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For Release: July 12, 2004

Sallie A. Keith
Media Relations Office


NASA's Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, was recently awarded a 2004 NorTech Innovation Award for development of a technology that brings works of art back to life.

This technology, developed to simulate the low Earth orbital space environment, has made it possible to etch as well as alter the surface chemistry and texture of many materials with atomic oxygen, a low-energy beam of oxygen atoms. Atomic oxygen, which can be produced in a vacuum or at atmospheric pressure, is highly reactive and capable of removing smoke, char and other contaminants from the surfaces of paintings without damaging the underlying paint pigment. The process has successfully restored fire damaged and defaced paintings that were previously considered beyond repair by conventional techniques.

Glenn employees Bruce Banks, chief, Electro-Physics Branch and Sharon Miller, senior research engineer, also in the Electro-Physics Branch co-developed the technique.

The Northeast Ohio Technology Coalition (NorTech) in conjunction with JumpStart, Inc. and their sponsors present the NorTech Innovation Awards annually to honor individuals, companies and organizations in Northeast Ohio for creating, developing and successfully implementing their ideas.

The awards program is sponsored by Key Bank, Ernst & Young, Squire Sanders & Dempsey LLP, the Ohio Department of Development and Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management.

Note to Local Editors: Bruce Banks resides in Olmsted Twp. and Sharon Miller in Olmsted Falls.



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