NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 S3.09-8252
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technologies for Unmanned Atmospheric Platforms
PROPOSAL TITLE: Dropsonde System for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Anasphere, Inc.
106 Pronghorn Trail
Bozeman, MT 59718 - 6081
(406) 994-9354

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
John Bognar
106 Pronghorn Trail
Bozeman, MT 59718 - 6081
(406) 994-9354

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are assuming more numerous and increasingly important roles in global environmental and atmospheric research. There is a corresponding growth in equipment needs for UAVs so that they may meet their mission goals. Some critical measurement needs can only be satisfied by in-situ measurements. Key examples of such measurements include detailed atmospheric profiles, point meteorological conditions on the surface, and in-situ measurements for calibration and validation of remote sensing systems.
A scalable dropsonde launcher will be developed that will be able to fit a range of UAVs. It will be able to launch a variety of dropsondes derived from Anasphere's existing radiosonde and dropsonde families. Dropsondes for high-precision, high-density, and surface-based measurements will be developed.
Phase I will involve designing a launcher that uses an existing Anasphere dropsonde and fits into a representative UAV provided by Vanilla Aircraft. The launcher will be demonstrated in the laboratory and in a high-speed airflow environment.
The ultimate result of the project will be a dropsonde system that can be fitted to many NASA UAVs and enable them to gather in-situ atmospheric profiles and surface measurements using dropsondes.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Several specific areas of NASA research will be able to make use of dropsonde-equipped UAVs. One of the most prominent areas that would benefit is hurricane research: dropsondes would bring a new dimension to the data gathered by UAVs flying into hurricanes, making their measurements more comparable to those of manned aircraft. A second area is wildland firefighting operations: dropsondes would allow the UAV to return local meteorological profiles that could be used to improve the point weather forecasts developed by fire meteorologists and used by incident commanders. Atmospheric and polar research are two more generic areas of research which will benefit from a dropsonde system for UAVs.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Other agencies engaged in the use of UAVs for atmospheric research or operational meteorology measurements (e.g., NOAA and the Department of Defense) would be able to use this dropsonde system on their UAVs. Elements of the system, such as the dropsondes themselves, may be applied in other dropsonde launchers deployed on other platforms as well.

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.

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Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14