NASA Awards Foster Small Business Tech With Market Potential – Parabolic Arc

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) – In addition to funding new technologies that have the potential to support its missions, NASA is also investing in commercially viable ideas that could strengthen the aerospace market and boost U.S. economic growth. New awards will help 12 small companies develop early-stage, high-risk technology concepts that could be commercialized in areas such as climate resilience, low-cost solar panels and active waste remediation.

In 2022, NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) program introduced this new opportunity for US small businesses to obtain funding for technology concepts with strong commercial relevance, called SBIR Ignite. The 2022 round of awards will distribute nearly $2 million to 12 selected companies. Nine of these companies are working with NASA’s SBIR program for the first time.

“One of the reasons we launched the SBIR Ignite pilot program was to target companies whose goals are different than our main opportunities, those whose end customers may not just be NASA, but are still developing technologies that NASA cares about lie,” said Jason L. Kessler, program director for the NASA SBIR/STTR program at the agency’s Washington headquarters. “It is excellent that this opportunity allows many of the selected companies to begin their work with the NASA SBIR/STTR program.”

In Phase I of the Ignite program, companies will develop a proof of concept for their technology and have the opportunity to propose an SBIR Ignite Phase II award, which has a potential value of $850,000 per award. The award-winning technologies support NASA’s interests in climate, hybrid-electric aircraft, space recycling, commercialization in low-earth orbit (LEO), active debris remediation, and solar energy. Like NASA’s main SBIR/STTR program, SBIR Ignite addresses the agency’s goals in aerospace technology, but with a greater emphasis on products with strong commercial potential. As the space economy grows, NASA provides these funds to help small companies validate their technologies and make them more attractive to potential investors.

“By investing in these early-stage ideas, we want to help these companies de-risk their technologies, which we hope will help them on their journey into the commercial market relevant to NASA,” said Maxwell Briggs, director of corporate engagement at NASA’s SBIR/STTR program at the agency’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

Among the 12 winners are technologies that have potential benefits on Earth and in space.

Storm Impact Inc. based in Ohio will develop a technology aimed at climate resilience in the electronics industry. The company will use NASA Earth Science data to create machine learning risk models that customers in the electrical industry could use to prepare for storms and improve electrical infrastructure as climate conditions change. These models could help reduce the cost of repairs by monitoring vegetation growth and risks near vulnerable infrastructure; Other applications for these models could include wildfire risk management and forestry.

Canopy Aerospace, Inc., a minority-owned Illinois-based company, aims to contribute to the commercial LEO industry by developing a new platform for additive manufacturing of reusable heat shields (RHAM). This technology would enable rapid production of reusable tiles for thermal protection systems that protect spacecraft from aerodynamic heating. The RHAM platform could be used for short-term installation on commercial space missions.

Turion Space Corporation, based in California, will address active debris remediation by developing a system comprising multiple CubeSats and a carrier spacecraft that could remove multiple debris objects from low Earth orbit in a single mission. The system draws on Turion’s past experience developing commercial spacecraft for inspection and orbital transport services. Turion’s debris remediation system could have additional commercial applications by collecting data when not conducting debris clearance missions.

Ampaire, Inc., based in California, will develop a hybrid electric powertrain that could allow for flexible implementation in a variety of aircraft applications. Ampaire’s experience and partnerships will contribute to this powertrain, which combines modern engine and electric machine technology with a hybrid-electric configuration. These efforts appeal to a broad market of customers interested in reducing fossil fuel consumption and replacing them with electric or hybrid-electric alternatives.

The NASA SBIR/STTR program is part of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate and is managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. To learn more about NASA’s SBIR/STTR program and to apply for future opportunities, visit:

https://sbir.nasa.gov/

Proposals selected for contract negotiations

Ampaire Inc
Hawthorn, CA
High Efficiency Hybrid Aircraft Powertrain (HEPHA)

Canopy Aerospace Inc.
Chicago, IL
Reusable Heat Shields by Additive Manufacturing (RHAM)

Cecilia energy
Brooklyn, NY
Catalytic conversion of plastic waste into hydrogen

CrystalSonic, Inc.
Phoenix, AZ
Reducing Space Photovoltaic Costs with Sonically Assisted Substrate Reuse

H3X Technologies Inc.
Lakewood, CO
HPDM-30 – A 10 kW/kg integrated motor drive for UAV and electric aircraft propulsion

Outpost Technologies Corporation
Santa Monica, CA
Outpost Cargo Ferry: A Rapid Cargo Downmass Vehicle

re: 3D, Inc.
Houston, Texas
Additive manufacturing in orbit using recycled waste

Solestial, Inc.
Tempe, AZ
Next-generation silicon-based solar arrays for space stations and other permanent space infrastructure

Storm Impact Inc.
Dublin, OH
Optimizing vegetation management to improve power system resilience to extreme weather conditions

Terrafuse, Inc. C/O ENGINE ROOM
PLEASANTON, APPROX
Fighting forest fires through explainable risk predictions

Trans Astronautica Corporation (TransAstra)
Los Angeles, California
Mini Bee Capture Bag for active dirt removal

Turion Space Corp.
Irvine, CA
Low-cost CubeSat for active removal of significant space debris using a mothership architecture



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