NASA 1999 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 99-1 01.03-9192 (Chron: 990380)

PROJECT TITLE: Airborne Remote Sensing of the Super-Cooled Water and Temperature Environment

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

We propose to test a new method for remote passive detection of hydrometeors (cloud liquid water droplets, drizzle, rain, hail, and snow) from an aircraft. The method uses an advanced radiometer to measure differences between horizontal and vertical polarization of microwave radiation. The polarization is influenced by hydrometeor shape and the anisotropy of the illuminating flux. This allows discrimination between liquid water and ice crystals. Radiometrics Corporation conceived the new method and is applying for patent. Based on preliminary Simple modeling, the capability of the new method appears fairly certain. We propose to confirm our preliminary results with more rigorous modeling. We also have conceived of three concepts to obtain range information on icing conditions. The capabilities of the concepts are uncertain and we propose modeling and testing. In addition, we propose to explore the performance of a method for passive airborne measurement of atmospheric temperature structure. This method is based on a highly accurate ground-based radiometric temperature profiling method that has recently emerged from Russia. Knowledge of temperature structure is important for prediction of icing conditions and turbulence.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

Aircraft icing and clear air turbulence present significant hazards to civilian and military aviation. Every year, losses are suffered from aircraft icing by general aviation, low to mid altitude military fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft, and regional carrier aircraft. In addition, in-flight clear air turbulence is a problem to all categories of aircraft. Our proposed studies will contribute to the development of a compact, low cost icing and turbulence detection system. The system would allow private, commercial, and military passenger and cargo transport services to reduce the number of accidents related to these hazards. Also, the proposed system is passive, making it even more attractive for military use. We plan to employ microwave integrated circuits in our in-flight icing and turbulence detection system. This will reduce the size and cost of the system, increasing its commercial viability.


NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

 
Fredrick S. Solheim 
Radiometrics Corporation
2840 Wilderness Place, Unit G
Boulder , CO 80303 - 5414

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR


Radiometrics Corporation 
2840 Wilderness Place, Unit G
Boulder , CO 80303 - 5414