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NASA iTech Top 25 Semifinalists Announced

· News Release

Twenty-five of the most promising ideas submitted by innovators across the U.S. are moving forward as semifinalists in the most recent challenge issued through NASA’s iTech initiative. NASA iTech is a yearlong effort to find innovative ideas that address challenges that will fill gaps in critical areas identified by NASA as having a potential impact on future space exploration.

This February, NASA iTech issued a call for white papers outlining possible solutions within five Cycle II challenge focus areas. A panel of subject matter experts representing NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist are now reviewing the top 25 semifinalist entries based on their relevance, likelihood of achievement and potential positive impact to space exploration and life on Earth.

The top 25 NASA iTech Cycle II semifinalists include (in alphabetical order):

Aesop Technologies - Newport News, Virginia
Innovation: Aesop Nucleus
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations

Apex Space Technologies - Tacoma, Washington
Innovation: Cryogenic Vortex Scrubber for Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapor Removal
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations

Applied Chaos Lab at NCSU - Raleigh, North Carolina
Innovation: Adaptive, Fault Tolerant Hardware Suitable for Autonomous, Mission Sensitive Applications
Challenge Area: Autonomy

AT&T Moonshot - Snohomish, Washington
Innovation: Enabling High Earth Orbit Communications
Challenge Area: Autonomy

Audacy - Mountain View, California
Innovation: Seamless and On-Demand Satellite Communications Architecture
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations

Bitome - Boston, Massachusetts
Innovation: In Vivo Metabolism Monitoring by Miniaturized NMR Spectroscopy
Challenge Area: Medical Systems and Operations

CALCE - University of Maryland - College Park, Maryland
Innovation: Fusion Prognostics for System Health Management
Challenge Area: Big Data

CALCE - University of Maryland - College Park, Maryland
Innovation: An Efficient Ensemble Learning Method for Classification of Big Data
Challenge Area: Big Data

CALCE - University of Maryland - College Park, Maryland
Innovation: Radiation Reliability of Electronics in Internet of Things Applications
Challenge Area: Radiation Protection and Mitigation

John Hopkins University - Baltimore, Maryland
Innovation: Complexity for Mars: Algorithms and Sensors for Network Analysis of Contributing Factors to Assess and Promote Mission Resilience in Human Space Flights
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations

Context Medical - Santa Clara, California
Innovation: Diagnostic Digital Biomarkers
Challenge Area: Medical Systems and Operations

Dominion Space - Austin, Texas
Innovation: Self-Assembling, Self-Repairing Geodesic Domes and Spheres
Challenge Area: Autonomy

Flux IoT - Dallas, Texas
Innovation: Eddy. The Brain for the First Autonomous Farm on Mars
Challenge Area: Big Data

Fiplate - Las Vegas, Nevada
Innovation: Tissue Regeneration After Radiological and Acute Trauma in Space
Challenge Area: Radiation Protection and Mitigation

NAG-Biosystems - Miami, Florida
Innovation: Multifactor Supplement Solution for Radiation Protection and Mitigation
Challenge Area: Radiation Protection and Mitigation

Naval Postgraduate School - Monterey, California
Innovation: Autonomous Operations of Large-Scale Satellite Constellations and Ground Station Networks
Challenge Area: Autonomy

Oceanit - Honolulu, Hawaii
Innovation: In-Situ Resource Utilization: Extraterrestrial Active Transformer for Elemental Recovery
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations

Omniboros - Washington, DC
Innovation: Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) for Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Unmet Needs
Challenge Area: Autonomy

PacSci EMC - Chandler, Arizona
Innovation: Modular Architecture Propulsion System (MAPS™)
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations

QuantumStack - Suffolk, Virginia
Innovation: Decentralized Global Computer Network
Challenge Area: Big Data

SpaceBooster - Aurora, Colorado
Innovation: Interplanetary Spacecraft
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations

TriTex - Houston, Texas
Innovation: Tradeoffs in Data Analytics
Challenge Area: Big Data

UHD Robotics Team - Houston, Texas
Innovation: Cognitive Control of Robots with Functional Neuroimaging Data and Transfer Learning
Challenge Area: Autonomy

State University of New York at Buffalo - Amherst, New York
Innovation: Relative Navigation for a Formation of Spacecraft With Laser Communication Devices
Challenge Area: Autonomy

University of Houston - Houston, Texas
Innovation: Biologically Inspired Adaptive Anti-Icing Surfaces
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations

The top ten finalists will be announced on June 10. These finalists will be invited to present their ideas to NASA’s chief technologists, space industry leaders and potential investors at the 2017 NASA iTech Forum during NASA Langley Research Center’s Centennial celebrations in July.

NASA’s iTech is an initiative by NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist and is managed by the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) in Hampton, Virginia. The Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT) provides the strategy and leadership that integrates NASA’s technology development and innovation activities.

Journalists wishing to attend the NASA iTech Forum in July in Hampton, Virginia must RSVP to Gina Anderson, NASA HQ Office of Communications, by COB Friday, July 7.

For information about the NASA iTech initiative, visit:

For information about NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist, visit:

Gina Anderson
Headquarters, Washington

Timothy Allen
National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, Va.

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