By Tim Ryan

NASA’s Chief Technologist, A.C. Charania, recently toured the REaKTOR Technology Innovation Center and the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) to meet with promising local startups in aerospace and environmental technology. During his visit, Charania engaged with Pancopia, Advanced Aircraft Company, and Psionic, learning about their cutting-edge developments in their respective fields. A.C. Charania was joined by NASA Langley Research Center’s Chief Technologist Julie Williams-Byrd and Phillip Williams.

A.C. Charania watches a live experiment in progress at Pancopia.

Pancopia is a pioneering environmental technology firm that creates sustainable solutions for people, animals, and the planet. By developing innovative advancements in chemistry, physics, and biology, Pancopia aims to provide safe, high-quality water for all while simultaneously improving the environment. Their technology allows businesses to enhance operational efficiency, transform waste into valuable resources, and ultimately increase profitability while reducing their ecological footprint.

Meanwhile, the Advanced Aircraft Company is a made-in-the-USA, veteran-owned drone enterprise. Their

A.C. Charania learning about Advanced Aircraft Company’s HAMR drone

groundbreaking work in the drone industry has garnered attention from top aerospace professionals, including Charania, who noted the potential impact of their innovations on the future of aerospace technology.

Finally, Psionic is a rapidly growing company focused on developing advanced navigation systems that deliver precise and accurate state data to determine both relative and absolute motion and position. Their technology offers a reliable alternative to GPS, providing comparable performance in situations where GPS signals may be spoofed or jammed. Psionic sensors can detect objects at long ranges (10km+) while consuming minimal power (1W or less) and maintaining centimeter-level range and velocity resolution. With a high signal-to-noise ratio, these sensors are not only difficult to detect but also challenging to disrupt.

A.C. Charania receives a company overview from Psionic CTO, Steve Sandford

This fundamental performance advantage introduced by Psionic unlocks new possibilities in various sectors, from aerospace to defense. Charania’s interest in the company showcases the value of their innovation and its potential impact on navigation systems of the future. As the industry continues to evolve, Psionic’s cutting-edge technology is expected to play a significant role in shaping the future of navigation and positioning systems.

Charania’s visit highlights the importance of collaboration between NASA, the National Institute of Aerospace, and innovative companies such as Pancopia, Advanced Aircraft Company, and Psionic. These relationships are crucial for continued growth and advancements in aerospace and environmental technology. The commitment of these organizations to sustainability, efficiency, and innovation underscores their shared vision of creating a better future for all.