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Small Business Success Stories

FY18 Small Business Success Stories

NASA Ames Research Center

The Logical-R Joint Venture

The Logical-R Joint Venture

  • Contract Number: NNA14AAC46C
  • Socioeconomic Categories: Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB), Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB)
  • Period of Performance: January 14, 2015–January 13, 2020

The Logical-R Joint Venture is pleased to call NASA’s Ames Research Center (ARC) its first NASA home. A company formed by two long-term business partners—Logical Innovations, Inc., and REDE, Inc.—Logical-R began transition on the ARC Financial Support Services contract on January 14, 2015, going fully operational on March 1, 2015. Managing Partner and Logical Innovations’ President and C EO Denise Navarro  began this pursuit nearly 5 years before the award, having initiated discussions with the Ames Small Business Office in March of 2010.

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NASA Johnson Space Center

Denise Navarro, Managing Partner and Logical Innovations’ President and CEO and Dr. Hubert Glover, president of REDE, Inc. (Images provided by Logical-R Joint Venture)

This initial discussion led to a series of discussions across Ames, ultimately resulting in an invitation from the Ames Small Business Office and the Ames Contractor Council to exhibit and present Logical Innovations’ capabilities to attendees at the Ames Woman-Owned Small Business Industry Day in 2013. In assessing the Ames customer needs, Navarro determined that the best approach was to provide Ames with a larger small business prime with increased capabilities and a record of past performance, so she reached out to trusted partner and friend Dr. Hubert Glover, president of REDE, Inc.; the exchange resulted in the creation of The Logical-R Joint Venture. Logical-R invited Booz Allen Hamilton to join its team  in providing a defined, niche role within the contract performance and rounding out the Logical-R team.

Navarro credits persistence, trusted business partners, good customer communications, well-defined customer requirements, and NASA’s Office of Small Business Programs’ annual multicenter opportunities to network and showcase capabilities for the win at Ames. The Logical-R Joint Venture looks forward to many successful years supporting the NASA Ames Research Center.

Monterey Technologies, Inc.

Monterey Technologies, Inc.

Monterey Technologies Leverages Small Business Resources to Secure Rotary Wing Technology Development Contract

Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB), Monterey Technologies, Inc. (MTI), is one of five winners of the Rotary Wing Technology Development (RWTD) Contract at NASA Ames Research Center. MTI is a traditional human factors and systems engineering company that has held the small business set- aside version of the RWTD contract for 7 years.

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MTI built on its success with the small business set-aside contract to assemble a team of 16 highly qualified subcontractors that would, as a group, satisfy the contract’s technical and business requirements. The contract encompasses technologies that enhance vehicle productivity, range, speed, capacity, performance, design tool development, design cycle reduction, dual-use (civil and military utility), safety, survivability, and environmental and community compatibility.

The award positions MTI to lead, manage, and advance research projects over the next 5 years. Although the company’s core competency is human factors engineering, the staff is rich in aviation subject- matter expertise, system engineering, and engineering project management. By bringing a cross-section of U.S. rotary lift companies and consultants together, MTI will have the opportunity to grow both the scope and the depth of its expertise in areas critical to the development of rotary wing technology for the Nation.

As a small business, MTI engaged on an unusual scale of preparing a proposal which we previously had not done in the company’s 31 year history. This proposal effort required coordination with, and contributions from, a number of companies experienced in varying aspects of rotary wing research, design, manufacturing, and testing. Additionally, MTI, as a small business, typically was not used to dealing with some of the elements required of large prime contractors in a full and open request for proposal (RFP). To ensure a fully responsive and technically compliant proposal, MTI sought out proposal support from a variety of sources.

First, MTI coordinated with Raytheon, a large defense contractor, to assess the proposal requirements and ensure a quality submission. Raytheon at the time had been awarded a grant from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to mentor small businesses. Raytheon personnel trained MTI personnel on full and open RFP responses and proposal organization and also assisted with RFP requirements such as the On site Safety and Health Plan, an area in which Raytheon is known to excel.

MTI also contacted the Monterey Bay Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) in Seaside, CA, a free service designed to help small businesses get Government contracts. Over several meetings, the PTAC staff answered the company’s questions about various aspects of the proposal submittal and evaluation process. PTAC personnel were most helpful in assisting MTI in crafting an approach to the cost proposal volume. Prior to submission of the proposal, PTAC personnel provided a comprehensive review of the submission, applying their expertise to a variety of Federal Acquisition Regulation clauses and similar aspects unique to Government business. Though MTI may have been more experienced than most small businesses in securing Federal Government awards, the assistance of the Monterey PTAC showed how such offices can be instrumental in helping less experienced small businesses secure contract awards from the Federal Government.

For more information, visit NASA Center Contacts to contact the Small Business Specialist at Ames Research Center.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Innovim LLC

Innovim logo

INNOVIM, founded in 2002, is a NASA-focused 8(m) Women-Owned Small Business. Our support to next-generation research and operational space systems encompasses NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) programs. We specialize in building organizational bridges and delivering cost-effective solutions and innovations—we were recognized by NASA in 2014 as Goddard Space Flight Center’s Small Business Subcontractor of the Year. INNOVIM supports numerous Goddard programs, from NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) and ASTRO-H/Hitomi to the Earth Observing System. We provide broad expertise in science data systems engineering, instrument calibration/validation, mission-critical program management, climate science and prediction, weather program and infrastructure management, and Earth observation algorithm development/integration. INNOVIM Defense Services delivers services to agencies requiring cleared staff and facilities.

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Innovim storm surge map

INNOVIM’s software solution delivers real-time access to regional climate and weather data to global customers on a self-service, regional basis, and allows drill-down into a variety of weather products. (Image provided by Innovim, LLC)

INNOVIM’s 150 employees deliver support services that span the entire information chain, from photons to scientific discoveries and societal benefit, and the entire systems lifecycle, from concept development through flight operations. Our staff are skilled in environmental sciences—weather and climate prediction, coupled ocean-atmospheric modeling, weather and environmental remote sensing, satellite systems engineering, data management system design and development, electromechanical design, aviation weather, development program management, earned value and risk management CMMI and ISO quality management processes, and agile techniques/best practices. Over a third of our staff has a Ph.D. When they are not directly supporting Goddard programs, you will find them supporting NASA peer reviews, organizing conferences, contributing to decadal surveys, and enthusiastically participating in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) events such as FIRST Robotics.

INNOVIM helped design, build, and maintain NASA’s ICESat-2 ground system, with a focus on the Science Computing Facility (SCF), to provide spacecraft command and control, instrument support, and next-generation science data products to the global climate community. Our key role in both the hardware and software of the Science Investigator-led Processing System (SIPS) helped ensure the system passed each of its Ground Readiness Tests (GRTs). INNOVIM has been involved in the system’s full life cycle development from design to implementation.

INNOVIM has also supported JASON-3, a collaborative international mission by NASA, NOAA, the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES, the French Space Agency), and the EUMETSAT that supports scientific, commercial, and practical applications related to sea level rise, ocean circulation, and climate change. Growing from our first Goddard task order, INNOVIM’s name has become synonymous with high-confidence science systems engineering and ground data systems excellence.

Innovim storm surge map

INNOVIM’s Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map went operational for the 2016 Hurricane Season, and supported operations for Tropical Storm Colin, Hurricane Hermine and Hurricane Matthew. (Image provided by Innovim, LLC)

INNOVIM provides sustaining engineering, science support, instrument characterization, and software engineering for the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) Science Data Segment (SDS) data handling and assessment ground system; helped design and build NASA’s ICESat-2 ground system; performed end-to-end project management, data management system design and development, and instrument characterization and calibration/validation for the Suomi-NPP Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Instrument; and managed operations and maintenance of the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project Science Data Segment (SDS) Data Depository and Distribution Element (SD3E) big data computing system architecture. We wrote operational procedures and support staff using them for launch, early orbit, transition to operations, and in-flight data monitoring. We have been the primary source for instantiation of operational systems for SDS data depository and distribution, including large storage array, and data distribution web interface to the SDS community.

INNOVIM has emerged as a recognized small business leader in the climate science and satellite ground systems engineering arena. This niche expertise enabled us to build the infrastructure to support mission-critical satellite projects for NASA, NOAA, and the United States Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s (SMC’s) Command and Control System as both prime and subcontractor. We developed tools for projects that have real-world impact, including tools that enhance climate monitoring for enhanced decision making in food security, U.S. and international drought and famine warning; improved cyclone, coastal storm-surge flooding, precipitation, heat wave and weather forecasts; and assessed recovery of stratospheric ozone. As a board member of the Maryland Space Business Roundtable, INNOVIM actively promotes STEM in Maryland schools.

INNOVIM’s vision is “empowered people making smart decisions through global understanding.” Our vision and mission to forge planetary understanding through science and technology innovation, coupled with an increasingly visible and urgent global concern for our planet’s ecology, place us at the nexus of global need, environmental research and science, and advanced surveillance and data analysis systems. We are excited to have delivered stellar support to Goddard that continues through today. We continue to sharpen our technical acumen and expand our expertise enabling scientific discovery, as well as supporting all areas of satellite flight and ground systems engineering. Our commitment to excellence has resulted in customers requesting our continuing support even as prime contracts end and new tasks are awarded.

For more information, visit NASA Center Contacts to contact the Small Business Specialist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

NASA Johnson Space Center



ProDyn EPES, LLC, is an 8(a) Joint Venture formed by ProDyn, LLC, and EPES Building Maintenance Co. and is the prime contractor at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, TX, for the $6.5-million grounds contract. ProDyn EPES provides JSC with outstanding services for the maintenance of the Center's grounds and prairie restoration areas, including pesticide application. ProDyn EPES is in its fourth year of the JSC contract and consistently provides excellent services while maintaining the highest standards of quality, dedication, and professionalism.

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NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy testing Robonaut 2

In the International Space Station’s Destiny laboratory, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, Expedition 36 flight engineer, wears teleoperation gear consisting of a vest, gloves, and a visor to telerobotically test Robonaut 2’s maneuvers. (Image provided by NASA Johnson Space Center)

ProDyn provided outstanding services during the major drought of 2011. The contractor was able to protect and maintain many of the Center’s plants and trees by reusing water from fire-hydrant flushes. These flushes are required for the safety and operation of JSC’s water system.

In addition to going above and beyond during 2011’s drought and its continuing effects through 2012, ProDyn EPES is team-oriented and adheres to aggressive customer schedules in support of NASA’s institutional and programmatic capabilities to conduct aeronautic and space activities. In this capacity, ProDyn continues to assist the Center in achieving increased environmental friendliness through the use of alternative products for both grounds and pesticides. In every aspect of its business, ProDyn EPES endeavors to provide the best value to the Government by providing innovative, low-cost, and low-environmental-impact solutions for Grounds Maintenance Services at JSC.

For more information, visit NASA Center Contacts to contact the Small Business Specialist at at Johnson Space Center.

NASA Langley Research Center

Advanced Aerospace Solutions, LLC

Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc.

Advanced Aerospace Solutions (AdvAero) is a 5-year-old Joint Venture small business comprising three award-winning companies: MW Aerospace, Inc.; Marinvent Corporation; and Haynes Consulting, Inc. AdvAero performs R&D tasks once considered the sole domain of aircraft manufacturers and R&D centers. We reduce program and technical risks, particularly in complex flight-test programs. Our customers include the major avionics suppliers and domestic and foreign government agencies, including Canada, the UK, and New Zealand. AdvAero operates a unique Piaggio flying laboratory and engineering simulator that pioneered the “come as you are” flight-test concept. These systems are configured for cutting-edge unmanned aerial system (UAS), human-factors, and NextGen research, allowing for a significantly accelerated deployment of low-Technology Readiness Level (TRL) technologies to a representative flight environment.

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AdvAero team with Avanti in background

AdvAero team with Piaggio P180 Avanti advanced flight test aircraft in the background. (Image provided by Advanced Aerospace Solutions, LLC)

AdvAero is a very small business with nine employees organized in a matrix organization. Our staff includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing test pilots; two professional Avanti pilots; three Designated Engineering Representatives (DER) with delegations for flight-testing, flight analysis, avionics Technical Standard Order (TSO) compliance, and software certification. The company also employs five software engineers, one hardware designer, and four system engineers. Several AdvAero employees are licensed Program Management Professionals (PMPs) from the Program Management Institute (PMI).

AdvAero was honored to receive NASA’s 2014 Subcontractor of the Year award for groundbreaking work that progressed NASA’s Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests (TASAR) technology from TRL 4 to TRL 7 at approximately one-third of the time and cost of traditional flight-test programs. NASA rated AdvAero’s performance “exemplary … without misstep from day one.” AdvAero also “far exceeded NASA’s expectations …” by consistently placing program success above its own interests; for example, the company gathered invaluable TASAR opportunity data during many months of non-NASA usage of its aircraft. When faced with a critical equipment failure, “thanks to AdvAero’s expeditious handling of this urgent and unexpected repair, the entire schedule was preserved, saving … months that would otherwise have been lost, as well as additional costs.”

One of the second flight teams with AdvAero

One of the second flight teams with AdvAero. (Image provided by Advanced Aerospace Solutions, LLC)

AdvAero subcontracted to Engility Corporation as the flight-test lead on NASA Langley Research Center’s (LaRC’s) TASAR project. AdvAero had overall responsibility for the systems engineering, safety planning, flight-trial design, and execution using its specialized flying laboratory. The company designed and FAA-certified the advanced avionics required to support TASAR, and led the team through the very rigorous NASA safety and experimental review processes. These actions culminated in two highly successful flight-trial programs in November 2013 and June 2015 that have resulted in a number of journal publications and conference presentations. In addition, AdvAero provided significant certification expertise to NASA and Engility, which was instrumental to their achievement of their own demanding program goals.

AdvAero has been privileged to make a substantial contribution to the development and successful evolution of NASA’s TASAR technology. NASA recognized these accomplishments by awarding AdvAero the 2014 Subcontractor of the Year award, which highlighted the company’s capabilities at all levels of NASA Aeronautics management, including the Langley Center Director and even the Agency’s Administrator. AdvAero’s TASAR role has grown significantly as the program has evolved, and the company’s exposure and reputation should make it an attractive partner for future NASA projects at Langley, Ames, and other field centers. Further, the visibility generated in the industry as a result of winning the 2014 NASA award is expected to create further business opportunities for the company outside of NASA.

AdvAero plans to build upon and leverage its partnership with NASA and its partners to achieve even more impressive results, both within and beyond the TASAR program. AdvAero’s proven methods, commitment to excellence, and demonstrated risk reduction will be major assets as NASA develops innovative technologies for crewed and robotic NextGen operations. We look forward to continuing to provide a highly sophisticated flight-test capability for the verification, validation, and certification of NASA’s newest innovations. We are proud of our joint accomplishments to date, and we are excited about the limitless possibilities that lie ahead for us together.

Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc.

Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc.

Analytical Mechanics Associates (AMA), Inc., winner of NASA’s 2010 George M. Low award for small business services, played key roles in four recent NASA missions that have successfully paved the way for future space exploration. These missions include the Max Launch Abort System (MLAS) launch, which tested an alternate Orion abort system; the Inflatable Re-entry Vehicle Experiment (IRVE) flight, which utilized supersonic, inflatable decelerators; the Ares I-X launch, which was the first test flight of a proposed human exploration launch vehicle; and the Pad Abort 1 (PA-1) flight, which tested the abort capability for the Orion vehicle while on the launch pad. AMA provided technical support in these projects in the areas of systems engineering and integration, concept of operations, mechanical design, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), structural analysis, flight dynamics, and avionics.

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The Hydro Impact Basin

The Hydro Impact Basin is Langley’s newest facility. (Image credit: NASA/Sean Smith)

Apart from these mission successes, AMA innovation in supporting NASA is highlighted by several research breakthroughs at AMA. Examples include the conception and development of an innovative approach to accurately model and simulate the combined effects of Hypersonic/Supersonic Retro Propulsion and Reaction Control System jets along with the external flow aerodynamics. This innovation has made it possible to accurately model complex chemically reacting flows with CFD for the first time. Until now, the common academic and industry practice was to obtain the internal flow solution from other data sources, approximate the thruster throat conditions, and modify the external flow solver to start with the imposed thruster throat conditions. The AMA innovation considerably improved the accuracy and robustness of the solutions, simplified the complex preprocessing steps, and minimized the possibility for human error. This innovation has been advanced by implementing it in a completely new, reliable, high-fidelity hypersonic analysis tool named LAURA 5. This code is now used by Government agencies including multiple NASA Centers, various defense agencies, commercial industry partners, and academic institutions.

The AMA innovative effort has also helped NASA to foster teamwork and establish much stronger collaborations among industry, Government, and academic partners. LAURA 5 is now being used to provide flow field results for Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), HL-20, DARPA Hypersonic Test Vehicle 2, and other proprietary reentry and planetary vehicles. Another AMA innovation is in the area of image processing. AMA has developed a novel super-resolution algorithm that meets the aggressive speed and accuracy requirements of the ALHAT project at Langley. The goal of the ALHAT project is to enable Terrain Relative Navigation based on 3D flash Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) images. To meet the stringent resolution requirements, AMA’s software combines low-resolution images of the streaming onboard flash LiDAR video into a single, sub-pixel-resolution 3D image in real time. The benefits of this software innovation are significantly increased resolution and reduced distortion using standard optical hardware. AMA is also working with industry partners to transfer this technology to other domains, including helicopter landings in “brown-out” conditions.

AMA has instituted specific initiatives to encourage customer cost reduction/avoidance. These include a monetary incentive program open to all employees. AMA sets aside $2,000 in each calendar year to fund an incentive cash reward program for employees whose technical, managerial, or administrative innovations have achieved considerable cost reduction or cost avoidance to AMA or its clients. As an example, AMA’s technical staff achieved a significant cost savings for the Ares I project by utilizing an innovative statistical technique called Design of Experiments (DOE). Steven Bauer, Ares I-X aerodynamics lead, commented,

“I just went over Noah Favaregh’s proposed CFD case matrix for the Ares I ascent and ascent with RoCS (roll control system) simulation utilizing DOE. By statistically designing the CFD cases required, he is predicting a reduction in the amount of runs required of about 300 cases with an associated cost savings of $941,000.

“Even with this reduction in number of cases, the accuracy of the database should improve. Thus, Ares I will be able to provide the databases sooner, at lower cost, and with reduced uncertainties. I would like to commend Noah Favaregh of Analytical Mechanics Associates for his hard work on the Ares I and Ares I-X projects.”

AMA is building on this experience to develop a standardized approach for the application of DOE techniques and resultant software tool that will result in cost savings for other NASA customers and Government clients such as the U.S. Air Force at Arnold Engineering Development Center.

For more information, visit NASA Center Contacts to contact the Small Business Specialist at NASA Langley Research Center.

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