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Nine research projects that promise to advance science and develop technology critical for future space missions have been selected to receive a total of $400,000 from the Florida Space Institute.

Scientists from the University of Central Florida and the University of Florida are involved in the various projects, which involve experts in chemistry, physics, electrical engineering, planetary science, computer science, and nanotechnology.

“As NASA focuses more on its research and technology mission we need to continue to support the science that will propel space innovation,” said M.J. Soileau, the vice president for research & commercialization at UCF.

The money was made available through the Space Research Initiative (SRI), a collaborative program between UCF and UF started to support joint efforts between the two universities in space-related research.

The winning proposals are expected to draw additional funding from NASA, industry, and other federal and state agencies, said S. Alan Stern, who is serving as director of the Florida Space Institute.

“The proposals were selected to broaden UCF and UF’s future space research portfolios and keep Florida at the forefront of space exploration,” Stern said.

Individual awards range from $9,500 up to $100,000. Funding will begin in July. And this is just the beginning.

“We expect to be looking for more cutting-edge research proposals later this year,” Stern said pleased at the quality of the 41 proposals submitted during this grant period.

The selected projects are:

  1. Image-Based Motion Estimation and Tracking for Collaborative Space Assets: Led by Aman Behal, of the UCF NanoScience Technology Center and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department.
  2. Improved RTGs With Refractory Nanoelectroceramic Composites: Led by Richard Blair of the UCF department of chemistry.
  3. Dust Detection in Low-Medium Earth Orbit via Single or Cooperative Pico-Scale Satellites, led by Eric Bradley fom UCF’s department of physics.
  4. Maximizing the Science Return from Small Body Lightcurves, led by Daniel Britt from the UCF department of physics
  5. Ultraviolet Transmission Filters for Cubesat Photometer, led by Richard Eastes of the Florida Space Institute at UCF.
  6. Searching for Signatures of Recent Asteroid Disruptions in the WISE dataset led by Ashley Espy of the UCF department of physics.
  7. Phase Shifters: New Space System Antennas, led by Xun Gong, of the electrical engineering department.
  8. Graphene‐Based Uncooled Far-Infrared Spectrometer On a Chip, led by Masahiro Ishigami of the NanoScience Technology Center at UCF.
  9. New Hydrogen Sensor Systems, led by Lei Zhai from the NanoScience Technology Center and the chemistry department.

Reprinted from UCF Today.