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Astrapi is the pioneer of “spiral modulation,” “symbol waveform hopping” and other capabilities which open unexplored areas for innovation at the core of telecommunications. The company has fifteen U.S. patents issued, with more pending. Astrapi provides fundamentally new ways to optimize the spectrum use and new ways to secure signal transmission for low-Earth orbit and other communication links. Astrapi applies new mathematics to signal modulation to improve the trade-off between the four fundamental parameters in telecommunications: bandwidth, signal power, data throughput, and error rate. The resulting efficiency translates into higher spectral performance with more bits available at a lower cost.
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Weather Prediction Systems
Atmo’s mission is to make weather and climate forecasts available to every nation worldwide. Over 170 countries do not currently have access to high-quality weather and climate forecasting. Access to accurate forecasts are limited in these places for two reasons: price and complexity of use. Atmo’s answer is the “Atmo Kelvin,” a fully integrated supercomputer and AI-enabled software and hardware stack. Atmo uses AI to improve forecast quality and bring down the cost of the supercomputer. By integrating the full system with data assimilation, redundancy, and a data-centerless supercomputer, Atmo reduces deployment complexity and increases weather forecasts’ reliability.
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Cerfe Labs is developing a revolutionary new class of microelectronic devices based on their patented correlated electron materials. These devices perform as non-volatile memory, which Cerfe calls “CeRAM.” In laboratory prototypes CeRAM has delivered quantum leaps in artificial intelligence capabilities while also operating in the extreme harsh environments demanded by NASA programs. The silicon transistor made critical electronics capabilities possible for NASA in the Apollo program, but future NASA missions require more than what can be delivered by continued scaling of silicon. CeRAM’s novel materials promise to deliver a next wave of electronics capabilities to power NASA’s future.
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Fathom Science LLC
Fathom Science delivers “The Ocean, at Your Fingertips.” By creating high-resolution, high-fidelity marine environment data analytics and forecast using cloud computing, the company supports operations and decision-making for a wide variety of maritime industries in the “blue economy,” an emerging concept which encourages better stewardship of our ocean or ‘blue’ resources. Fathom Science’s technology applies state-of-the-art coupled ocean-atmosphere-wave modeling and data assimilation, enhanced by machine learning techniques to provide digital twins of the ocean environment. These digital twins empower end-users to explore risks associated with different scenarios and better understand the potential impacts of their planning decisions.
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Harmony Aeronautics LLC
Silent Drive (S-Drive) Integrated Propulsor
Electric propulsion has the rare potential to benefit almost every aviation stakeholder. However, propellers and electric motors have conflicting peak efficiency points. This disjunction results in oversized motors, inefficient and loud propellers, and a suboptimal overall design. Harmony’s “S-Drive” integrated propulsor quietly operates at peak aerodynamic and electric efficiency by alleviating the efficiency mismatch. The propulsor relies on two innovative technologies: patented-quiet propellers and magnetic gear integrated motors. These technologies can scale to a range of future aircraft, from fixed-wing hybrid jets to rotary-wing electric air taxis.
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Osazda Energy provides materials engineers solutions to improve solar panel durability. Osazda engineers the metallization material, making fragile metal gridlines stretchy, tough, and crack resilient, allowing more solar energy to be harvested over a panel’s lifetime. Much like steel rebar enhances the strength of concrete, Osazda incorporates carbon nanotubes to improve the mechanical properties of metallization. When subjected to cracking, these carbon nanotubes create flexible and robust conductive pathways for current collection across cell cracks. Osazda’s “MetZilla Technologies” enable lower cost, high durability solar-powered devices to aerospace and terrestrial applications.
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Parthian Electromagnetic [Battery] Sensor (PES)
Parthian is developing a rapid battery diagnosis product, “PESTM” which detects minuscule internal short-circuits to prevent thermal runaway, either during manufacturing or in while in use. The firm proposes to test high energy-density commercially available cells of NASA’s choosing and prove the capability of the Parthian Electromagnetic [battery] Sensor (PES) to predict potential failures during stress testing. This testing will enable data collection for NASA to eventually justify the selection of lower-cost, high energy-density, and long-life commercial electric vehicle lithium ion (EV Li-ion) batteries in NASA’s low-Earth orbit commercialization program efforts.
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Physics-Based Machine Learning for Geospatial Intelligence
The use of physics-based Machine Learning (ML) has enabled the creation of two first-of-a-kind capabilities, “Space Weather Nowcasting” and “Earthquake Forecasting” by Precursor SPC. The firm combines tropospheric, ionospheric, and electromagnetic physics domain knowledge with time-series-based ML to deliver real-time, high-fidelity results. Precursor SPC’s innovations significantly improve predictive analytics performance and promise to deliver new insights and relevant real-time information to bolster space domain awareness and disaster preparedness. These novel capabilities launch new market opportunities and scientific insights for science, industry, commerce, and government.
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Ten Nine Technologies
TENIX Cathode Additive
“TENIX,” Ten-Nine Technologies’ patented nanomaterial, enhances battery cathodes’ energy storage capacity and rate performance and provides a drop-in manufacturing solution that improves any battery’s performance and sustainability profile. In lithium batteries, blending TENIX with the base cathode material results in heightened lithium uptake. This extra uptake results in higher energy density and can double the battery’s life. TENIX blends boost power capability at lower (<50%) states of charge. TENIX is cobalt and nickel-free, and domestically sourced from an ethical, socially responsible supply chain.
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Fusion & Fires
VegaMX is a U.S.-based “AI Insights, New Space Technology” firm addressing food, energy, and national security challenges. The firm uses microwave and optical satellite and airborne sensor technology, the design and operation of complex airborne platforms, atmospheric physics and weather/climate modeling, and AI/ML and massive data management to field commercially successful engineering solutions deployed at leading defense and commercial entities worldwide. With “Fusion & Fires,” VegaMX offers a unified and precise real-time decision-making tool for integration into current dispatch processes to optimize resource management for wildfire response.
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As the entrepreneurial aerospace ecosystem continues to evolve, NASA recognizes that public-private partnerships produce greater impact. SBIR Ignite is a new way for small businesses that have a commercially-viable technology idea to use NASA as a stepping stone in their path towards commercial success. With a greater emphasis on commercialization, SBIR Ignite funds U.S. early-stage, high-risk technology development to help make companies and their technologies more attractive to private sector investors, customers, and partners.
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