A technology licensing industry briefing on a new NASA Kennedy Space
Center developed technology that could significantly contribute to public
aviation safety will be held at KSC on Thursday, Oct. 26.

Col. Jim Halsell, manager of Space Shuttle program launch
integration, will lead the event. Media who want to attend the briefing on
the Personal Cabin Pressure Altitude Monitor and Warning System should
report to the KSC Press Site at 9 a.m. for transport to the KSC Headquarters

The device, which is about the size of a pager, may be hand-held or
worn. It serves to warn the user of a potentially dangerous or deteriorating
cabin pressure altitude condition. The inventor of the device, Jan Zysko,
chief of the spaceport engineering and technology directorate’s data and
electronic systems branch, said the monitor operates independently of other
aircraft systems and monitors the pressure/time conditions when supplemental
oxygen is to be used per applicable federal aviation regulations.

The monitor warns the user of impending danger of hypoxia through
simultaneous audio, vibratory, and visual alarms. In addition, a lighted
digital screen displays a text message of the warning and the condition
causing the alarm.

The monitor’s concept was conceived to afford Space Shuttle and
Space Station crew members added independent notification about any
depressurization. Two major incidents spurred Zysko to create the monitor,
the Mir/Progress collision in June 1997 and the Payne Stewart aircraft
accident in October 1999.

At least 11 national and international aerospace companies
are planning to attend the briefing, which will include a description of the
technology and an explanation of the technology licensing process. Part of
the royalties from licenses of the technology generated will be used to help
fund other research and development projects at KSC. Although KSC’s patent
licensing program is only four years old, among NASA centers, KSC was NASA’s
No. one producer of licenses during fiscal year 2000.