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Video: Advanced Studies Lab facilitates joint research efforts

A unique collaboration between UC Santa Cruz and NASA Ames Research Center enables academia, industry, and startups to access laboratory resources.

9 June 2011, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201106.02

The Advanced Studies Laboratory (ASL) is a partnership between NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) and the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Supported by a Space Act Agreement between the partners and directed from UCSC's Silicon Valley Initiatives, ASL is making innovation practical by creating a shared research space at NASA ARC operated by UCSC.

Nobuhiku Kobayashi is co-director of ASL and associate professor of electrical engineering in the Jack Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. He also is a chair of the Nanoepitaxy: Materials and Devices conference, held each year at SPIE Optics and Photonics in San Diego. ASL is located on the campus of NASA Ames in Moffett Field, California.

ASL's strategy envisions leveraging the strengths of its composite of public-funded, privately sponsored, and academically focused science and engineering research in a 'value-added' approach. ASL's shared-use architecture allows affiliates to alter the parameters of traditional cost/risk/benefit management. By accessing expertise and specialized equipment contributed by other affiliates, participants may undertake work that would otherwise remain beyond their resources.

The current suite of ASL Affiliates creates a dynamic perspective linking advanced materials science and technology to planetary exploration and space research. The use of new materials -- conformable, self-cleaning and diagnosing, energy-converting -- in extraterrestrial environments will enable the next generation of planetary exploration; whether by autonomous probes, landed rovers, or human missions. Extreme environments, on Earth and on other planets, are the ultimate challenge for exploration applications. Of singular importance are applications that impact energy.

ASL Affiliates include investigators from NASA, the University of California (Santa Cruz, Berkeley, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles), Stanford University, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Santa Clara University, San Jose State University, Lockheed Martin Engineering and Space Science, Foothill and De Anza Community Colleges, and other institutions.