NASA selects 133 proposals to spur space, business innovation

NASA AMES RESEARCH CENTER/Moffett Field, Calif. NASA has selected 133 proposals -- valued at approximately $100 million total -- from U.S. small businesses to conduct research and develop technologies that will enable NASA's future missions into deep space and will ultimately benefit the U.S. economy. These proposals were selected under Phase II of NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

Phase II of the SBIR project will expand on the results gained during recently-completed Phase I projects; during Phase I, selected proposals received six-month contracts of as much as $125,000. Phase II contracts are awarded up to $750,000, with a period of performance of no more than two years. Successful Phase II projects may go on to Phase III of the program, which is commercialization of the innovation.

According to NASA, SBIR's fundamental requirement is that the proposals fulfill needs that are core to the agency’s future exploration goals, such as:

  • Multifunctional, lightweight metallic materials that can be used to create the advanced structures needed for future deep-space missions and next-generation aeronautics capabilities
  • Compact, high-powered 3-D LIDAR (light detection and ranging) systems for unmanned aircraft that significantly reduces the size and weight of object-detection sensors, with applications ranging from autonomous aircraft to space missions
  • Technology that integrates plastic recycling, dry-heat sterilization, and a 3-D printer to create materials that can be used to print food- and medical-grade devices, thereby lowering mission costs and trash generated on lengthy manned space missions
  • Technology that will enable constellations of individual satellites to fly in precise formation and perform coordinated experiments, with such capabilities as autonomous rendezvous and docking and precision formation flying, for both manned and robotic exploration missions

The SBIR program is managed for the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) by NASA's Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.

For a list of firms selected and proposals accepted, please visit NASA's SBIR page.