SBIR Project Will Develop New Sensor for Exploring Planetary Bodies in the Solar System

Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC), today announced that it has been awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract by NASA. The contract, titled “Planetary Optical MEMS-Based Seismometer,” is for a highly sensitive seismograph to sense tremors on the Moon, Mars, and other solar-system objects. The seismometer can also be used to measure atmospheric drag to project orbital decay of satellites.

In addition to space, the seismometer will also be of use on Earth for both seismic and non-seismic applications requiring very sensitive measurements of accelerations. The combination of its sensitivity, reliability, and low cost opens a number of commercial opportunities including: mining and oil prospecting, homeland security, and building safety.

“When sensitivity, reliability, and low cost converge, the number of potential applications expands greatly,” says Peter Tchoryk, CEO of Michigan Aerospace. “MAC is uniquely positioned to take this seismometer into the realm of space applications, research labs, and a variety of industrial and commercial uses.”