Noesis Wins SBIR Contract to Make Propellers Safer
Small business qualifier Noesis Inc. in Manassas, VA received a not-to-exceed $25 million Phase III Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program contract for Topic N01-158 entitled “Enhanced Propeller Visibility.” The objective of the topic is to enhance aircraft propeller awareness to improve ground crew safety through further research and development of the Low Light Level Illuminator (LLLI) coatings for propellers and rotors on military aircraft.
Noesis notes that in the past 3 years alone, two sailors have been killed in propeller accidents related to low-visibility conditions. The sequence of the awards matches the usual sequence of successful SBIR/STTR innovations, a process DID has covered before. For this innovation, the process was as follows:
Noesis’ 2001 initial Phase I SBIR award funded a feasibility study to demonstrate new ways to improve the safety of passengers boarding propeller-driven aircraft, as well as the flight deck crews who work in close proximity to these craft in low light, poor-visibility conditions.
In 2003, Noesis won a Phase II SBIR award to develop LLLI coatings. These coatings were demonstrated on aircraft propellers on test stands and in shipboard trials, and Noesis has identified many other applications for these coatings: chocks, chains, tie-downs, hard-points, tow-bars, toolboxes, and many more.
The Phase III SBIR award is intended to carry the project through to full commercialization, and hopefully procurement through regular contracting channels. Work will be performed in Arlington, VA and is expected to be complete in December 2007. This contract was competitively procured using SBIR Program Solicitation under Topic N01-158, with 14 offers received for the Phase I competition. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, NJ issued this contract (N68335-06-D-0007).