NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Earth In Situ Sensors
PROPOSAL TITLE:Compact All Solid State Oceanic Inherent Optical Property Sensor

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
2700 Richards Rd
Bellevue, WA 98005-4200
(425) 641-0944

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Yogesh   Agrawal
2700 Richards Rd
Bellevue, WA  98005-4200
(425) 641-0944

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Light propagation in the sea and the consequent remote sensing signals seen by aircraft and spacecraft is fundamentally governed by the inherent optical properties (IOP) of the water, which is known to vary in all 4 dimensions, i.e. space and time. No versatile, non-moving full 0-pi volume scattering function sensing system exists at this time, although this company has developed an all solid state small forward angle system, LISST (The system was originall designed as a particle size distribution sensor, LISST-100; it would continue to have this capability), and a (moving-parts)scanning non-autonomous system was developed by a Ukrainian group. At the current time, this PI is building a backscatter system with ONR support to observe the Mueller matrix from 177-180 degrees. Intermediate angles are not reachable. In this proposal, I will build an all-solid state system combining the forward and backward angles, with side angles. We use an innovative solution to cover the wide dynamic range of the VSF. Along with VSF, the system shall measure beam attenuation (hence the phase function), and temperature and depth as auxiliary measurements. It will be battery operated and will have on-board data storage. At the heart of the innovation is a relatively new laser, novel drift-compensated detector set, and an innovative detector placement to streamline the system.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The inherent optical properties (IOP's) of water are a subject of constant investigation in process research in the world oceans. Several companies currently are engaged in the production of single or dual angle VSF meters, beam-c sensors, fluorometers, absorption and scattering sensors. This confirms the market needs for the full VSF sensor proposed here. It will be usable from ships, buoys, UUV's, and manned submersibles. The data are used to predict light propagation underwater, to interpret ocean color, and to interpret color for topography in some cases. For the simpler, lighter, cheaper system that we are proposing, NASA would find broad applications in sea-truthing.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
For all of the same reasons, the proposed system will be used by limnologists and oceanographers - to understand light propagation, sea color, interpret biological processes and sediment suspension/deposition, as well as for deep-ocean and coastal monitoring. Our company is a prominent vendor to this community.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Biomass Production and Storage
Data Acquisition and End-to-End-Management
Mission Training
Particle and Fields
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19