NASA’s New Searchable Database makes thousands of expired patents accessible to public

In case you want to get inspired and go through the technologies developed by the US space agency over the years, you can now check out thousands of expired patents with the help of NASA’s new searchable database.

Daniel Lockney, program executive of NASA’s Technology Transfer project, said that the move to make their technologies available to public can likely help motivate people to begin a new age of entrepreneurship, which would expectantly bring the United States back on the top in terms of economic competitiveness and making quite advanced technologies.

Besides coming up with the latest patent database, the space agency has added 56 carefully chosen patents to the ones already present in the public domain for making them available for commercial use with no restrictions.

Known as the NASA Patent Portfolio, the new database has technologies created for 15 distinct areas like electronics, communications, sensors, propulsion, optics, aeronautics and power generation and storage among many others.

Many think that the US space agency’s patents would be useful only for private space companies, like Bigelow Aerospace, Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic, but that’s not the case as NASA has also put in a lot of efforts in other technologies that can be put to use in non-aerospace applications

A few of the latest technologies that the agency is into developing include limbs, breast biopsy, infrared ear thermometers and a ventricular assist device in medical field and enhanced radial tires and anti-icing systems for better transportation.

According to the agency, releasing select NASA patents into the public domain can prove helpful for private companies, which can save notable time, money and work on their own commercial projects, which otherwise would need either creation of substitute designs by firms or investments of huge amounts of money only to save licensing agreements.

A report published in Photonics revealed, “NASA has released 56 formerly patented agency technologies into the public domain, making them technologies freely available for unrestricted commercial use. In addition to the release of these technologies, a searchable database is now available that catalogs thousands of expired NASA patents already in the public domain.”

“By making these technologies available in the public domain, we are helping foster a new era of entrepreneurship that will again place America at the forefront of high-tech manufacturing and economic competitiveness,” said Daniel Lockney, NASA’s Technology Transfer program executive.

“In fact, NASA dedicated a whole department to developing space technology for earth-borne purposes, and some of their projects were proven useful on Earth. Take for example the ‘Miracle Suit’ which is a modified version of the anti-gravity suit which can help stop postpartum hemorrhage with new born mothers,” according to a news report published by Nature World News.

NASA is also using their 3D mapping technologies to help researchers map new underwater islands formed through volcanic activities such as the one in the Kingdom of Tonga. This year, they also helped NCAR and CDC in mapping the possible route of the Zika-carrying mosquitoes in the US identifying the ‘suitable’ places where the mosquitoes could thrive. With these maps, the authorities and the public can have a head start in terms of preventing the spared of Zika virus in the country.

According to a report in Tech Times by Ted Ranosa, “According to Daniel Lockney, program executive of NASA’s Technology Transfer project, making their technologies accessible in the public domain could help inspire people to start a new age of entrepreneurship, which would hopefully place the United States back in the lead in terms of economic competitiveness and manufacturing highly advanced technologies.”

The new database, known as the NASA Patent Portfolio, features technologies developed for 15 different areas including electronics, communications, optics, sensors, propulsion, automation and control, robotics, manufacturing, medicine and biotechnology, health, information technology and software, aeronautics and power generation and storage.

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