NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-1 S1.07-8008
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Airborne Measurement Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Temperature Chemical Sensor Array Payload For UAV Based In-situ Volcanic Gas Measurements

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Makel Engineering, Inc.
1585 Marauder Street
Chico, CA 95973 - 9064
(530) 895-2771

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Darby B Makel
1585 Marauder Street
Chico, CA 95973 - 9064
(530) 895-2771

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Darby B Makel
1585 Marauder Street
Chico, CA 95973 - 9064
(530) 895-2771

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Airborne Measurement Systems 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)
Makel Engineering, Inc. proposes to develop a low cost, UAV based microsensor array payload for monitoring volcanic processes such as plume vents and hot lava flows. Microsensor arrays, each consisting of four to eight high temperature sensors for species such as OCS, HF, HCl, NOx, CO, SOx, CH4, H2O, O2, and CO2, will be packaged with electronics and data transmission capability. The high temperature thick and film microsensors for the species of interest have been developed for Venus atmospheric measurement under a previous NASA program. This sensor technology will be the basis of this low cost UAV payload for Earth science missions. The microsensor array packages will be integrated into lightweight payloads (under 200 gm) that can be suspended under a small UAV multi-copter for measurements near lava flows. Alternately, the microsensor array payload can be packaged as a dropsonde and deployed in regions which are too hostile for low altitude UAV flight. The Volcanic Microsensor Array System (VMAS) packaging will designed to enable the sensors to be used for prolonged operation in high temperature, turbulent, and corrosive gas environments. The microsensor array will be sufficiently low cost that it can be expendable and can transmit data from regions where it is impractical to retrieve instrumentation. This innovative use of a low cost microsensor array can provide measurements not feasible with more expensive and sophisticated instruments which cannot be sacrificed in high risk measurement areas.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
UAVs will see an expanded role in support of NASA science missions. Recent applications for UAV based chemical sensing currently include the study of volcanoes to validate atmospheric models and to gain new insight into mechanisms. Near term application of the Volcanic Microsensor Array System (VMAS) would be to assist NASA's work studying volcanic activity such as tracking volcano emissions, in- situ plume and lava flow measurements.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There is a large commercial market for low cost, deployable atmospheric monitoring systems in harsh environments such as deep mines, refineries and chemical plants. UAVs with chemical detection offer the potential for automated detection of gas leaks from pipes at plant yards of large industrial complexes. These site areas are typically on the order of 1 million square meters with several kilometers of pipes extending beyond the plant yard which need monitoring. Such monitoring is not practical with fixed sensors. Air quality management districts and the EPA can use UAV based air quality measurement for improved monitoring and compliance inspections.

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.)
Analytical Instruments (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma, Energy; see also Sensors)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Avionics (see also Control and Monitoring)
Chemical/Environmental (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)

Form Generated on 04-26-16 15:14