Friday, June 28, 2019

Small businesses getting $45M

NASA has selected 363 proposals from small businesses and research institutions across 41 states to help advance capabilities for future missions to the Moon and beyond. The selections have an estimated value of more than $45 million and are part of NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. They include seven SBIR projects and two STTR projects tied to Stennis Space Center, Miss., where rocket engines are tested. More than 20 percent of the businesses are from underrepresented communities, including minority and women-owned businesses. Among the projects are an intelligent rover wheel with integrated sensing and perception subsystems to improve mobility on the Moon and planetary bodies. The technology could also be used on Earth for autonomous tractors and other off-road vehicles. Also included is a project for a light-weight, deployable solar panel that leverages recent advancements in thin film solar cell technology. It rolls into a compact cylinder for storage, as opposed to conventional rigid solar panels that require mechanical hinges. (Source: NASA/SSC, 06/28/19)