By: Laura McGrath

On Friday December 2, School of Information Studies (iSchool) Associate Professor Lee McKnight will meet with NASA representatives at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio to discuss the use of Wireless Grid Innovation Testbed (WiGIT) open specifications for aerospace applications.

The visit is part of the Glenn Research Center’s Technology Showcase, an event designed to introduce businesses to some of the technologies and expertise that the center has to offer. Targeted toward organizations that are interested in learning more about potential partnerships and business opportunities, the showcase will feature innovative technologies. Thirty-eight technologies in the areas of Materials and Structures; Biomedical Technology; Sensors and Electronics; Advanced/Alternative Energy; and Advanced Propulsion will be exhibited.

“The Technology Showcase is a unique opportunity to interact with researchers working on NASA’s hottest technologies that can help businesses gain a competitive edge,” said Lori Manthey, the chief of Strategic Integration and Project Control in the Office of Technology Partnerships and Planning at NASA.

WiGIT is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Partnerships for Innovation program, and in this scenario will focus on aerospace applications with the use of the Intelligent Distributed Augmented Wireless Gateway (iDawg). With satellite support features, iDawg was designed for use in multi-agency critical incident response exercises conducted by law enforcement and emergency responder.

Current work on the iDawg project involves the creation of a secure resilient server-less transmission network that integrates cognitive radio for crisis response using wireless grids for crisis or catastrophic incident response. Partnering with NASA would put iDawg to use in space.

Edward Nanno executive director of the Wireless Grids Lab at the iSchool explained, “utilizing wireless grids to coordinate across cognitive radios to perform activities in the cleaning up of space debris is now a new top NASA priority.”

Also in attendance will be WiGIT affiliated companies, including Wireless Grids Corporation and Summerhill Biomass Systems. Summerhill will present dry “flowable” fuel, a potential alternative as a renewable/green rocket fuel.

Summerhill, operating out of Syracuse’s Center of Excellence, will be joined by other energy and environmental systems  companies in the discussions with NASA.