National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Small Business Innovation Research & Technology Transfer 2009 Program Solicitations

Chapter 9.1.3

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NASA’s Science Mission Directorate(SMD)conducts scientific exploration that is enabled by access to space. We project humankind’s vantage point into space with observatories in Earth orbit and deep space, spacecraft visiting the Moon and other planetary bodies, and robotic landers, rovers, and sample return missions. From space, in space, and about space, NASA’s science vision encompasses questions as practical as hurricane formation, as enticing as the prospect of lunar resources, and as profound as the origin of the Universe.

From space we can view the Earth as a planet, seeing the interconnectedness of the oceans, atmosphere, continents, ice sheets, and life itself. At NASA we study planet Earth as a dynamic system of diverse components interacting in complex ways—a challenge on a par with any in science. We observe and track global-scale changes, and we study regional changes in their global context. We observe the role that human civilization increasingly plays as a force of change. We trace effect to cause, connect variability and forcing with response, and vastly improve national capabilities to predict climate, weather, and natural hazards. NASA research is an essential part of national and international efforts to employ Earth observations and scientific understanding in service to society. We extend humankind’s virtual presence throughout the solar system via robotic visitors to other planets and their moons, to asteroids and comets, and to icy bodies in the outer reaches known as the Kuiper Belt. We are completing our first survey of the solar system with one mission that will fly by Pluto and another that will visit two protoplanets, Ceres and Vesta. We are in the midst of a large-scale investigation of Mars, with one or more robotic missions launching every 26 months when the positions of Mars and Earth are optimal. We are directing our attention to certain moons of the giant planets where we see intriguing signs of surface dynamism and of water within, knowing that on Earth, where there is water and energy there is also life. We are progressing from observers to rovers to sample return missions, each step bringing us closer to our principal goals: to understand our origins, to learn whether life does or did exist elsewhere in the solar system, and to prepare for human expeditions to the Moon, Mars and beyond. For more information on SMD, visit

The following topics and subtopics seek to develop technology to enable science missions in support of these strategic objectives.

TOPIC S1 Sensors, Detectors, and Instruments
S1.01 Lidar and Laser System Components
S1.02 Active Microwave Technologies
S1.03 Passive Microwave Technologies
S1.04 Sensor and Detector Technology for Visible, IR, Far IR and Submillimeter
S1.05 Detector Technologies for UV, X-Ray, Gamma-Ray and Cosmic-Ray Instruments
S1.06 Particles and Field Sensors and Instrument Enabling Technologies
S1.07 Cryogenic Systems for Sensors and Detectors
S1.08 In Situ Airborne, Surface, and Submersible Instruments for Earth Science
S1.09 In Situ Sensors and Sensor Systems for Planetary Science
S1.10 Space Geodetic Observatory Components
S1.11 Lunar Science Instruments and Technology

TOPIC S2 Advanced Telescope Systems
S2.01 Precision Spacecraft Formations for Telescope Systems
S2.02 Proximity Glare Suppression for Astronomical Coronagraphy
S2.03 Precision Deployable Optical Structures and Metrology
S2.04 Advanced Optical Component Systems
S2.05 Optics Manufacturing and Metrology for Telescope Optical Surfaces

TOPIC S3 Spacecraft and Platform Subsystems
S3.01 Command, Data Handling, and Electronics
S3.02 Thermal Control Systems
S3.03 Power Generation and Conversion
S3.04 Propulsion Systems
S3.05 Power Management and Storage
S3.06 Guidance, Navigation and Control
S3.07 Sensor and Platform Data Processing and Control
S3.08 Planetary Ascent Vehicles
S3.09 Technologies for Unmanned Atmospheric Platforms
S3.10 Terrestrial Balloon Technologies

TOPIC S4 Low-Cost Small Spacecraft and Technologies
S4.01 Radiation Hardened High-Density Memory, High Speed Memory Controllers, Data Busses
S4.02 Radiation Hardened Integrated Unit: GPS/IMU/Time/Processor
S4.03 Wireless Data and/or Power Connectivity for Small Spacecraft
S4.04 Low Cost, High Accuracy Timing Signals
S4.05 High Torque, Low Jitter Reaction Wheels or Control Moment Gyros
S4.06 AI&T Planner and Scheduler

TOPIC S5 Robotic Exploration Technologies
S5.01 Planetary Entry, Descent and Landing Technology
S5.02 Sample Collection, Processing, and Handling
S5.03 Surface and Subsurface Robotic Exploration
S5.04 Rendezvous and Docking Technologies for Orbiting Sample Capture
S5.05 Extreme Environments Technology
S5.06 Planetary Balloon Technology

TOPIC S6 Information Technologies
S6.01 Technologies for Large-Scale Numerical Simulation
S6.02 Earth Science Applied Research and Decision Support
S6.03 Algorithms for Science Data Processing and Analysis
S6.04 Data Management - Mining and Visualization
S6.05 Software Engineering Tools for Scientific Models

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