This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that innovation.
Multilayered Fire Protection System
NASA Langley has developed a flexible, lightweight, and portable thermal protection system. The multilayer thermal blanket handles external temperatures of up to 2000 °F. The system creates an environment for protecting equipment, facilities, and people from a high-intensity-incident heat source such as a fire. The system can be formed as a sleeping bag, a tent, a blanket, a vertical barrier, a curtain, a flexible rollup doorway, or a wrap. The outer textile layer reflects over 90 percent of radiant heat, an insulated layer protects against convective heat and hot gases, and a non-porous film layer is a gas barrier layer.
Contact: NASA’s Licensing Concierge
Process Converts Ethanol to Jet Fuel
A process was developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for converting alcohol sourced from renewable or industrial waste gases into jet or diesel fuel. The process would provide a more efficient route for converting renewable and waste-derived ethanol to useful chemicals. The technology reduces emissions of carbon dioxide by using renewable or recycled carbon feedstocks. The system can generate either butadiene, a building block for synthetic plastic or rubber, or an n-butene, which is suitable for making jet fuels or products such as synthetic lubricant.
Contact: Karyn Hede
Implantable Stimulator Speeds Tendon Healing
The National University of Ireland developed a range of stimulator devices that enables control of musculoskeletal tissue regeneration to treat tendon damage and disease as well as sports injuries without the use of drugs or external stimulation. The simple act of walking powers an implantable stimulator that can be tailored to individual patients or disorders. An electrical charge is produced in the treatment target area — the damaged or injured tendon — when the implanted device is stretched during walking. The electrical stimulus turns on tendon-specific regenerative processes in the damaged tendon.