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 2 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 2 semifinalists include (in alphabetical order):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entrant: Context Medical, Santa Clara, CA
Innovation: Diagnostic Digital Biomarkers
Challenge Area: Medical Systems and Operations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entrant: QuantumStack, Suffolk, VA
Innovation: Decentralized Global Computer Network
Challenge Area: Big Data

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

Entrant: TriTex, Houston, TX
Innovation: Tradeoffs in Data Analytics
Challenge Area: Big Data

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

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

Entrant: University of Houston, Houston, TX
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: http://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/overview

For information about NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/oct


Contacts:

Gina Anderson
Headquarters, Washington     
202-358-1160
gina.n.anderson@nasa.gov 

Timothy Allen
National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, Va.
615-955-2859
timothy.allen@nianet.org