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Guidelines for an ITAR-Free Classroom

Background Rules:  In accordance with Caltech’s commitment to comply with all U.S. export control laws and regulations, and in accordance with institute policy that Caltech students shall not be given access to export-controlled items, the following guidelines provide an overview of export-controlled materials or technologies that shall not be permitted in Caltech lectures or laboratory activities, as well as an overview of items that are permissible.

These guidelines ensure that activities occurring in the classroom stay within the “fundamental research exclusion” as defined in the U.S. export regulations and do not expose Caltech students to export controlled or other licensable activities prohibited by the government regulations.

If you have any questions about this guidance document, please contact Adilia F. Koch (adilia.koch@caltech.edu or x4469) in the Caltech Export Compliance Office. 

JPLers’ Role

1.  JPL technical information and technology that falls under the ITAR is controlled and shall not be introduced into a Caltech class by anyone, until they have been cleared for unlimited (i.e., public) release. 

2.  JPL employees can participate in Fundamental Research[1] at Campus, including classes, as long as their participation is being funded by Caltech and such participation is approved by JPL as an Outside Business Activity.  Lecturers and instructors from JPL involved in such an Outside Business Activity (“JPL OBA Lecturers and Instructors”) shall be introduced to the class in their capacity as relevant aerospace experts and not merely as “JPL employees.” 
               
Question 1: What curriculum can Caltech students experience in aerospace engineering classes? 
Rule 1:

All coursework and projects for the class should be conducted as Fundamental Research, which requires that all of the class studies and designs are basic and applied research in science and engineering, and are freely publishable and are of the type to be ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community.  If you plan to develop a prototype, please contact Adilia Koch to assess your project activities:

a.  They may design, develop, fabricate, and test an aerospace product/prototype, which could have actual space use; or

b.  They may engage in a “mock”, i.e., class-devised, spacecraft mission, including creating and launching prototypes.  However, neither Caltech PIs/Instructors nor JPL OBA Lecturers/Instructors may provide students any information or services concerning how to conduct a launch/launch support activities. 

Caltech classes may not create a specified deliverable for a mission at JPL or discharge a specific mission task at JPL, regardless of the origin of the   funding for two reasons.  Firstly, Caltech relies on the educational exemption for classes and coursework.  The class needs to function as a class.  Once a class starts to function like a subcontractor or sub-awardee, Caltech will enter into risky regulatory waters.  Secondly, JPL OBA Lecturers and Instructors would find it difficult to adhere to the prohibition against providing controlled tech assistance/tech information when trying to help inexperienced students discharge actual mission tasks. 

Question 2: What experiences can students have at JPL?
Rule 2: a. Caltech students may visit JPL for publicly-approved tours and cleared lectures. 

b. Caltech students may use and operate JPL EAR-controlled equipment without a license, unless such use alone would convey to the student the technology required to do ALL of the following activities with respect to that item of equipment:  operation, installation (including on-site installation) maintenance and checking, repair, overhaul, and refurbishing.  

Please note that JPL policies pertaining to timekeeping, safety, and the use of government equipment may apply to this activity.  Please contact the appropriate lab manager or section manager at JPL for assistance.  

c. Caltech students may not use ITAR-controlled equipment at JPL.  This restriction should apply even to students who are U.S. persons, in order to maintain the status of the project as Fundamental Research, equality among the students, and the classroom/educational status and spirit of the experience. 
Question 3:

What are the rules concerning Caltech students’ use of software?

Rule 3:

Caltech students may create non-encryption software as a Fundamental Research activity.  Such software is excluded from EAR and ITAR controls.  The software may not be subject to intellectual property or confidentiality restrictions, and the intent must be to publish and share the software broadly within the scientific community.

Note
:  Please contact Adilia Koch for an assessment of the software in question, especially if it involves encryption software or if the software designed for military or space applications

Question 4:

How can JPL lecturers and instructors participate in Campus classes, if their participation is funded by Caltech? 

Rule 4:  

a. JPL OBA Lecturers and Instructors may provide lectures consisting of material and information that is in the public domain or that has been cleared for unlimited (i.e., public) release.

b. JPL OBA Lecturers and Instructors may teach the students general math, science, and engineering principles commonly taught in schools, colleges, and universities.

c. JPL OBA Lecturers and Instructors may participate fully in the allowable class project activities, as set forth above in Answer 1.  However, they still may not provide students with any JPL information that has not been cleared for unlimited release.

d.  If the class involves the design or fabrication of a prototype, please contact Adilia Koch.

Question 5:

What are important rules concerning hardware produced in the course of fundamental research activities?

Rule 5:

Hardware designed and fabricated in the course of Fundamental Research activities, including Campus classes, may be subject to controls in the ITAR, which means that such hardware cannot be shipped outside the United States without an export license, unless an exemption applies. Foreign Persons in class may have access to hardware produced in the course of Fundamental Research activities.  

Question 6:

How can non-OBA JPL employees participate in Campus classes, if their participation is funded by JPL-NASA?

Rule 6:

a. JPL employees may provide lectures consisting of material and information that is in the public domain or that has been cleared for unlimited (i.e., public) release.

b. JPL employees may teach the students general math, science, and engineering principles commonly taught in schools, colleges, and universities. 

c. JPL employees may not participate in Fundamental Research activities at Campus, except under an Interdivisional Authorization, unless NASA specifies otherwise.

Question 7:

Can a Campus class collaborate with a foreign university class or foreign university research team in Fundamental Research Activities?

Rule 7:

Generally, no.  Under the ITAR, only basic and applied research at universities in the United States qualifies as Fundamental Research.  The Fundamental Research Exclusion does not extend to joint research activities and collaboration with foreign parties.  Accordingly, the Caltech class and the foreign university class/research team could not actively exchange information, ideas, or prototypes related to ITAR-controlled technology.  However, the Caltech class can share research results and other publicly available information with the foreign class.  Situations of this type should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with Adilia Koch.

Question 8:

What if the Caltech class and a foreign university class/research team are each building articles that must be integrated?  Can the Caltech class ship their article(s) to the foreign university class/research team without a license? 

Rule 8:

Yes, as long as ALL of the following conditions are met:

Foreign University Class/Research Team

a.   The foreign university class/research team is located in a country that is a member of NATO, ESA, or the EU, or that has been designated by the U.S. government as a Major Non-NATO Ally.[2]

b.  The foreign university class/research team consists exclusively of nationals of these countries.

c.  The foreign university class/research team is engaged in international Fundamental Research conducted under the aegis of Caltech.  In other words, the foreign researchers must also intend to publish their results and are not subject to restrictions on publication or access to research results.

d.  The articles are research satellites or associated equipment.

Articles to be Exported by Caltech Class

e.  The article(s) to be exported by the Caltech class result from Fundamental Research (i.e., research prototypes).[3]

f.  The article(s) to be exported by the Caltech class fall within ITAR Category XV (a) or (e)—i.e., spacecraft and associated equipment. 

g.  The platform or system into which the article(s) exported by the Caltech class may be incorporated must be a satellite covered by ITAR Category XV (a) or (e) and be exclusively concerned with Fundamental Research and only be launched into space from countries and by nationals of countries that are members of NATO, ESA, or the EU, or which have been designated by the U.S. government as a Major Non-NATO Ally.  

Question 9:

Assuming the Rule 8 requirements are met, can the Caltech class or the JPL OBA Lecturers and Instructors discuss information pertaining to launch activities with the foreign university class/research team?

Rule 9

No.  The ITAR exemption set forth in Rule 8 does not cover any defense services or information involving launch activities including the integration of the satellite or spacecraft to the launch vehicle.  In addition, the exemption does not include any JPL information that has not been cleared for unlimited release.

Resources:

Caltech Export Compliance Website:  https://export.caltech.edu/
Glossary of Terms:  https://export.caltech.edu/glossary

                                              


 

[1]  Reminder:  Under the EAR and ITAR, Fundamental Research means “basic and applied research in science and engineering where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared widely within the scientific community.”  There should be an intent to publish the research results.  The research results cannot be subject to any of the following:  publication restrictions; restrictions for proprietary/intellectual property reasons; restrictions for reasons of national security; confidentiality restrictions; or specific U.S. government access or dissemination controls.  Research results include design, manufacture, and testing information concerning hardware created by the class for Fundamental Research purposes.   Research results also include software created as a Fundamental Research activity. 

[2]  These countries are the Major Non-NATO Allies of the United States: Argentina, Australia, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, and Thailand.

[3]  This means that all of the information about the articles, including its design and all of the resulting information obtained through Fundamental Research involving the articles will be published and shared broadly within the scientific community, and is not restricted for proprietary reasons or specific U.S. government access and dissemination controls or other restrictions accepted by the Institute or its researchers on publication of research results.