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GATR Technologies, Huntsville, Alabama, No. 259
Soldiers in Afghanistan, a mobile medical unit in Haiti, and hurricane victims in Biloxi, Mississippi, have all gotten high-speed Internet and phone access thanks to the inflatable satellite dishes made by GATR Technologies. Satellite signals penetrate the sphere, reflect off the flexible dish suspended inside, and collect at the feed pictured here. The $100,000 system is about 8 feet in diameter, takes less than an hour to set up, and can fit into two small suitcases when disassembled. In 2004, founder Paul Gierow sewed an early prototype in his kitchen with the help of his 8-year-old daughter. Since then, 25 of the devices have been deployed.
--Hannah Clark Steiman