NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 S1.08-9153
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In Situ Airborne, Surface, and Submersible Instruments for Earth Science
PROPOSAL TITLE: HybridSpectral Radiometer Systems to Support Ocean Color Cal/Val

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Biospherical Instruments Inc.
5340 Riley Street
San Diego, CA 92110 - 2621
(619) 686-1888

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Charles R Booth
5340 Riley St
San Diego, CA 92110 - 2621
(619) 686-1888 Extension :112

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA has an ongoing commitment to collect in situ data with a documented uncertainty in keeping with established performance metrics for vicarious calibration of ocean color satellite sensors. This proposal seeks funding to develop an in-water "Hybridspectral" capability that combines two differing practices for data collection (multiwaveband and hyperspectral) to satisfy the diversity, accuracy, and precision requirements of future ocean color missions. Called the Compact Hybridspectral Radiometer (C-HyR), C-HyR places special focus on two important priorities from the call: 1) Instruments making measurements of the apparent optical properties; and 2) Hyperspectral radiometers (340 - 900 nm) for use in near-surface profiling. The C-HyR system leverages a 2004 NASA SBIR microradiometer development that lead to the Compact-Optical Profiling System (C-OPS), a commercially available multiwaveband radiometer system and adds a spectrograph-based upwelling Radiance Collector Assembly (RCA) for operations very near the surface of the water at the top of a vertical profile. In Phase II, attention will be paid to spectrograph selection with the goal of making optically valid measurements out to 900 nm, as requested in the call. For improved deployment security and shadow avoidance, the system uses an innovative buoyancy backplane with twin positioning thrusters to ensure ship avoidance and allow maneuvering the profiler to a desired sampling location. The result is an innovative expansion of existing state-of-the-art commercial instruments to include a spectral sampling capability that exceeds current and planned satellite requirements, and that can operate in optically complex near-shore regions. The benefits of this new sampling capability are an improved ability to separate the biotic and abiotic components of seawater, an improved ocean color mission calibration and validation capability into Case 2 waters, reduced deployment effort, and reduced deployment risks.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
C-HyR directly supports NASA satellite and aircraft missions and associated cal/val activities (e.g. PACE/ACE, GEO-CAPE, HyspIRI, AVIRIS, MODIS, and VIIRS). The hybridspectral nature of C-HyR is well suited to support the shallow-water, near-shore, and precision sampling objectives driving the GEO-CAPE mission which include understanding the dynamics of coastal ecosystems, river plumes, and tidal fronts, tracking oil spills and other waterborne hazardous materials, as well as optical monitoring in regions of special biological significance such as bays, marshes, and estuaries. In addition to wide spectral coverage, the wide dynamic range in responsivity and flexible architecture ensures that C-HyR supports ecosystem-focused ocean ecology missions, such as VIIRS/NPP and PACE/ACE as well as the goals of the Carbon and Ecosystems Roadmap. This includes quantification of carbon budgets at sub-regional local scales, coastal carbon dynamics, or terrestrial applications, In addition to validating radiometric models, these systems have an immediate application in ground and ocean color validation studies. This support includes deployments from small near-coastal vessels or even a variant of C-HyR for autonomous drifters. In addition to reduced uncertainties and increased data product accuracy, the C-HyR passive and dynamic free-fall protocols also control deployment risks associated with operations on large oceanographic vessels, such as entanglement with a ship's screw.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA benefits to this technology parallel the direct benefit to NASA, that is, commercial sales of C-HyR outside of NASA. In addition to satellite Cal/Val programs by other nations, such as Japan (SGLI), India, or Germany, C-HyR directly supports an increased opportunity for multidisciplinary studies in the field, such as near-shore to basin-wide phytoplankton ecological research, UV photodegradation of petroleum events, and fisheries studies such as visual predation or breeding cycles. International and domestic potential customers for this technology include government, university, and privately funded researchers interested in ocean color, phytoplankton ecology, fisheries, or photodegradation. Water quality monitoring and municipal drinking water systems are also valued but non-traditional markets for profiling systems such as C-HyR.

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.)

Form Generated on 11-06-12 18:12