San Antonio, TX, United States
San Antonio, TX, United States

Southwest Research Institute , headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is one of the oldest and largest independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organizations in the United States. Founded in 1947 by oil businessman Thomas Slick, Jr., SwRI provides contract research and development services to government and industrial clients.The institute consists of 11 technical divisions that offer multidisciplinary, problem-solving services in a variety of areas in engineering and the physical science. More than 2,000 projects are active at the institute at any given time. These projects are funded almost equally between the government and commercial sectors. At the close of fiscal year 2013, the SwRI staff numbered 2,845 employees and total revenue was $592 million. The institute provided $6.7 million to fund innovative research through its internally sponsored R&D program.Partial listing of research areas includes space science and engineering; automation, robotics, and intelligent systems; avionics and support systems; bioengineering; chemistry and chemical engineering; corrosion and electrochemistry; earth and planetary science; emissions research; engineering mechanics; fire technology; fluid systems and machinery dynamics; and fuels and lubricants. Additional areas include geochemistry and mining engineering; hydrology and geohydrology; materials science and fracture mechanics; modeling and simulation; nondestructive evaluation; oil and gas exploration; pipeline technology; surface modification and coatings; and vehicle, engine, and powertrain design, research, and development.SwRI initiates contracts with clients based on consultations and prepares a formal proposal outlining the scope of work. Subject to client wishes, programs are kept confidential. As part of a long-held tradition, patent rights arising from sponsored research are often assigned to the client. SwRI generally retains the rights to institute-funded advancements. The institute’s headquarters occupy more than two million square feet of office and laboratory space on more than 1,200 acres in San Antonio. SwRI has technical offices and laboratories in Boulder, Colorado; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Warner-Robins, Georgia; Ogden, Utah; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Rockville, Maryland; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Beijing, China; and other locations. The institute also provides environmental monitoring expertise at a munitions disposal site at the Umatilla Army Depot in Hermiston, Oregon.SwRI’s mission statement is, "Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology." Two of its core values are independence and impartiality. Wikipedia.


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An exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system and corresponding method for improved combustion efficiency of an internal combustion engine having a number of cylinders, comprising one or more main cylinders connected to an intake manifold and one or more cylinders operable as a dedicated EGR cylinder(s). The dedicated EGR cylinder(s) have two independent intake flow paths for where one flow path provides only intake air and one flow path provides air and recirculated exhaust gas. The exhaust gas output of the one or more dedicated EGR cylinders are connected to an exhaust gas recirculation loop which delivers the exhaust gas output to the main cylinder intake manifold.


Patent
Southwest Research Institute | Date: 2016-11-22

A TiSiCN coating for a piston ring and a method forming such coating, wherein the deposited coating exhibits a thickness in the range of 10.0 micrometers to 20.0 micrometers and exhibits a coefficient of friction of less than 0.15 and a wear rate of less than 1010^(6 )mm^(3)/N/m. The coefficient of friction being measured on a Plint TE77 and the wear rate being measured against an alumina ball of 0.25 inches in diameter at a load of 1 N at 100 rpm in a dry environment. The deposited TiSiCN coating includes nanocrystalline phases in an amorphous matrix.


Patent
Southwest Research Institute | Date: 2016-07-28

A gear train including a rotatable drive shaft and a clutch roller in rotatable contact with the drive shaft or mounted on the drive shaft. A first wobble gear and a second wobble gear are suspended around the drive shaft, wherein the first wobble gear is affixed to and concentric with the second wobble gear and the clutch roller is preloaded against the first and second wobble gears. A first ring gear surrounding and engaged by the first wobble gear; and a second ring gear surrounding and engaged by the second wobble gear. The ring gears being coaxial and rotatable relative to one another. The drive shaft rotates the clutch roller, which drives the first and second wobble gears, such that the wobble gears rotate around the drive shaft and at least one of the first and second ring gears rotate around the common axis.


Patent
Southwest Research Institute | Date: 2015-08-27

The present disclosure relates to a balloon system that includes a flexible volume balloon hull configured to contain a lifting gas, a flexible volume ballonet contained within said balloon hull configured to contain a refrigerant gas and a refrigerant gas transfer device in fluid communication with the ballonet to control the balloons vertical ascent and descent.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 749.97K | Year: 2015

The technical objectives of this program are: (1) to develop a set of physics-based modeling tools to predict the initiation of hot corrosion and to address pit and fatigue crack formation in Ni-based alloys subjected to corrosive environments, (2) to implement this set of physics-based modeling tools into the DARWIN probabilistic life-prediction code, and (3) to demonstrate corrosion fatigue crack initiation and growth life prediction for turbine disks subjected to low-cycle and high-cycle fatigue loading in extreme environments. This technology will significantly improve the current ability to simulate and avoid corrosion fatigue failure of engine disks or metallic structural components due to prolonged exposure to extreme environments at elevated temperatures. Completion of the proposed program will provide probabilistic corrosion fatigue crack growth life assessment software tools for structural components subjected to aggressive hot corrosion environments. Such a suite of software tools is unique and is urgently needed for designing and improving the performance of critical structures used in the space structure and propulsion systems in commercial and military gas turbine engines, and oil and gas industries. This generic technology can also be used to provide guidance for developing new alloys or improving current Ni-based alloy designs for hot-section applications.


Patent
Terrafore Technologies LLC and Southwest Research Institute | Date: 2016-08-22

Systems for storing and retrieving thermal energy in encapsulated phase change material are disclosed. Thermal energy is substantially stored and/or retrieved in the form of latent heat. The capsules comprise an outer shell which is impervious to both the heat transfer fluid within which they are submerged and the phase change material encapsulated therewithin. Methods for encapsulating the phase change material are also disclosed.


Young L.A.,Southwest Research Institute
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2013

Since the last Pluto volatile transport models were published in 1996, we have (1) new stellar occultation data from 2002 and 2006-2012 that show roughly twice the pressure as the first definitive occultation from 1988, (2) new information about the surface properties of Pluto, (3) a spacecraft due to arrive at Pluto in 2015, and (4) a new volatile transport model that is rapid enough to allow a large parameter-space search. Such a parameter-space search coarsely constrained by occultation results reveals three broad solutions: a high-thermal inertia, large volatile inventory solution with permanent northern volatiles (PNVs; using the rotational north pole convention); a lower thermal-inertia, smaller volatile inventory solution with exchanges of volatiles between hemispheres and a pressure plateau beyond 2015 (exchange with pressure plateau, EPP); and solutions with still smaller volatile inventories, with exchanges of volatiles between hemispheres and an early collapse of the atmosphere prior to 2015 (exchange with early collapse, EEC). PNV and EPP are favored by stellar occultation data, but EEC cannot yet be definitively ruled out without more atmospheric modeling or additional occultation observations and analysis. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


Patent
Southwest Research Institute | Date: 2016-05-05

Compositions comprising Type I clathrates of silicon (Si_(46)) or carbon (C_(46)) wherein the framework of the cage structure includes nitrogen and carbon or nitrogen and silicon or nitrogen-silicon-carbon atom type composition, with or without guest atoms in their respective cage structures. The clathrate structures are particularly useful for energy storage applications such as battery electrodes.


Patent
Southwest Research Institute | Date: 2016-03-23

The present disclosure relates to the preparation of pharmaceutically acceptable salt forms of the medicinal alkaloids Cepharanthine and Tetrandrine with improved solubility and physicochemical properties compared with the free base form of these alkaloids.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: PLANETARY ASTRONOMY | Award Amount: 159.32K | Year: 2016

Solar System objects pass in front of bright stars from time to time, cutting out the starlight. The amount of light that is cut coupled with the amount of time during these passages tells us about the size, shape, whether the object has an atmosphere, and how thick the atmosphere might be. These events are called occultations. This project will observe occultations of stars by the Trans-Neptunian Objects Pluto, Triton, Makemake, Quaoar, and Salacia. Since 1988, Plutos atmosphere has been tracked by occultations. Its atmosphere has gotten thicker during this time. It is now expected to get thinner as Pluto moves farther away from the Sun in its orbit, and its temperature gets cooler. Two occultations by Pluto will be observed over the next three years to record changes in the thickness of Plutos atmosphere. These changes will be modeled with data that we already have to describe how Plutos atmosphere changes. The other large TNOs, covered with bright ice, could also have changing atmospheres like Pluto. Observations of one occultation are planned for each of the other objects listed above. Many amateur astronomers and students will be trained to be part of the occultation observations.


Occultations of reasonably bright stars by Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs) provide an opportunity to learn their sizes, shapes and densities, and presence and details of any thin atmospheres. This project will observe occultations of stars by the TNOs Pluto, Triton, Makemake, Quaoar, and Salacia, resulting in data that are crucial to building accurate atmospheric models for these objects. Plutos atmosphere has been monitored by occultations since its discovery in 1988. It has been doubling in size roughly every ten years, despite the fact that Pluto itself has move farther from the Sun in its orbit. Images of Plutos surface from the New Horizons spacecraft show large ice reservoirs that are the source of Plutos atmosphere. These reservoirs have been getting slightly warmer as Pluto has moved away from the Sun, suggesting that Plutos subsurface stores heat. Models predict, however, that Plutos frost temperatures will soon start to fall. Two occultations by Pluto will be observed over the next three years to monitor changes in the amount of Plutos atmosphere. Other large TNOs, covered with bright ice, potentially have changing atmospheres like Pluto. Observations of one occultation are planned for each of the other objects listed above. The planned observations will be sensitive to very thin atmospheres and will refine the size and shape estimates for all objects. Many amateur astronomers and student researchers will be trained and added to support the occultation observations.

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