NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-1 S3.04-8077
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Unmanned Aircraft and Sounding Rocket Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: A Ruggedized UAS for Scientific Data Gathering in Harsh Environments

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Black Swift Technologies, LLC
2100 Central Avenue, Suite 102
Boulder, CO 80301 - 2887
(720) 638-9656

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Jack Elston
2100 Central Ave Ste 102
Boulder, CO 80301 - 2887
(720) 933-4503

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Jack Elston
2100 Central Ave Ste 102
Boulder, CO 80301 - 2887
(720) 933-4503

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

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)
Accurate predictive modeling of certain atmospheric chemical phenomena (i.e. volcano plumes, smog, gas clouds, wildfire smoke, etc.) suffers from a dearth of information, largely due to the fact that the dynamic qualities of the phenomenon evade accurate data collection. In situ measurements are currently made through the use of ground sensors and dropsondes. ?Ground sensors, such as seismometers, tiltmeters, in-ground gas monitors and near-field remote sensings instruments[,]? have limited measurement density and provide only information about atmospheric boundary conditions. Dropsondes can provide measurements over the entire vertical profile, but are limited to sampling over a small time period. In situ measurements can be augmented with satellite-based remote sensing systems, such as ASTER, MODIS, AIRS and OMI, however, satellite-based data suffers from its relatively small spatial density and limited frequency of measurement. A need exists for additional targeted in situ data from volcanic ash clouds, particularly to assess ...particle size distribution, ash cloud height, and ash cloud thickness including spatial (horizontal and vertical) and temporal variability of ash concentration.

The proposed innovation, the SuperSwift XT, will meet NASA's need to enhance [the] performance and utility of NASA's airborne science fleet by providing a durable, terrain-following UAS that will be adapted for use in harsh environments containing environmental phenomena that impacts societal activity (i.e. volcanic emissions impacting the safety of passenger aviation). The sUAS will provide targeted, in situ observations from previously inaccessible regions that can significantly advance NASA?s goal of safe, efficient growth in global aviation by aiding in the collection of scientific data from which predictive Volcanic Ash Transport and Dispersion models (VATD) used to inform air traffic management systems.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Multi-year observations of volcanoes with a variety of systems has already been conducted by by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's CARTA-UAS project, along with its partners. These observations have occurred and various distances and locations around the volcanoes. Use of a multiple UAS system with appropriate architecture for cooperative and coordinated surveys by durable yet affordable (attrition acceptable) vehicles will greatly improve the coverage available when collecting useful science data. Other volcano-studying robot projects could also benefit from the addition of UAS for heterogenous vehicle deployment (also supported by Black Swift Technologies architecture) or a transition to exclusively aircraft for the collection of valuable science data.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A number of post-research and development applications exist, commercial and scientific. The proposed innovation, including the total sensor suite, can be utilized for scientific research by federal and state public agencies and other state-funded laboratories to collect data on coherent atmospheric structures such as smog, volcano plumes, wildfire smoke, chemical fires, forest humidity, etc. Commercial applications for private industry exist as well, such as utilizing the SuperSwift XT to determine chemical composition of smokestack exhaust so as to remain within EPA-permitted levels of pollutant gasses and to assess the composition, and relative danger, of chemical fires at refineries. Additionally, the specially trained Incident Meteorologists (IMETs) from NOAA use portable weather stations near large wildfires to generate critical weather forecasts for the effectiveness and safety of fire crews. The stationary and ground-based nature of these ground stations can be greatly expanded by using expendable fleets of sUAS aircraft to gather richer simultaneous information from the prevailing and fire-driven weather patterns.

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.)
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Avionics (see also Control and Monitoring)
Chemical/Environmental (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Fire Protection

Form Generated on 04-26-16 15:14