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NASA Taps INPROX to Develop Advanced Sensor

February 21, 2008

INPROX Technology signs Space Act Agreement with NASA to develop silicon-carbide-based position sensors.


BOSTON, MA -- INPROX Technology Corp. (ITC), a leading sensor technology company announced that it has entered into a Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA Glenn Research Center to develop advanced silicon carbide (SiC) based position sensors aimed at potential uses in future space flight, turbine engine controls and automotive engine applications.

Silicon carbide electronics are capable of operating in the extreme 600°C (1112°F) range and are poised to aid challenging on-engine, aerospace surface, automotive and energy applications and are recognized as a significant advancement over conventional silicon-based electronics rated to a maximum of 350°C (662°F). All of today's conventional electronics must be carefully housed in controlled environments shielded from higher temperatures by cooling, necessitating complicated and often costly thermal management systems and long cable runs between critical sensor systems and the electronics that control them.

"The capability to embed electronics in a device without the need to provide cooling provides a substantial technological advantage for many applications in sensing and control," adds Phil Neudeck, Electronics Engineer and Team Lead for this silicon carbide work sponsored by the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at NASA Glenn Research Center.

The rising costs of fuel, both in automotive and aerospace markets and the drive for greater reliability at lower costs has the sensors and electronics market anticipating the capabilities of these next generation SiC electronics and sensors. Future space missions and satellites will certainly have high temperature and radiation hardened requirements and will rely heavily on the breakthroughs of today. The reduction or elimination of these thermal management systems and extended cable runs will aid greatly in lowering weight and costs even in the more traditional commercial aviation markets.

In automotive applications, SiC integrated sensors and electronics are currently being studied for cutting edge engine controls that display improved combustion measurement and control; capabilities directly leading to lower emissions and more fuel efficient vehicles.

"Silicon carbide is one of the most exciting advances in electronics being developed today. The marriage of SiC electronics, which can remain operational in high temperature, high power, and high radiation environments, enabled with our proprietary digital sensor technology is of great significance to us, our customers and the aerospace and automotive communities at large", said Derek Weber, INPROX Technology President, "Playing this vital role in the development of (SiC) sensors with NASA is a great opportunity and one that we are very proud of".

INPROX Technology looks to be a key supplier of advanced SiC based sensor technology; position, speed and vibration sensors to the aerospace and automotive communities among others. Under this (SAA), high temperature silicon carbide (SiC) electronics from NASA will be prototyped into ITC's proprietary linear position sensor technology platform. If proven successful, INPROX Technology intends to continue development for uses in the aerospace, automotive, energy and industrial markets.

About INPROX Technology
INPROX Technology is a Boston, MA based sensor technology development company providing a platform level and proprietary time-based digital sensor technology. ITC's focus is on improving sensor and system performance while reducing component and system level costs associated with previous generations of sensors and controls.

In the area of advanced position sensors, ITC currently offers high temperature (650°C) digital position technology, with remote electronics, to aerospace and automotive customers. These designs have the ability to reduce unit mass by upwards of 80%, wire count by 60% and electronics board space by 50% on average over conventional linear position devices.

ITC's sensor technology offers the ability to measure accurately and under severe conditions physical changes vital to the operation of automobiles, spacecraft and aircraft. ITC provides a read-only digital signal using a real time, continuous variable frequency output without the need for signal conditioning electronics; bridging the divide between analog devices and digital networks.


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