The Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate is reaching out to small businesses to explore space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance technologies.
The service is looking for companies that can fill technology gaps by working alongside the Catalyst Space Accelerator program, which is a public-private partnership. KiMar Gartman, director of the accelerator, said the research lab is interested in systems such as space-based sensors that can discriminate between different objects.
The organization offers a 12-week program that connects businesses with the military and subject matter experts in areas such as finance and law, she noted. This helps companies determine if their technologies would be able to meet the needs of potential customers. The program will culminate in a demonstration day for vendors to show their products to investors, such as the other military services.
“It just helps them to get an idea of whether or not their technology is relevant to the problem statement — those commercially and in the DoD,” she said. “We try to bring in the Army, the Navy, and other Air Force units that would have interest in the technology.”
"The goal is to have eight companies participate in the upcoming accelerator, which is scheduled for September," Gartman said.
The next demonstration day is slated for November. The events are held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which is “one of the hubs of space,” Gartman said.