Cold Fusion Update From LaRC (Update)

Keith's note: On 26 May 2012 I posted "NASA LaRC now has its official cold fusion video online titled "Abundant Clean/Green Energy" which refers to a new form of "nuclear energy". How do NASA's Chief Technologist and Chief Scientist allow this stuff to be funded with taxpayer dollars without going through any of the agency's standard peer review processes? Or do Rich Antcliff and Lesa Roe just fund this stuff with local center director's discretionary slush funds and not tell HQ what they are doing?" I submitted a number of questions to LaRC regarding this research. I received a reply from LaRC yesterday and it is posted below.

Keith's update: These are the most troubling parts of the LaRC response - apparently there are no publications related to this taxpayer-funded research. I asked. This is all they would tell me about: only a patent application is listed. FYI, anyone can file a patent application - about anything. People do it all the time. That said, after 3.5 years no one from NASA LaRC has published anything about this research - anywhere?

"2. How much has been spent to date on this LENR research and how much will be spent?: The average yearly cost for the approximately 3.5 years of the research thus far is about $222,000 for a total of about $778,000. The research is ongoing, and another $212,000 is budgeted for the remainder of FY 2012.

9. What publications have resulted from this NASA-funded research? (references/links
requested): A patent application has been published. Reference U.S. Patent Publication Number 2011/0255645."

Full (official) LaRC response below

Earlier posts

- Official NASA Langley Cold Fusion Video Now Online
- Quack Science: Why Are NASA Glenn and Langley Funding Cold Fusion Research?
- Why is NASA Langley Wasting Time on Cold Fusion Research?

LENR RESPONSES TO NASA WATCH -provided by Dennis Bushnell, Langley senior scientist and Joseph Zawodny, LENR principal investigator

1. Who is funding this Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) research at LaRC?

Langley is funding LENR research as an initial, exploratory study of a low technology readiness level, high-risk, high-payoff technology through its Creativity & Innovation (C&I) fund and the Center Innovation Fund (CIF).

2. How much has been spent to date on this LENR research and how much will be spent?

The average yearly cost for the approximately 3.5 years of the research thus far is about $222,000 for a total of about $778,000. The research is ongoing, and another $212,000 is budgeted for the remainder of FY 2012.

3. Who is the PI listed on this research?

Dr. Joseph Zawodny

4. What individual(s) made the decision to fund this research?

Langley's Center Leadership Council (CLC) made the original decision to support the LENR research. The annual C&I continuations of this funding were approved by the Langley Science Council, which is comprised of Langley senior scientists. With regard to CIF, the LaRC Chief Technologist approved funding of LENR research using the CIF peer review process.

5. Was a formal proposal submitted?

A proposal was presented by the PI for consideration to the Center Leadership Council and another proposal was submitted to the Center Innovation Fund.

If so can you provide that proposal?

This documentation reflects the internal deliberative process for Agency decisions. In order to protect the Agency's decision-making process by ensuring open and frank advice and recommendations are provided to Center leadership, this documentation is not being provided. This documentation may also contain information that would not be released on the basis of other considerations (e.g. intellectual property).

Was this an unsolicited proposal or did LaRC ask the submitter to provide a proposal?

The proposal to the CLC was made as part of an ongoing process of presenting technologies of potential interest to the CLC for decisions on funding and resource allocation. The proposal to the Center Innovation Fund was in response to a broad call for technologies relevant to NASA's priorities.

http://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/strategic_integration/grand_challenges_detail.html

6. Was this LENR research peer reviewed prior to being given funding?

It was reviewed initially by the CLC. C&I funding continuations are contingent on an annual peer review by the Langley Science Council. Both the CIF proposal and the C&I continuation proposals were peer reviewed.

If so, please provide a copy of internal reviews and a link to the LaRC process whereby this review was conducted. If no peer review was provided, can you explain what process LaRC used to determine that this research was worth funding?

The CIF and C&I review processes are attached (Note: we are currently updating the C&I process to reflect that HQ no longer requires reports and the Innovation Panel is being replaced by the Science Council). Additional information pertaining to the CIF is available at http://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/early_stage_innovation/innovation_fund/index.html.

Internal reviews are not being provided because they reflect the internal deliberative process for Agency decisions. This documentation may also contain information that would not be released on the basis of other considerations (e.g. intellectual property).

7. Did anyone at NASA headquarters had a role in deciding whether this research was to be funded?

No.

If so, who was involved?

N/A

8. Does LaRC provide NASA HQ with status reports on this research?

Yes, updates and information in general about CIF projects are provided to NASA HQ. Last fall, Langley briefed the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT), with representatives from the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate and the NASA Office of the Chief Engineer present. As part of the general CIF review process, there was also a briefing at Langley, with copies provided to OCT, in June 2011.

9. What publications have resulted from this NASA-funded research? (references/links
requested)

A patent application has been published. Reference U.S. Patent Publication Number 2011/0255645.

10. Are contractors, subcontractors, consultants, or advisors employed to conduct this research? If so, please identify these individuals/companies/institutions

An activity was issued under NASA Langley's cooperative agreement with the NationalInstitute of Aerospace in Hampton, VA, to scope an LENR access-to-space rocket. To date, this is the only contract action taken by NASA Langley in support of LENR research.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on June 4, 2012 1:10 PM.

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