Tech

November 9, 2012

NASA selects American small businesses for continuation of innovative research, technology projects

NASA has selected 39 small business proposals to enter into negotiations for Phase 2 contract awards through the agency’s Small Business Innovation Research Program.

The SBIR program partners with small businesses to catalyze efforts to develop new technologies to support NASA’s technology needs.

NASA will award contracts to 36 small high-technology firms in 17 states with a total value of approximately $27 million. These competitive, awards-based programs encourage U.S. small businesses to engage in federal research and development, and bring new technologies to the global marketplace.

“NASA’s SBIR activities foster innovative approaches to technology development – from concept to prototype to an eventual commercial product or service,” said Michael Gazarik, director of the Space Technology Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Phase 2 marks a major milestone for these projects; they’ve moved from the drawing board to the lab, solving tough technology problems that will enable NASA’s future missions while bringing new, valuable products into our economy.”

NASA’s SBIR program enables businesses to explore new technologies and potentially profit from development of new commercial products and services. The program addresses specific technology gaps in agency missions and also strives to complement other NASA research investments. Program results have benefited many NASA efforts, including modern air traffic control systems, Earth-observing spacecraft, the International Space Station and the Mars rovers.

In addition to meeting NASA’s needs, the Phase 2 proposals also provide innovative research in areas that have commercial applications. For example:

 

  • In support of NASA’s aeronautics research, SBIR research will lead to the development of better software for verification and validation of flight-critical systems that will improve aviation safety. Selected research also will develop new cryo-cooling systems that could be used on future fuel-efficient airplanes powered by turboelectric motors. This technology also could be used for future alternative energy production using superconducting wind turbines.
  • As part of NASA’s mission of scientific discovery, SBIR projects will develop new optical technology that can vastly improve our ability to detect extra-solar planets in the visible or near-infrared spectrum. These technologies will add innovation to America’s multi-billion-dollar optical components industry.
  • To enable human exploration beyond Earth’s orbit, NASA SBIR projects will explore new technologies for the next generation of radiation shielding materials needed to protect astronauts and spacecraft from the harmful effects of space radiation. These new radiation shielding materials could have Earth-bound applications as well, protecting first responders and our military from environments where harmful radiation might be present. New lightweight shielding also may dramatically reduce design and fabrication costs for nuclear medicine and radiation therapy applications.

 

The highly-competitive SBIR program is a three-phase award system. It provides qualified small businesses, including those owned by women and the disadvantaged, with opportunities to propose unique ideas that meet specific research and development needs of the federal government.

Phase 1 is a feasibility study to evaluate the scientific and technical merit of an idea. Awards are for up to six months. The selected Phase 2 projects will expand on the results of Phase 1 projects selected last year, with up to $700,000 to support research for up to two years. Phase 3 is for the commercialization of the results of Phase 2 and requires the use of private sector or non-SBIR federal funding.

Program participants submitted 246 Phase 2 proposals. Proposal selection criteria included technical merit and innovation, Phase 1 performance and results, value to NASA, commercial potential and company capabilities. NASA is making a limited number of new SBIR Phase 2 selections at this time, and expects to make a second round of Phase 2 awards in late spring of 2013, following passage of federal appropriations for the agency.

NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., manages the SBIR program for the agency’s Space Technology Program. NASA’s 10 field centers manage individual projects.

 

For a complete list of selected companies, visit http://sbir.nasa.gov.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

NASA signs agreement with German, Canadian partners to test alternative fuels

NASA has signed separate agreements with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to conduct a series of joint flight tests to study the atmospheric effects of emissions from jet engines burning alternative fuels. The Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions (ACCESS II) flights are set to...
 
 
afrc-x56c

X-56A testbed arrives at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich The diminutive X-56A Multi-Use Technology Testbed, mounted on a small trailer, is pulled away from its home for the past year, Hangar 4305 at Edwards’ North Base. The latest in a long series...
 
 
NASA photograph by Tony Landis

Recalling a record: X-43A Scramjet set new hypersonic record a decade ago

NASA photograph by Jim Ross The second X-43A hypersonic research aircraft and its modified Pegasus booster rocket accelerate into the stratosphere after launch from NASA’s B-52B launch aircraft over the Pacific Ocean on M...
 

 

NASA begins search for potential SOFIA partners

NASA issued a Request for Information March 31 soliciting potential partners interested in using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy aircraft for scientific investigations or for other potential uses. NASA’s fiscal year 2015 budget request to Congress calls for SOFIA to be placed in storage next year unless the agency’s contribution to the project can...
 
 
NASA photograph by Carla Thomas

LVAC: Advancing technology readiness of SLS adaptive controls

NASA photograph by Carla Thomas NASA Armstrong’s highly modified F/A-18A Full Scale Advanced Systems Testbed aircraft No. 853 validated the effectiveness of the Adaptive Augmenting Controller developed by NASA Marshall en...
 
 

DARPAs role to change whats possible, director says

As part of the Defense Department’s science and technology community, the role of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is to change what’s possible, the DARPA director said March 26. DARPA makes pivotal early investments that allow the department to “take big steps forward in our national security capabilities, Arati Prabhakar told members of the...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>