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Sally Harrington
Media Relations Office

October 16, 2007
Glenn Researchers Receive R&D 100 Awards
Cleveland -- Researchers at NASA's Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, have been recognized by the editors of R&D Magazine and a panel of outside experts for developing products that rank among the top 100 most technologically significant products of the year. Recipients of the R&D 100 awards will be recognized at an awards banquet on Thursday, October 18 at Chicago's Navy Pier.

"The prestigious R&D 100 Awards have been known as "The Oscars of Invention", and the winning of an R&D 100 Award provides a mark of excellence known as proof that the product is one of the most innovative ideas of the year," said Dr. Jih Fen Lei, Director of Glenn's Research and Technology Directorate. "We at Glenn are proud to lead the agency in this effort."

These prestigious R&D 100 Awards have been helping companies provide the important initial push a new product needs to compete successfully in the marketplace.

Dr. Quang-Viet Nguyen of Glenn's Combustion Branch developed a High Speed Electro-Mechanical Shutter for Imaging Spectrographs. The patented high-speed shutter technology uses electronically synchronized slotted wheels (chopper blades) to gate pulses of light at durations as short as 10 millionths of a second. This short time gate permits the accurate measurement of very faint light signals generated by a laser using a technique called Raman scattering. The Raman scattering measurements in a turbulent flame tell researchers, among other things, how much fuel and air has burned and what their temperature is as they burn at a very small location point (about the size of a pinhead). This multi-faceted data enables the experimental validation of NASA-developed advanced computer simulations of the combustor in aircraft gas turbine engines. These computer simulations are critical tools used to design and build cleaner-burning and more fuel-efficient aircraft engines of the future.

Dr. Dongming Zhu, Dr. Robert Miller, and Dr. Narottam Bansal, of Glenn's Structures and Materials Division, were awarded for the development of Defect Clustering Thermal and Environmental Barrier Coatings for Si-Based Ceramic Turbine Engine Components. The multilayered, multifunctional coating systems were developed by incorporating several revolutionary and patented coating technologies that have greatly extended the materials temperature capability, environmental stability and high heat-flux durability of light-weight silicon-based engine components in combustion environments. Application of this technology will enable the use of lighter-weight, higher-temperature-capable silicon-based monolithic ceramic and composite components in future advanced turbine engines.

An Antenna Near-Field Probe Station Scanner was developed by Dr. Afroz Zaman, Dr. Richard Lee, Dr. Felix Miranda and Phillip Barr (a co-op from Purdue University) of the Antenna, Microwave and Optical Systems Branch; Dr. Kevin Lambert, Analex Corporation; and William Darby, R&D Labs Technical Branch. Miniaturized and active antennas are difficult to test in traditional antenna ranges, because of their size, fragility and the need for DC-bias requirements. This newly developed scanner is designed to measure radiation patterns of miniature antennas fabricated on any dielectric substrates as well as semiconductor wafers. It can also be used to test antennas embedded in circuits with active devices.

For more information on the R&D 100 Awards on the Web, visit:

For more information on NASA Glenn on the Web, visit:


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