NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Accommodation and Mitigation of Space Environmental Effects
PROPOSAL TITLE:Radar characterization of the interplanetary meteoroid environment

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Center for Remote Sensing Inc
3702 Pender Dr # 170
Fairfax ,VA 22030 - 6066
(703) 385 - 7717

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Lars    Dyrud
3702 Pender Dr # 170
Fairfax, VA  22030 -6066
(703) 385 - 7717

We propose a new modeling effort that will make substantial refinements and improvements to our existing models of the interplanetary meteoroid environment near Earth. Because of recent theoretical and observational advancements within the field of radar meteors, we believe that existing models for the interplanetary meteor environment that are based upon or validated with radar meteor observations (Such as the NASA Meteoroid Enviornment Model MEM) lack important theoretically underpinning, and can be improved. Specifically, we now understand that the plasma generated during meteor entry is highly unstable and turbulent, and the evolution of this plasma, is at all stages largely influenced by plasma processes such as wave and ambipolar electric fields. Yet this has not been taken into account in any detailed radar meteor scattering theory. We propose to use our existing and on-going plasma simulations and models to provide the input profiles of conductivity and permittivity for finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulations which can then interrogate the structure using plane waves that replicate radar pulses over the range of used frequencies from HF to L-Band. Using this approach together with our models for how the meteor plasma varies as a function of both meteor parameters such as size, composition, and velocity, and, atmospheric parameters such as winds/electric fields, density, temperature and altitude, will allow us to understand and characterize the full range of radar derivable information from meteors.

Achieving these proposed goals will close the existing information gap and resolve the conflicting observations we have on the interplanetary meteor flux. Our results will provide a revised model for the interplanetary meteoroid environment that will strongly support NASA's planned manned and un-manned missions near Earth and to the Moon and Mars.

The potential NASA applications are clear, that is we plan to provide and updated and more accurate model of the interpalterary meteoroid environment that is based upon state of the art meteor plasma and radar scattering simulations. These simulations will allow the conversion of radar meteor observations into an accurate model of the incoming meteor flux, which will then lead to an improved specification. A new meteoroids environment model will help NASA mitigate the meteor threat for manned and un-manned space applications. Additionally, such a model will also support NASA's scientific mission including understanding solar system evolution and meteor effects to atmospheric science both on Earth and throughout the solar system.

An accurate and user friendly model of the interplanetary meteor flux will have potential applications among commercial space and satellite companies. Further, this model could be directly used to support meteor input for radar clutter, and meteor trail communication applications, as well as the companies that produce scientific meteor radars. It would also allow us to develop the data reduction schemes for our own meteor radar, allowing us to enter a new business.

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.

Operations Concepts and Requirements
Simulation Modeling Environment

Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12