The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
recently announced the award of a number of research contracts under
NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

Six of nine research proposals recommended by NASA’s Dryden
Flight Research Center at Edwards, Calif. were among the 137
proposals selected for funding by the agency. The contract awards,
covering specific research activity, are valued at up to $600,000
each over a two-year performance period.

Rodney Bogue, Dryden’s SBIR program manager, said the Dryden
center is responsible for both contract management and technical
oversight of the projects at each of the six firms whose proposals
were selected for funding.

Two of the six proposals involve currently active flight
research and development projects at Dryden, and all six relate to
advanced aeronautical engineering concepts which may be flight tested
at Dryden in the future.

“The intent of these SBIR Phase 2 contracts is to bring to
the marketplace commercially viable projects useful to both NASA and
other members of the aerospace community, thereby strengthening the
nation’s small businesses,” Bogue added.

The six firms selected for SBIR Phase 2 contract awards from
NASA Dryden and their research proposals include:

* Lynntech, Inc., College Station, Texas – A Unitized Regenerative
Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell Energy Storage System.
Lynntech is one of two firms which are developing prototype
hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell and electrolyzer components utilizing
proton exchange membrane technology for a regenerative energy storage
system being designed by AeroVironment, Inc., for its Helios
solar-powered flying wing.

* Engineering Computations of Cerritos, Calif. – Development of a
Finite Element Viscous Aeroservoelastic Analysis Capability.
Engineering Computations is developing a multi-disciplinary analysis
tool to solve problems involving the interaction of aerodynamic,
structural, and propulsion systems commonly encountered in modern
high-performance aircraft.

* Coherent Technologies, Inc., Lafayette, Colo. – Feed-Forward
Turbulence Mitigation Using Coherent Doppler Lidar. Coherent
Technologies is partnered with NASA Dryden in research and
development of a practical airborne lidar (light detection and
ranging)-based system which, in conjunction with improved weather
radar, can detect clear air turbulence far enough in advance to allow
pilots time to take evasive action or to warn passengers of impending
turbulence. Flight tests of the system on NASA Dryden’s DC-8 flying
laboratory are expected to occur within the next year.

* Systems Technology, Inc., of Hawthorne, Calif. – On-Line Prediction
of Loss of Control Using Wavelets. The firm will be developing
techniques to increase aircraft safety by detecting the onset of loss
of control and providing pilot notification or autonomously taking
corrective action.

* Tao of Systems Integration, Inc., Williamsburg, Va. – Real-Time,
In-Flight Determination of Unsteady Aerodynamic Loads and Moments.
Tao of Systems Integration is pioneering the use of hot film
anemometry technology to quickly and economically obtain aerodynamic
characteristics which are needed to improve ride quality, safety and
stability of a wide variety of aircraft.

* TechLand Research, Inc., North Olmstead, Ohio – Flight Testing of a
New Design Concept for Axisymmetric Inlets. TechLand Research will be
investigating a new approach for supersonic engine inlets which is
expected to reduce weight, complexity and cost for this vitally
important component of supersonic propulsion systems.

Nationwide, 267 proposals for Phase 2 research funding were
submitted by SBIR contractors that had completed initial Phase 1
projects. The 137 projects selected for Phase 2 grants were
considered the most promising in terms of technical merit and
innovation for meeting the agency’s needs. Among the selection
criteria were the results of each firm’s Phase 1 efforts, the value
of the research to NASA, commercial potential and each company’s

NASA’s SBIR program was developed to stimulate technical
innovation, increase the use of small business-including female-owned
and economically disadvantaged firms-in meeting federal research and
development needs, and increase private-sector commercialization of
federally funded research.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. manages
the program, with individual research projects managed by NASA’s 10
field centers.