NASA has awarded a contract to Nano comp Technologies Inc. of Merrimack, New Hampshire, for the continued development of high strength carbon nanotube (CNT) material.

The firm-fixed-price contract allows for the continued improvement of manufacturing high-strength CNT yarn/tape for use in developing CNT composites with strength properties at least double that of carbon fiber composites in use today. The contract also provides for studying commercialization objectives for CNT material as well as expanding manufacturing capabilities to lower production costs of high strength CNT yarn. 

The contract is a Phase III Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) award funded by NASA’s Game Changing Development program. The period of performance began Sept. 26 2018, with a 15-month base period followed by a 17-month option for ongoing development. The potential value for the combined base and option period is $8.1 million.

The overall project is managed by the Advanced Materials and Processing Branch in the Research Directorate at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

The SBIR program encourages small businesses to develop innovative ideas that meet the specific research and development needs of the federal government. Phase I work and results provide a sound basis for the continued development, demonstration and delivery of the proposed innovation in Phase II and follow-on efforts. Phase III is the commercialization of innovative technologies, products and services resulting from either a Phase I or Phase II contract. The Game Changing Development program aims to advance exploratory concepts and deliver transition ready technology solutions to NASA missions and industry. Both programs fall under NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.

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