The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is weighing whether to grant a partially exclusive license to a patented power cell suitable for powering everything from trucks and weaponry to drones, unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).
If approved the intellectual property for the Portable Miniaturized Thermionic Power Cell, plus related patents, would be granted to BlackRock Energy Corporation, having its principal place of business in Williamsburg, Virginia. The fields of use would be limited to mobile and/or transportable power/energy sources—as opposed to stationary power/energy sources—for the U.S. Department of Defense as well as any future created Space Corps applications.
The patents up for licensing to BlackRock Energy include:
Patent Application No. 15/014,608 entitled “Nuclear Thermionic Avalanche Cells with Thermoelectric (NTAC-TE) Generator in Tandem Mode,” NASA Case Number LAR-17981-1
U.S. Patent Application No. 15/995,467 entitled “Portable Compact Thermionic Power Cell,” NASA Case Number LAR-18860-1
U.S. Patent Application No. 15/479,679 entitled “Metallic Junction Thermoelectric Generator,” NASA Case Number LAR-18866-1
U.S. Patent Application No. 62/621,930 titled “Selective and Direct Deposition Technique for Streamlined CMOS Processing,” NASA Case Number LAR-18925-P2
U.S. Patent Application No. 62/643,292 entitled “Portable Miniaturized Thermionic Power Cell with Multiple Regenerative Layers,” NASA Case No. LAR-18926-P
U.S. Patent Application No. 62/643,303 entitled “High Performance Electric Generators Boosted by Nuclear Electron Avalanche (NEA),” NASA Case No. LAR-19112-P
U.S. Patent Application No. 62/642,198 entitled “Co-60 Breeding Reactor Tandem with Thermionic Avalanche Cell,” NASA Case No. LAR-18762-P
U.S. Patent Application No. 62/678,006 entitled “Multi-Layered Radio-Isotope for Enhanced Photoelectron Avalanche Process,” NASA Case No. LAR-19420-P
NASA has not yet made a determination to grant the license and may deny the requested license even if no objections are submitted within the comment period.
Objections to the prospective license, which will not be made pubic, are due no later than April 11. They may be submitted to Patent Counsel, Office of Chief Counsel, NASA Langley Research Center, MS 30, Hampton, Virginia 23681. Phone (757) 864-3221. Facsimile (757) 864-9190.
Competing applications completed and received by NASA no later than April 11, 2019 will also be treated as objections to the grant of the partially exclusive license. More information can be found at federalregister.gov. Search on document number 84 FR 11577.