Fabrication facility signs agreement with NASA

The Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) has signed an agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to create new electronic technologies and applications for advanced materials.

The ANFF manages 500 micro/nanofabrication facilities in 21 locations in Australia, with facilities provided for researchers and industry. The ANFF was established in 2007 under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

NASA will use facilities at the nodes of the ANFF, which are spread across universities in Australia, for micro and nanofabrication projects.

“I am delighted to say that our organisations have reached this agreement,” said Ian Griffiths, ANFF CEO. “I believe that this will allow us a framework to collaborate on a range of projects that will produce tangible, real world impacts that are felt for years to come. These projects will demonstrate the world-class capability of ANFF and the talents of our associated academics across many of our nodes.”

Under the terms of the agreement NASA will be looking to the ANFF’s expertise in nanotechnology for communication and sensing applications. The first project to be conducted as part of the agreement will look into microfluidic sensor platforms to monitor astronaut exposure and health across long space missions.

According to ANFF, the work could be utilised in NASA’s missions to the moon and mars, as well as in terrestrial health applications. The specific demands of space, such as low weight, durability, and energy efficiency, call for solutions such as those developed by ANFF through investigations at the nano level.