NASA has selected two teams offering launch-site ground systems support technology and rocket-plume exhaust analysis instruments under its small business technology transfer (STTR) programme.

The laser-based rocket-plume analysis instruments provide in-situ simultaneous measurements of gas temperature and velocity in exhaust flows at NASA Stennis Space Center.

The instrument, developed by California based-Los Gatos Research and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, uses room temperature near-infrared (IR) and mid-IR lasers to determine combustion product concentrations, pollutants, the gas temperature and its velocity using spectroscopy techniques.

Meanwhile, Connecticut based-Qualtech Systems and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee have proposed a monitoring technology for launch operations' ground support systems.

The technology provides modelling analysis for a liquid oxygen system that covers ground fuelling facilities, mobile launchers and launch pads.

Ground support systems can have a huge number of parameters (up to 50,000) and NASA considers such monitoring technology, combined with automatic responses, to be beneficial for spacecraft, space stations, mobile launch platforms and launch pads.

The STTR-selected companies and their university partners will now enter into contract negotiations for the programme's phase two.