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NASA Selects 19 Small Business Tech Transfer Projects for Further Funding

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
December 8, 2020
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WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 19 proposals from 17 U.S. small businesses for a total of more than $14 million in follow-on funding through the agency’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. The awards will help advance NASA priorities such as the Artemis program and other initiatives in aeronautics, human exploration and operations, science, and space technology. 

NASA’s STTR program is open to small businesses partnering with U.S. research institutions to develop an innovation or technology. The partnering component distinguishes STTR from its sister program, NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR). 

The companies selected in this round of funding are all previous NASA STTR Phase I award recipients and have successfully established the feasibility of their technologies. As Phase II awardees, the companies will receive up to $750,000 to develop, demonstrate, and deliver their technologies to NASA.

“NASA wouldn’t be where it is today without the many small businesses and research institutions coming up with innovative solutions needed to accomplish our missions,” said Jenn Gustetic, director of Early Stage Innovations and Partnerships for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) in Washington. “STTR has proven to be an important mechanism for the agency, allowing the best and brightest – not only from the small business community, but also from research institutions across the country – to contribute to the space program.”

The following are among the Phase II selections:

  • Plasma Processes, a veteran-owned small business based in Huntsville, Alabama, will continue partnering with Georgia Tech Research Corporation in Atlanta to develop a dual-mode “green” propulsion system. NASA and future commercial clients could use the system for missions requiring attitude and orbit control, reaction control, formation flying, and controlled reentry. 
  • H2O Insights, a woman-owned small business and first-time NASA STTR Phase II recipient located in Scottsdale, Arizona, will continue partnering with Arizona State University in Tempe to develop a novel optical fiber. The technology could enhance the ability of ultraviolet lights to disinfect bacteria in International Space Station water systems and potential applications in major home appliances, water appliances, biomedical devices, or air and surface disinfection.
  • Multi3D, Inc., a first-time NASA STTR Phase II recipient located in Cary, North Carolina, will continue partnering with Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, to create a metasurface antenna. The antenna could help future NASA missions map water content on the lunar surface and Earth.

NASA chose the Phase II proposals according to their technical merit and feasibility, Phase I results, and the experience, qualifications, and facilities of the submitting organization. Additional criteria included the effectiveness of the proposed work plan and commercial potential.

“Today’s awards will bring the great ideas that these small businesses and research institutions proved during their Phase I contracts one step closer to reality,” said NASA SBIR/STTR Acting Program Executive Gynelle Steele. “We believe these small businesses, partnered with the research institutions, will rise to the challenge and demonstrate how their innovations can improve our work both inside and outside of the agency for terrestrial applications.”

STTR is part of STMD and is managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. 

To view all the STTR Phase II selections, visit:

For more information on the NASA SBIR/STTR program, including the 2021 NASA SBIR/STTR Phase I solicitation, which is open to small businesses and research institutions through Jan. 8, 2021, please visit:

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

Proposals Selected for Negotiation of Contracts

Alphacore, Inc.
Tempe, AZ
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
Model and Testing Based Assurance of COTS Systems in Space Radiation Environments

Alphacore, Inc.
Tempe, AZ
Arizona State University-Tempe
Tempe, AZ
Ensuring Correct Sensor Operation and Decisions Under Harsh Environments

Cactus Materials
Chandler, AZ
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ
Controlling Silver Release from Antimicrobial Surface Coatings for Biofouling Control

Chemtronergy, LLC
Salt Lake City, UT
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
Solid State Li-S Battery Based on Novel Polymer/Mineral Composite

Continuum Dynamics, Inc.
Ewing, NJ
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA
Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Terminal Area Ride Quality and Safety Assessment Tool

Continuum Dynamics, Inc.
Ewing, NJ
Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC)
Atlanta, GA
Next Generation Distributed Electric Propulsion Urban Air Mobility Aircraft Analysis/Design Tools

Cornerstone Research Group, Inc.
Miamisburg, OH
University of Delaware
Newark, DE
Automated Fabrication of Ablation-Resistant Thermal Protection Systems

Espace, Inc.
Hull, MA
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
Bimodal Ion-Chemical Thruster System

H2O Insights, LLC
Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona State University-Tempe
Tempe, AZ
Side-Emitting Optical Fibers for Delivery of UV-C Light to Disinfect Key Bacteria in Space Station Water and Storage and Conveyance Systems

Mirios, Inc.
Santa Barbara, CA
The Regents of the University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
Broadband Multispectral Mid-Infrared Laser

Multi3D, Inc.
Cary, NC
Duke University
Durham, NC
Beam-Steering Metasurface Antenna for Lunar Soil Moisture Sensing

Plasma Processes, LLC
Huntsville, AL
Georgia Tech Research Corporation
Atlanta, GA
Dual Mode Green Monopropellant Propulsion System for Interplanetary Missions

QorTek, Inc.
Linden, PA
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO
Propellant Storage and Distribution System Based on Textured Ceramic Valves for Xenon Electric Propulsion Systems

Research in Flight
Auburn, AL
Auburn University
Auburn, AL
Air Vehicle Gust Response Analysis for Conceptual Design

SoneLite, Inc.
Del Mar, CA
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
Stillwater, OK
Stochastic Cable Harness Coupling to Electric Fields in Spacecraft Cavities

Spectral Energies, LLC
Dayton, OH
Purdue University-Main Campus
West Lafayette, IN
Concurrent High-Fidelity Measurements and Simulations for Advancing the Design of Rotating Detonation Engines

Tietronix Software, Inc.
Houston, TX
University of Houston-Clear Lake
Houston, TX
Blockchain for Model Based System Engineering

Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
Triadelphia, WV
Clemson University
Clemson, SC
Precision Heated Tooling for OOA Curing of Thin-Ply Composites

Ultra-Low Loss Technologies
Santa Barbara, CA
University of California – Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
High Resolution On-Chip Photonic MKID Spectrometer

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