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NASA Space Science

NASA Announces 120 Small Research Projects 41

eldavojohn writes "NASA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) has released a list of the winning businesses that submitted research proposals in 2006. This is the second phase of a three phase award system and NASA has announced the winners. If you click on any of the projects, there is an interesting writeup of the proposal and technical abstract."
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NASA Announces 120 Small Research Projects

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    What the hell is that smell coming from the breakroom?
  • /.'ed or? (Score:2, Informative)

    by ed.mps ( 1015669 )
    first link:
    http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/SBIR/sbir2006/phase2/awards/2006topic.html [nasa.gov]

    Forbidden
    You don't have permission to access /SBIR/sbir2006/phase2/awards/2006topic.html on this server.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You know that every department of the US has SBIR/STTR proposals and are required to spend a certain percentage of their budget on this. They have sponsored a lot of cool projects in the past, and hopefully will continue to do so. I don't get what is so special about NASA's this time around. Most of the projects for all of the different departments are technologically interesting or clever. If you haven't, go search all of the projects that they have funded in the past, it spurs the imagination if nothi
    • by korbin_dallas ( 783372 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @02:46PM (#20985641) Journal
      There was a real boon of these in the late 1990s. By 2006 they were mostly gone.
      At least the DoD ones we looked at/for. What used to take us weeks to look over were down to 5 or 6 listings.

      By the 3rd phase you were supposed to be in a position to turn these R&D tasks into real commercial products.

      One was even Cheneys little betting scheme, Predictive Markets.

      • by d12v10 ( 1046686 )
        There still are a lot of these. There's always DoD money to go around, you see...
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by GuyMannDude ( 574364 )

        There was a real boon of these in the late 1990s. By 2006 they were mostly gone. At least the DoD ones we looked at/for. What used to take us weeks to look over were down to 5 or 6 listings.

        I don't know what the hell you are talking about. The 3rd round of 2007 DoD SBIRs closed last month and there were hundreds of topics. The only thing I can guess is that either you were looking at a specific agency that typically doesn't release many topics (e.g., National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency) or you were looking at a rare round in which there were few topics. But the Army, Air Force, and Navy always release tons of topics. I've never seen a SBIR round that only had 5 or 6 total listings. I'll

        • Must have been one of those rare rounds, as we often looked at Army, AirForce and Navy listings.
          And yeah, most of them were very well populated.
      • by khallow ( 566160 )

        One was even Cheneys little betting scheme, Predictive Markets.

        I have no clue how you've come to associate predictive markets with Vice President Cheney. These predate the G. W. Bush administration by a considerable margin. For example, stock options are predictive markets. Insurance is a predictive market. Options come from the early 20th century, I think, and insurance is centuries old. More recently we have pure examples of predictive markets. These predate the Bush administration by years. For example, the Iowa Election Market [uiowa.edu] was created sometime in the 80's. The

  • by GreggBz ( 777373 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @02:51PM (#20985719) Homepage
    Whenever there is a space story on slashdot, we get comments pining for the privatization of spaceflight. I wish for that also, but I'm pretty pessimistic about it. The financial reward for exploring space is nill. There is no sustainable business model for sending people into space, yet. The viability of commercial communication satellites has given birth to an industry there, but don't expect LEO cruises from United Airlines anytime soon.

    So, stuff like this that touches the private sector is always good. Government contracts can keep a small private R&D company in business. Enabling technological competition is a good idea as long as it's done without prejudice. All the problems that were proposed are specific concise things, which is good in that it eliminates the bureaucracy of a large complex project. NASA may have it's problems, but I feel fine spending my tax dollars on this.
    • by GuyMannDude ( 574364 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @03:27PM (#20986217) Journal

      So, stuff like this that touches the private sector is always good. Government contracts can keep a small private R&D company in business. Enabling technological competition is a good idea as long as it's done without prejudice. All the problems that were proposed are specific concise things, which is good in that it eliminates the bureaucracy of a large complex project. NASA may have it's problems, but I feel fine spending my tax dollars on this.

      Disclaimer: I work for one of the companies that won two awards listed on the website.

      If you like the idea of your tax dollars going to smaller companies, then please let your congressional representative know! The SBIR program has been targeted in recent years by lawmakers who feel that it's a waste of money. Just as worrisome, in the last month they managed to fast-track the passing of a bill [washingtonpost.com] letting a "small" company owned by a venture capital firm compete for SBIR dollars. The whole point of the SBIR program was to provide funding for small, innovative firms that didn't have deep pockets.

      The SBIR program has become very competitive in the last few years and it's not surprising that big-money is looking for ways to grab that away from smaller, independent companies. If you like the idea of your tax dollars supporting lean, innovative companies, please let your rep know. The SBIR program is a valuable source of funding to allow small companies to develop technology that will let them one day compete with the sluggish, established behemoths (e.g., Microsoft).

      GMD

      • by sconeu ( 64226 )
        Having worked in the past for a company whose lifeblood was SBIR, all I can say is the following:

        [AOL]Me Too![/AOL],
        and
        MOD THIS GUY UP!
        • I also worked for a company whose lifeblood was SBIR, and that never sat quite right with me. My impression is/was that the SBIR program was supposed to be a transitional thing for a small company with a great new idea - not a constant source of cash flow for a company that has gotten good at cranking out SBIR proposals. In my eyes, SBIR mills like the guys in NH are gaming the system. Look through the award archives, and you'll notice that some of the multiple award winners have been at this for quite a
          • I too have worked for a company that did SBIR's. The system has a number of problems. The company would've liked to grow more but was limited by SBIR rules-- too much growth and they'd no longer qualify for the 'S' part. I saw a certain amount of corruption as well. It's not just bigs that have a monopoly on corruption. One proposal I saw was obviously cooked so that only a particular research team could qualify. They didn't even have anything innovative, all they claimed was a particular way of image
      • If you like the idea of your tax dollars going to smaller companies

          I'd rather the government not give my money to any company.

          If you have too much to spend, government, and I know you do, give it back, please.
        • by lenski ( 96498 )
          Ordinarily, I tend toward agreement with this sentiment. However, not completely. My responses are:

          A single government worker (classical civil service worker) is simply a "one person nano-company" and in a strictly academic sense, the government would always be giving your money to private interests.

          (as expressed very well elsewhere in this thread) SBIRs are intended to help exactly the correct class of company: People who are not Big Contractors. There is a substantial body of evidence that great innovatio
        • If you have too much to spend, government, and I know you do, give it back, please.

          The SBIR process is how we give money back. Would you rather we just gave money to random people in the parking lot at Wal Mart?
      • Agreed. (Disclaimer, I'm NASA employee who happens to review the occasional SBIR proposal).

        The SBIR program also helps support professors and grad students. Associate faculty can incorporate as a small business and win funding that helps them make ends meet as researchers and educators. Many phase 1 projects are roughly the size of 1 or 2 masters' theses, ideal for a small "business" consisting of a PI/professor and a few grad students. I know a few people who wouldn't have been able to make it through
      • by giminy ( 94188 )
        Disclaimer: I work for one of the companies that won two awards listed on the website.

        If you like the idea of your tax dollars going to smaller companies, then please let your congressional representative know! The SBIR program has been targeted in recent years by lawmakers who feel that it's a waste of money.


        Disclaimer: I used to work for a government agency that awarded numerous SBIRs. I reviewed proposals, met with the small businesses owners, etc.

        For the most part, SBIR awards go to companies that win
        • by giminy ( 94188 )
          I'd like to reply to myself with an excerpt from the SBIR award contract, just to highlight one of the other big problems: SBIR data rights.

          " (1) Each agency must refrain from disclosing SBIR technical data to outside the Government (except reviewers) and especially to competitors of the SBC, or from using the information to produce future technical procurement specifications that could harm the SBC that discovered and developed the innovation."

          So, essentially if I pay a small business for phase 1 and phase
    • see, the whole privitized space race is a problem. as another poster has pointed out, there is currently no money in it. that means that without the goverment to step in, the only people who will step up and take off are the rich/unhealthy-obsessed. is that what us space nuts want?
  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @02:59PM (#20985845)
    Here is a list of 25 companies that look like they are doing fun things with tech. Its a job seekers dream.
  • about time! (Score:3, Funny)

    by taupin ( 1047372 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @03:04PM (#20985905)
    Finally, small projects that might actually be finished!
    • Re:about time! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by riffraff ( 894 ) on Monday October 15, 2007 @03:09PM (#20985963) Homepage
      I used to work for a company at JSC that got SBIR's. I used to think the same thing, but what happens is that even if a project is canceled, they use all the information learned from the project to further other projects. So even projects that aren't "finished" are at least useful.

      Usually.
      • My small enterprise (sole prop) won an SBIR from the US Dept of Ed to create a method for teachers to better utilize data in the classroom to drive instructional design. Unfortunately, I didn't win the second phase, but I did parlay the l33t java skills I gained in the effort for a new gig in Ann Arbor.

        As soon as I get all the code cleaned up, I hope to upload it to Sourceforge.
  • NASA's JPL has announced that they've synthesized a Liquefied Chuck Norris Round-House Kick (LCNRHK). While they admit it's not quite as powerful as the real thing, three gallons of LCNRHK would be sufficient to launch the Space Shuttle into orbit.

  • Seems all the abstracts on NASA's site are ass-backwards. . They have the NON-NASA application mixed up with the NASA Applications.

    POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS Electrospray gettering may be applied to Building HVAC "Collect-To-Protect" applications for counter-terror protection, home HVAC use, automotive ventilation filtration applications, airplane air filtration, and submarine air filtration to name just a few commerical uses.

    POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters

  • Once again, NASA rejects the plans to build the world's first warp nacelle. Each year, I fight through this bureaucratic red tape. I swear, at this rate, I won't be able to launch a warp vessel until 2063!
  • From the article - "The SBIR program is a highly competitive, three-phase award system. It provides qualified small businesses - including those owned by women and the disadvantaged - with opportunities to propose unique ideas that meet specific research and development needs of the federal government."

    So previously women and the disadvantaged couldn't propose ideas to the federal government?

  • Handy pocket-sized units conversion chart.

APL hackers do it in the quad.

Working...