Partnering with industry to explore space and improve life
NASA Research Partnership Centers (RPCs) represent an extensive network of industry, government, and academic partners to benefit space exploration, other NASA missions, and life on Earth. This network includes small businesses, as well as many of the largest research and development companies in the world. RPCs leverage NASA funds with investments from industry, other government agencies, and universities to create dual-use technologies for NASA and to benefit society.
Located at universities or non-profit institutions throughout the country, each of the 12 RPCs focuses on a specific discipline, such as spacecraft technology, satellite communication, space power, biotechnology, and advanced materials. RPCs offer space research expertise, collaboration with industry, access to NASA facilities, and opportunities to develop new businesses and products.
Long-term human space travel for future Moon and Mars exploration requires research to ensure human health and safety. Researchers from all sectors are contributing to this endeavor. Industry contributes new technologies at a lower cost for both space and Earth applications. For example, working with the RPCs, industry has developed a new star tracker that can determine attitude as well as star patterns, and a hyperspectral imaging system that is used to identify molds and toxins in food and detect forensic materials. Pharmaceutical companies conduct research with the RPCs to develop new drugs for the treatment of health problems encountered in space and on the ground.
The Research Partnership Centers welcome new industry partners. For more information, contact the Space Partnership Development (SPD) Office (contact information on the next page) or an RPC directly.
Center for Satellite and Hybrid Communication Networks (CSHCN)
University of Maryland
Research: Swarm robotics for space missions and exploration, wireless networks with mobile autonomous components, hybrid communication networks for mission communications, sensor networks, telemedicine, satellite constellations