KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (Oct. 26, 2015) – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (the ISS National Lab), the manager of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, today announced it has granted research agreements to five businesses in the technology development and remote-sensing industries. The agreements will allow these businesses to access the unique research environment of the ISS National Laboratory to further their individual investigations and offer new cutting-edge solutions and products capable of benefitting life on Earth.
“Today’s announcement represents a major win for the National Laboratory,” said the ISS National Lab Director of Operations Ken Shields. “The ISS National Lab has placed a heavy emphasis in reaching out to the technology development and remote sensing communities to showcase the unique opportunities that are possible through ISS experimentation. These projects further diversify our robust research portfolio and demonstrate the immense value the ISS National Laboratory offers to U.S. commercial enterprises.”
Below is a list of the five companies that received research agreements from the ISS National Lab:
Company: ACME Advanced Materials, Rich Glover
Investigation: SiC Microgravity Enhanced Electrical Performance (MEEP)
Silicon Carbide (SiC) is a near-perfect semiconductor material, but applications to large-scale devices have been limited by the inability to make substrates and layers sufficiently free of defects. ACME, which currently processes SiC wafers in microgravity, seeks to determine whether longer-duration spaceflight can provide additional defect reduction in SiC wafers. Through exposure to microgravity, atoms settle to a lower energy state in the material lattice, the result of which is a reduction of defects. ACME’s current low-defect materials have allowed the construction of prototype devices with much higher efficiency and greater reliability than traditional devices. It is hoped that longer exposure to microgravity will result in the elimination of all defects and provide consumers with a new generation of high-performance devices.
Company: Business Integra, Trent Martin
Investigation: SG100 Cloud Computing Payload
A test validation project, the SG100 Cloud Computing Payload aims to demonstrate that the computer platform has the ability to support much higher processing demands of current and future scientific and aerospace applications in low Earth orbit. The test period will be two years, with interim data reports at six-month intervals. Should the test period prove successful, Business Integra’s technology could provide a low-risk, better performing solution to satellite and experiment developers.
Company: Deep Space Industries, David Gump
Investigation: Spherical Video Tour of the ISS
Immersive spherical video is the next wave of virtual reality technology. Through this project, Deep Space Industries (in conjunction with Thrillbox) seeks to capture video content inside of the ISS that the ISS National Lab will repurpose for potential new users to the ISS National Laboratory, students, and the general public, providing a unique tour of the facilities available.
Company: Ursa Space Systems, Adam Maher
Ursa Space Systems seeks to provide location-based information services and data visualization solutions to a broad range of users searching for accurate measurements of the Earth’s surface and activity in real time. PolarISS, Ursa Space Systems’ ISS-hosted synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensor, will immediately provide high-quality information products to a diverse set of users that include meteorologists, cartographers, scientists, humanitarian relief workers, and farmers. Ursa Space Systems will also use this project as a technology demonstrator for their planned free-flying constellation of SAR satellites.
Company: Vision Engineering Solutions, Dr. John Stryjewski
Investigation: Space-Based Optical Tracker
Vision Engineering Solutions seeks to evaluate a novel approach to identify, track, and report the size and location of debris and objects with little or no radar cross-section through use of the Space-Based Optical Tracker. The tracker will serve an integral role in a suite of sensors operated by companies such as AGI’s Commercial Space Operations Center (ComSpOC). The Space-Based Optical Tracker will contribute to space traffic control by decreasing the probability of collisions between current and future satellites and commercial spacecraft and by creating a more reliable and safe operating environment in an increasingly crowded operational domain.
Each award is contingent upon the completion of an agreement between recipient and the ISS National Lab on mutually acceptable terms and conditions.
For additional information about the ISS National Lab opportunities, including instructions on submitting a proposal, please visit: www.issnationallab.org/solicitations. To learn more about the ISS, including past research, available hardware and facilities, please visit: www.spacestationresearch.com.
About the ISS National Lab
The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (the ISS National Lab) is dedicated to supporting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries that will enhance the health and wellbeing of people and our planet. In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the International Space Station (ISS) as the nation’s newest “national laboratory” to further improving life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users and advancing STEM education.
In July 2011, NASA selected the ISS National Lab to maximize use of the ISS U.S. National Laboratory through 2020. Today, the ISS National Lab works to make this unique laboratory environment available to U.S. government agencies, academic and private institutions, providing them access to a permanent microgravity setting, a vantage point in low-Earth orbit and varied environments of space. For more information, visit www.issnationallab.org.
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