NASA Selects Small Companies to Further Develop Exploration Technologies

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NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program selected 110 small US companies to pursue technology development. The range of projects supports space exploration and improving life on Earth – from foldable solar panel technology that could help power astronauts’ work on the Moon, to antenna technology that could improve internet service by satellite.

This photo shows a 70 meter radio antenna at the Deep Space Network’s Canberra facility in Australia. New awards from NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program will support technology development, including a project to improve the performance of satellite dishes. This photo shows a 70 meter radio antenna at the Deep Space Network’s Canberra facility in Australia. Credits: NASA/Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex

The NASA SBIR program provides seed funding and other non-monetary support to small businesses with pioneering ideas to help advance NASA missions, as well as the aerospace ecosystem. The new round of awards awards nearly $95 million to small businesses across 123 projects.

NASA works on ambitious missions that change the world – missions that require innovative solutions from a variety of innovators, including small businesses“, said the deputy administrator of NASA, Pam Melroy. “It’s crucial that we continue to find imaginative small businesses that have the expertise to help our agency solve our common challenges, and the SBIR program is one of the primary ways we do that.

The companies have previously received NASA SBIR Phase I awards where they successfully established the feasibility of their technologies. As Phase II winners, each small company will now receive up to $750,000 to develop, demonstrate and deliver their technologies to NASA over two years.

Among the winners are nine women-owned small businesses and five veteran-owned small businesses. Thirty-six of the small businesses are first-time Phase II recipients.

It is both a mission and a passion of the program to increase the diversity of the collaborators that we integrate into the work of the agency,” mentioned Gynelle Steele, deputy program director for NASA’s SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “We are especially excited to have the chance to work alongside our early companies as they take their ideas from paper to prototype in Phase II..”

Here are some of the companies chosen for their first Phase II awards and, along with the full list of Phase II recipients.

  • Teltrium Solutions LLC, a minority, women-owned small business based in Greenbelt, Maryland, received two Phase II awards this cycle. With one of its Phase II awards, the company plans to create a lens that improves the performance of satellite dishes – commonly used in satellite earth terminals for data transmission from satellites, direct-to-home broadcast, Internet to underserved areas, and more – by improving the performance of these antennas without significantly increasing their price. This new lens could improve the performance of ground antennas used to support NASA spacecraft, especially as more ambitious missions bring higher communication performance requirements. Outside of NASA, the technology shows promise in helping improve data throughput for businesses. Learn more about the company other phase II price.
  • Gendell Associates, a small company based in Hoboken, New Jersey, doing business as Folditure, has received its first Phase II award to help meet NASA’s need for new lunar surface solar array structures to power the future robotic and human exploration of the Moon. The company, which also creates foldable, space-saving furniture for consumers, spent Phase I validating the design, packaging efficiency, scalability and retractability of its Sunflake solar array and tripod tower. super compact. During Phase II, the company will fully develop the kinematics and structure of the solar panel – which will be more compact than what is currently available – and begin its environmental testing. If successful, this new solar array could be used in NASA missions that require lightweight, portable, high-efficiency solar power, including human landers, future lunar outposts, or planned orbital stations in the world. frame of Artemis.
  • Recon RF Inc., a small, veteran-owned company based in San Diego, received its first Phase II award after proving its concept of an improved S-band solid-state power amplifier module, which could meet some of the NASA remote sensing needs on in-space data collection platforms that have size, weight, power, and/or cost restrictions, such as CubeSats or other small satellites (SmallSats). In Phase II, the company will create the prototype that could eventually be used to study surface topology on Earth and other planets.

NASA’s SBIR program is open to small US companies to help them develop an innovation or technology. To apply for its sister program, STTR, the small company must partner with an American research institute. NASA SBIR/STTR is part of NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate and is managed by NASA Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.

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