other NASA centers, industry and academia.

The awards, sponsored by NASA's Office of Aerospace Technology, will be presented during the 2003 TGIR Conference June 10-12 in Williamsburg, Va., near NASA's Langley Research Center. Conference events will focus on the technological challenges as well as the opportunities that lie ahead for the aerospace community as we begin the second century of powered flight.

Glenn's award-winning technologies include:

Pioneering Technology Award: The Secure, Mobile, Wireless Network Technology Team
For the first time, seamless dissemination of data securely over a high-integrity, wireless broadband network has been achieved through the development of an advanced, miniaturized Mobile Router. This technology benefits ground-based transportation, military communications as well as Internet connectivity in space. Potential applications include advanced, automated, data-intensive air traffic management concepts, increased National Air Space capacity, and potentially reduced overall costs of air travel operations. Team members include U.S. Coast Guard, Verizon Federal Network Systems, Lockheed Martin, Cisco Systems and Western DataCom.

Mission Safety Award: Miniaturized Smart Leak Detection Sensor Team
A new hydrogen leak detection system developed to reduce the risk of explosions, improve safety and reduce operating costs incorporates miniaturization, reliability of operation in space and adequate sensitivity for early hazard warning. This microsystem-based hydrogen sensor and supporting electronics system meets Advanced Space Transportation future needs for improved leak detection capabilities. Team members include Case Western Reserve University, NASA's Kennedy Space Center and Makel Engineering.

Emissions Reduction Award: Turbine Airfoil System Development Team
Recognized as the state-of-the-art for turbine airfoil applications, an advanced turbine airfoil material system made up of a new blade alloy and thermal barrier coating (TBC) has been developed. With up to an 85 F increase in metal temperature capability over currently used blade alloys, the alloy was selected for use in the high pressure turbine blade of the F135 Joint Strike Fighter engine, and it can also be used in commercial applications requiring longer life and low maintenance. With the incorporation of a new TBC, the increase in blade surface temperature capability will result in higher engine efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions. Team members included the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, GE Aircraft Engines, Pratt & Whitney, Howmet Research Center and Prazair Surface Technologies.

Noise Reduction Award: Fan Noise Reduction Team
Noise reduction through fan wake management was achieved by injecting air through the blade trailing edge slots to remove or reduce non-uniformities in the fan stream, which led to reductions of more than 10 dB in the levels of fan interaction tones. Such reductions in fan noise level, when coupled with similar reductions in noise levels from the airframe and other engine components, can achieve NASA's goal of reducing aircraft system noise by a factor of 10 relative to 1997 technology. The team includes GE Aircraft Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and NASA's Langley Research Center.

Mobility Award: SATS (Small Aircraft Transportation System) Airborne Internet Team
A new Communications, Navigation and Surveillance system was developed that delivers aviation information services to aircraft and ground facilities as interconnected nodes on a high-speed digital communications network (like the Internet). Included is a client server with confirmed delivery notification, a robust high-capacity aviation information system for air traffic control and safety advisories, worldwide compatibility, seamless peer-to-peer connectivity, and high bandwidth and data rates. Team members include the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA Langley, the FAA Technical Center, Computer Networks & Software, Inc., Mulkerin Associates, AvCS Research Ltd., Microflight, Inc., Project Management Enterprises, ADSI Inc., AvCom Inc., Comptel, Inc., Architecture Technologies Corporation and Tectura Corporation.

Mission Affordability Award: GRCop-84 Alloy Development Team
Use of a new alloy in combustion chamber liners will achieve an estimated 50% reduction in manufacturing cost, 50% reduction in delivery time, plus additional operational cost savings through an increased number of missions. The new, rugged, high temperature alloy, GRCop-84, far exceeds the capabilities of today's alloys for use in future space vehicles, meets NASA's goal of mission affordability, is two times stronger and has 350 F higher temperature capability over alloys used in today's combustion chambers. Team members include Aerojet, Boeing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Crucible Research, University of California-Davis, Rocketdyne and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

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