SHERIDAN, WY--(Marketwired - June 29, 2015) - Kennon of Sheridan, Wyo. has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant from NASA to pursue the development of a lightweight, compact raft and inflation system, which will enhance crew survival in the launch, entry, and abort phases of flight.
The company also has an active SBIR Phase II grant from Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to develop lighter, more durable life preservers and rafts for aviation survivors ditching into water. These next generation emergency inflatables promise weight and bulk reductions of 50% or more, with increased reliability.
"The two systems really go hand in hand, and the advances made in each project will directly benefit the other," said Mark Weitz, Vice President of Research and Development (R&D) at Kennon. "The leveraging of each agency's research and development resources to benefit one another is a great use of precious R&D dollars," said Weitz.
Rafts and life vests have not changed much since they were designed in the 1950's. The current multi-person raft is heavy and difficult to deploy in an emergency situation. Kennon estimates that its new technology will reduce the weight of rafts by 70%, or more, without compromising strength and durability. Current rafts are bulky and take up a considerable precious cargo space on-board aircraft and spaceships.
Kennon was founded in 1984 as a manufacturer of protective coverings. The company uses technical fabrics and materials, along with expert fabrication methods to protect high value assets from damage caused by weather, dust, moisture, corrosion, sunlight, heat and other environmental factors, which can cause expensive repairs.
Over the years, the company has put together a cadre of talented engineers, material scientists, designers, and problem solvers. This team has developed intellectual property and technical solutions that are used in products manufactured by Kennon, and licensed to industry partners.
For more information visit Kennon Proudct's Website
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