The GATR Communications System is a portable inflatable antenna (2.4-meter dish) that can be fully deployed on the ground, target a geostationary satellite and establish a high-bandwidth communications link for first response emergency and military scenarios in less than 30 minutes.
The technology evolved from a Small Business Innovation Research contract to develop a solar concentrator for power generation. In 2004, GATR Technologies adapted the technology initially for an inflatable prototype and then transformed it into a licensed product for ground-based communications.
Over the next five years, GATR and Glenn personnel worked together under a series of Space Act Agreements to further develop the antenna to meet the Federal Communication Commission's licensing requirement, which contributed to achieving the status as the world's first FCC certified inflatable antenna.
Communication efforts via this antenna are in use all over the world providing communications support for the U.S. military, national security and humanitarian aid for Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ike, the Haiti earthquake and most recently Hurricane Sandy.
NASA invests in these kinds of technologies to foster innovation and partnerships with industry like GATR Technologies. These investments pay off here on Earth, creating new jobs and improving our lives.
In addition to honoring the NASA Glenn Research Center and GATR Technologies, the individuals who developed the technology were also inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame.
These individuals are:
- Dr. Robert Romanofsky, senior research engineer in NASA Glenn's Communications, Instrumentation and Controls Division
- Paul Gierow, president and chief executive officer of GATR Technologies
- William Clayton, chief scientist at GATR Technologies
- Dr. Kevin Lambert, senior research engineer at Vantage Partners, LLC
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