NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S1.08-9098
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In Situ Airborne, Surface, and Submersible Instruments for Earth Science
PROPOSAL TITLE: Advanced Technology Cloud Particle Probe for UAS

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
SPEC Incorporated
3022 Sterling Circle, Suite 200
Boulder, CO 80301 - 2377
(303) 449-1105

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paul Lawson
3022 Sterling Circle, Suite 200
Boulder, CO 80301 - 2377
(303) 449-1105

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA has initiated a program to explore the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere (UT/LS) using the Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), which has a payload of over 1500 lb (680 kg), max ceiling of 65,000 ft (20 km) at a cruising speed of 335 kts and mission endurance of over 31 hours. These attributes make the Global Hawk UAS especially valuable as a tool for investigating subvisible cirrus (SVC) clouds, which are commonly found in the Tropical Tropospheric Layer (TTL) and are considered to have a significant potential impact on global climate change.

The first of a series of NASA field programs, the UAS Aura Validation Experiment (UAS-AVE), is scheduled to take place in 2009 with the Global Hawk investigating aerosols and gas phase chemistry in the UT/LS. In ensuing years it is anticipated that follow-on field projects will utilize the Global Hawk to investigate properties of SVC clouds. Currently, there is no instrument available for installation on the Global Hawk that is capable of measuring particle size distributions and capturing high-resolution images of cloud particles in SVC. These measurements are essential for understanding the radiative effects that SVC has on the earth energy balance.

In Phase I we propose to design and perform proof-of-concept laboratory tests of a state-of-the-art integrated instrument that measures cloud particle size distributions from 1 micron to about 3 mm, and provides three simultaneous digital images of cloud particles. The new probe will combine three instruments that SPEC sells commercially into a compact, aerodynamic package that runs autonomously. In addition, it will be totally compatible with the NASA Research Environment for Vehicle-Embedded Analysis on Linux (REVEAL) system, so that investigators on the ground can view data and control probe functions. In Phase II we propose to build a working prototype and fly it on the Global Hawk (or a Learjet research aircraft if the Global Hawk is not available).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
It is anticipated that NASA will install and operate the new cloud particle probe on the Global Hawk for investigation of subvisible cirrus clouds in upcoming Aura Validation Experiment (AVE) field campaigns. It is also expected that the new integrated cloud particle probe will be installed on piloted NASA aircraft, including the DC-8 and WB-57F, for flight in all types of cloud systems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The new integrated cloud particle probe will replace existing technology and be installed on aircraft for research applications, cloud seeding, airframe icing certification and in icing wind tunnels.

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.

Autonomous Reasoning/Artificial Intelligence
Data Input/Output Devices
Expert Systems
Human-Computer Interfaces
On-Board Computing and Data Management
Optical & Photonic Materials
Particle and Fields
Portable Data Acquisition or Analysis Tools
Telemetry, Tracking and Control

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56