NASA Awards $14.3 Million to Small Businesses, Research Institutions to Develop Innovative Technologies

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 19 proposals from American small businesses and research institutions for Phase II of its competitive Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, totaling $14.3 million in awards.

These selections are for the 2016 STTR program, which supports NASA’s future missions into deep space, while also benefiting the U.S. economy. The STTR program stimulates partnerships between small businesses and research institutions by providing awards for cooperative research and development efforts with potential for commercialization.

“We are looking forward to leveraging the expertise, creativity and innovation of entrepreneurial small businesses and research institutions to further advance NASA’s missions, while simultaneously fueling the economy,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters.

The selected proposals will support the development of technologies in the areas of aeronautics, science, human exploration and operations, and space technology. Awards cover a breadth of research and development needs, such as:

  • Launch propulsion systems that reflect staged development of critical technologies driven by known agency mission milestones, as well as new performance or mission capabilities;
  • Robotics, tele-robotics and autonomous systems that develop new capabilities and extend the reach of human and robotic exploration;
  • Technologies that support human health and survival during space exploration missions;
  • Science instruments, observatories and sensor systems relevant to space research in science, heliophysics, planetary science and astrophysics; and
  • Materials, structures, mechanical systems and manufacturing that directly impact the stringent demands of NASA science and exploration missions.

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.

Small businesses have created approximately 55 percent of all jobs in the United States since the 1970s. The Small Business Innovation Research (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 disadvantages persons and women-owned small businesses.

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

For more information about the small businesses and research institutions selected, visit:

For more information about NASA’s investment in space technology, visit:

Angstrom Designs, Inc.
Santa Barbara, Calif.
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Modular Embedded Intelligent Sensor Network

Applied Research, LLC
Rockville, MD
University of Tennessee, Knoxvile
Knoxville, TN
High Performance Image Processing Algorithms for Current and Future Mastcam Imagers

ASTER Labs, Inc.
Shoreview, MN
The Regents of the University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN
Satellite Swarm Localization and Control via Random Finite Set Statistics

Balcones Technologies, LLC
Austin, TX
University of Texas Center for Electromechanics
Austin, TX
Brushless Doubly Fed Motor for Mega-Watt Class Propulsor Power Unit

CFD Research Corporation
Huntsville, AL
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, MS
Unified In-Space Propulsion Framework for Prediction of Plume-Induced Spacecraft Environments

Cornerstone Research Group, Inc.
Dayton, OH
University of Dayton
Dayton, OH
NONA Repair of Composite Structures

Fibertek, Inc.
Herndon, VA
Pennsylvania State University
State College, PA
Ultra-Compact Transmitter for Space-Based Lidar

Freedom Photonics, LLC
Santa Barbara, CA
University of California, Santa Barbara
ECE Department
Santa Barbara, CA
Integrated Optical Transmitter for Space Based Applications

Gloyer-Taylor Laboratories, LLC
Tullahoma, TN
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN
Active Radiation Shield

Linked, Inc
Sherman Oaks, CA
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, Calif.
Sensitivity Analysis for Design Optimization Integrated Software Tools

Mango Materials
Oakland, CA
Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO
A Novel, Membrane-Based Bioreactor Design to Enable a Closed-Loop System on Earth and Beyond

Nanohmics, Inc.
Austin, TX
University of Maryland
College Park, MD
A Cubesat Hyperspectral Imager

Nanosonic, Inc.
Pembroke, VA
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA
Integrated Sensors for the Evaluation of Structural Integrity of Inflatable Habitats

Otherlab, Inc.
San Francisco, CA
Yale University
New Haven, CT
Soft Robotic Manipulators with Enhanced Perception using Multimodal Sensory Skins

Paragon Space Development Corporation
Tucson, AZ
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX
Development of the Integrated Water Recovery Assembly (IRA) for Recycling Habitation Wastewater

Physical Sciences, Inc.
Andover, MA
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN
Low-Cost, Scalable, Hybrid Launch Propulsion Technology

STF Technologies, LLC
Newark, DE
University of Delaware
Newark, DE
Shear Thickening Fluid Enhanced Textiles for Durable, Puncture- and Cut-Resistant Environmental Protection Garments

TRACLabs, Inc.
San Antonio, TX
Carnegie Mellon University, Silicon Valley
Moffett Field, CA
Visualizing and Comparing Exploration Plan Alternatives and Change Effects (xPACE)

Universal Technology Corporation
Dayton, OH
University of Louisville Research Foundation, Inc.
Louisville, KY
Empirical Optimization of Additive Manufacturing