TT Program Manager
John Hensyl

TT University Outreach
Dr. Fred Snyder

TT Computer Specialist
Chinita Roundtree-Coleman

The FAA's Technology Transfer Program Office coordinates Technology Transfer partnerships between the FAA and private businesses/academic institutions. ANG-E73 at the William J. Hughes Technical Center (WJHTC) is the Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA) for the FAA's federal laboratories.

Legacy Technology Transfer (TT) information for FAA employees may be found here.

Background and Related Information

The United States government invests billions of dollars annually in its laboratories for Research & Development (R&D). This investment created "Federal Laboratories" that produce advanced technologies which can serve not only government interests, but also the interests of business and academic communities. Fostering cooperation among Federal, State, local governments, academia, and industry ensures the United States remains a world leader in developing innovative and leading edge technologies. Over the past several decades, Presidents and Congress have worked together to establish a policy framework that enables the government to transfer its technology to the nonfederal sector (industry, state and local governments, and academic institutions). Through technology transfer, Federal Laboratories share the benefits of the governement's R&D investment with all segments of society.

The Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 is the first of a continuing series of laws to define and promote Technology Transfer. The law accomplishes the following:

  • Enables Federal Laboratories to be more involved in technology transfer
  • Makes it easier for Federal Laboratories to transfer technology to nonfederal parties
  • Provides outside organizations with a means to access Federal Laboratory developments
  • Establishes an Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA) in each laboratory to coordinate and promote technology transfer.

Technology Transfer is the process by which existing knowledge, facilities, or capabilities developed with federal funding are transferred and utilized to fulfill public and private needs. Technology Transfer enables companies, academic institutions, State and Local governments, and Federal Laboratories to collaboratively work together to develop innovative technologies and marketable products. Technology Transfer accomplishes the following:

  • Advocates commercialization of new technologies developed by agency personnel and industry partners
  • Protects intellectual property through patents and licensing
  • Expands the United States technology base
  • Maximizes return on investment in Federally funded R&D
  • Facilitates Government and private sector cooperation
  • Provides access to resources to help you develop and commercialize your aviation idea, concept or product
  • Enables you to extend your resources to include those of the Federal government
  • Resolves intellectual property and liability matters early in the agreement process to ensure each party is protected

The Federal Laboratory Consortium's "Green Book" summarizes Technology Transfer legislation and executive orders since the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980. The most recent pdf copy of the Green Book cane be found here.

Current Innovations
Available for Licensing

Apparatus and Method to Generate and Detect Virtual Targets - An apparatus and method to generate virtual targets by providing ADS-B RF signals to an aircraft on which the device is placed so that the ADS-B receiver on board the test aircraft receives these signals and processes the ADS-B messages as if the messages were transmitted by real targets. It is designed to support flight test activities by providing a means to inject additional virtual aircraft to a flight test aircraft with an on-board ADS-B receiver so that applications requiring ADS-B Reports can utilize the virtual aircraft. The device thereby reduces the number of aircraft required to fly in test and validation flight tests while enhancing fidelity of testing. With the exception of unit source power, the device does not require physical connections to aircraft to avoid alterations to the aircraft installation. The device provides the virtual target data by inputting a virtual target scenario and acquiring the test aircraft position data from real position information obtained from GPS satellites or other external or internal sources. This virtual position information is coded, mixed with a carrier frequency, amplified, and radiated to the test aircraft. The amplitude of the radiated signal is adjusted such that the signal containing the virtual position information is received by the test aircraft only. The radiated signal thus adjusted is below the detection threshold of any aircraft further away. The test aircraft decodes the signal and interprets the decoded virtual position information as real aircraft in its vicinity. The coded signals may be structured to comply with the requirements of the FAA's ADS-B system. The apparatus may be mounted on the test aircraft itself, or on a nearby aircraft. It is currently patented under US Patent 8,604,965.

A Microscale Combustion Calorimeter has been developed to rapidly measure the heat release of milligram polymer (plastic) samples in a convenient laboratory test that simulates the conditions in a fire. Fire parameters measured in the test include the rate at which heat is released by burning, the amount of heat released, and the temperature at which heat is released (ignition temperature). Each material produces a unique flammability fingerprint from which these quantitative test parameters are derived and used to provid an estimate of the fire hazard of materials in public transportation, electrical/electronic products and construction when only research quantities are available for testing. Applications includde screening new materials and additives for fire resistance, quality control of flame retardant plastics required to pass regulatory fire tests, and product surveillance. It is currently patented under US Patent 5,981,290 and 6,464,391.

The Adiabatic Expansion Nozzle produces a continuous gas/solid or gas/aerosol stream from a liquid having a high room temperature vapor pressure. It is currently patented under US Patent 6,116,049. A cutaway piece of the product prototype is available for viewing at the WJHTC. A video of the nozzle in action can be found here.

Localizer Cable Fault Analyzer - The FAA has designed a navigational aid capable of quickly pinpointing an intermittent antenna fault in Instrumental Landing System equipment. The device can be connected to equipment, allowing technicians to quickly identify and then repair the malfunctioning antenna, which can significantly reduce the amount of time a runway is out of service. This device has been deployed at over 40 FAA sites. It is currently patented under US Patent 7,592,816.