Back to News
May 8, 2017

NASA backs Kymeta’s mini-antennas and Tethers Unlimited’s 3-D printer/recycler

BY ALAN BOYLE on March 13, 2017 at 4:40 pm Flat-panel antennas that are tiny enough to fit on a nanosatellite and a […]
CubeSat deployment in space

Flat-panel antennas that are tiny enough to fit on a nanosatellite and a 3-D printer that can recycle space station trash are among the Seattle-area projects that have won seed money in NASA’s latest round of grant-making.

They’re just a couple of the 133 proposals selected for contracts of up to $750,000 under NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research program, or SBIR. But what’s notable about Kymeta’s mini-antennas and Tethers Unlimited Inc.’s ERASMUS plastics recycler and 3-D printer is that they could spawn products for use on Earth as well as in space.

Take ERASMUS, for example: The device under development Bothell-based Tethers Unlimited is designed to melt down and sterilize plastic waste and parts, turn the stuff into printer filament, and use it in a 3-D printer to create food utensils, medical devices and other gadgets.

That capability would clearly come in handy on the International Space Station or inside a habitat on the moon or Mars. But Tethers Unlimited says there are also potential terrestrial applications.

“TUI expects that the ability to create food-contact-safe sterilized materials will be ideal for the DoD [Department of Defense] to support soldiers in remote locations where resupply is limited,” the company says in its description of the project. “We also anticipate this technology to be a game-changer for medical service providers with limited access to water.”

Redmond-based Kymeta, meanwhile, plans to use its NASA grant to develop low-power, flat-panel, electronically steerable Ka-band antennas that would fit on a type of satellite known as a 3U CubeSat. Such satellites measure just 4 by 4 by 10 inches, and they’re becoming increasingly popular for space applications.

“This antenna is appropriate for a variety of applications that require high data rate communications but do not have the funding or the weight budget to allow a phased array antenna, including university CubeSat teams, commercial companies, and government entities,” Kymeta says.

Red more at Geek Wire

About Kymeta

The world’s demand for ubiquitous mobile connectivity is irrefutable. A global, mobile network is the answer to connecting people and places that have never been connected before.

Kymeta is making seamless, always-connected mobile communications possible with a unique hybrid approach that enables satellite and cellular networks to deliver a single, global, mobile network. End-to-end mobile communications are delivered with Kymeta K?LO™ connectivity services, and the world’s first and only electronically-steered, flat-panel satellite terminal that goes places traditional satellite dishes cannot. Backed by U.S. and international patents and licenses, the Kymeta KyWay™ terminal makes high-throughput, mobile communications possible in cars, trains, buses, trucks, boats, and much more.

If it moves, Kymeta keeps it connected.

For more information, visit kymetacorp.com and KALO.net.

Business Inquiries for Kymeta
Sam Christensen Marketing Kymeta
+1 425.658.8703
Media Inquiries for Kymeta
Melanie McBride Vice President, Content and PR The Summit Group
+1 801.990.8464