Small Steps, Giant Leaps: Episode 24, TechPort
Tech provides powerful searching and reporting tools that allow technologist to find information about what types of Technology Nasr's developing who are partners are and where the work's being done when program in project managers are looking for the benefits of using state of the art technology for doing some of our groundbreaking missions tech board is the place to go to. We actually offer an advanced search feature that allows our users observe to specify exactly what level of technology maturity they're looking for you're listening to small steps giant leaps a NASA apple knowledge services versus podcast featuring interviews and stories tapping into project experiences in order to unravel lessons learned identify best practices and discover novel ideas. I'm an ugly tech. Ports showcases exciting novel and Cross Cutting Technology Development Activities at NASA ASA from concept to prototypes to fully develop technologies this Space Technology Mission Directorate's web-based Portal Transforms Technology Investment Matt Information into opportunities for collaboration and partnerships and much more st MD strategic planning and Integration Director. Patrick Murphy Champions. The initiative protect port lead architect Ryan Miller from Areas Corporation manages the development team to ensure seamless operations Patrick and Ryan and thank you for joining us on the podcast. Thank you thank you Deena. It's great to be here. Patrick could you give us an overview of tech port. Sure sure Tech Board is you could think of it as a place where the technology that ad are NASA innovators and technologists when they develop technology Anji. It's a place where we get input from thousands of people across our centers that are across the country as well as our mission directorates in a place where we can exchange range ideas and goals that groundbreaking solutions. It's a web based solution that brings technologists innovators mission directorates that are formulating formulating projects as well as reaching out to our commercial and academic partners. So it's a place where folks can find the technology build upon it and share hurt. So it's open to audience beyond NASA internal. Is that right. Yes in fact When in about tech toward it's it's offered to our external journal stakeholders awhile so you might see Folks from the public that includes like congressional staffers other government agencies as well as the general public that went Iran reports and possibly research on. What new technologies are out there for any given type of technology that they have interested Ryan? What the key features of Tech Port? So the core data point in tech port is the technology development project we currently catalog over nineteen thousand technology development projects. Each of these records contains information about the type of technology being developed the benefits it provides. Who's doing the work and what we expected to accomplish? Tech provides powerful searching and reporting tools that allow technologist to find information about what types of Technology Nasr's developing. Who are partners are are and where the work's being done? We might even be in your backyard. We also have a great new feature describes technology by its target destination in other words whereas the technology go into to land the at the Moon Mars beyond we have a great homepage that showcases all of the new technology development technology. That's just been completed and a weekly featured project up for example one of our most viewed projects right now is called X com. It's actually the first space-based technology demonstration of communication in the x Ray band which which is actually a joint effort between NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the Naval Research Laboratory and this technology is actually building off former technology called the neutron star Interior composition composition explorer mission which is currently operating on the International Space Station. It so you mentioned it might be in your backyard. Could you tell us more about what you're meaning they. We have had this feature in Tech Port so that you can find out where the work's being done. NASA does work in almost all fifty states. So you know you will find that Nasr's doing working in Houston. It's doing work at downstairs space center and Mississippi doing it Kennedy Space Center Florida all over the nation. What what do you see as the strengths of the tool that make it unique? So Tech Poor provides a variety of tools for our diverse audience We have a lot of different folks with a lot of different needs and Patrick mentioned earlier that we have Customers within the NASA agency within commercial space industry with an academia Amihai and the general public. So we offer ways to find technology developments that NASA has completed or is working on right now so commercial space industry three might want to review the work that Nasr's already done in order to identify partnership opportunities or gaps that need to be feel academia can digest our database for technology. The trending analysis future capability prediction. And just generally advancing the state of the art and then the general public might just want to learn about all the cool things. The agency's doing I think you know what makes us unique is that we offer. Indepth information about those technologies that in this includes things like peer reviewed publications close Out reports in technical data This is the type of information that we think provides great benefit to technologist inside the agency and throughout the public. Hey Ryan Let me jump in triggered some ideas when I was sitting here listening to you and One of the things I wanted to highlight. Is You know you talked about how it's in our backyard. Another interesting thing about tech board. It's actually a Tech Portal for folks from all across the agency. And when I say that we have have five specific mission director Nasa we have the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate the Human Exploration Operations Mr Mission Directorate. Our Science Mission Directorate Space Technology Mission Director as well as our mission support folks so we're across the eighteen plus thousand employees here at NASA. We're we're getting all the technology that's being developed currently so this is a place where folks can see and have taken notice to date. We've had almost three hundred thousand thousand unique visitors to the site. Those visitors run reports. They conduct searches they harvest data find partnerships and just generally learn about the state of technology development and NASA outside of NASA tech facilitated information sharing across multiple other US government agencies including a win. Be the DOD D H us We've seen congressional staff use tech PORTA. Identify what types of technology development works being conducted in their districts We've seen our external partners at Jackson. The European Space Agency visit frequently and we see universities around the world regularly harvesting our data to use in their research. I also wanted to mention that. We regularly participate in public outreach. Events such as the space com event hosted down in Houston and at that event we really reach out and connect with companies companies in academia many of which already have some of their technology showcase in tech port data mining and important aspect most most most definitely. It's amazing how when Ryan and his team see the reports that come across as far as what people are looking for a couple of unique features in when we talk about tech for or one of our finding our mottoes that we have with intact word is to find it build it and share it and so when you think of Tech Board when projects are initially initially being formulated this is where the technologist across the agency in project. Formulators should be going to take a look at what technologies are available so they can build upon on it to develop new missions and develop their instruments we also see data mining in areas. Where if you've if anybody on the outside has a specific interest interest in for example the new Lunar Initiative that we've got from the presidential management directive as PD one? We're going to the moon by twenty twenty four if if anybody from the outside or inside wanted to be able to look at. What investments are NASA making in technology with the Moon Tech Ports? The right place to go to warmer Yar far to find the find the technology build upon it and share it tip work actually offers a full featured. API or an application programming coming interface it was created specifically for data mining projects We've seen significant usage of this feature over the last few years by other space agencies. And by hi Ed -DEMIA Users of this feature can actually harvest all of the information. That's available in Tech Port using a machine readable format and I I mean the potential applications of this type of data availability are really limitless. this feature just further reinforces our dedication to open data and information sharing sharing. I mean we feel that through this transparency we can really make a difference in create better technology faster. Hell could NASA program and project managers Richard Benefit from using tech port when it comes to formulating a project and when program in project managers are looking for the benefits of using state of the art technology for doing some of our groundbreaking missions tech board is the place to go to to take a look at it. We went and we briefed the the administrator. Jim Brian Stein on earlier this year he was just so enthusiastic about the capability of tech toward being able to go out there and search on any specific subject. Matter that you're interested. It's also a great knowledge. Sharing Platform NASA program in project managers can use tech to identify similar projects. That may be able to share lessons. Since learned and other types of artifacts that might help them expedite their own development They can identify potential collaborators or companies that have proven expertise in a given field and It's also a way that they can share their cool technology with the rest of the world in Iran. You bring up a really good point. You know the the Nice feature about tech port is there's close out reports and what that means is just like the Wright brothers and other. There're lots of successes but they're also lots of failures and being able to capitalize is on those failures. That's in those detail reports so folks out there that are the technologists in an inventor's developers. They're not gonNA make the same mistakes that they're going to build upon the shoulders of the innovators that have already tried some wild idea. Exactly how does the tool help. Researchers what I think really makes us unique is kind of peeling that extra layer back being able to find the real technical details about these development projects On Tech You you can find peer reviewed publications that discussed the work being done on some of the benefits that it's going to provide. Researchers can use this information to develop their own studies and thesis concepts and build upon technology that Nasr's already developed proven also mentioned that outside of this we've actually seen some researchers glean some really interesting things Related to technology trending analysis and the differences between how the commercial space industry world develop develops technology versus how NASA works on these technologies for aeronautics and space exploration applications. Let's talk about the Tech Port indexing system when NASA technical workers are looking for innovative our new technologies perhaps at a specific technology readiness level. How does the Tech Port indexing system help them find what they need? So I'll touch on a little bit on Ryan. I'll let you dive into the details. But so when you think of technology analogy readiness level the Kiara level we have everything from the very low. TRL level so this is more of the the basic engineering That's out there so this would be technology that we're investing in. That is very long term. That's way out there Ideas like interstellar travel you know things like fat versus things that are also maybe more higher tier al.. And that's maybe in the area of nuclear Thermal propulsion somewhere in that area area. So Ryan joined talk about this new capability. That's also going to be featured in tech board as far as the technology readiness levels in the indexing. Yeah so we actually offer an advanced search feature that allows users to specify exactly what level of technology mature. They're looking for You know this is beneficial because flight projects are going to be looking for things that are high. TRL mature technologies that could be using their mission. Researchers and technologists may be more interested in low T. R. L. Technology College that they can further enhance NASA has also just released a brand new version of what we call the technology taxonomy and it's actually going to be available on. The taxonomy is basically a way to sort and been technologies to categorize them. If you will The taxonomy offers a great way to take a gradual approach. To finding the types of technology might be interested in and if I can give you an example at first you may be broadly interested in propulsion technology for example. But if you dive deeper into that category you'll see options for breaking that down by chemical propulsion an electric propulsion. If you were to click on electric propulsion then you can see options for electrostatic static electromagnetic and electro thermal systems. And if you were to look at this you might find Technologies such as Solar Electric Propulsion Project which is geared towards designing writing in developing a high power twelve point five kilowatt hall effect thruster. Pretty cool stuff. Yes could you give us a couple of examples of how the tool has been used effectively within in the agency as I touched on earlier when we brief the administrator back in the January timeframe our administrators originally from the Oklahoma Glaucoma part of the country and he was very interested in the capabilities Pay If I was travelling to particular state Could I easily go on a tech for and run a report on the on the technology at a particular university or a particular location in the country and so we were able to do a live demonstration with the administrator and had results for I think Ryan it was bad everything we ask for. Wasn't it Yep. So it really demonstrated its strength in power for anybody within the agency from all the way up to the most senior level at NASA to the innovator across our agency that they can run reports find the information fine worthy engineering's being done find that the technology maturity level and the technology level of a specific perfect area that they're interested in developing researching or just quite frankly curious about one thing we see a lot are various NASA centers looking in two types of technologies that they're center focused on for example Ames research center. They pull all of our data on a daily basis because they're looking looking for technologies related to small satellite development also wanted to mention that the NASA office of the chief technologist uses tech port to facilitate things like capabilities planning in gap analysis basically identifying the types of technology that the agencies GonNa need to accomplish a short and long-term goals one of the great benefits of tech is that significantly reduces the overhead required through constant data calls because it's a dynamic system this means that NASA technology developers can update information formation about their projects in real time having this information in a centralized repository has been an excellent cost saving mechanism for the agency that does sound like a really great great benefit for the agency. How does tech port benefit people outside of NASA? I'll give you this example so every year. We get invited up on the hill to talk to staffers about all the really cool technology that Nasr's doing but that's often limited by the number of technology items. Were able to ship to get up on the hill to have our day on the hill with our staffers. The really unique capability is is. We went and ask start our team if we could go ahead and offer tech word in and do a demonstration live for the staffers when they came up to our tech down the hill will the enthusiasm was incredible. for them to be have that power now to go out and take a look at Nasr's investments so in their congressman or senator has a question specifically about where the investments are in their the district or if they had a general question about nuclear. Or what are we doing. In lunar the power and capability at Tech Board was refreshing and the excitement and was really witnessed across at the tech down the hill. So that that's a great example of how Externally folks really seeing the value of it is tech report connected with NASA technology transfer. Yes it is We do is we offer a handshaking. With a number of initiatives across NASA said Said Tech Transfer is definitely a partner that we WANNA have closely. So I'm Ryan. You WanNa offer some examples of how we've helped tech transfer in. We've offered a connectability collectability between other capabilities. NASA this is a question we get frequently and I think the relationship between poured into the tech transfer program is is very synergistic tech Boorda's showcasing the technology developments. That are happening right now. Once those technologies are completed the NASA tech transfer program creates an avenue for interested parties ladies to potentially reuse our license that technology to build their own business or enhance their technology offerings. For anyone who hasn't used tech pork work and wants to give it a try. What are your recommendations for getting started when you first Cook on Tech Port? You're gonNA see home page. That's going to showcase some of the the new technologies the some of the things that have just been completed and some of our most popular technology development projects at once. You digest some of that. My recommendation would be just run. A few searches searches based on the types of technology. You might be working with or interested in learning more about I mean this. This can include anything like energy storage batteries robotics sensors Thurs nanotech and so on Check out a few of those projects the type of information available. You could also consult our our help. Articles These provide ride some basic use cases and getting started tips. We currently feature articles on Tech Port Report Search and our API and you can also contact us anytime via the contact a feature within the tech four helpage another feature that I also find extremely valuable is we provide links for solicitations so with the NASA solicitations. That are out there like recently. We had our our technology graduate research opportunities. So that's a solicitation that's out there now the folks can and have an easily linked to get to to see what solicitations we have out there. There's also another feature out there for announcements so these are announcements of the month and these earning everything everything that is going on within the agency around technology that folks can link to. That's really helpful now. If a NASA employee wants a hands on demonstration ration- what would you suggest so. Just reach out to us and we'd be happy to oblige if you just send us a note with what you're specifically interested in beforehand. We can tailor our feature demonstration to your needs. You can always get tech for just go. Tech DOT NASA dot Gov and our email address is right at the bottom of the page link called contact checkpoint and were GonNa be doing a roadshow at all of our ten centers so we plan to becoming added each of the senators and give folks in opportunity hands on in A. You're asking about hands. John Experience hands on experience at the centers Were well actually come to may be with a community center or the cafeteria and we'll have a table set up folks get out there and try it and get the feature. We'll have some of our cool little stickers that say tech board and you can pop that on the back of your laptop like most people like to do you. I'm very tactile person so I like to be able to touch things and try it out. So if it's not me it'll be Ryan or one of our other technologists out there chief technologists that will billion to help offer these demos but it's an exciting year last year. We had over a billion dollars worth of technology that was intact word. Were released seeing the excitement across the agency and the use of Tech Board most recently with the Human System Lander proposal that was just put out a tech port was mentioned as an area for the proposers to go out and take a look at NASA technology. So we know we got senior leadership backing all the way up to the administrator or seeing it in our proposals. We're getting excitement both with our innovators technologists in. So we'd like you all out there to give Tech Puerta try. It's really exciting to have this deny appreciate. Are You giving Ryan myself an opportunity to speak with you today. Absolutely it has been a pleasure talking with both of you and really appreciate you taking the time to join us today in bringing us up to speed on tech port. Do you have any closing thoughts. Well in like I said at the beginning of of the podcast tech report is the place where you can find the technology that is developed from thousands and thousands of NASA folks across the agency. So if you have curiosity reality about the different types of technology if your garage innovator or inventor or if you're in commercial or university take a look tech port if you're at a NASA innovator hearing you're working on developing a new initiative a project and you're looking to capitalize on already developed technology come detect work art. This should be your first place. She go to when you're doing anything that's a wonderful asset tech is a wonderful place to do collaboration with technologists. And it's a great initiative. Here Nasdaq. There's links to topics mentioned on the show are available at Apple Dot Nasa Dot Gov Slash podcast. Along with Patrick and and Ryan's BIOS and a full transcript. Today's episode we invite you to take a moment and subscribe to the podcast and tell your friends and colleagues about it as always. Thanks for listening.