Proposal programs such as Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Technology Transfer (STTR) give NASA a wealth of options to wade through in its search for the next great technology. The Agency recently selected 149 more research and technology proposals to help pave a quicker path toward future missions into the solar system, as well as benefit American small businesses and research institutions.
The chosen proposals will work to develop efficient energy and power systems for human and robotic spacecraft, new concepts for in-space propulsion, advanced telescope technologies to enable a new class of critical observatories, and next-generation sensors for planet exploration.
One study in particular will look at ultra-high-energy solid-state batteries with the potential to power traveling spacecraft, rovers, and human habitat systems. The technology, if successful, could then be transformed for use in electric cars to travel greater distances between charges, or for cellphone’s to keep their charge for months instead of days.
The SBIR and STTR Programs are competitive, awards-focused programs with selection criteria based on technical merit, feasibility, experience, qualifications, and facilities. The selected aerospace technology and innovation projects have a total value of approximately $118.1 million, supporting 117 U.S. firms and research institutions in 26 states.