Loveland-Based Company Announces Two Contracts with NASA
One Colorado research and development company is announcing two separate contracts with NASA. They’ll work on issues regarding safety and mission design.
Earlier this month, Loveland-based Numerica announced a two-year, $600,000 contract with NASA, to focus on collision avoidance for unmanned aircraft operating in national air space. Numerica spokeswoman, Becky Jensen, says NASA and federal aviation administration officials want to make sure those crafts don’t pose problems for commercial and other flights.
“Incorporating unmanned vehicles into the national airspace is beneficial because you can do scientific research with UAVs, there are national security implications, and they can help with disaster relief efforts. Right now they’re just being really under-utilized because of safety concerns,” she says.
And today Numerica is announcing another 2-year, $600,000 contract with NASA. That one will focus on space mission design, helping NASA fly cheaper and more efficient missions. Numerica Project Director, Randy Paffenroth, says the work will include finding fuel efficient paths to destinations in space, such as Mars or Jupiter, so that crafts won’t have to carry more fuel than is necessary.
“And the other part we’re bringing to it is this whole idea of uncertainty - like you’ve launched a spacecraft, maybe you don’t know where it is exactly, so you want to understand if you follow this path, then maybe you understand where the spacecraft is better than if it’s sent another way.”
Numerica officials point to these partnerships as a continuing sign that Northern Colorado is prized for its emerging hub of innovation and research and development.
“For the next two years we’re going to be working on very different projects for NASA, but doing them simultaneously, but it’s going to be bringing in $1.2 million to our company, which means $1.2 million into the northern Colorado economy,” says Becky Jensen.
Since 1996 Numerica Corporation has been a leading research and development company, based in northern Colorado. It employs nearly 50 people in Colorado and California, providing state-of-the-art algorithm and software development in numerous areas including integrated air and missile defense, cyber security and chemical and biological detection.