NASA Awards Accelerate Small Business Tech for Earth and Space

Awards under NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program will support technologies for lunar science and exploration. (Credits: NASA)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA has awarded six U.S. small businesses funding to continue work on technologies poised to make a significant impact in key areas, from wildfire readiness to sustained lunar exploration. Collaborating with small businesses is a crucial part of developing the novel ideas needed for NASA’s ambitious goals.

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REI Systems Awarded $8M PETS Contract to Advance Innovation at NASA

STERLING, Va. (REI Systems PR) — REI Systems, a leading provider of technology solutions, was awarded the NASA Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Platform Engineering and Technology Services (PETS) contract. The NASA SBIR/STTR Program funds the research, development, and demonstration of innovative technologies with significant potential for commercialization. The program empowers small technology businesses, including underrepresented groups such as women and minority-owned businesses, to participate in federal Research and Development (R&D) efforts to drive NASA missions, provide societal benefit, and grow the U.S. economy.

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SCOUT Wins Phase II AFWERX SBIR to Advance Space Domain Awareness

Real-time position and orientation analysis of a CubeSat using a SCOUT fly-by digital twin. (Credit: SCOUT Space)

FRL/RIE and Space Force Delta 2 will work with SCOUT to advance SDA metric observation tasking and catalog augmentation using space-based sensing

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 22, 2022 (SCOUT Space PR) — SCOUT Space Inc., a spaceflight hardware, software, and data provider developing solutions for improved safety and transparency in space today announced they have been granted a Phase II SBIR contract through AFWERX, the Technology Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the innovation arm of the Department Air Force. SCOUT will work with AFRL/RIE (Intelligence Systems Division) and the Space Operations Command (SpOC) Delta 2 to advance classical space domain awareness (SDA) metric observation tasking and catalog augmentation using space-based sensing.

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CAPSTONE Launches to Test New Orbit for NASA’s Artemis Moon Missions

An image of the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, or CAPSTONE, launching aboard Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket from the Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand Tuesday, June 28, 2022. (Image Credit: Rocket Lab)

WASHINGTON (NASA HQ PR) — NASA’s CubeSat designed to test a unique lunar orbit is safely in space and on the first leg of its journey to the Moon. The spacecraft is heading toward an orbit intended in the future for Gateway, a lunar space station built by the agency and its commercial and international partners that will support NASA’s Artemis program, including astronaut missions.

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The Small Businesses Behind CAPSTONE Are Paving Our Path to the Moon

CAPSTONE in orbit around the moon. (Credit: NASA)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — The upcoming Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) mission will be the first spacecraft to fly a unique orbit around the Moon that will be used for Gateway, NASA’s future Moon-orbiting outpost. Gateway is an international collaboration working with commercial partners to establish a long-term human presence in deep space. Similarly, CAPSTONE – a mission owned and operated by Advanced Space, LLC in Westminster, Colorado – is made possible by collaborations with small businesses across the country, showing how NASA works with innovators in its future exploration endeavors.

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NASA Selects Small Business Award to Advance Microgravity Research & Manufacturing

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has selected four projects focused on advancing microgravity research and manufacturing in Earth orbit for funding under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

The Phase I awards, which are worth up to $150,000 apiece, were for projects proposed by: DSTAR Communications of Woodland Hills, Calif.; Sachi Bioworks of Louisville, Colo.; GOEPPERT of Philadelphia, Pa.; and Nanoarmor of Los Angeles, Calif.

DSTAR Communications is developing space-enhanced crystals that could be commercially manufactured on ISS.

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Continuous Composites Selected by NASA for Additive Manufacturing of Low CTE Open Isogrid Composite Structure

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (Continuous Composites PR)Continuous Composites, a pioneer of advanced® composite 3D printing technology, has been chosen by NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program to additively manufacture low Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) open isogrid composite structures for space applications, using its patented Continuous Fiber 3D Printing technology, CF3D®.

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NASA Selects Masten Space & Spectral Energies for Funding to Develop Rotating Detonation Engine Technology

An RDE operates via a continuous detonation wave that propagates around the inside of a cylindrical combustor. (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has selected projects for funding by Masten Space Systems and Spectral Energies that are focused on developing technology for advanced rotating detonation rocket engines (RDE).

The space agency selected the companies for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I awards that are worth up to $150,000 apiece. Masten and Spectral Energies are both working on high-performance injector systems.

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NASA Funds R&D Projects to Improve Small Satellite Performance

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Small satellites are increasingly being used for missions in Earth orbit and deep space. Although they are easy to launch, their size limits their capabilities and usefulness to scientists. NASA has selected a pair of research and development (R&D) projects designed to address some of these limitations for continued funding under the space agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

The space agency selected Flight Works for a Phase II award to continue developing a high-performance, pump-fed transfer stage for Venture Class cislunar and deep space missions. The space agency also selected Nanohmics of Austin, Texas, for a SBIR Phase II award to continue working on adaptive optics for low-cost CubeSat optical systems. Each award is worth up to $750,000 over 24 months. Both companies received smaller SBIR Phase I awards.

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NASA Funds Advanced Robotics R&D Projects for On-orbit Servicing, Assembly and Manufacturing

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has selected three research and development projects focused on developing on-orbit servicing, assembly and manufacturing technologies for continued funding under the space agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

NASA selected Motiv Space Systems of Pasadena, Calif., for two Phase II awards, and TRACLabs of San Antonio, Texas for one award. The awards are worth up to $750,000 apiece for projects lasting for 24 months. Both companies received smaller SBIR Phase I awards.

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Viasat Expands Presence with Aberdeen Proving Ground Office in Harford County, Maryland

ABERDEEN, Md. (Viasat Inc., PR) — Viasat Inc., (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global communications company, today announced the opening of a new office in Aberdeen, Maryland, located in Harford County, on the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) installation. This new office will be an important partnering location for Viasat Government Systems employees, enabling teams to deepen customer relationships and continue ongoing work to support the U.S. Army’s network transformation.

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SCOUT Awarded SBIR Grant from NASA for Development of Autonomous Relative Navigation Systems

SCOUT Awarded SBIR Grant from NASA for Development of Autonomous Relative Navigation Systems for Rendezvous, Proximity Operations, and Docking

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES, May 31, 2022 (SCOUT PR) — SCOUT Inc., a space tech company developing autonomous proximity operations and spacecraft awareness service, today announced its selection for a NASA SBIR award to make relative navigation more resilient and enable more autonomous rendezvous, proximity operations, and docking. This effort is expected to yield advancements in autonomy and resilience across a wide range of NASA applications which often require exhaustive pre-planning and manual operations of multi-satellite systems.

SCOUT’s fault-tolerant and robust 6-degree-of-freedom finite-time controllers integrate multiple control system inputs and data sources, such as SCOUT-Vision remote sensing systems, to facilitate faster, more accurate tracking performance and more efficient control energy consumption during proximity operations than conventional controller modes in the presence of real-world challenges such as actuator faults, parametric uncertainty, and unknown external disturbances.

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NASA Funds R&D into Mitigating Dust for Future Lunar Explorers

Gene Cernan covered in moon dust after walking on the lunar surface. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Moon dust poses a major challenge to NASA as the space agency prepares to return astronauts to the moon for the first time in more than 50 years. The abrasive, glass-like dust sticks to spacesuits, irritates throats and lungs, and threatens to clog vital equipment.

To address these challenges, NASA has selected lunar dust mitigation projects from Force Engineering, Innovative Aerospace, Smart Material Solutions and Cornerstone Research Group for continued funding under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The Phase II grants are worth up to $750,000 each. The companies previously received smaller SBIR Phase I grants.

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NASA Funds R&D Projects to Improve Operations of Satellite Swarms

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA is funding a trio of research and development (R&D) projects by Nanoracks, Teltrium Solutions and Emergent Space Technologies aimed at enabling swarms of small satellites to better operate in Earth orbit and to explore other worlds.

The companies each received Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II awards worth $750,000 to continue work on the their technologies. They each received smaller awards under the first phase of of the program.

Nanoracks, which is based in Houston, is focused on reusing spent rocket stages known as Outposts to help improve communications with satellite swarms exploring the moon and other planets.

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