NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 E1.03-7672
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In Situ Sensors
PROPOSAL TITLE: In Situ Microradiometers: Smaller, Faster, and Scalable to Hyperspectral

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Biospherical Instruments Inc.
5340 Riley Street
San Diego, CA 92110-2621
(619)686-1888

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Charles R. Booth
booth@biospherical.com
5340 Riley St.
San Diego, CA 92110-2621
(619)686-1888

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Radiometers are a crucial element in NASA's studies of Planet Earth. This proposal addresses the basic need for a miniature spectrometer, flexibly configurable and optimized for above and in-water optical property measurements. The innovation we are proposing develops a 1 cm diameter photodetector module, called a "microradiometer." The microradiometer will consist of a photodetector, preamplifier with controllable gain, high resolution analog to digital converter (ADC), microprocessor, and an addressable digital port, all on one small, thin circuit assembly. We anticipate that the design will result in significant improvements in dynamic range, sampling speed, reliability, and reduced power consumption over existing instruments. In one embodiment, a single microradiometer forms the basis of a very small (much less than 2.5 cm diameter) single-channel submersible light sensor. In another application, clusters of microradiometers can be matched with front-end optics (collector/window/filter stack) to form small, fast, less expensive multiwavelength radiometers for a variety of measurements ? even hyperspectral applications. The envisioned microradiometer-based systems can be packaged into small underwater housings suitable for deployment on drifters, moorings, towed vehicles, and vertical profilers. Networks of these multiwavelength radiometers, configured to measure irradiance or radiance, can be operated synchronously by a central data acquisition computer.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
As the heart of a wide variety of new, flexibly deployed radiometers, this product directly supports current and future NASA satellite and aircraft missions and associated cal/val activities (e.g. AVIRIS, SeaWiFS, MODIS, VIIRS). The flexibility of the designs (standard profilers, multi-instrument free fall, castaway) support both inland, coastal, and oceanic research. This includes quantification of carbon budgets at sub-regional to global scales, coastal carbon dynamics, or even terrestrial applications such as tropical deforestation.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
We see this development being used in our instruments literally wherever a photodetector has been used in the past. Non-NASA benefits in technology parallel the direct benefit to NASA, with the extension that the ease of networking microradiometers affords increased opportunity for multidisciplinary studies, both in the field and in the lab.