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August 4, 2009

Chris McGee, NASA News Chief
NASA Public Affairs Office
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000
(228) 688-3249

Stennis Projects Among 2009 NASA Innovation Fund Selections

NASA's Innovative Partnerships Program, working with the Office of the Chief Engineer at headquarters, has selected 20 projects from more than 230 proposals for the 2009 NASA Innovation Fund, including two based at John C. Stennis Space Center.

The Stennis projects are:

  • Harvesting Vibrational Energy to Power Wireless Instrumentation Systems. The project is headed by Scott Jensen, a technologist electronics engineer in the electrical Design Division of the Engineering and Test Directorate at Stennis. It seeks to help engineers more efficiently harness the vibrational energy produced by rocket propulsion systems and use it to power wireless instrumentation.
  • Coanda Rocket Plume Deflectors for Large-Scale Test Facilities. The project is headed by Dr. Daniel Allgood, an aerospace technologist in the EA33 Design and analysis Group of the Engineering and Test Directorate at Stennis. It seeks to modify the current water-cooled system that deflects rocket engine test plume from a vertical downward direction to a horizontal direction safely away from a test facility. The goal is to create what is known as a "coanda-effect" deflection system that would be more cost-efficient.

"For being one of NASA's smaller and more operationally oriented centers, the selection of these two projects under this new Innovation Fund program shows that Stennis also has depth in its talent base to conduct novel research and development in support of the nation's space program," said Ramona Travis, chief of the Innovative Partnerships Program at the south Mississippi facility.

The Innovation Fund was established to advance work on novel technologies and concepts that have the potential to revolutionize the way NASA performs its missions, such as enabling new capabilities in space flight, science, aeronautics or exploration. Projects that offer potential solutions to other national and global challenges also are of particular interest.

This year marks the first in what is meant to be a longer term program to encourage early stage advancement of novel ideas, Travis said. In subsequent years, funding not only will be provided for such initial projects but for moving successful early initiatives to the next level of development and testing, she explained.

In addition to the Stennis initiatives, the 20 selected projects for 2009 include a technique for returning small payloads from the space station, a new approach to robotic space exploration, several new concepts for generating solar power, improved instruments for studying the environment and a means of using microwave energy for sealing wounds.

Each project selected is funded for a maximum of $50,000, with work to be completed by the end of September.

For a complete list of the selected projects, visit: http://tinyurl.com/ms3wtv.

For more information about the NASA Innovation Fund and the Innovative Partnerships Program, visit: http://www.ipp.nasa.gov.


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