NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 S3.04-9888
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Unmanned Aircraft and Sounding Rocket Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Advanced Technologies for Coordinated In-Situ Atmospheric Sensing

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Black Swift Technologies, LLC
3080 Valmont Road, Suite 259
Boulder, CO 80301 - 2152
(720) 638-9656

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jack Elston
3080 Valmont Rd Ste 259
Boulder, CO 80301 - 2152
(720) 933-4503

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jack Elston
3080 Valmont Rd Ste 259
Boulder, CO 80301 - 2152
(720) 933-4503

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Unmanned Aircraft and Sounding Rocket Technologies is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
There is a great need for better understanding of the continuity of atmospheric processes on multiple scales ranging from several kilometers to the order of a meter. Although the general features of this process are well-established, they are poorly quantified. This lack of understanding leads to significant uncertainties in the parameterizations used in numerical models of weather prediction, pollution transport and diffusion, etc. Improvement of the models is heavily dependent upon available data, increasing the need for improved remote satellite and terrestrial based measurements as well as affordable, capable, and easily operated in situ measurement systems. The complementary nature of these two measurement techniques ensure that recent work toward the revolutionary use of unmanned aircraft systems for in situ measurements has the potential to greatly enhance data gathered through remote sensing and significantly affect the study of the atmospheric boundary layer.

Black Swift Technologies proposes the creation, testing, and validation of a new in situ atmospheric sensing instrument, the Coordinated Atmospheric Profiling System (CAPS). This will be realized as a coordinated multi-aircraft system with each unmanned aircraft consisting of tightly integrated airframe, avionics and sensors specifically designed to measure atmospheric parameters (i.e., temperature, pressure, humidity, and 3D winds). Each aircraft will be cost-effective, simple, rugged, and easy to operate while performing atmospheric experiments with the required level of accuracy for scientific missions. Furthermore, the system will be designed with the intention of extending multi-aircraft functionality to other Earth observing missions through the use of a removable nose cone with well documented power and data interfaces. This further enables simple connection to the autopilot and on-board computer to enable intelligently optimized data gathering and coordination.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
CAPS will enhance the performance and utility of NASA's Airborne Science fleet with its unique design and capabilities, and is specifically designed for missions in two focus areas of NASA's Earth Observing Directorate; (1) Weather and (2) Atmospheric Composition. CAPS can provide data to augment satellite based measurement through validation and increasing measurement resolution in areas of high variance. It is also capable of providing targeted, in situ measurements to complement ground based remote sensing. The proposed payload will be immediately applicable for use in the proposed 3D-Winds mission as articulated by National Research Council in the most recent NASA Earth Science Decadal Survey, and can be used to complement the Goddard Lidar Observatory for Wind and TWiLiTE. Support of additional programs is expected through the use of the CAPS modular payload system, which allows for simple transition to other sensor suites. An intended future sensor suite would enable measuring atmospheric composition, specifically airborne particulates and trace gases which could augment MPLNET and AERONET as well as provide local CO2 measurements to be merged with global measurements from OCO-2&3.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The CAPS system is immediately useful for many aspects of meteorology from Climatology studies, to numerical weather prediction, to atmospheric chemistry and plume detection, to fire weather monitoring and even replacing the non-reusable balloon soundings that are launched across the nation daily. Many groups work in this arena including universities, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the National Severe Storms Laboratory and the US armed services. Furthermore, the modular payload and open interface for creation of cooperative algorithms extends the use of the system to any application that would benefit from simultaneous observation by multiple aircraft. This includes but is not limited to mapping, radio-frequency emission localization and mapping, glacial ice surveys, and persistent surveillance.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Ad-Hoc Networks (see also Sensors)
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Command & Control
Data Acquisition (see also Sensors)
Development Environments
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)
Simulation & Modeling

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37