NASA Releases 56 Patents into the Public Domain

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NASA has released 56 formerly patented agency technologies into the public domain, making them technologies freely available for unrestricted commercial use.

In addition to the release of these technologies, a searchable database is now available that catalogs thousands of expired NASA patents already in the public domain.

The technologies were developed to advance NASA missions, but may have nonaerospace applications and be used by commercial space ventures and other companies.

"By making these technologies available in the public domain, we are helping foster a new era of entrepreneurship that will again place America at the forefront of high-tech manufacturing and economic competitiveness," said Daniel Lockney, NASA's Technology Transfer program executive.

To search the database of NASA-developed technologies now in the public domain, including myriad optical and photonics technologies, visit

Published: May 2016
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
BusinessAmericasNASAaerospaceaeronauticsspace travelspacecraftOpticsphotonicspatentscommercializationtechnology transferDaniel Lockneylight speed

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