NASA ARC Notice of Intent to Grant Partially Exclusive License to Nanobeak Inc.

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 141 (Tuesday, July 23, 2013)] [Notices] [Page 44164] From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov] [FR Doc No: 2013-17613]

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

[Notice 13-084]

Notice of Intent To Grant Partially Exclusive License

AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to Grant Partially Exclusive License.

SUMMARY: This notice is issued in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209(e) and 37 CFR 404.7(a)(1)(i). NASA hereby gives notice of its intent to grant a partially exclusive license in the United States to practice the invention described and claimed in U.S. Patent No. 7,801,687 entitled “Chemical Sensors Using Coated Or Doped Carbon Nanotube Networks”; U.S. Patent No. 7,623,972 entitled “Detection of Presence of Chemical Precursors”; U.S. Patent No. 7,968,054 entitled “Nanostructure Sensing and Transmission of Gas Data; U.S. Patent No. 8,000,903 entitled “Coated or Doped Carbon Nanotube Network Sensors as Affected by Environmental Parameters; ARC-16902-1, entitled “Nanosensor Array for Medical Diagnoses”; ARC-16292-1, entitled “Nanosensor/Cell Phone Hybrid for Detecting Chemicals and Concentrations”; to Nanobeak Inc., having its principal place of business at 575 Madison Avenue, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10022-2511. The patent rights in this invention have been assigned to the United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The prospective partially exclusive license will comply with the terms and conditions of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7.

DATES: The prospective partially exclusive license may be granted unless, within fifteen (15) days from the date of this published notice, NASA receives written objections including evidence and argument that establish that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7. Competing applications completed and received by NASA within fifteen (15) days of the date of this published notice will also be treated as objections to the grant of the contemplated partially exclusive license.

Objections submitted in response to this notice will not be made available to the public for inspection and, to the extent permitted by law, will not be released under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

ADDRESSES: Objections relating to the prospective license may be submitted to Patent Counsel, Office of Chief Counsel, NASA Ames Research Center, Mail Stop 202A-4, Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000. (650) 604-5104; Fax (650) 604-2767.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT Robert M. Padilla, Chief Patent Counsel, Office of Chief Counsel, NASA Ames Research Center, Mail Stop 202A-4, Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000; (650) 604-5104; Fax (650) 604- 2767. Information about other NASA inventions available for licensing can be accessed online at: http://technology.nasa.gov/.

Sumara M. Thompson-King, Deputy General Counsel. [FR Doc. 2013-17613 Filed 7-22-13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510-13-P

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NASA’s GROVER passes its first Polar Test

NASA’s latest robotic invention is almost ready to roll after passing its first polar test in Greenland. The robot, known as GROVER (Greenland Rover and Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research), defied 30 mph wind gusts and temperatures down to negative 22 F to prove that it can operate on its own in Earth’s harshest environments. Originally designed by teams of students at an engineering boot camp, GROVER was built to carry a radar that can penetrate through the ground to analyze layers of snow and ice.

GROVER was first tested on a beach in Maryland and in snow in Idaho, but its journey on Greenland was its first polar experience. One of the main goals of the test was to affirm that the rover could execute commands from afar over an Iridium satellite connection. GROVER provied itself to be fully autonomous, GPS-guided and satellite-linked.

During its five weeks in Greenland, GROVER collected radar data over 18 miles. The testing also showed that the rover was capable of transmitting information in real time about its onboard systems. Its solar-charged batteries allow it to operate for up to 12 hours before needing a recharge. Because of the high wind and ice and snow conditions on the poles, humans can only cover so much ground at any given time. GROVER, however, will present new possibilities for polar exploration.

The extreme cold, however, still provided challenges for the robot, pushing its electronics, battery consumption and mobility to the limit. But researchers were not discouraged.

“This is very common the first time you take an instrument into an environment like Greenland,” said Hans-Peter Marshall, a geoscientist at Boise State University and science adviser on the project. “It’s always more challenging than you thought it was going to be: Batteries don’t recharge as fast and they don’t last as long, and it takes computers and instrumentation longer to boot.”

GROVER also had some problems with the uneven icy terrain of Greenland. Scientists repeatedly tinkered with its speed and power so that it would not get stuck in the snow and ice.

To overcome these issues, possible changes to GROVER include replacing some components that don’t manipulate well in the cold, as well as merging the two onboard computers to reduce battery consumption. Other possible solutions include using wind generators or adding a sled with more solar panels.

“One thing I can imagine is having a big robot like GROVER with several smaller ones that can move radially outwards to increase the swath GROVER would cover,” Marshall said. “Also, we’ve been thinking about bringing back smaller platforms to a larger one to recharge.” Yes, that’s right — an army of polar robots.

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$16.6 Billion NASA Budget Clears House Panel

WASHINGTON — A House panel approved appropriations legislation Wednesday (July 10) that would give NASA $16.6 billion for 2014, cutting agency spending back to levels not seen since 2007.

As expected, the bill from the House Appropriations commerce, justice, science subcommittee assumes that across-the-board sequestration cuts set in motion by the Budget Control Act of 2011 will continue at least through next year, and that NASA won’t be spared. The proposal, unveiled late Tuesday (July 9), passed the subcommittee by a voice vote, setting the stage for the full Appropriations Committee to consider the bill the week of July 15.

The House panel’s proposed 2014 appropriation is about $300 million less than what NASA ended up with for 2013, roughly $1.2 billion below the agency’s 2012 budget and about $1.1 billion less than what the White House requested for the 2014 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. [Planetary Science Takes Budget Hit in 2013 (Infographic)]

Senate appropriators have yet to introduce their own Commerce, Justice, Science spending bill, so it remains to be seen whether the upper chamber will be able to find more money for NASA. Senate leaders have approved a $52.3 billion allocation for Commerce, Justice and Science agencies in 2014 — only about $1 billion more than House leaders did.

The House subcommittee’s bill, which is due to be marked up July 10, shields the Space Launch System(SLS) heavy-lift rocket NASA is building for missions beyond Earth orbit from the worst of the cuts. Including rocket development at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., launchpad and ground facilities at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and program support from other NASA centers, SLS would get $1.77 billion — about $30 million more than what the program would get under the operating plan NASA sent its congressional overseers in May, and roughly $30 million less than the White House’s 2014 request.

SLS’ companion crew capsule, Orion, would get $1.05 billion for 2014, roughly $60 million less than what NASA planned to spend in 2013, but about $25 million more than the White House asked for in an April budget request that ignored sequestration.

House appropriators applied no special provisions in their bill to the Commercial Crew Program, a NASA-subsidized partnership with industry aimed at getting at least one of three privately designed crewed spacecraft ready to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station before the end of 2017.

Both Republicans and Democrats on the House Science space subcommittee, which is marking up a policy-setting authorization bill for NASA July 10, agree that the Commercial Crew Program should get up to $700 million a year — less than the White House wants, but more than Congress has appropriated to date.

More detailed information about specific programs, including Commercial Crew and the various NASA Science disciplines, typically shows up in a document known as a bill report. Reports do not usually appear until after a bill has been marked up at the subcommittee or committee level.

The bill itself proposes the following funding levels for NASA’s major budget accounts:

Science: $4.78 billion, about even with what NASA planned to spend in 2013, according to its May operating plan, and roughly $230 million below the 2014 request. The House bill also mandates that $80 million of NASA’s 2014 science budget go toward early planning for a robotic mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa.

  • Exploration: $3.61 billion, nearly $70 million less than what was in the 2013 operating plan, and about $300 million less than the request.
  • Space operations: $3.67 billion, most of which will go toward the International Space Station. That is $50 million below the May operating plan, and roughly $210 million below the request.
  • Space Technology: $576 million, $64 million below the May operating plan and about $165 million less than requested.
  • Aeronautics: $566 million, about $35 million more than the 2013 operating plan and about flat compared with the 2014 request.
  • Cross Agency Support: $2.71 billion, even with the 2013 operating plan from May, but almost $140 million below the request.
  • Construction and Environmental Compliance and Restoration: $525 million, about $120 million below the operating plan and nearly $85 million below the request.
  • Education: $122 million, $6 million above the operating plan for 2013, and close to $30 million above the request. The Obama administration proposed a restructuring of federal education dollars for the 2014 spending year that, at least among NASA’s congressional overseers, has proven unpopular.
  • Inspector General: $35.3 million, even with the 2013 operating plan level and roughly $2 million below the request.

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