Phase Four technician Josh Lopez integrates two Maxwell Block 1 top level assemblies during Phase Four's second production run. After integration, the engines moved to software acceptance testing. Credit: Phase Four

WASHINGTON — At a virtual pitch event Aug. 19, the U.S. Space Force selected 19 companies that each will receive $1.7 million Small Business Innovation Research Phase 2 contracts. 

The ‘Space Force Pitch Day’ marked the launch of SpaceWERX, a new industry outreach organization funded by the Space Force and the Air Force Research Laboratory. 

 Lt. Col. Walter McMillan, SpaceWERX director, said 24 companies pitched products over two days. The competitors had previously won SBIR Phase 1 contracts. The winners of Phase 2 contracts can continue to apply for follow-on government funding if their projects are successful and attract commercial investors.

Space Force Pitch Day winners: 

Archaius: Positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) devices for use in GPS-denied environments.

Astrobotic: Event camera (also known as neuromorphic camera) based sensor for spacecraft navigation and space domain awareness.

Architecture Technology Corp.: Software for satellite communications modems that enables seamless interoperability.  

Caliola Engineering: Cyber security technology for hybrid government-private sector communications networks.

Cambrian Works: Software to allow satellites to create a low-latency, secure network.

CAMX Power: Long-life power cell and batteries for satellites.

Capella Space: Integration of space-based synthetic aperture radar data with unmanned air vehicles provide multi-domain intelligence. 

Cognitive Space: Multilevel-security planning system to share data collected by satellites.

eBase Analytics: Game theory simulations to assess the risks of space assets in orbit. 

Kestrel Corp.: 2D hyper-spectral imagery and data analytics to track moving targets.

Lunewave: 3D printed satellite antennas to monitor multiple satellites simultaneously.

Lux Semiconductors: Advanced electronics with greater radiation tolerance for space computing.

Orbit Fab: Satellite servicing vehicle for refueling satellites. 

Phase Four: Satellite engine that uses a green propellant developed by the Air Force to enable multi-mode propulsion that combines the high thrust of chemical propulsion and the high efficiency of electric propulsion.

Rocket Communications: Advanced visualization tools to simplify satellite maneuvering and for training operators.

SimX: Virtual reality medical simulation training for crews that support space operations. 

Starfish Space: Autonomous software for satellite proximity operations and docking.

The Provenance Chain Network: A open standards platform to track the supply chain materials and participants.

Toyon Research Corp.: Image processing framework to assess the performance of overhead persistent infrared sensors.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...