Spinoff: Transportation
THE PERFECT MATE FOR SAFE FUELING

Referred to as the lifeline for any space launch vehicle by NASA Space Launch Initiative Program Manager Warren Wiley, an umbilical is a large device that transports power, communications, instrument readings, and fluids such as propellants, pressurization gasses, and coolants from one source to another....

Spinoff: Transportation
BRINGING IN THE REINFORCEMENTS

What do NASA and ballistics have in common? More than the average person may know. Everyday, millions of Americans drive in vehicles, cross over bridges, and fly in airplanes without knowing just how important NASA's role in studying ballistics is in making these actions viable and safe for them.

Spinoff: Public Safety
FORECASTING WEATHER WITH A WAVE OF THE HAND

Cybernet Systems Corporation, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, originally developed its gesture recognition technology for the U.S. Department of Defense. A 1997 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract with NASA's Johnson Space Center also contributed to the development of the company's...

Spinoff: Public Safety
DEVELOPMENT OF A DIGITAL IMAGE MEASUREMENT SYSTEM

An unexpected tragedy took place on April 28, 1988, when the roof of an Aloha Airlines 737 aircraft ripped open at 24,000 feet, killing a flight attendant and injuring eight people. The in-flight structural failure of Aloha Flight 243's 19-year-old aircraft prompted NASA Langley Research Center...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
COVERED IN COMFORT

In 1988, NASA began working with private industry to develop thermally adaptive phase-change materials that could be applied to astronauts suits and gloves for better protection against the bitter cold and scorching heat encountered in space.

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
HOT AND COLD THERAPY EASES PAIN

In the 1960s, NASA civil servant Tom Hughes worked for Marshall Space Flight Center's Quality Control Laboratory as a systems engineer. Reporting directly to Dr. Wernher von Braun, Marshall's first director, Hughes was assigned as a NASA representative for quality control at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
DAMPING GOES THE DISTANCE IN GOLF

In the late 1980s, Dr. Benjamin Dolgin of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory developed a concept for a high-damping graphite/viscoelastic material for the Strategic Defense Initiative (popularly referred to as Star Wars), as part of a space-based laser anti-missile program called Asterix. Dolgin drummed up...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
A NATURAL WAY TO STAY SWEET

A revolutionary, low-calorie sugar is now available to the food and beverage market, offering an all-natural alternative to table sugar and artificial sweeteners. Tagatose, a sugar that appears in nature in small quantities, began its unusual journey to the commercial market nearly 30 years ago, when Dr. Gilbert V....

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
Artificial Muscle Kits For The Classroom

Commonly referred to as artificial muscles, electroactive polymer (EAP) materials are lightweight strips of highly flexible plastic that bend or stretch when subjected to electric voltage. EAP materials may prove to be a substitution for conventional actuation components such as motors and gears. Since...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
HEATING AND COOLING EFFICIENCY FOR HOMES

Over 40 years ago, NASA developed Radiant Barrier technology to protect astronauts in the Apollo Program from temperatures that ranged from 250 °F above to 400 °F below zero Fahrenheit. This feat in temperature control technology enabled the astronauts to work inside the Apollo Command Module...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
AMORPHOUS ALLOY SURPASSES STEEL AND TITANIUM

In the same way that the inventions of steel in the 1800s and plastic in the 1900s sparked revolutions for industry, a new class of amorphous alloys is poised to redefine materials science as we know it in the 21st century.

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
NASA TECHNOLOGY TAKES CENTER STAGE

In today's fast-paced business world, there is often more information available to researchers than there is time to search through it. Data mining has become the answer to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack, as companies must be able to quickly locate specific pieces of information from large...

Spinoff: Consumer, Home, and Recreation
STUDENTS SOARING HIGH WITH SOFTWARE SPINOFF

An educational software product designed by the Educational Technology Team at Ames Research Center is bringing actual aeronautical work performed by NASA engineers to the public in an interactive format for the very first time, in order to introduce future generations of engineers to the fundamentals...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
WATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS MAKE A BIG SPLASH

In the 1960s, NASA's Manned Space Center (now known as Johnson Space Center) and the Garrett Corporation, Air Research Division, conducted a research program to develop a small, lightweight water purifier for the Apollo spacecraft that would require minimal power and would not need to be monitored...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
MULTI-CHANNEL SCALER CARDS IMPROVE DATA COLLECTION

Scientists interested in exploring the intricacies and dynamics of Earth's climate and ecosystems continually need smaller, lighter instrumentation that can be placed onboard various sensing platforms, such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Responding to a need for improved data collection for...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
DIESEL GOES DIGITAL TO SAVE ENERGY, LOWER EMISSIONS

Forty years ago, actuators requiring constant energy to help power the Apollo spacecraft in space were replaced by magnetically holding and releasing, electronically controlled valves. Today, these same magnetic, electronic valves are on the verge of replacing entire camshaft systems in cars...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
SUPPORTING WEATHER DATA

Since its founding in 1992, Global Science & Technology, Inc. (GST), of Greenbelt, Maryland, has been developing technologies and providing services in support of NASA scientific research. GST specialties include scientific analysis, science data and information systems, data visualization, communications, networking and...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
SECURING SAFETY WITH SENSORS

The Robot Systems Technology Branch at NASA's Johnson Space Center collaborated with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to design Robonaut , a humanoid robot developed to assist astronauts with Extra Vehicular Activities (EVA) such as space structure assembly and repair operations. By working side-by-side...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
A VIEW FROM ABOVE WITHOUT LEAVING THE GROUND

In order to deliver accurate geospatial data and imagery to the remote sensing community, NASA is constantly developing new image-processing algorithms while refining existing ones for technical improvement. For 8 years, the NASA Regional Applications Center at Florida International University has...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
TREE-MENDOUS TIMBER EVALUATION

Funded and administered by NASA, the Affiliated Research Center (ARC) program transfers geospatial technologies from the Space Agency and participating universities to commercial companies, non-profit and trade organizations, and tribal governments. The origins of the ARC program date back to 1988, when NASA's...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS IN SPACE

In 1992, NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense jointly commissioned the research and development of a technology solution to address the challenges and requirements of communicating with their spacecraft. The project yielded an international consortium composed of representatives from the space science...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
IMPROVING THE FLOW

In early 1995, NASA's Glenn Research Center (then Lewis Research Center) formed an industry-government team with several jet engine companies to develop the National Combustion Code (NCC), which would help aerospace engineers solve complex aerodynamics and combustion problems in gas turbine, rocket, and hypersonic engines. The...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
FROM VIDEO TO PHOTO

Ever wonder whether a still shot from a home video could serve as a picture perfect photograph worthy of being framed and proudly displayed on the mantle? Wonder no more.

Spinoff: Computer Technology
MANAGING CONTENT IN A MATTER OF MINUTES

NASA software created to help scientists expeditiously search and organize their research documents is now aiding compliance personnel, law enforcement investigators, and the general public in their efforts to search, store, manage, and retrieve documents more efficiently.

Spinoff: Computer Technology
CONVERSING WITH COMPUTERS

I/NET, Inc., is making the dream of natural human-computer conversation a practical reality. Through a combination of advanced artificial intelligence research and practical software design, I/NET has taken the complexity out of developing advanced, natural language interfaces. Conversational capabilities like pronoun...

Spinoff: Computer Technology
HEARING IN TRUE 3-D

In 1984, researchers from Ames Research Center came together to develop advanced human interfaces for NASA's teleoperations that would come to be known as virtual reality. The basis of the work theorized that if the sensory interfaces met a certain threshold and sufficiently supported each other, then the operator would...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
PROVIDING A TURN FOR THE BETTER

Engineers are tasked with designing new systems every day to meet changing or unexpected technical requirements. After the tragic explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986, NASA engineers embarked on a complete overhaul of many of their long-standing quality systems and procedures. When the...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
FLUID FLOW TECHNOLOGY THAT MEASURES UP

From 1994 to 1996, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center conducted a Center Director's Discretionary Fund research effort to apply artificial intelligence technologies to the health management of plant equipment and space propulsion systems. Through this effort, NASA established a business relationship with...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
READING THROUGH PAINT

Two-dimensional data matrix symbols, which contain encoded letters and numbers, are permanently etched on items for identification. They can store up to 100 times more information than traditional bar codes. While the symbols provide several advantages over bar codes, once they are covered by paint they can no longer be...

Spinoff: Industrial Productivity & Manufacturing Technology
MATERIAL ANALYSIS AND IDENTIFICATION

KeyMaster Technologies, Inc., develops and markets specialized, hand-held X-ray fluorescence (XRF) instruments and unique tagging technology used to identify and authenticate materials or processes. NASA first met with this Kennewick, Washington-based company as the Agency began seeking companies to develop a...