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Sandia's Technology Licensing Program Helping Industry

Seventy-four current and former Sandia National Laboratories employees have been recognized for inventingproducts or writing computer software that are now helping industry. The technology was transferred to U.S. industry throughSandia's intellectual property licensing program, which has a threefold purpose of providing business advantages to U.S.industry; providing incentives for investment in support of commercialization; and recouping a portion of the taxpayer investment in Sandia technology.

Sandia has issued more than 87 licenses since the program began in 1989, benefiting both large and small companies throughout the United States, said Vic Chavez, manager of Sandia'sLicensing and Agreements Administration Department. The licensing program was authorized by the national Competitive TechnologyTransfer Act of 1989.

"When we have a new technology that can be protected by patent or copyright we seek that protection and offer thetechnology to industry for commercialization," Chavez said. "We want to ensure that the new technology has the maximum impact inthat it does the most good for industry and particularly the American people.

"We are striving to work with industry to help them gain a competitive edge in the world market, and to provide an excellentre source to industry and the American people," Chavez added.

Twenty-five Sandia technologies returned more than $357,000in royalties over the past year from the companies whose products use Sandia-licensed innovations. Sandia departments, inventors,authors, and employees who help in developing the new technology share in the royalties that Sandia receives.

"Seventy percent of the royalties goes back into our technical organizations to support future research efforts and toimprove technologies relating to issues of importance toindustry," Chavez said. The remaining 30 percent goes to inventorsand other contributors, he said.

The licenses covered a wide range of technologies, from a device that eliminates the swing of objects suspended from a crane during movement and transport of the load, a new method for imaging open-circuit defects using a commercial scanning electronmicroscope, to an explosive ordnance disposal tool that remotely disrupts and renders safe improvised explosive devices.

Warren Siemens, Director of Sandia's Technology Partnerships and Commercialization Center, said he anticipates the licensingprogram will continue to grow and earn funds for future R&Defforts. The program also strengthens Sandia's relationship withindustry, he said.

"Right now, royalties in and of themselves are not the mostvaluable feature of intellectual property," Siemens said. "What is valuable about them is that they provide Sandia with a cleardefinition of what Sandia's technological assets are and whatthose technologies are worth in the marketplace, and that strongasset base is a magnet for attracting quality industrialpartners."

Here are the inventions and their Sandia inventors andauthors who were recognized at a recent awards ceremony.

Swing-free crane. DAMAS Corp. of Birmingham, Ala., is using this Sandia technology to manufacture an industrial crane control that virtually eliminates payload sway at the end of a motion. The technology increases both safety and efficiency since the crane operator can load and unload cargo more quickly without undue residual swing after the crane stops. Inventors: James Jones,David Strip, Ben Petterson, John Feddema, and Rush Robinett.

Charge induced voltage alteration (CIVA). A new method for finding microscopic cracks that break the electrical connections in integrated circuits. The technique uses a commercial scanning electron microscope that uses a low-energy electron beam and isnon-damaging to the integrated circuit. Inventor: Edward Cole.

Light-induced voltage alternation to integrated circuitanalysis. Technique for finding defects in integrated circuits bylow-energy charge-induced voltage alteration to locate open conductors without damaging the chip. Inventors: Edward Cole,Jerry Soden.

Percussion actuated non-electric (PAN) disrupter. An explosive ordnance disposal tool designed to remotely disrupt and render-safe explosive devices. Inventor: Christopher Cherry.

Apparatus and method for laser velocity interferometry. Themodern standard for measurement of shock-wave phenomena in solids. In this simplified, fixed-cavity VISAR, the critical interferometer cavity elements are aligned and permanently bonded together. Inventors: Philip Stanton, Lloyd Bonzon, O. B. Crump,and William Sweatt.

SUNMOS software. Facilitates the efficient execution of large applications requiring the full resources of each processor in a MAP machine. Authors: Stephen Wheat, Rolf Riesen, Gabi Istrail, and Kevin McCurley.

Frequency resolved optical gating (FROG). Method of determining the pulse intensity and phases of ultrashort (those measured in picoseconds) light pulses. Inventor: Rick Trebino.

CHAPARRAL software. Designed for computing radiation factors and for solving the radiosity equality in heat transfer analyses involving enclosure radiation. Chaparral may be used alone or itcan be embedded in other analysis codes. Author: Michael Glass.

SANDOSE software. An optional module that can be added to theBRL-CAD solid modeling package to estimate total radiation dose at specific locations in a model. SANDOSE contains several diagnostic tools to graphically examine the results at an individual dosepoint. Authors: David Turner and Mark Ackermann.

FLAME software. Acquires and processes measurements of flame arrival and pressure from a spark ignition engine. Author: Peter Witze.

SOLAR ARRAY software. The controller software for a Sandia-developed solar array tracking controller for one and two axistracking arrays. Authors: Alexander Maish and James Dudley.

Sealing glass for titanium and titanium alloys. Various glass compositions that are capable of forming stable glass-to-metalseals with titanium for use in components such as seals for battery headers. Inventors: Richard Brow and Randall Watkins.

XPLOT software. A low-cost point and click XY plotting software with a graphical user interface for SUN workstations.Author: Barry Hess.

Mammographic screening software tools. Scans digitized X-ray films for stellate lesions, which are signs of difficult-to-detect breast cancers. Author: Philip Kegelmeyer.

MESH generation software. Paving technique using massively parallel computing to automatically generate high-quality quadrilateral mesh, a network of small geometric shapes that closely follow the contours of three-dimensional items. The technique can model a range of engineering phenomenon, including the strength of structural parts, air flow fields around flying objects, and the transfer of heat through microelectronic devices.Authors: Teddy Blacker, Scott Mitchell, Tony Edwards, Constantine Pavlakos, Arlo Ames, Ross Burchard, Randall Lober, TimothyTautges, Greg Sjaardema, William Bohnhoff, James Hipp, M.B.Stephenson, and Ray Meyers.

Reflectance based optical fiber chemical sensor. Chemical detection system is composed of a thin-film sensor at the end ofan optical fiber and light source and is used for comparing the change in reflective optical properties of the sensor. Author:Michael Butler, Kent Pfeifer, and Antonio Ricco.

CLEVER software. Allows multiplexing of unaltered X-windows based application software so two or more users can simultaneously interact with the commercial applications. Authors: Craig Dean,Eric Brock, and Han Wei Lin.

Quartz crystal microbalance. Capable of making real-time insitu measurements of liquid density and viscosity. Inventors:Stephen K. Martin, Leonard Casaus, Richard Cernosek, Gregory Frye,Charles Gebert, James Wiczer, and Kurt Wessendorff, Mary-AnneMitchell, and Victoria Edwards.

Advanced hydrogen getter technologies. Hydrogen getters, developed with Vacuum Energy Inc. of Cleveland, Ohio, irreversibly scavenge unwanted hydrogen gas from enclosed spaces. These new technologies will allow improved efficiencies in commercial oilfield and heat exchange equipment. Inventor: Timothy Shepodd.

Device for sorting plastics. Automates the classification of plastic waste into seven recyclable plastics categories using near infrared light to differentiate. Inventors: Kathleen Alam, Suzanne Stanton, Gregory Hebner, and Phil Kahle.

Borehole seismic receiver. Motor-driven clamp mechanism for borehole seismic receivers that can locate locate previously undetected pockets of oil and recover natural gas. Inventors: Bruce Engler and Gerard E. Sleefe.

SWORD software. Software program that controls instrumentation and may be used to characterize and benchmark the reliability and quality of integrated circuits. The software accurately predicts the behavior of electronic products and has revolutionized the way in which microchips, or integrated circuits, are tested for reliability. Authors: Eric Snyder,William Miller, Donald Pierce, Scot Swanson, and Norman Smith.

Precision wire feeder. Precision device that feeds small-diameter hard and soft wires in sizes and speeds not previously possible. Inventors: Eldon Brandon, Marvin Reichenbach, and Frederick Hooper.

Tungsten bridge. Igniter device that exhibits much shorter ignition times and requires much less energy than standard metal bridges and foil-igniting devices. Inventors: Robert Blewer, David Benson, and Robert Bickes.

Semiconductor bridge. Actuator device useful for insensitive high explosives and pyrotechnics that can be actuated by very low energy current pulses, yet achieve high and safe no-fire levels.The device makes multiple air-bag and restraint systems in automobiles more feasible. Inventors: Robert Bickes and AlfredSchwarz.

Sandia is a multiprogram Department of Energy laboratory, operated by a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp. With facilitiesin Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national defense, energy, environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Chris Miller,

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Last modified: June 12, 2001

Sandia National Laboratories is operated by Lockheed Martin Corp. for the U.S. Department of Energy.