NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Aviation Safety and Security: Fire, Icing and Propulsion-Safe and Secure CNS Aircraft Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE:Advanced Radiometer For Cloud Liquid Water and Aircraft Icing Detection

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Radiometrics Corporation
2840 Wilderness Place, Unit G
Boulder ,CO 80301 - 5414
(303) 449 - 9192

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
f   solheim
2840 Wilderness Place, Unit G
Boulder, CO  80301 -5414
(303) 539 - 2312

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Aircraft icing continues to be one of the major safety and operational concerns of the FAA, elements of the military, and the foreign military and civilian counterparts. Attempts to develop methods to directly detect aircraft icing meteorological conditions have met with mixed success. Combining ground-based microwave radiometers with radars has shown great promise, but deficiencies of the radiometers have limited their value. In our Phase I effort we have determined solutions to several technical challenges in the design of a narrow beam multi-waveband radiometer that is to operate in concert with weather radars. We have also calculated optimum eigenfrequencies for detection of aircraft icing conditions. In Phase II we will construct a turnkey fast sampling multifrequency profiling and dual polarization narrow beam radiometer system. In this radiometer system, all beams are collinear and match the antenna gain pattern of weather research radars. The radiometer will have the capability of profiling (ranging) water vapor along the beam as well as discriminate ice and water phase hydrometeors. We will also develop a fast beam steering system to operate in concert with the radar. The turnkey radiometer system and documentation are deliverables.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA is actively researching methods of detecting aircraft icing conditions, and has performed and participated in a number of aircraft icing studies with their Twin Otter, radiometers, radar, and other sensing systems. The technology proposed herein greatly enhances the value of the important radiometric observations by enabling measurements that match the sample volume of research radars at a number of radiometric frequencies.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The ground-based radiometric system developed herein, as well as being a valuable research tool, is to be operated with radars such as NEXRAD and Terminal Doppler Weather Radars (TDWRs) to detect and quantify cloud liquid water and ice in single- and mixed-phase conditions aloft. In addition to detecting icing conditions enroute and in approach regions, the system can forewarn and nowcast the need (or lack of need) to apply deicing solutions in advance of departure, creating savings and reducing delays. This quantification will also enhance weather nowcasting and predictive capabilities.

This large aperture narrow beam radiometer design is also applicable to characterizing and quantifying satellite link loss due to atmospheric absorption, and Radiometrics has had several inquiries for such a design in wavebands from 8 to 32 GHz, demonstrating a commercial market for this application.

Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52