NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


PROPOSAL TITLE:In Situ Microradiometers: Smaller, Faster, and Scalable to Hyperspectral

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, 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
5340 Riley Street
San Diego, CA  92110 -2621
(619) 686 - 1888

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Radiometers are a crucial element in NASA's studies of Planet Earth. This proposal addresses the basic need for a miniature light sensor, 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 consists 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 a Phase II embodiment, a single microradiometer forms the basis of a very small (much less than 2.5 cm diameter) single-channel submersible light sensor that can be deployed in support of coastal research opportunities. 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. We call this configuration the Modular Microradiometer System (MMS). These MMS systems can be packaged into small underwater housings suitable for deployment on drifters, moorings, towed vehicles, and vertical profilers.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 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 and Earth Science Roadmaps. 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 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The microradiometer will become a cornerstone in the manufacturing of our products. We anticipate that within 5 years, the microradiometer will be used in our products wherever a standard photodetector is used today. The relevant example of how this can take place is the Modular Microradiometer System: smaller, faster, and scalable to hyperspectral. The CastAway represents a simple and novel solution to a thorny problem vexing researchers for decades: avoiding the influence of platform shadows. We anticipate that the CastAway buoyancy chamber can be adapted to larger instruments, giving the user ample time to reposition the boat or instrument package prior to the submergence of the package.

Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52