Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

EL Highlights November 2012

Return to Highlight page

Technical Accomplishments

EL-Led Industrial Consortium on Polymers in Photovoltaic Applications hosted inaugural meeting
Members of the newly-formed NIST/Industry Consortium on Polymers in Photovoltaic (PV) Applications met for the first time on Oct. 19, 2012 on the NIST Gaithersburg campus. The Polymeric Materials Group of EL's Materials and Structural Systems Division organized the consortium with representation from SDOs, manufacturers of polymeric components for PV modules, and manufacturers of PV modules. In both conventional silicon and emerging PV technologies (thin film and organic), the polymer packaging plays an important role in both module function and protection from weathering elements. Understanding degradation mechanisms and developing predictive models for long-term performance of these components is critical to increased implementation of PV systems.

The primary objectives of the three-year consortium are to develop:

  • Accelerated laboratory tests for predicting the service life of photovoltaic (PV) polymeric materials, components, and mini-modules using the NIST SPHERE;
  • Measurement tools capable of discerning degradation mechanism(s) and failure mode(s) of PV polymeric materials, components, and mini-modules exposed to multiple simultaneous environmental stresses including UV radiation, temperature, and moisture, and
  • Mathematical models for linking field and laboratory exposure results for PV polymeric materials and components using a reliability-based methodology.

In accomplishing these objectives, the PV industry will receive impartial expertise and leadership in development of test methods, verified data, and test methods development to enable the more widespread use of PV systems. Through this process, NIST will receive continual feedback and guidance from the primary stakeholders in the PV industry in developing program and experimental plans in PV research.

Contact: joannie.chin [at] (Joannie Chin), (301) 975-6815

International Systems Engineering Data Exchange Standard Published
The Engineering Laboratory's System Integration Division was a major technical contributor to the recently published International Standards Organization standard for the exchange of systems engineering data, ISO 10303-233 (Industrial automation systems and integration - Product data representation and exchange - Part 233: Application protocol: Systems engineering). Informally known as AP 233, this standard defines the context, scope and information requirements for various development stages during the design of a system, such as aircraft, cars, ships, railways, and plants. The Model Driven System Design Working Group (MDSD WG) has championed the development and standardization of ISO 10303-233 since 1998. The International Council for Systems Engineering (INCOSE) recognized the MDSD WG at its February 2010 meeting, with a Working Group of the Year award for its "professional contributions, personal efforts, and over a decade of effort to bring ISO 10303-233 to fruition as the enabler for information exchange in an integrated Model Based Systems Engineering environment." NIST working group members receiving this award included Peter Denno and Allison Barnard Feeney. Barnard Feeney also served as Editor of the ISO standard through its development process more recently bringing ISO 10303-233 to its fruition as a published international standard.

Contact: allison.barnardfeeney [at] (Allison Barnard Feeney), (301) 975-3181


NIST Engineering Laboratory Contributes to National Robotics Initiative Meeting
On November 27, Al Wavering (Chief of the EL Intelligent Systems Division), Vijay Srinivasan (Chief of the EL Systems Integration Division), Elena Messina (Group Leader for Manipulation and Mobility Systems), and Fred Proctor (Group Leader for Networked Control Systems) participated in a government-only meeting at the National Science Foundation (NSF) to discuss the National Robotics Initiative (NRI). The goal of the NRI is to accelerate the development and use of robots in the United States that work beside, or cooperatively with, people. NSF, along with NASA, NIH, and USDA awarded $50 million to fund research related to this effort in 2012.

Over thirty invited representatives from more than a dozen agencies were given updates on the NRI, including the process for the joint solicitation and lessons learned from participating agencies during the first award competition. Over 700 organizations submitted proposals amounting to $1 billion of requests. In addition, agency representatives presented overviews of their corresponding robotics-related research and interests to the meeting attendees. Al Wavering presented a summary of NIST programs relevant to the EL Smart Manufacturing, Construction, and Cyber-Physical Systems Strategic Goal that address robotics measurement science. Follow-on meetings will be held on a regular basis to continue the information-sharing, coordination, and collaboration among the various federal agencies for programs in robotics and autonomous systems. NIST agreed to host the government group in March 2013.

Following the larger event, Al Wavering and Elena Messina met with Howard Wactlar (NSF Division Director, Information and Intelligent Systems), S.K. Gupta and Richard Voyles (NSF Program Managers), and Vijay Kumar (Office of Science and Technology Policy, Assistant Director, Robotics and Cyber-Physical Systems) to discuss potential ways that NIST could participate in future NRI solicitations. NIST and NSF will continue these discussions.
Contact: elena.messina [at] (Elena Messina), (301) 975-3510


EL's Frechette and Huang Awarded Prestigious Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award

Simon Frechette and Paul Huang were recipients of the Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award, presented at the annual Defense Manufacturing Conference held in Orlando, Florida, November 26-29. They were recognized for their team's achievement on the 3D Technical Data Package & Certification projects to develop the standards and validation technology enabling acquisition of digital 3D technical data, product manufacturing information, and other lifecycle data. As part of the team's efforts, subject matter experts from both government and industry updated the defense acquisition standards for technical data packages and developed new methods to validate 3D technical data. The results of the project have been implemented by commercial software providers and successfully tested in Department of Defense pilot programs. Acquiring and using 3D model data has the potential to greatly reduce the time for mission support for a weapon system by enabling the seamless transfer of associated data throughout the system's lifecycle. EL is facilitating getting the right data to the right people in the right format at the right time.
The Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award recognizes and honors annually those individuals from government and the private sector most responsible for outstanding technical accomplishments that further the achievement of the vision of the Department of Defense (DoD) Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Program. That vision is to "realize a responsive world-class manufacturing capability to affordably meet the Warfighters' needs throughout the defense system life cycle." Sponsored by the Joint Defense Manufacturing Technology Panel (JDMTP), the award was established in 1999.

Contact: simon.frechette [at] (Simon Frechette), 301-975-3335

Created January 28, 2013, Updated August 25, 2016