NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Aviation Safety and Security; Fire, Icing, Propulsion and Secure CNS Aircraft Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE:Radiosonde Cloud Assessment System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Innovative Dynamics, Inc.
2560 North Triphammer Road
Ithaca, NY 14850-9726
(607) 257-0533

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jack A Edmonds
2560 N. Triphammer Road
Ithaca, NY  14850-9726
(607) 257-0533

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Improvements in existing technologies for icing weather information systems are required to increase the level of safety for aircraft flying in the atmospheric icing environment. Icing forecasts cannot provide the needed accuracy at the present time. Under a NASA sponsored SBIR program, Innovative Dynamics, Inc. is developing a Radiosonde Cloud Assessment System (RCLASS) that measures liquid water content, drop size, and droplet phase using low-power infrared lasers. These parameters would be used to identify certain cloud conditions that pose airborne icing hazards to aircraft. The innovation is a new capability for measuring cloud properties that would consist of a small optical probe flown on an expendable weather balloon. Phase I demonstrated the feasibility of the IR-based approach. A series of tests were conducted in an environmental test chamber to demonstrate the overall detection capability. The proposed Phase II will continue development and calibration of the sensor package and integrate it into a commercially available balloonsonde system for evaluation testing in the atmosphere.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed in-situ expendable sensor package will improve aircraft safety by predicting when and where icing hazards exist. This is particularly advantageous to general aviation and to commuter aircraft which are most susceptible to icing accidents. This research is in support of NASA's goals to improve safety of flight by developing instruments that provide advanced warning of icing conditions. NASA conducts atmospheric studies using instrumented balloons that fly from just a few hours to over 100 days. A light-weight sensor that measures cloud content would be a useful addition.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In addition to deployment in a balloon launched radiosonde, this detector would be extremely valuable for light aircraft flying in clouds at low altitudes, which do not currently have weather radar. The cloud property information is also important to the atmospheric research community, NOAA and other weather services. Current icing forecasts cannot provide the needed accuracy at the present time. An infrared sensor package could also address air pollution research and monitoring communities. Other potential commercial applications include a low cost roadway fog and icing detector that monitors and reports visibility to drivers.

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.


Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04