Inside Unmanned Systems

APR-MAY 2018

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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22 April/May 2018 unmanned systems inside SPECIAL REPORT NASA TECHNOLOGY NASA-designed amorphous robots that could traverse diffi cult surfaces and search collapsed buildings. Photos courtesy of NASA. Though humans can't hear such low frequen- cies that animals can, which help explains why animals often seem forewarned of natural disasters. "In Java in 2011 a tsunami came but there were very, very few animals killed and the reason for that—these elephants and other animals—they sensed these signals before the earthquake, before the tsunami hit," Shams said. "And those elephants and those animals started running toward the mountain area and climbed it and this saved their lives and even some people who followed them." Infrasound has additional potential as a tool to help reduce industrial noise. One firm has already licensed the technology in hopes of pinpointing and reducing the sound from wind turbines, thereby reducing resistance to fice of the appropriate NASA center with any questions. Jennifer Viudez, a Langley technol- ogy transfer specialist, suggests both calling and emailing using the contact details given online. A technology portfolio or licensing spe- cialist can get you more information and, once you feel confident enough to proceed, you can submit a license application online. There are three types of licenses, Viudez said, including special options for small companies. The license familiar to most people, she said, is the standard commercial license, which re- quires the company to submit a business plan. The tech transfer office weighs the business plan and looks at factors, like whether the tech- nology is already licensed, to decide whether to go forward with the application and, if so, for what kind of royalty. The royalties and the terms of license are the product of negotiations. "Each one of those are customized," Viudez said. "They're definitely not cookie cutter. We negotiate back and forth with the licensee—a lot of communication between my office and the potential licensee to come up with the fi- nancial terms of the license." If the technology is promising but it's not yet clear if it's suitable, a company can request an evaluation license. For a flat fee of $2,500, the firm gets the same access to the intellectual property as a holder of a commercial license but for only roughly one year. Evaluation licenses are also non-exclusive, Viudez said, and are "only awarded to U.S. companies, where commercial licenses could potentially be international." STARTUP SUPPORT NASA introduced a third option about two years ago—a startup license geared specifically to small firms. "The company needs to have been in busi- ness for less than a year," Viudez said, and have less than 50 employees and less than $2 mil- lion dollars in the bank. "The good thing about the startup license is you don't have to pay NASA an upfront fee, you the installation of wind farms. "We want to measure the exact location from where these signals are coming from and at what frequencies those signals are coming from," Shams said. Once the source is identified, there might be ways to reduce it or cancel it out. LET'S MAKE A DEAL Firms interested in tapping NASA's technology catalog have several ways to search for patents. Langley and each of the NASA centers has a technology transfer web page with a search op- tion. The agency as a whole has its own search page, which should include the centers' patents and more from other NASA facilities. You can scroll through categories of technology or do key-word searches. The first step after finding an interesting technology is to contact the tech transfer of- SO IT KEEPS ALL THE MONEY IN THE STARTUP'S POCKET FOR THEM TO GET GOING FOR AT LEAST THE FIRST THREE YEARS—AND THAT TENDS TO BE VERY ATTRACTIVE." Jennifer Viudez, technology transfer specialist, NASA Langley "

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