NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 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)
R. Paul Lawson
3022 Sterling Circle - Suite 200
Boulder, CO 80301 - 2377
(303) 449-1105

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 6 to 7

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In Phase II SPEC will design, fabricate and flight test a state-of-the-art combined cloud particle probe called the Hawkeye. Hawkeye is the culmination of two decades of innovative instrument development at SPEC. The new probe will measure the size distribution of cloud and precipitation particles, provide high-resolution (2.3 micron pixel) images of cloud particles and remove artifacts from ice particle shattering. This will be accomplished by eclectic combination of technology developed in three existing SPEC optical cloud particle probes: 1) A fast FSSP, that measures size distributions from 1 to 50 microns and records individual particle statistics and remove shattered particles using inter-arrival times, 2) a cloud particle imager (CPI) with upgraded imagery capable of recording up to 500 frames per second, and 3) a 2D-S (Stereo) probe that is configured with one channel to provide full-view images of particles from 10 microns to 1.28 mm, and a second channel configured to provide full-view images of particles from 50 microns to 6.4 mm. Thus, using particle dimensions along the direction of flight will produce particle size distributions from 1 micron to several cm.

Hawkeye will be designed for installation and autonomous (unattended) operation on NASA research aircraft, including the Global Hawk unmanned aerial system (UAS), and DC-8, WB-57F and ER-2 piloted research aircraft. Hawkeye will provide vastly improved measurements of particle and precipitation size distributions, particle shape, extinction coefficient, effective particle radius, ice water content and equivalent radar reflectivity. Hawkeye will be ready for installation on NASA aircraft for the upcoming ACE and GPM decadal missions, which are aimed at measurements of the effects of aerosols, clouds and precipitation on global climate change.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Based on this historical record and increasing interest in global climate change, we anticipate that the Hawkeye, a new advanced-technology standard for cloud particle probes, will be requested for all future NASA and other-agency climate research programs. In particular, ACE and GPM decadal missions will benefit considerably from Hawkeye measurements. Participation in these missions generates direct commercial benefit and also exposure for additional commercial sales.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There is a growing international market in weather modification research and operational cloud seeding programs. Research/cloud seeding programs are now taking place on five continents. These programs are using aging technology to investigate clouds for weather modification applications and will benefit from a compact probe that will reliably measure changes in cloud particle distributions due to the effects of cloud seeding. Certification of new aircraft for flight in known icing conditions is another commercial application for the Hawkeye. Research in icing wind tunnels is yet another commercial application for Hawkeye.

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.


Form Generated on 08-03-09 13:26