Lincoln Laboratory has a long history of promoting technology transfer for application in the defense and civil sectors. Many technologies developed initially to meet defense requirements have been adapted for commercial use. More than 85 high-technology companies have evolved from the Laboratory’s technology development. These companies’ services and products range from multimedia software services to advanced semiconductor lithography. The following technologies developed at the Laboratory have wide-reaching applications.
In collaboration with the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) and the Marine Expeditionary Rifle Squad (MERS), Lincoln Laboratory has undertaken a research effort to create a low-cost personal metabolic sensor and metabolic fuel model. The Carbon dioxide/Oxygen Breath and Respiration Analyzer (COBRA) enables individuals to make on-demand metabolic measurements simply by breathing into it. The COBRA can be applied to training athletes for high-endurance activities, guiding weight loss by quantifying the impact of dietary and exercise regimens, or identifying nutritional imbalances.
The Airborne Collision Avoidance System for Unmanned Aircraft (ACAS Xu) is an automated collision avoidance tool for unmanned aerial systems. The system relies on significant advances in dynamic programming, automated tuning, and parallel computing to enable unmanned aircraft to detect and track nearby aircraft. Using this information, ACAS Xu provides safety alerts that help maintain separation and prevent midair collisions between unmanned air vehicles, and between manned and unmanned aircraft.
The Small Airport Surveillance Sensor (SASS) is an inexpensive surveillance system that provides airport tower controllers with situational awareness of aircraft on the airport surface and in nearby airspace under all visibility conditions, including nighttime and bad weather. The SASS system consists of a master unit and two sensor units; the sensor units are located near the ends of the longest runway, and the master unit is located in the airport control tower. The sensor units listen for spontaneous replies from nearby aircraft equipped with Mode S beacon transponders.
EnteroPhone™ is a tiny, wireless, ingestible device developed by Lincoln Laboratory and MIT researchers. It monitors heart and breathing rates by listening to the body’s sounds, and it senses core temperature, all from within the gastrointestinal tract. Its ability to reliably monitor those key vital signs gives physicians, physical therapists, and athletic trainers a tool that obviates the need for the attachment of obtrusive sensors, or the surgical implantation of internal sensors.
Under development by staff at Lincoln Laboratory, in collaboration with a neurosurgeon from the Massachusetts General Hospital, Laserscope will enable a surgeon to perform very precise endoscopic surgery within the spinal canal via a naturally existing access port near the base of the sacrum. This tool is being developed to treat lumbar spinal stenosis, a leading cause of back and leg pain. With Laserscope, a surgeon will be able to decompress the spinal canal in a minimally invasive outpatient procedure, providing an alternative to open back surgery.
The Localizing Ground-Penetrating Radar (LGPR) uses very high frequency (VHF) radar reflections of underground features to generate a baseline map of a road’s subsurface. This map is generated during an LGPR-equipped vehicle’s drive along a roadway, and becomes the reference for future travels over that stretch of road. The LGPR mounted beneath the vehicle measures the current reflections of the road’s subsurface features, and its algorithm estimates the vehicle’s location by comparing those current GPR readings to the baseline map stored in the system’s memory. The vehicle reliably knows its position even when lane markings are hidden by snow, signs and landmarks have moved, and GPS signals are unavailable.
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