SBIR Selects Awardees to Receive $1.9M+ in R/R&D Funding

Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

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Volpe The National Transportation Systems Center

U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

March 30, 2017


Awardees Announced for U.S. DOT’s SBIR FY17.1 Solicitation


On March 21, the U.S. DOT Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program announced 15 recommendations for awards for 14 small businesses for the fiscal year 17.1 solicitation. The awarded small businesses competed in a field that included 106 proposals for 9 research topics.

The selected small businesses are conducting important research, leading to new technologies in addressing some of U.S. DOT’s most pressing challenges.

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Volpe Talks: Transportation Ideas Worth Sharing

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

As part of the Cambridge Science Festival, come and hear a series of short, live talks direct from Volpe team members working on emerging transportation issues such as maritime security, nonmotorized transportation, or advancing the flow of aviation traffic.

The talks will conclude with a tour of the Volpe’s simulators (how to drive a train, fly a plane, navigate an airfield), showcasing how Volpe is advancing transportation innovation for the public good.


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Research and Development

A Look at the Proposals Set to Receive $1.9M+ in U.S. DOT SBIR Awards

Fourteen U.S. small businesses will receive up to $150,000 each through U.S. DOT’s SBIR program to conduct six months of Phase I concept development. Read on for a brief look at the winning proposals and the small businesses that submitted them.

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National Transportation Noise Map Released

To better understand transportation sound levels, a Volpe team developed a simplified noise modeling tool for the Bureau of Transportation Statistics that makes it easy to track trends in noise levels over time. BTS released the tool on March 21. Read the full story.

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Integrating Space Vehicle Operations into the National Airspace System

The number of orbital and sub-orbital passenger space flights is expected to increase significantly over the next decade. Volpe supports the FAA’s NextGen Space Vehicle Operations program to help reduce the impact of commercial space vehicles on air traffic, while also maintaining a high level of safety. Read the full story.

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Safer and More Reliable Automotive Electronic Control Systems

The rapid evolution of electronic control and connectivity in motor vehicles has multiplied challenges for vehicle safety assurance. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration turned to Volpe’s nationally recognized advanced vehicle technology team to assess the safety and reliability of emerging electronic control systems. Read the full story.

Volpe Staff at U.S. and International Events

Volpe staff were featured at the following events in March:                                      

  • Global Maritime Domain Awareness: Volpe engineers and information technology specialists provided technical assistance March 18-April 1 during the military exercise known as Obangame Express, supporting U.S. Naval Forces Africa with expert guidance on the operational use of maritime domain awareness (MDA) systems on the exercise watch floor in relation to the Automatic Identification System, Maritime Safety and Security Information System, and SeaVision web portal.

    Kevin O’Neill and William Quintana provided MDA support in Accra and Takoradi, Ghana; Brendon Providence provided support in Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo; Mario Caputo supported Cameroon; and Henry Wychorski supported Angola.

  • Space Vehicle Operations: Information technology specialist Jason Glaneuski traveled to the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey, March 20-21 to participate in a demonstration of the space vehicle operations capability, which leverages automation developed by Volpe to support more dynamic and efficient use of national airspace resources during launch and reentry of commercial space vehicles, which can often be disruptive to normal day-to-day flight operations in the U.S.  

  • Pilot Training and Outreach: Physical scientist Juliet Page and community planner Ryan Yowell attended the HELI-EXPO Conference, held March 3-9 in Dallas, Texas. They assisted with the WINGS/Rotor Safety Challenge Fly Neighborly (FN) pilot training class and participated in the FN committee meeting to obtain input from operators on the upcoming FAA-sponsored iFlyQuiet community outreach pilot program.

  • Automotive Safety: Mechanical engineer Christopher Becker and a NHTSA representative conducted a series of technical meetings in Michigan with subject matter experts to gain additional insight into the automotive industry’s current functional safety processes. These meetings support an ongoing project to provide NHTSA with options and alternatives that could help ensure a minimum level of functional safety consideration in the design of safety-critical automotive electronic control systems.

  • Railroad Safety: Drs. David Jeong and Hailing Yu, both engineers, accompanied Blain Luck, rail integrity specialist from the FRA Office of Safety, to Watervliet, New York, to visit the U.S. Army Benét Laboratories. Benét, through an Inter-agency Agreement with Volpe, has been performing forensic evaluations of railroad rail cracks that may be attributed to improper welding procedures.
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