A pair of articles from United Press International by UPI correspondent Scott Burnell describe interesting presentations by NASA officials at the NanoSpace 2002 conference:
- "Federal tech transfer turns to nanotech (27 June 2002) reports that "National laboratories and federal entities such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration are paying more attention to nanotechnology as they look to commercialize ongoing research . . . Sandia National Laboratories, in Livermore, Calif., is even creating a Center for Integrated Nanotechnology to focus its efforts, said Mark Allen, a manager in the lab's technology commercialization office. The center would have facilities at both Sandia and at Los Alamos National Laboratory, in New Mexico, he told a session at the NanoSpace 2002 conference.
"We're trying to create a 'mega user facility' that will be attractive to industry, universities and other potential collaborators," Allen said. "We'll have major projects funded by the Department of Energy, but we will also be seeking partnerships … where we can achieve better results for all parties."
- "Nanotech could turn planes into birds" (29 June 2002) deals with more speculative applications of nanotech to aerospace engineering: "Darrel Tenney, director of the Aerospace Vehicle Systems Technology Program Office at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., understands how nanotechnology . . . can yield the lightweight, strong materials necessary for next-generation airplanes. He leads $100 million worth of basic investigations into advanced research topics, including advanced vehicle concepts, aeromechanics of highly maneuverable vehicles and noise reduction."
"Because of the tremendous potential for strength and stiffness, far exceeding the best graphite fibers we have today, we're obviously interested in (nanotech) from a structural materials application, to see if we can use that to take weight out (of aircraft designs)," Tenney said. "We know it's in its infancy in terms of mechanical properties, and whether or not we ever get there is a big question. It's a high-risk area and that's why it's legitimate for government to be investing in it."
Earlier UPI articles about presentations given at the NanoSpace 2002 conference were noted in a Nanodot post from 26 June 2002.