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NOAA Patented Technologies Available for Licensing

NOAA patented technologies that are available for non-exclusive or exclusive licensing only.

Layout of the NO Detection System

Induced Fluorescence NO Detector and Method

US Patent 11,415,859 – Exclusive and Non-Exclusive Patent Licenses Available Background Nitric oxide (NO) is important to radical chemistry in Earth’s atmosphere. In the troposphere the catalytic reaction of NO with the hydroperoxy and organic peroxy radicals NO+RO2/HO2 →NO2 +RO/HO is frequently the rate-limiting step for the production of tropospheric ozone (O3), and causes the buildup of O3 from anthropogenic emissions of NO. Oxidation of NO also results in the formation of nitric acid, and consequently nitrate aerosols and nitrogen deposition. Current research in atmospheric science seek to  understand radical chemistry cycling in low NO regimes. The ability to measure atmospheric NO at very low mixing ratios and with low uncertainty will be crucial to address questions in atmospheric chemistry research and in other fields of research for the foreseeable future. For example, measurement of NO in exhaled human breath is also an important diagnostic of various medical conditions including asthma. Summary of the Invention NOAA has developed a device and method to measure nitric oxide (NO) in the atmosphere with laser induced fluorescence using a fiber laser source to excite NO near 215 nm (A(v’=1) <- X(v’’=0) electronic transition). The technique can distinguish NO isotopologues (14N16O, 15N16O, 14N18O) and can be used to measure the isotope ratios. Nitrogen dioxide can be measured by photolyzing it and measuring the nitric oxide product. The technique uses a light source of sufficient power in the wavelength range of 300-410 nm, and illuminates the sampled gas either in the sampling inlet or in the fluorescence detection cell. The invention can be used to measure NO with very high precision (low part per trillion mixing ratios). Licensing Information NOAA is seeking qualified licensees to manufacture and sell this technology, which has been Patented in the United States.  Interested parties should contact the NOAA TPO at for more information. 

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Turtle Excluder Device shown shipboard.

Clean Harvest Cable Grid

The NOAA patented Clean Harvest Cable Grid (US Patent 10,966,415 B2) allows marine mammals, including sea turtles and other large marine animals, to escape from large fish trawls with minimal impact to normal fishing operations or target catch retention. The Type I (TI) shown above was designed to work in high profile fish trawls. NOAA has patented this technology and is making it available under an Open Source license to ensure designs are compliant and do not harm sea turtles or other marine mammals. For more information, please contact Nick Hopkins at NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center.

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S Curved Time of Flight Chamber

S-Curve Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer

US Patents 9,761,431 and 10,438,788 – Exclusive and Non-Exclusive Patent Licenses Available Time-of‐flight mass spectrometers are commonly used in analytical chemistry and many other applications. They contain a region where ions travel toward a detector. NOAA scientists have developed a new geometry that has improved performance over existing designs. The new innovation is to use two successive sectors, with the second one reversed, in a geometry resembling an “s”. The result is that the output ion beam is parallel to the input ion beam and that the entire geometry folds into a very compact volume. A second benefit to the design is that certain higher-order aberrations cancel when the ion beam makes two identical but opposed turns (e.g. a right-hand turn followed by a left-hand turn). NOAA is seeking qualified licensees to manufacture and sell this patented device.  Interested companies should contact the NOAA TPO at for more information.  Shaped Time of Flight Chamber. Machined prototype. Credit: NOAA

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Four Channel Cavity Ringdown NOy Detector

The instrument has lower power, size, weight, and vacuum requirements than a chemiluminescence-based instrument while approaching its sensitivity, precision and time response. In the NOy CRDS instrument of the present invention, NOy and its components are converted into NO2 by thermal decomposition (TD) in a fused silica inlet (henceforth referred to as quartz, following convention), followed by the addition of ozone to convert NO to NO2. NO2 is then measured using a cavity ring-down spectroscopy instrument, utilizing a 405 nm laser. The device may comprise four parallel channels, each driven by the same laser, to measure NO, NO2, NOy and O3, respectively, such that overall NOy may be measured, as well as its components NO, NO2, as well as ozone (O3).

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A UAV-based active AirCore system for measurements of greenhouse gases

A UAV-based active AirCore system for measurements of greenhouse gases We developed and field-tested an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-based active AirCore for atmospheric mole fraction measurements of CO2, CH4, and CO. The system applies an alternative way of using the AirCore technique invented by NOAA. As opposed to the conventional concept of passively sampling air using the atmospheric pressure gradient during descent, the active AirCore collects atmospheric air samples using a pump to pull the air through the tube during flight, which opens up the possibility to spatially sample atmospheric air. The active AirCore system used for this study weighs ∼ 1.1 kg. It consists of a ∼ 50 m long stainless-steel tube, a small stainless-steel tube filled with magnesium perchlorate, a KNF micropump, and a 45 µm orifice working together to form a critical flow of dried atmospheric air through the active AirCore. A cavity ring-down spectrometer (CRDS) was used to analyze the air samples on site not more than 7 min after landing for mole fraction measurements of CO2, CH4, and CO. We flew the active AirCore system on a UAV near the atmospheric measurement station at Lutjewad, located in the northwest of the city of Groningen in the Netherlands. Five consecutive flights took place over a 5 h period on the same morning, from sunrise until noon. We validated the measurements of CO2 and CH4 from the active AirCore against those from the Lutjewad station at 60 m. The results show a good agreement between the measurements from the active AirCore and the atmospheric station (N = 146; R2CO2: 0.97 and R2CH4: 0.94; and mean differences: ΔCO2: 0.18 ppm and ΔCH4: 5.13 ppb). The vertical and horizontal resolution (for CH4) at typical UAV speeds of 1.5 and 2.5 m s−1 were determined to be ±24.7 to 29.3 and ±41.2 to 48.9 m, respectively, depending on the storage time. The collapse of the nocturnal boundary layer and the buildup of the mixed layer were clearly observed with three consecutive vertical profile measurements in the early morning hours. Besides this, we furthermore detected a CH4 hotspot in the coastal wetlands from a horizontal flight north to the dike, which demonstrates the potential of this new active AirCore method to measure at locations where other techniques have no practical access. View/Download Article   Andersen, T., Scheeren, B., Peters, W., and Chen, H.: A UAV-based active AirCore system for measurements of greenhouse gases, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 2683–2699,, 2018.

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