Published in Economic Development

Traverse City satellite communications firm selected for NASA contract

BY MIBIZ STAFF Tuesday, August 04, 2020 02:35pm

TRAVERSE CITY — A Traverse City-based satellite communications company is the recipient of a Small Business Innovation Research contract from NASA.

ATLAS Space Operations, which helps companies process and analyze data from space using a global antennae network, was the recipient of NASA’s SBIR Phase II award. The company was contracted to develop a satellite constellation management schedule tool for commercial and government use.

ATLAS co-founder Brad Bode COURTESY PHOTO

ATLAS was one of 124 small businesses in 31 states selected for the Phase II award. NASA handed out a combined $104 million. A representative from ATLAS did not immediately respond to clarify the amount of money the company received from NASA.

Under the initiative, NASA has asked ATLAS to develop a machine-to-machine scheduler that defines clear customer goals and allows the customer to prioritize their communications tasks.

The solution is poised to streamline the scheduling process, when the manual process associated with traditional scheduling systems consists of days or weeks worth of work. With the ATLAS API, commercial and government customers will be able to access and adjust their mission goals on a day-to-day basis or with machine-to-machine exchange of spacecraft or mission status.

“We are thrilled to have been awarded the SBIR Phase 2 contract,” ATLAS co-founder Brad Bode said in a statement. “As mega-constellations become more prevalent in space, this tool will not only allow us to scale with our customers, but provide critical mission support and savings to both commercial and government satellite operators.”

The NASA SBIR program is designed to invest in U.S. small businesses that provide new technologies whose benefits align with NASA’s future goals.

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