NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Agency/Department

FLC Region

Security Lab

Yes

Address

Mail Stop 713
Greenbelt, MD 20771
United States

Laboratory Representative

Description

Research is conducted on space/earth science applications. Atmospheric science activities are directed toward the use of space technology in advancing the understanding of the atmosphere, earth, and planets; applying that knowledge to the solution of societal problems in the areas of weather, climate, and environmental quality. An oceanic processes program involves the study of physical oceanography, ocean circulation, air-sea interaction, coastal oceanography, marine resources/ocean color, and cryospheric processes; all of which affect such areas as ocean-going shipping, coastal population centers, fisheries, weather, and climate. Field, laboratory, and theoretical investigations are conducted using data acquired from sensors aboard satellites and aircraft. This research focuses on hydrology, agriculture, land use and forestry, and fundamental studies of radiative transfer of natural and man-made land cover through the atmosphere. Goals of geology/geophysics activities are to develop knowledge about the models and mechanisms of crustal motion and earthquake mechanisms; models of seismically active fault regions related earth motions; improved models of global gravity and geomagnetic fields; methods for the use of remote sensing for geobotanical exploration for minerals and petroleum deposits.

Mission

The mission of the Goddard Space Flight Center is to expand knowledge of the Earth and its environment, the solar system and the universe through observations from space. To assure that our nation maintains leadership in this endeavor, we are committed to excellence in scientific investigation, in the development and operation of space systems and in the advancement of essential technologies. In pursuit of this challenge, the Center will:

  • Conduct a preeminent program of research in the space and Earth science disciplines using measurements from space complemented by suborbital, ground-based and laboratory measurements and by theoretical investigations;
  • Develop and operate a broad spectrum of flight missions that are responsive to the needs of the science community;
  • Provide and operate spaceflight tracking and data acquisition networks;
  • Develop innovative technology and instruments critical to the success of our mission;
  • Develop and maintain advanced information systems for the display, analysis, archiving and distribution of space and Earth science data;
  • Develop National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite systems that provide environmental data for forecasting and research.

Tech Areas

Available Technologies
Displaying 1 - 10 of 472
"Worldview" satellite imagery browsing and downloading tool
3D Plus Programmable Read Only Memory (PROM) Emulator Board
42: A Comprehensive General-Purpose Simulation of Attitude and Trajectory Dynamics and Control of Multiple Spacecraft Composed of Multiple Rigid or Flexible Bodies
A Beacon for Baltimore
A Biologically-Inspired Method of Improving System and Survivability Through Self-Sacrifice
A Boon for the Diabetic
A Gold Medal Finish
A Low Cost, Low Temperature Radiometer for Thermal Measurements
A Method For Developing And Maintaining Evolving Systems With Software Product Lines
A New Look for Greenbelt

Pages

Funding

The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research,or EPSCoR,establishes partnerships with government, higher education and industry that are designed to effect lasting improvements in a state's or region's research infrastructure, R&D capacity and hence, its national R&D competitiveness.

The EPSCoR program is directed at those jurisdictions that have not in the past participated equably in competitive aerospace and aerospace-related research activities. Twenty-four states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam currently participate.Fivefederal agencies conduct EPSCoR programs, including NASA.

NASA EPSCoR Jurisdictions and their Directors
View EPSCoR Directors by State/Jurisdiction

The goal of EPSCoR is to provide seed funding that will enable jurisdictions to develop an academic research enterprise directed toward long-term, self-sustaining, nationally-competitive capabilities in aerospace and aerospace-related research.

Agency
NASA
State: 
Maryland
Lab Representatives
No Programs for this lab
Facilities
Displaying 1 - 10 of 42
500 BDA: Antenna, 9m S-band
500 BDA: Bermuda Tracking Station (BDA)
500 BDA: Radar, FPQ-6
500 Flight Dynamics Facility
500 MILA : Merritt Island Tracking Station (MILA)
500 MILA: Antenna, 4.3m S-band
500 MILA: Antenna, 9m S-band
500 WSC: Antenna, 10m S-band
500 WSC: Antenna, 19m S/Ku-band
500/WSC: Antenna, 4.5m S/Ku-band

Pages

No Equipment for this lab
No publications for this lab
Success Stories
Submit an Success Story

Even though it drops to -279°F at night and -400°F inside its deepest craters, the Moon can reach a scorching 260°F during the day. The range of temperatures is extreme—in part because there is no substantial atmosphere on the Moon to insulate against the heat or cold. What the Moon does have are small amounts of gasses above its surface, sometimes called a lunar atmosphere or exosphere, that consist mostly of hydrogen and helium, along with some neon and argon.

On Earth, traces of an atmosphere extend as high as 370 miles above the surface. Made of 78-percent nitrogen and 21-percent oxygen, 1 percent of Earth’s atmosphere consists of argon and other gasses—some of which help to trap heat from the Sun and create a greenhouse effect. Without this effect, Earth would probably be too cold for life to exist. Another helpful feature of the Earth’s atmosphere exists about 30 miles above the surface, where ultraviolet light from the Sun strikes oxygen molecules to create a gas called ozone. This ozone blocks harmful ultraviolet rays from reaching the Earth.

While the Earth’s atmosphere protects and defends against extreme temperatures like those on the Moon, Earth’s heating and air conditioning systems create an even more comfortable atmosphere indoors. In planning for a return mission to the Moon, NASA aimed to improve the thermal control systems that keep astronauts comfortable and cool while inside a spacecraft.

Partnership

In the late 1990s, Goddard Space Flight Center awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to Mainstream Engineering Corporation, of Rockledge, Florida, to develop a chemical/mechanical heat pump as part of the spacecraft’s thermal control system. Designed to transfer heat from one location to another, a heat pump provides cooling by moving heat out of one area and into another. While working on the heat pump design at Goddard, Mainstream Engineering came up with a unique liquid additive called QwikBoost™ to enhance the performance of the advanced heat pump design.

Previously featured in Spinoff 1999, QwikBoost circulates through a system like a lubricant, working to boost the available cooling capacity. This increases the system’s performance and results in faster heat transfer (cooling) and consumption of less operating energy.

After Mainstream Engineering patented the QwikBoost technology developed with NASA, it started manufacturing and selling the additive to improve the operating efficiency and economy of refrigeration systems, air conditioners, and heat pumps. NASA used QwikBoost to develop more efficient, smaller, and lighter cooling systems, as well as in air conditioning and refrigeration systems at NASA facilities, and air conditioning systems in NASA’s vehicle fleet.

Recognizing the capabilities of QwikBoost, New York-based Interdynamics, Inc., exclusively licensed the additive from Mainstream Engineering in 2004. As a developer of do-it-yourself air conditioning recharger kits, Interdynamics soon merged with EF Products, Inc., of Dallas, Texas, a provider of closed system retrofit kits for automotive air conditioning systems, to become IDQ, Inc., of Garland, Texas, with sales and marketing out of Tarrytown, New York. Today, IDQ incorporates the NASA-derived QwikBoost technology into its line of Arctic Freeze® products.

According to the company, by using Arctic Freeze to replace lost refrigerant and oil in an automotive air conditioning system, the NASA-derived QwikBoost chemistry provides colder air up to 50-percent faster than a conventional R-134a refrigerant product. “Working with NASA technology bolsters our confidence that the chemistry has been thoroughly tested and proven to deliver the benefits and results promised,” said Vincent Carrubba, director of research and development at IDQ.

Product Outcome

IDQ provides a variety of automotive air conditioning products for the do-it-yourself consumer and professional service technician, including its line of Arctic Freeze products. Sold at leading automotive and mass-retail stores and through wholesale distributors in the aftermarket industry in the United States, Europe, and Latin America, Arctic Freeze restores cooling in a vehicle’s air conditioning system once the system is no longer cooling effectively or when the performance has degraded to blowing only warm air. The product replenishes a system with R-134a containing the QwikBoost synthetic refrigerant enhancer.

Compared to operating with only PAG-oil (a lubricant), the addition of QwikBoost reduces wear and tear on the system by lowering compressor temperatures and extending the useful life of the lubricant. Arctic Freeze also incorporates a system-safe leak sealer that conditions rubber o‑rings, seals and hoses, which are the primary source of minor system leaks.

In addition to delivering low vent temperatures, Arctic Freeze also delivers low costs. Depending on which Arctic Freeze product a customer uses, recharging an automotive air conditioning system can cost approximately $15–$30, compared to $100 or more at an automotive repair shop. Each Arctic Freeze product provides do-it-yourself customers with everything needed to recharge a vehicle air conditioning unit.

Carrubba believes that NASA technology has made a world of difference by providing a demonstrable and affordable solution to improve the efficiency and economy of operating air conditioning and refrigeration systems here on Earth. “The all-in-one solutions of Arctic Freeze make it possible for nearly anyone to safely, effectively, and affordably recharge their own vehicle’s air conditioning unit.”

QwikBoost™ is a trademark of Mainstream Engineering Corporation. Arctic Freeze® is a registered trademark of IDQ, Inc.

To view the original Arctic Freeze spinoff success story, click here.

The full line of Arctic Freeze products incorporates a QwikBoost refrigerant enhancer originally developed by NASA and Mainstream Engineering Corporation. According to IDQ, QwikBoost provides vehicle owners with colder air up to 50-percent faster than a conventional refrigerant product. (Photo credit: NASA Spinoff 2010)

NASA Technology

As numerous achievements have taken place in space over the last 50-plus years, a number of innovations have simultaneously taken place on the ground. For example, Jack Triolo, a senior engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, worked with John B. Schutt, a chemist extraordinaire and coatings specialist at Goddard from the 1960s through the 1990s. Schutt spent considerable time experimenting with formulas to create super-durable coatings for spacecraft.

“My job was to fly different coatings in space,” said Triolo, “and while some of John’s coatings didn’t work out so well, some of them were really great.”

In particular, one of Schutt’s more impressive mixtures was a specific inorganic formula made from potassium silicate and zinc. Not only could the concoction keep corrosion from forming on the steel or metal surfaces it was applied to, but it dried quickly to a hard, durable finish. With just one coat, the technology delivered corrosion resistance and could withstand extremely high temperatures.

“Many chemists were doing something similar at the time, but they approached the combination in different ways,” said Triolo.

The magic in Schutt’s formula came from having just the right amount of potassium silicate and zinc so it would chemically combine with metal. “It became electrically conductive,” Triolo said. “The zinc was electrically connected through the potassium silicate to the steel or the metal it was protecting.”

Though the coating was never used in space, it proved useful here on Earth at Kennedy Space Center, where it protected the launch facilities from degradation due to corrosion from the salty, tropical environment and heat from the fiery rocket launches. But that’s not the only place the coating found a home.

Technology Transfer

NASA patented Schutt’s formula and then granted a license to a private company that supplied the technology for use on bridges, pipelines, power stations, and more (Spinoff 1984, 1985, and 1990). One of the most memorable applications was on the interior of the Statue of Liberty.

Because the potassium silicate zinc formula provides long-lasting protection with a single application, it has enabled significant material and labor cost savings wherever it is used. In 1995, the innovation was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame.

Meanwhile, Schutt retired from NASA in the 1990s and later began using his NASA expertise to create new hybrids of the inorganic formulation for Daytona Beach, Florida-based Adsil® Corporation.

According to Jim Gibson, the director of business development at Adsil, “We wanted to protect metal from corrosion, and Schutt developed formulas that worked in the real world. They were optimized so they were easy to use and affordable.”

Years later, Adsil now holds several patents related to inorganic, siloxane coatings used to protect metal and other types of materials in a variety of environments. Sadly, Schutt passed away in 2011; however, his formulations continue to benefit businesses and individuals around the globe.

Benefits

Adsil manufactures and markets a family of coating formulations to preserve, prolong, and protect a range of surfaces. Trademarked as MicroGuard, there are products for anti-graffiti; anti-skid; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and refrigeration applications; corrosion protection; and concrete or tile surface sealing.

As a testament to its value, MicroGuard has been used at hotels, banks, restaurants, schools, spas, retail stores, marinas, amusement parks, museums, power plants, water plants, on outdoor sculptures, and in sports stadiums.

Because MicroGuard can endure extremely high temperatures, the company’s first commercial application was on welding tips. “Once it was on the welding tip, the slag from the welding process could be cleaned off easier,” said Gibson. “From there, we went to air conditioning units and then to floor tile.”

MicroGuard has proven particularly valuable for HVAC and refrigeration equipment, not only because it repels dust and dirt and reduces maintenance costs by approximately 13 percent, but because laboratory tests have shown that it completely inhibits the growth of mold, increases energy efficiency up to 12 percent, and protects against corrosion even in the harshest of environments.

“It stays clean, and the metal can transfer heat without interference from dirt,” said Gibson.

Another area where MicroGuard is beneficial is on floors made of grout, concrete, or tile. According to Gibson, the coating will last for years; and treated surfaces will not support germs, are resistant to stains, and can be cleaned more easily. Due to such benefits, a popular use of MicroGuard has been in public rest stations and hospital restrooms. MicroGuard coatings have reduced cleaning costs at the University of Florida by 30 percent.

An added benefit of MicroGuard is its resistance to paints and inks. “We don’t have a surface that graffiti can bite into. The coating, in essence, is just sitting on the surface. You can wipe graffiti off using a green solvent remover or a pressure washer,” Gibson said.

MicroGuard also finds many uses on aluminum, brass, bronze, copper, and stainless-steel alloys to inhibit corrosion. For example, it has been applied on handrails and light poles in public parks in New York as well as in the Cayman Islands, where salty conditions wear away metal.

The coating also provides slip resistance and has been widely used on the floors of kitchens and medical facilities. In fact, MicroGuard was applied to the floors in the water-attraction areas of Walt Disney World in 2011 and on exterior walkways and multiple bathrooms throughout Disney’s All-Star Cafe and Contemporary Resort.

Even though Adsil’s coating is not the only solution on the market, Gibson said the MicroGuard formulation stands out from others because of how the film forms. “The molecules link together like a basket weave,” he said. “It forms the film and makes it durable without any holes. It’s not a solution that sinks in and dries. It’s a film, and it lasts a long time.”

With 84 installers of MicroGuard in the United States, Mexico, Asia, Brazil, Columbia, Spain, Canada, and India, Gibson stated that “We wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for NASA. There’s a total of about 150 people who are making a good living thanks to NASA.”

To view the original MicroGuard success story on NASA’s website, click here.

Tile floor after MicroGuard was applied. (Image courtesy of NASA Goddard. Photo credit: MicroGuard/Adsil®Corporation)