Local Company Makes it Big from Hollywood to Space! - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Local Company Makes it Big From Hollywood to Space!

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It looks like red plastic and it's the consistency of gummy bears. And local entrepreneur Wayne Sawka says it will revolutionize propulsion systems and pyrotechnics in the next decade. He moved his company Digital Solid State Propulsion, LLC here in 2000 and all of the research and development he's put into it is finally paying off.

"It's just an amazing material!" he says. "It burns hot, but the energy is all controllable. There's no exhaust of waste from it. It's completely green in terms of an energy source. No smoke, like gunpowder and it's efficient!"

Currently it's being used in propulsion systems that are headed to the International Space Station where it will be used to steer and control the direction of a satellite. It will be run through maneuvering tests.

"It's the perfect material for this!" Sawka says. "It's light, compact and has no waste. You are just another company until you can say you've had your product flown in space and then you know you've really made it!" he says.

It's also being used by the oil industry for clean fracking.

"We can inject this into the rock and it has a high temperature and a high energy but no chemicals and no waste," he says.

But he sees the real lucrative use for it will be with pyrotechnics. In fact he has his sights set on revolutionizing pyrotechnics in Hollywood.

"We are already using it for military training with guns and for the Department of Defense. But imagine how it could be used in special effects in movies," he says. "Currently they have to reset every time they set off an explosion. We can put 300 charges in every one of these capsules. That's 300 charges! No reset, no lost time. And then you just replace the capsule and you're good for another 300 charges. So we are working with film companies now to see exactly how we can fit in."

DSSP currently employs about 25 people, but he says he can see it growing to as many as a thousand people as his propulsion material takes off. And he says Nevada's business friendly tax structure and its quality of life and location have made it the perfect place to locate and to build his future.

Written by Erin Breen

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