NASA Funds 21 STTR Phase II Projects

NASA LOGOWASHINGTON, Sept. 1, 2016 (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 21 research and technology proposals from American small businesses and research institutions that will enable NASA’s future missions into the solar system and beyond while benefiting America’s technology-driven economy here on Earth.

The Phase II selectees of NASA’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program are permitted to enter negotiations for possible contract awards worth a combined total of approximately $15.8 million. The program selected 21 innovative technology and projects from 41 U.S. firms and research institutions in 20 different states.

“Just as small businesses are driving our economy, technology is driving exploration,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “These selected proposals demonstrate the creativity of American entrepreneurs and, along with our other technology investments, will contribute to ensuring the U.S. remains a leader in technology development and space exploration.”

A sampling of proposals from the selected small businesses and research institutions demonstrates the breadth of research these awards will fund, including technology developments and advancements in the following areas:

  • Autonomous communications systems
  • Gas sensing technology advancements for spacesuits
  • Space weather prediction
  • Technologies for planetary compositional analysis and mapping
  • Information technologies for intelligent and adaptive space robotics
  • Advanced propulsion system ground test and launch technology

One study will explore the use of a fuel grain as propellant. The proposed green propellant system offers significant advantages over competing technologies in the areas of cost, safety and mission capability. This effort will build on the successful studies, design, and testing activities completed during Phase I research. The resulting technology will fulfill the ever-growing mission demands of the extensive small satellite market, including CubeSats and NanoSats, by enabling dedicated launch for CubeSat-scale payloads. Comparable launch vehicle stages in this size class currently are not commercially available.

A second study involves a new generation of CubeSats that take advantage of in-situ resources — living off the land — while exploring space. The proposal combines existing CubeSat technology with 3-D printing technology and an in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) water extraction system. The 3-D printing technology enables development of steam thrusters, as well as tanks that fit within the available space within the CubeSat. The ISRU module captures and extracts water, and takes advantage of the heat generated by the CubeSat electronics system, with supplemental power from solar charged batteries.

NASA’s STTR Program uses a highly competitive, three-phase award system that provides collaborative opportunities between qualified small businesses, including women-owned and disadvantaged firms, and research institutions, to address specific technology gaps in NASA programs. Selected projects provide a foundation for future technology developments and are complementary to other NASA research investments.

STTR Phase II projects will expand on the results of recently completed Phase I projects, which received six-month contracts valued as much as $125,000. Phase II projects will last up to two years and receive contracts valued as much as $750,000 per award. Phase III, the commercialization of an innovation, may occur after successful completion of Phase II.

Selection criteria for these awards included technical merit and feasibility, along with experience, qualifications and facilities. Also, selectees must meet requirements of effectiveness of the work plan, and commercial potential and feasibility.

NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, manages both the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and STTR Programs for STMD, with individual project oversight from across the agency’s 10 field centers.

For more information about NASA’s SBIR and STTR Programs, and a list of selected proposals, visit:

http://sbir.nasa.gov/prg_selection/node/56313

STMD is innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in NASA’s future missions. NASA’s investments in technology provide the transformative capabilities to enable new missions, stimulate the economy, contribute to the nation’s global competitiveness and inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers.

For more information about NASA’s investment in space technology, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech

NASA STTR PHASE II SELECTIONS
T1 Launch Propulsion Systems (2)
1Garvey Spacecraft Corporation
Long Beach, CA
PI: John Garvey
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK
NLV Upper Stage Development and Flight Testing
2Parabilis Space Technologies, Inc.
San Marcos, CA
PI: David Streich
Utah State University
Logan, UT
High Performance Hybrid Upper Stage for NanoLaunch Vehicles
T3 Space Power and Energy Storage (1)
3Solid State Ceramics, Inc.
Williamsport, PA
PI: Cathy Brooke
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA
Extreme Environment Ceramic Energy Harvesting/Sensors
T4 Robotics, Tele-Robotics and Autonomous Systems (3)
4Astrobotic Technology, Inc.
Pittsburgh, PA
PI: Fraser Kitchell
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA
Subsurface Prospecting by Planetary Drones
5Honeybee Robotics, Ltd.
Brooklyn, NY
PI: Kristian Mueller
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL
The World is Not Enough (WINE): Harvesting Local Resources for Eternal Exploration of Space
6M4 Engineering, Inc.
Long Beach, CA
PI: Myles Baker
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
Innovative Aerodynamic Modeling for Aeroservoelastic Analysis and Design
T5 Communication and Navigation (1)
7Bluecom Systems And Consulting, LLC
Albuquerque, NM
PI: Sudharman Jayaweera Kankanamge
The Regents of the University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM
Wideband Autonomous Cognitive Radios for Networked Satellites Communications
T6 Human Health, Life Support and Habitation Systems (4)
8CFD Research Corporation
Huntsville, AL
PI: Silvia Harvey
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Huntsville, AL
Improved Forecasting of Solar Particle Events and their Effects on Space Electronics
9Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc.
Torrance, CA
PI: Reuben Sandler
University of North Texas
Denton, TX
Advanced Gas Sensing Technology for Space Suits
10N5 Sensors, Inc.
Germantown, MD
PI: Abhishek Motayed
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA
Nanoengineered Hybrid Gas Sensors for Spacesuit Monitoring
11Predictive Science, Inc.
San Diego, CA
PI: Lierin Schmidt
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH
A Coupled System for Predicting SPE Fluxes
T8 Science Instruments, Observatories and Sensor Systems (4)
12Brimrose Technology Corporation
Sparks, MD
PI: Diane Murray
Fisk University
Nashville, TN
Instrumentation for Multiple Radiation Detection Based On Novel Mercurous Halides for Nuclear Planetology
13ChromoLogic, LLC
Monrovia, CA
PI: Naresh Menon
Caltech
Pasadena, CA
Multifunctional Environmental Digital Scanning Electron Microprobe (MEDSEM)
14Q-Peak, Inc.
Bedford, MA
PI: B. David Green
University of Hawaii
Honolulu, HI
Compact Laser for In-Situ Compositional Analysis
15Wavefront, LLC
Basking Ridge, NJ
PI: Jie Yao
Utah State University
Logan, UT
ShortWave Infrared Focal Plane Technology for Close-Range Active Mineralogy Mapping (SWIFT-CAMM)
T9 Entry, Descent and Landing Systems (1)
16Voxtel, Inc.
Beaverton, OR
PI: Debra Ozuna
University of Dayton
Dayton, OH
Highly Sensitive Flash LADAR Camera
T11 Modeling, Simulation, Information Technology and Processing (1)
17TRACLabs, Inc.
San Antonio, TX
PI: David Kortenkamp
Carnegie Mellon University – Silicon Valley
Moffett Field, CA
Adaptive Resource Estimation and Visualization for Planning Robotic Missions
T12 Materials, Structures, Mechanical Systems and Manufacturing (3)
18Keystone Synergistic Enterprises, Inc.
Port Saint Lucie, FL
PI: Paul Nassar
University of Alabama in Hunstville
Huntsville, AL
Metal Digital Direct Manufacturing (MDDM) for Close-Out of Combustion Chambers and Nozzle Fabrications
19Materials Research and Design, Inc.
Wayne, PA
PI: Brian Sullivan
The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
Ceramic Matrix Composite Environmental Barrier Coating Durability Model
20Prime Photonics, LC
Blacksburg, VA
PI: Steve Poland
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA
Modified Acoustic Emission for Prognostic Health Monitoring
T13 Ground and Launch Systems Processing (1)
21American GNC Corporation
Simi Valley, CA
PI: Emily Melgarejo
Louisiana Tech University
Ruston, LA
Integrated Monitoring AWAReness Environment (IM-AWARE)

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