A Tulsa-based manufacturing company has been awarded a research grant from NASA.
In collaboration with Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, Infinite Composites Technologies was among 363 proposals selected by NASA, securing Oklahoma’s only NASA Small Business Innovative Research contract this year and only the 10th NASA grant for the state since 1987.
Small Business Innovative Research grants, also known as SBIRs, are a highly competitive funding source the government uses to advance the country’s research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
The $124,102 received by ICT was awarded under the NASA Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) program. The proposal, titled “MISSE Experiments for Evaluation of Reliability of Cryogenic Tank Systems and Materials,” will test ICT’s materials for cryogenic tanks outside the International Space Station (ISS) against the harsh environment of space. The intent of the program is to evaluate the performance, stability, and long-term survivability of materials and components planned for long-duration space missions.
ICT will partner with Dr. Eric Benton and Dr. Ranji Vaidyanathan from Oklahoma State University to model the material response to radiation and to test the materials before and after exposure to galactic cosmic radiation or GCR.
“This grant will serve to validate the ICT composite pressure vessel materials ability to withstand GCR, which deteriorates many plastics, composites, and coatings,” Matt Villarreal, ICT’s co-founder, and CEO, said in a statement. “Our goal is to validate the survivability of our materials in harsh space environments, with the ultimate goal to provide light-weight pressure vessels for NASA programs, commercial companies and the Department of Defense. This research will provide more confidence in our technology to meet missions in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), synchronous orbit, as well as interplanetary space missions.”
Founded by Villareal and Michael Tate in 2010, ICT designs, develops, and manufactures advanced gas storage systems for aerospace, industrial gas and transportation applications.
“The award is a major win for both the company as well as the state of Oklahoma,” Tate, ICT chief operations officer, said in a statement. “These SBIR contracts are highly competitive and can lead to major opportunities for advancing technologies, as well as sales within the government.”
WPX Energy's 260,000-square-foot tower will be built on the block of property where the old Spaghetti Warehouse was located.