This program provides early-stage funding and other support to small businesses with ideas to help advance NASA's goals and aerospace technology. In Phase II, awardees build on their success from the program's first phase to bring their technologies closer to real-world use. This year, Phase II awards were raised to $850,000, and awardees will have 24 months to execute.
"These Phase II awards support a breadth of technologies that have the potential to be transformational for so many different projects and missions across NASA," said Jenn Gustetic, director of early stage innovation and partnerships for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "In addition, it's important that we're including the innovative potential of all of America's small businesses and entrepreneurs, so we're proud that 28% of these awards are to underrepresented small businesses and 31% are to first time SBIR Phase II awardees."
Many of the selected technologies could support NASA's Moon and Mars exploration goals, including the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR), an electrothermal thruster under development for possible use in spacecraft propulsion that would allow for faster space travel to places like Mars. Ad Astra Rocket Company, based in Webster, Texas, will spend their Phase II period designing, manufacturing, and testing a full-scale embedded RF Coupler for the plasma "heater" stage of the VX-200SS VASIMR rocket core. The RF Coupler is a critical power component of the engine and, specifically, the heater stage RF Coupler delivers the largest fraction of the power to the VASIMR plasma.
NASA also selected technologies that could be used on future space suits, including a material being developed by Reaction Systems, LLC, a small business based in Golden, Colorado. In the Phase II project, Reaction Systems will continue developing new and improved sorbents which remove carbon dioxide and humidity from the crew member's oxygen supply. This technology also has possible applications for curbing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
"Our program has the responsibility of supporting ideas and technologies that will have impact on NASA's work and have strong commercial potential," said Jason L. Kessler, program executive for NASA's SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program at NASA Headquarters. "We're always excited when we can find technologies that help our agency's missions while also having direct benefits for all."
Several of the Phase II awards will go to companies developing technologies designed to improve data on our home planet. For example, SciGlob Instruments and Services, LLC, based in Ellicott City, Maryland, will design and develop a miniature spectrometer that is more accurate, efficient, and cost-effective than the state of the art, with potential use in NASA's Pandora Project. This new spectrometer design could also be used in other Earth science applications, such as improving atmospheric and air quality measurements, as well as in medical diagnostics or environmental monitoring.
Additionally, NASA made investments in electric aircraft technologies, including high-power-density and high-reliability lift motors for Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL). Electric vertical lift aircraft could enable new air travel options thanks to their unique ability to take off and land from any spot, as well as hover in place. Based in Pickerington, Ohio, CGC Ultramarin, Ltd - one of the 35 first-time Phase II awardees that were selected for awards in this round - will use their Phase II period to create a more cost effective and reliable electric propulsion system for vertical lift. Specifically, they will create two full-size motors with different electromagnetic solutions to allow for testing and comparative analysis.
The NASA SBIR program is open to U.S. small businesses to develop an innovation or technology. The program is part of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate and is managed by NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley.
|Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters|
Space Hero and Partners Launch Innovative Space Village, Boosting Space Tourism
Private mission carrying Saudi astronauts launches to ISS
ISS welcomes its first Saudi astronauts, in private mission
NASA selects winners, announces final phase of Space Food Challenge
Multi-launch deal signed for OTV missions from Spaceport Nova Scotia
South Korea launches homegrown rocket after delay
Designing a next generation hypersonic demonstrator
NASA continues key test series with rocket engine hot fire
Hitting the road after three weeks at Ubajara: Sols 3839-3840
MAHLI works the night shift: Sols 3837-3838
Ancient northern ocean on Mars evidenced by in situ observations of marine sedimentary rocks
A deep underground lab could hold key to habitability on Mars
China launches Shenzhou-16 with first civilian to space station
China prepares to send first civilian into space
Shenzhou XVI mission to launch in days
China's next space exploration to feature new faces
NASA funds small business to advance tech for Space, Earth|
Iridium adds to constellation resilience with launch of spare satellites
Virgin Orbit shuts down, liquidates assets in bankruptcy auction
US FCC signs off on Viasat acquisition of Inmarsat
'We abuse plastic, it's so cheap': UN Environment chief
Researchers use AI to identify similar materials in images
Powerful Arab League communications satellite ready for night launch
Fleet Space raises new funding to globalise critical minerals exploration tech
Chemistry: Meteoritic and volcanic particles may have promoted origin of life reactions
Global team simulates message from extraterrestrial intelligence to Earth
NASA's Spitzer, TESS find potentially volcano-covered Earth-size world
Astronomers observe the first radiation belt seen outside of our solar system
First observation of a Polar Cyclone on Uranus
Research 'solves' mystery of Jupiter's stunning colour changes
NASA's Juno mission closing in on Io
Pioneer 11, launched 50 years ago, helped solve mysteries of the universe
|Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters|