NASA Selects 9 Small Business Technology Transfer Projects


WASHINGTON — NASA has selected nine proposals for negotiation of Phase 2 contract awards in the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. The selected projects have a total value of approximately $5.4 million.

The contracts will be awarded to nine hi-tech firms partnered with nine universities in 12 states:

Bossa Nova Technologies LLC, Venice, CA
University of California, Los Angeles
Microwave Detection of Laser Ultrasonic for Non-Destructive Testing

Brimrose Corporation of America, Sparks, MD
Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ
Development of Novel, Optically-Based Instrumentation for Aircraft System Testing and Control

CFD Research Corporation, Huntsville, AL
University of Florida, Gainesville
Numerical Simulation of Rocket Exhaust Interaction with Lunar Soil

Invocon, Inc., Conroe, TX
Iowa State University, Ames
Distributed Leak Detection System Using Structure-Borne Noise

Kopin Corporation, Taunton, MA
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg
InN-Based Quantum Dot Solar Cells

Los Gatos Research, Mountain View, CA
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Novel Instrumentation for Rocket Propulsion Systems

Luna Innovations Incorporated, Roanoke, VA
University of Alabama, Huntsville
Post Process Characterization of Friction Stir Welded Components

Qualtech Systems, Inc., Wethersfield, CT
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Engineering Next Generation Launch Systems for Supportability

Sigma Research and Engineering Corp., Lanham, MD
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Ultra Compact Cloud Physics Lidar for UAV Platforms

The STTR program is a highly competitive, three-phase award system. It provides qualified small businesses — including women-owned and disadvantaged firms — with opportunities to propose innovative ideas that meet specific research and development needs of the federal government. In addition, the STTR program requires a collaborative research effort between small business and research institutions.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) manages the STTR program for the federal government. NASA is one of the federal agencies required by the STTR program to reserve a portion of its research and development funds for awards to small business and works closely with SBA to ensure compliance with federal regulations.

NASA’s Innovative Partnerships Program (IPP) manages the STTR program as part of its focus on emerging technologies and efforts to advance technological innovation for NASA purposes. NASA also partners with U.S. industry to introduce pioneering technologies into NASA missions and transition them into commercially available products and services.

As an investment opportunity, STTR innovations address specific technology gaps in agency mission programs, provide a foundation for future technology needs, and are complementary to other NASA research investments.

Participating firms and research institutions submitted 25 Phase 2 proposals. The criteria used to select the winning proposals included technical merit and innovation, Phase 1 results, value to NASA, commercial potential, and company capabilities.

Phase 1 was feasibility study to evaluate the scientific and technical merit of an idea. Awards are for up to twelve months in amounts up to $100,000. Phase 2 expands on the results of the development in Phase 1. Awards are for up to two years in amounts up to $600,000. Phase 3 is for the commercialization of the results of Phase 2 and requires the use of private sector or non-STTR federal funding. These NASA awards are for the second-phase in this competitive process.

Some examples of STTR technologies being pursued in current selected proposals include:

  • New photovoltaic power systems capable of operating in harsh environments with high temperature and extreme radiation exposures. These systems use materials developed for short optical wavelength and high radio frequency power applications. The new systems could be used in power systems for exploratory spacecraft.
  • Optically-based sensors for making temperature and other complex measurements in propulsion systems in ground and flight test environments. The sensors could be used in both new and retrofit commercial aircraft as control sensors for propulsion systems.

NASA’s STTR program is managed at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., with executive oversight from NASA Headquarters in Washington. Individual projects are managed by NASA’s field centers.