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Office of Technology Transfer News


Expertise Flows from Computer Cognition


Beyond Limits Inc. licensed JPL-developed AI technology to assist in strategic decision making and planning.

For further information please see: https://spinoff.nasa.gov/Expertise-Flows-from-Computer-Cognition


Ultrasonic Welding Makes Parts for NASA Missions, Commercial Industry


Ultrasonic additive manufacturing (UAM) improves reliability in heat exchangers, a crucial component of any spacecraft, licensed to startups Fabrisonic LLC, and Ultra Tech Machinery Inc.

For further information please see: https://spinoff.nasa.gov/ultrasonic-welding-additive-manufacturing


Getting Water out of Snow with NASA Technology


Airborne Snow Observatory uses JPL-developed remote-sensing analyses and modeling to provide mountain snowpack data that accurately shows snow depth, snow-water equivalent, and snow pack melt time.

For further information please see: https://spinoff.nasa.gov/Getting-Water-Out-of-Snow-with-NASA-Technology


Private Lander Shoots for the Moon


Airborne Snow Observatory uses JPL-developed remote-sensing analyses and modeling to provide mountain snowpack data that accurately shows snow depth, snow-water equivalent, and snow pack melt time.

For further information please see: https://spinoff.nasa.gov/Getting-Water-Out-of-Snow-with-NASA-Technology


UTLP

UTLPThe University Technology Licensing Program (UTLP) is a Limited Liability Company that Caltech and fourteen other universities participate in. UTLP also includes Harvard, Yale, Brown, Princeton, Cornell, UCLA, USC, UC Berkeley, and the University of Michigan.

UTLP was formed to provide a way to conveniently disseminate and encourage further use of innovations contributed to the pool of patents by the participating universities.

The program provides interested companies a “one-stop shop” to license patents relevant to the licensees’ existing or future product offerings. Revenues derived from the licensing program support the ongoing research and innovation at the participating universities. Licenses issued by the UTLP are nonexclusive.

Caltech contributed over sixty patents to the UTLP, including the following patents developed at JPL:

  • Dielectric Covered Planar Antennas, John Gill, et al.

  • Silicon Pins: An Easy Way to Realize a Wafer-to-Wafer Alignment, Gautam Chattopadhyay, et al.

  • Microfabrication Technique of Silicon Microlens Array for Terahertz Applications, Gautam Chattopadhyay, et al.

  • 670 GHz Schottky Diode Based Subharmonic Mixer with CPW Circuits and 70 GHz IF, Gautam Chattopadhyay, et al.

  • On-Chip Power-Combining for High-Power Schottky Diode Based Frequency Multipliers, Gautam Chattopadhyay, et al.

  • Multi-Step DRIE Process to Fabricate Silicon-Based THz Components, Gautam Chattopadhyay, et al.

  • High Power W-Band/F-Band Schottky Diode Based Frequency Multipliers, Gautam Chattopadhyay, et al.

  • Dielectric Waveguide Signal Splitter and Combiner for Future Gb/s Network Infrastructure, Gautam Chattopadhyay, et al.

  • Low-Profile and High-Gain Modulated Metasurface Antennas from Gigahertz to Terahertz Range Frequencies, Gautam Chattopadhyay, et al.

  • Low Loss Microelectromechanical System (MEMS) Phase Shifter, Gautam Chattopadhyay, et al.

All universities have complete freedom to use the patents for research and scientific purposes, and all of the JPL patents have U.S. Government rights that allow the U.S. Government to make, use, and have-made the subject inventions.


GeoOptics

GeoOpticsJPL-developed software for receivers and radio occultation (RO) that were licensed to startup GeoOptics, Inc.

GeoOptics plans to operate the “Community Initiative for Cellular Earth Remote Observation” (CICERO) satellites to provide high-quality RO data to government and commercial customers. These satellites are built by Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems and Orbital Solutions Monaco (OSM), and they carry advanced Global Navigation Satellite System Radio Occultation (GNSS-RO) sensors developed in partnership with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Tyvak.

RO data is used for:

  • Weather forecasting and atmospheric processes.

  • Climate monitoring and model verification.

  • Microfabrication Technique of Silicon Microlens Array for Terahertz Applications, Gautam Chattopadhyay, et al.

  • Space weather and ionospheric research.

These data can provide a detailed picture of our planet’s atmosphere to scientific users around the world.

JPL has special expertise in the areas of radio occultation (RO) and a technology called precision cross-link ranging measurement, which has been demonstrated on various NASA missions such as GRACE, GRAIL, and GRACE Follow-On. Most recently JPL delivered a low cost auto design called CION to GeoOptics that will be a core instrument.

Conceptually, radio occultation is a method that can be used to measure characteristics of the atmosphere such as moisture. This is because refraction, or bending of radio waves, occurs proportionately to the radio waves as they skim through the atmosphere. Since there are many global positioning satellites orbiting the earth that transmit GPS radio signals, and their position is precisely known, it is possible using another receiving satellite, in this case GeoOptic’s CICERO satellites, to measure how much the radio waves are refracting in the atmosphere. This yields useful scientific data after much complex data processing is performed to produce the final data products.

The radio occultation phenomenon.  Radio signals are transmitted from a GNSS satellite for general navigation and positioning purposes.  The observer or receiver in this case is a GeoOptics CICERO satellite.  The radio waves are bent as they pass through the atmosphere, depending on the various chemicals and moisture it passes through.  The Earth occludes the radio signal path.  With the data from the amount of bending, and other measurements, the atmospheric characteristics of interest can be calculated. The radio occultation phenomenon. Radio signals are transmitted from a GNSS satellite for general navigation and positioning purposes. The observer or receiver in this case is a GeoOptics CICERO satellite. The radio waves are bent as they pass through the atmosphere, depending on the various chemicals and moisture it passes through. The Earth occludes the radio signal path. With the data from the amount of bending, and other measurements, the atmospheric characteristics of interest can be calculated.
Image from: NASA, https://flightopportunities.ndc.nasa.gov/technologies/234/

By using their satellite constellation and proprietary data processing software called GeoPro, GeoOptics creates high quality radio occultation weather data products which are available for government, commercial, and research purposes. They also develop new instruments to observe the Earth’s atmosphere, surface and subsurface. They were founded and are led by a team of scientists and engineers, and the company focuses on supporting weather, water and environmental, and climate change research.


MONTE Design and Project Editions

The Mission analysis Operations and Navigation Toolkit Environment (MONTE). It is JPL’s signature astrodynamics computing platform, supporting all phases of space mission development from early-stage mission design and analysis through flight navigation services.

The product can be used for mission design and analysis and spacecraft maneuver optimization. It can also design optimal trajectories and maneuvers, as well as provide tools for analysis, all in one application. Data and trajectories can be visualized with 2- and 3-dimensional plotting packages, that are included.

MONTE has roots reaching back to the 1960s at JPL, when it was called the Orbit Determination Program.

Currently MONTE has both Design and Project Editions, and these are both available for licensing for commercial, research, and educational uses.

Additional information about MONTE is online here: montepy.jpl.nasa.gov/

MONTE

The GipsyX System


GipsyX is software recently developed at JPL, that replaces GIPSY-OASIS (Global Navigation and Satellite Systems Inferred Positioning System and Orbit Analysis Simulation Software). It can be used for real-time precision GPS Navigation.

GipsyX System GIPSY / OASIS is a popular GPS software package, developed by JPL. It has been used extensively by researchers for various geodetic studies that require precise positioning knowledge. It has also been licensed commercially to support GPS augmentation applications. GipsyX, the new real-time version of the GIPSY / OASIS system, includes a superset of features and features an advanced new architecture.

The GIPSY / OASIS system is available for licensing to academia and industry.

Additional information is available on-line here: gipsy-oasis.jpl.nasa.gov


JPL Welcomes Open Source Software Development Paradigm

Opensource ParadigmThe Open Source paradigm for developing and disseminating software continues to be a growing trend in industry and increasingly, in government. JPL is continuing to develop a clearly articulated and thoughtful policy and set of best practices relating to the Open Source paradigm.

Open Source Software Policy at JPL

The current JPL policy is to embrace the open source paradigm for developing and disseminating software in cases where it makes sense to do so. To date JPL endorses open source software releases that are vetted and approved by the Software Release Authority (SRA) using pre-approved licenses such as: Apache 2.0, Eclipse Public License (EPL) and BSD etc.

The benefits of open source policy include:

  • Facilitates exchange of ideas in a research setting, fostering exploration and experimentation

  • Facilitates productivity and efficiency in a collaborative development setting, based on ease of sharing status and progress

  • Facilitates ease of interaction and timeliness of support relative to traditional vendors

  • Positions the institution to recruit fresh-outs who are aware of Open Source as a useful, modern practice

  • Increases institutional productivity when consuming Open Source software for appropriate uses and applications

For more information on Open Sourcing your software, please contact Brian Morrison, JPL’s Software Release Authority (SRA) at (818) 354-2458.





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