News | Feb 16, 2018

Lasers and other technology from the U.S. Air Force’s Space Vehicles Directorate

Podcast episode on Air Force research and how businesses can use it to build new products and services

News Article Image of Lasers and other technology from the U.S. Air Force’s Space Vehicles Directorate

Dr. Wellesley Pereira, a senior research physical scientist with the Air Force Research Lab's Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base. Dr. Pereira currently researches hyper-spectral imaging, but his experience in astronomy and physics has led him to theorize that the Air Force may push the envelope of manned space exploration by employing ground-based laser arrays fired at spacecraft deploying sails to transfer the momentum of photons to the craft propelling it through space. (U.S. Air Force photo/J.M. Eddins Jr.)

What kind of music do planets sing? Neptunes! Your business will too if TechLink helps it leverage government research to build new and better products.

In this episode of High Speed, Low Drag, we hear from Dr. Wellesley Pereira, a senior scientist at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate. Pereira believes that lasers will allow exploration into deep space.

While he invents the technology that will take humanity beyond the deep space horizon, TechLink is ready to help businesses license dozens of inventions from the Air Force laboratory in New Mexico.

For example, the Air Force recently licensed a newly designed rocket fuel to Digital Solid State Propulsion, a small business in Nevada. The monopropellant fuel, known as AF-M315E, has reduced toxicity, is more powerful, and is environmentally benign, making it an excellent replacement for hydrazine.

With the successful launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket earlier this month, the Air Force is readying for a possible June launch of its STP-2 mission, which will see the Green Propellant Infusion Mission, a satellite powered by the new monopropellant, begin a year-long orbit around Earth. TechLink assisted the laboratory with preparing the patent license agreement that allows the company to begin commercial production and sales.

Air Force scientists have their sights set on deep space, but the private sector is making significant advancements in space exploration, like the Falcon Heavy, the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two, according to SpaceX.

The achievements are their own, but in many cases, aerospace companies use enabling technologies developed in defense labs.

The Air Force Space Vehicles Directorate has 70 inventions in TechLink’s database, which are available now to businesses. There are high-powered lasers, an atom chip, and durable, lightweight materials, designed for space but ready for the Earth. Many of the technologies have potential dual uses and could be used by your business to create new products and services.

TechLink is here to help your business license those technologies, a first step in developing the technology into new products and services. TechLink, the Department of Defense’s national partnership intermediary, specializes in facilitating patent license agreements for the transfer of military technology to businesses. It can also help your company establish cooperative research and development agreements (CRADA) with a defense laboratory.

These tools have allowed hundreds of businesses to grow with technology. With TechLink’s help, yours can do the same.

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