NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Earth In Situ Sensors
PROPOSAL TITLE:Innovative CO2 Analyzer Technology for the Eddy Covariance Flux Monitor

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Atmospheric Observing Systems, Inc.
1930 Central Ave., Suite A
Boulder, CO 80301-2895
(303) 443-3389

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James R Smith
1930 Central Ave., Suite A
Boulder, CO  80301-2895
(303) 443-3389

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose to build and evaluate NDIR Analyzers that can observe eddy covariance flux of CO2 from unmanned airborne platforms. For both phases, a total of four analyzers are to be evaluated for their nose (ppb rms, Dry Mole Fraction) and susceptibility to artifacts on platform. We present original framework for their evaluation. It consists of expressions for their potential noises, artifacts and the functionality of their electro-optical processors on platform. Phase I begins with the construction of two innovative NDIR analyzers, one close- and the other open-path. Each is based on the industry-standard airborne analyzer made by the proposing corporation. It is solid-state, runs at 8 Hz and has negligible sensitivity to motion. We propose existing technologies to increase the electro-optical modulation frequency to 100 Hz. The rms sensitivity (ppb), the level of drying and frequency response to air will be documented. The goal is a technology having the air sampling frequency of 100 Hz, rms sensitivity of 100 ppb and negligible artifacts, the target specifications of NASA's Southern Ocean Initiative. The plan for Phase II will be to evaluate the analyzers by observations of eddy covariance flux made from unmanned and piloted aircraft above terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
We will develop a CO2 Analyzer Technology that will be deployable to multiple airborne platforms. A commercially available CO2 Analyzer Technology will be required for several of NASA's monitoring programs. The Southern Ocean Carbon Cycle Project, a component of the Suborbital Science Program, has listed CO2 eddy covariance as one of the principle measurements from all observing platforms (UAV, tower, and buoy). A CO2 Analyzer designed for easy replication, along with negligible artifacts will be essential to any field technologies for this initiative.
In addition to the Suborbital Science Program, the NASA Earth Observing System will require validation of the satellite measurements by sub-orbital technologies. When the Orbiting Carbon Observatory is launched in 2008, verification and validation will be a critical component. UAV suborbital technologies would be an ideal verification platform for this satellite's observations.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A commercially available CO2 Analyzer System without platform motion sensitivity and artifacts would be a valuable tool for many climate related projects DOE's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement climate research facility makes both piloted and unmanned flights to monitor climate related observations. DOC's Office of Atmospheric Research oversees several labs that monitor climate from ships, piloted aircraft, and buoys.
Another platform of opportunity for climate monitoring is the daily launch of weather balloons world-wide. 75,000 weather balloons are launched worldwide each year. If CO2 was desired on one third of these deployments, then 25,000 systems worth of revenue could be collected each year. At 1k per analyzer system, this translates into a revenue stream of 25 million dollars annually.
Applications outside of climate monitoring involve human cargo detection for the department of homeland security. The DHS has a need to monitor incoming container vessels for human cargo.

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.

Autonomous Control and Monitoring
Data Acquisition and End-to-End-Management
Data Input/Output Devices
Database Development and Interfacing
Expert Systems
Fundamental Propulsion Physics
Human-Robotic Interfaces
Launch Assist (Electromagnetic, Hot Gas and Pneumatic)
Launch and Flight Vehicle
On-Board Computing and Data Management
Operations Concepts and Requirements
Portable Data Acquisition or Analysis Tools
Sensor Webs/Distributed Sensors
Telemetry, Tracking and Control
Testing Facilities

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19