National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

NASA Glenn Garners Recognition for its Technologies in Three Different Venues

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Innovative technologies with significant commercial potential that were developed by researchers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland were recently recognized with awards from three different organizations.

The most recent was awarded by the Federal Laboratory Consortium at its National Meeting Awards Ceremony in Pittsburgh on May 3. A team, including Glenn’s Mike Piszczor (Photovoltaics & Power Technologies Branch) and Mark O’Neill, and Almus McDanal with Entech Solar, Inc. in Ft. Worth, Texas, received the recognition for their work entitled “Stretched Lens Array: Ultra-Light, Affordable Green Energy Technology.” They received the Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer as a result of the successful commercialization of this technology in Entech’s new product, the SolarVolt module.

Two technologies developed at Glenn were selected as finalists for the 2012 NorTech Innovation Award during the annual awards ceremony on March 22 at LaCentre in Westlake, Ohio. One of the teams was recognized as an award winner.

Glenn’s winner of the award was for a Radically New Crystal Growth Concept, Large Tapered Crystal to Achieve Nearly Perfect Silicon Carbide. This new concept is an innovative method for growing semiconductor grade boules of silicon carbide that greatly reduces the number of crystal defects from millions per wafer, to as few as one defect per wafer.

This concept was developed by Glenn’s Phil Neudeck and David Spry (Sensors & Electronics Branch), Andrew Trunek of Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI), Cleveland, J.A. Powell of Sest Inc., Cleveland, and Andrew Woodworth, an Oak Ridge Associated Universities post doctorate fellow working at Glenn.

Glenn’s second NorTech award finalist, the Development of New High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys, was developed by Glenn researcher Michael Nathal (Advanced Metallics Branch), Darrell Gaydosh of OAI and Anita Garg, a University of Toledo researcher working at Glenn.

Shape memory alloys can act as lightweight actuators in aerospace, automotive and general household applications. These can replace today’s actuators based on electric motors, hydraulic or pneumatic systems. They also promise lighter weight, smaller footprints and simpler, low maintenance designs with fewer moving parts.

A technology that has been incorporated into jet engines and is now flying on the Cessna Citation CJ4aircraft was awarded Honorable Mention for NASA Invention of the Year.

The inventors of “Composite Case Armor for Jet Engine Fan Case Containment and Associated Testing/Validation Tools” include Glenn’s Gary Roberts (Polymers Branch), Mike Braley of A & P Technology, Inc., Cincinnati, and James Dorer of Williams International, Commerce Park, Mich.

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Reference: Original Press Release