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2007.12.10 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - e-mail: wtownley@mail.unomaha.edu

NASA Awards Grant for Satellite Contaminant Research

Omaha - NASA has awarded a three-year, $750,000 research grant to the NASA Nebraska EPSCoR Program (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research), which is housed at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

The Satellite Contaminant Materials Research Program will be conducted under the guidance of Principle Investigator Dr. Daniel Thompson along with Dr. Ned Ianno, both from the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UN-L). The grant also involves Dr. Scott Darveau and Dr. Christopher Exstrom from the Chemistry Department at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK). 

The research will provide NASA with important quantitative information on the physical, chemical and optical properties of photofixed volatile contaminant materials. NASA has a vested interest in reducing the effects of these contaminants, which disrupt spacecraft temperature control, leading directly to premature overall systems failure of satellites in space.

The research will take place mainly in Nebraska at facilities at UN-L and UNK and will involve collaboration with two NASA centers: Glenn and Goddard. The main instrument, an in-situ ellipsometer, is produced by the J.A. Woollam Company, Inc, a Lincoln-based business which has its roots in the Electrical Engineering Department at UN-L. 

The NASA EPSCoR Program provides states of modest research infrastructure with funding to develop a more competitive research base within their state and member academic institutions.  The goal of the program is to develop academic research activities that are long-term, self-sustaining, and nationally competitive for non-EPSCoR dollars. 

Twenty-five states, including Nebraska, are eligible to participate in the NASA EPSCoR program.

For additional information, contact the NASA Nebraska Space Grant and EPSCoR Program at (402) 554-3772 or Nasa.Nebraska@unomaha.edu

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