Technology

June 15, 2018
 

NASA Armstrong awards $1 million to U.S. small businesses for technology research, development

This graphic showcases the eight small businesses recently awarded partnerships with NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center to support the development of technologies in the areas of aeronautics and human space exploration and operations and space technology.

NASA has selected 304 proposals from U.S. small businesses to advance research and technology in Phase I of its 2018 Small Business Innovation Research program and 44 proposals for the Small Business Technology Transfer program, totaling $43.5 million in awards.

NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards, Calif., received eight awards, totaling $1 million. These selections support NASA’s future space exploration and aviation missions, while also benefiting the U.S. economy.

“We want to tap into our resources” said Mark Davis, AFRC’s Research Operations branch chief and acting center technology transition lead. “NASA has technology challenges and small businesses have products, services, and ideas that could potentially meet agency needs. We are willing to give them seed money to help solve our research challenges.”

Proposals were selected according to their technical merit and feasibility, in addition to the experience, qualifications and facilities of the submitting organization. Additional criteria included effectiveness of the work plan and commercial potential.

The selected proposals for Armstrong will support the development of technologies in the areas of aeronautics and human space exploration and operations and space technology. The eight center awardees are:

• Redondo Optics, Inc. 
Providing wireless technology for allowing high-data rates with low-power data systems that do not require large wire bundles.
• TRACLabs, Inc. 
Making available a database system that allows the use of personal electronic devices like pads and notebooks. The system lets people develop automated testing procedures that are more efficient in verifying work-around aircraft.
• Mide Technology 
Providing wireless technology for allowing high-data rates with low-power data systems that do not require large wire bundles.
• Black Swift Technologies LLC 
Developing autonomous systems for Urban Air Mobility Vehicles.
• Sporian Microsystems, Inc.
Providing thermal protection systems for use in Entry and Descent vehicles that can be used in hypersonic vehicles.
• Design Analysis & Research Corporation
Developing autonomous subsystems for use on UAVs flying in controlled airspace. 
• Intelligent Automation, Inc.
Developing aeroservoelastic design methodologies for flexible aircraft.
• M4 Engineering, Inc.
Supplying aeroservoelastic design methodologies for flexible aircraft.

The SBIR Phase I contracts last for six months and STTR Phase I contracts last for 13 months, both with a maximum funding of $125,000. Additional to the funding, the awardees are given a technical expert from NASA in their topic area that will oversee their Phase II efforts.

“This round of Phase I ideas look very promising and creative, and will enhance innovation throughout the Agency,” said Jim Reuter, acting associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). “Many of the businesses that go through the SBIR program end up working with NASA on the research and technologies needed to advance our space exploration goals.”

Phase I work and results provide a sound basis for the continued development, demonstration and delivery of the proposed innovation in Phase II and follow-on efforts. Phase III is the commercialization of innovative technologies, products and services resulting from either a Phase I or Phase II contract.

The SBIR and STTR programs encourage small businesses and research institutions to develop innovative ideas that meet the specific research and development needs of the federal government. The programs are intended to stimulate technological innovation in the private sector, increase the commercial application of research results, and encourage participation of socially and economically disadvantaged persons and women-owned small businesses. Since the 1970s, small businesses have created approximately 55 percent of all jobs in the United States.

The SBIR and STTR programs are managed for STMD by NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. STMD is responsible for developing the cross-cutting, pioneering new technologies and capabilities needed by the agency to achieve its current and future missions. 

For more information about the SBIR/STTR program, including the selection list, visit https://sbir.nasa.gov/. For more information about NASA’s investment in space technology, visit https://www.nasa.gov/spacetech.




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