NASA Research and Innovations are Spinning
From reducing greenhouse gas emissions to advancing renewable energy technologies to better understanding the processes leading to warming, NASA’s research and innovation spinoffs are growing.
With NASA’s help, a company designed a high- power battery pack that could meet safety requirements for the agency’s all-electric experimental airplane. Now the company is selling batteries based on that development for use in some of the first all-electric passenger planes.
Sniffing Out Gas Leaks
A spectrometer created to look for methane on Mars is 1,000 times more sensitive than competing technology. The device can be handheld or mounted on a drone or car and lets natural gas producers easily spot and stop leaks.
Putting CO2 Back into Beer
Most small breweries vent the carbon dioxide created during brewing and then buy more to carbonate the beer itself. Now the same technology for manufacturing resources on Mars has been adapted to enable breweries to capture CO2 and then recycle it to carbonate the beer.
Running on Empty
The voltage controller, invented by a NASA engineer in the 1970s, is one of NASA’s most-used innovations. It enables machinery to automatically decrease energy consumption when full power is unnecessary—for example, escalators and elevators without passengers.
With NASA funding, one company developed a cheaper way to produce high-efficiency solar cells and used it to make affordable, portable, flexible solar panels. Its solar cells now power troops’ devices in the field, as well aircraft and satellites.
For more, visit spinoff.nasa.gov/climate-change.