NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 S3.09-7960
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Unmanned Aircraft and Sounding Rocket Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Nephelometric Dropsonde for Volcanic Ash

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 Edmonds
2560 N. Triphammer Road
Ithaca, NY 14850 - 9726
(607) 257-0533

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Advanced dropsondes that could effectively be guided through atmospheric regions of interest such as volcanic plumes could enable unprecedented observations of important atmospheric phenomena. Innovative Dynamics, Inc. proposes to develop a flight ready optical sensor package to provide hazardous volcanic ash and particulate information within commercial airspace. The probe will initially be used as a dropsonde from a UAV but eventually be carried by all aircraft. This volcanic ash particulate information would then be incorporated into standard E-PIREP reports as well as distributed via air traffic controllers. The innovation is a new capability for making in-situ measurement of cloud particulates to improve pilot awareness of hazardous operating conditions, such as those recently experienced by aircraft engines operating in the North Atlantic near Iceland. Cloud and Ash particulate information is currently obtained by positioning a satellite to a location, produces limited data, and is cost prohibitive.

IDI proposes to develop a flight deployable optical probe which will determine various airborne particulates such as volcanic ash particle size and density. The probe packaging will be developed to be compatible with existing RQ-4 dropsonde hardware, will be low-cost, low-weight and will be able to be deployed on various platforms, i.e., radiosondes and other payload recovery vehicles.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA has immediate need for a high atmospheric particulate probe for its ongoing earth sciences and atmospheric research programs. More recently NASA has been chartered to to do high altitude atmospheric research with UAS (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). As part of this program NASA will be employing dropsondes deployed from 2 recently acquired high altitude Global Hawk UAV's to measure dangerous and toxic particulates from volcanic ash. The propsed low cost optical Nephelometric probe will be an ideal low cost expendable probe that can acquire particulate size and density measurements of upper atmosphere volcanic ash.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Each day over 300 Radiosondes are launched nationwide. This gives the IDI package a defined and achievable path to market. An infrared cloud properties sensor would have a unique and potentially lucrative market niche because of its affordability. The principle product will be a moderately high volume product which will be used for aircraft icing avoidance and by agencies such as NOAA and NWS for everyday in-situ weather monitoring use. Secondary use will be by atmospheric researchers at NOAA, NASA, and Universities. NASA has several research programs and facilities for launching balloon-borne instrumentation for local to wide area, long-duration weather surveys.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Air Transportation & Safety

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12