UCLA's Institute for Cell Mimetic Space Exploration (CMISE) Partners with Raytheon to Boost Defense Applications Using Nanotechnology
In a move expected to revolutionize the world of defense technology, Raytheon has formed a partnership with UCLA's Institute for Cell Mimetic Space Exploration, known as CMISE, combining private industry with the academic research institution to dramatically enhance the capability of defense applications using nanotechnology. This collaboration is funded by Raytheon and the UC Discovery Fund, which is headed by Susanne Huttner, associate vice provost and executive director, University of California, and director of the Systemwide Biotechnology Research and Education Program.
In the first phase, the partnership will focus on two primary projects, which are expected to yield results within five to 10 years.
The first project involves electrochromic filters, developed by Bruce Dunn, CMISE Energetic Interdisciplinary Research Group leader and professor at UCLA's Department of Material Science and Engineering, which would provide enhanced infrared optical performance to sensors used on military systems. The combination of novel materials and nanotechnology would reduce the complexity, weight and size of the sensors, resulting in real-time control of system performance and reduced production costs.
The second project revolves around optical MEMS (Micro-Electromechanical Devices), developed by Ming Wu, CMISE Energetic Interdisciplinary Research Group faculty member and professor in the UCLA Department of Electrical Engineering. Optical MEMS technology utilizes a series of minuscule mechanized mirrors with a wide range of motion. The application would involve anything from enhancing the manageability of a laser beam to improving the performance of space, airborne and ground sensor systems.
"The relationship between universities and private industry needs to become more solidified," said Peter Pao, vice president of technology at Raytheon. "What impressed me about CMISE was the interdisciplinary aspect. I believe the partnership will help broaden CMISE's research, and Raytheon will benefit from getting an insider's look at what the university is doing and be able to apply the technology."
"Partnering with Raytheon is an ideal situation for CMISE," said Professor Chih-Ming Ho, associate vice chancellor for research at UCLA and director of CMISE. "By combining research with practical applications, CMISE scientists are able to benefit from resources outside their own laboratories, accelerating their progress and identifying new areas to explore."
Among the many applications that may result from the two focus areas, nano-scale biosensors are of particular interest because of their potential ability to detect and identify low-concentration chemical and biological agents in the environment. This would provide early warning to soldiers and their commanders to make time-critical decisions on the battlefield.
An educational component of the partnership allows Raytheon engineers to benefit directly from lectures by CMISE professors through a series of interactive technology seminars in which 500 plus engineers can obtain access to real-time broadcasts to about 44 Raytheon sites, during which the engineers listen to a lecture by a CMISE professor and can ask questions. To date, the Raytheon program has had more than 24,000 participants.
In addition, Raytheon's longtime commitment to the education of underserved children will continue, as it funds paid stipends for six high-school students and five undergraduate students to participate in CMISE's education outreach program. Next year, CMISE will send interns to work at Raytheon.
Funded in large part by a five-year $15 million grant from NASA with renewal for another five years, for a 10-year total of $30 million, UCLA's Institute for Cell Mimetic Space Exploration, known as CMISE, is dedicated to interdisciplinary research and education involving participants from engineering, physical and life sciences and medicine. The CMISE co-principal investigators are world-class researchers who have pioneered many of the fundamental technologies, which serve as the basic components for bio-nano-information fusion. CMISE's mission is to identify, develop, promote and commercialize nano-, bio- and information technologies for sensing, control and integration of complex multilevel natural and artificial systems. More information is available at http://www.cmise.org.
Raytheon is an industry leader in defense, government and commercial electronics, space, information technology, technical services and business aviation and special mission aircraft. Headquartered in Lexington, Mass., Raytheon employs more than 76,000 employees worldwide. The company Web site is http://www.raytheon.com.