| 22 March 2001|
For Immediate Release
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Announces Licensing Agreement with Goodrich
The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), in Laurel, Md., has entered into an agreement with The BFGoodrich Company to license space technology originally developed for government sponsors. This agreement will enable Goodrich to take steps toward commercializing the APL-developed technology, making it available - for the first time - to the commercial marketplace.
As a first project, APL will license its Micro Digital Solar Attitude Detector Chip technology to Goodrich's Space and Electro Optics Systems (SEOS) division, located in Danbury, Conn. The technology is a miniaturized version of a solar attitude detector used by many navigation and control subsystems to determine a satellite's location relative to the sun. APL inventors Kim Strohbehn and Mark Martin have miniaturized the entire detector system to fit onto a microchip, a significant achievement according to APL Space Department Head Dr. Stamatios (Tom) Krimigis.
"The size makes the difference," says Krimigis. "The ability to put this ‘instrument' onto a chip makes it possible to use this orbital position locator in micro-satellites. And, given the chip's optical characteristics, this tiny instrument can monitor solar panel, boom, antenna and optical device deployment, thus significantly broadening its range of commercial space applications."
Ron Hodges, president of the Goodrich SEOS division, says, "We believe our efforts with APL will advance technology to the benefit of both commercial industry and the federal government." Hodges indicated the technology would be assessed to determine its usefulness in the company's efforts to develop products such as a high-performance sun sensor, laser optic warning device, or a mini-navigator.
"This is another example of making wise use of government-sponsored technology," says Joseph J. Suter, Technology Programs Director in APL's Office of Technology Transfer, referring to recent Laboratory initiatives to share its wide range of technology developments and expertise - from software to ultrastable oscillators - with private enterprise through licensing agreements and the formation of spin-off companies.
Both organizations anticipate that success on this first project will lead to additional collaboration in support of commercial and government markets. According to Krimigis, the Goodrich agreement furthers the Space Department's public service mission by seeding Lab-developed technologies into the commercial market, providing benefits to industry and, in many cases, the government. In addition, he says, APL can leverage resulting state-of-the-art commercial applications to help government sponsors solve their problems.
The Applied Physics Laboratory is a not-for-profit laboratory and division of The Johns Hopkins University. APL conducts research and development primarily for national security and for nondefense projects of national and global significance.
With sales of $4.4 billion in 2000, the BFGoodrich Company (NYSE: GR) is a leading, worldwide supplier of aerospace components, systems and services, as well as sealing and compressor systems and other engineered industrial products. The company is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., and employs 23,000 people worldwide. On March 5, 2001, the company announced plans to change its name to Goodrich Corporation pending a shareholder vote on April 17, 2001. For information, visit www.bfgoodrich.com.