Research and Development

CASE
STUDY

Source Advisors

Aerospace

This aerospace company is a research and analysis services firm specializing in aerospace guidance, navigation and control (GN&C) design, analysis, integration, and testing. Research and development emphasis is on rendezvous, proximity operations and capture of in-flight space flight phases including automated rendezvous and docking. The company has extensive experience in crewed and un-crewed spacecraft, encompassing automated and manual flight design with emphasis on safety and mission success.
Aerospace

R&D QUALIFICATION

This company must maintain state-of-the-art standards, where new technologies are constantly in a state of research and development. The projects typically originate with requirements presented by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) or in partnerships with other firms providing products and services for the industry.

Projects generally are long-term with extensive, iterative research and experimentation integral to meeting all specifications, requirements and regulations related to aerospace operations. Intense research was crucial to understanding operational purposes and parameters of guidance and spacecraft flight systems that are the basis of contracts with NASA or other entities. Once researched information was processed and project requirements were assembled, the development team initiated models of spacecraft and flight operations. For example, this client built a collection of generic models of the International Space Station (ISS) and a variety of spacecraft and other vehicles. The models database was accessed and utilized in designing new models and conducting research and analyses related to each new project.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • AEROSPACE
  • MODELING
  • PROTOTYPE DEVELOPMENT
  • NEARLY $75,000 IN TOTAL ANNUAL
  • NET BENEFIT

Once satisfaction with the model was achieved, it was subject to government standards review to ensure compliance with design and operational specifications. The government’s process included system definition, review, preliminary design review, critical design review, and review of operational specifics and parameters. This was a formal review process intended to eliminate uncertainties, unknown factors that may have surface, and reduced risk before proceeding with project development. Uncertainties and risks were seldom eliminated during the review process however, numerous milestones, such as engine firing or vehicle maturity, had to be reached in order to successfully arrive at a position of competing for the actual service contract. Payment was received only if a successfully designed model was delivered and endured the extensive review process.

Prototyping, modeling, and testing were iterative and continuous from the very first conceptual designs that transferred to engineering, all the way to submission for government reviews. Because of extremely rigid and complicated requirements (specifications and regulations inherent in gaining acceptance of a product or service for aerospace), failures had to be remedied before the project could progress.

RESULTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

The company has been claiming credits for several years and is able to claim total combined federal and state tax credits of nearly $75,000 annually.