NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-2 S3.04-8077
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Unmanned Aircraft and Sounding Rocket Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: A Ruggedized UAS for Scientific Data Gathering in Harsh Environments

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Black Swift Technologies, LLC
2100 Central Avenue, Suite 102
Boulder, CO 80301 - 2887
(720) 638-9656

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jack Steward Elston
2100 Central Avenue, Suite 102
Boulder, CO 80301 - 2887
(720) 638-9656

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jack Steward Elston
2100 Central Avenue, Suite 102
Boulder, CO 80301 - 2887
(720) 638-9656

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 7

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Unmanned Aircraft and Sounding Rocket Technologies is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Black Swift Technologies proposes the development of the SuperSwift XT, a novel small Unmanned Aircraft System that meets the sensing needs required for responding to or monitoring volcanic ash clouds. This tightly integrated system will consist of an airframe, avionics, and sensors specifically designed to measure selected gases and atmospheric properties. It is based on the commercial SuperSwift airframe and SwiftCore Flight Management System, which have been proven in the field to provide a cost-effective, powerful, and easy-to-operate solution to meet the demanding requirements of nomadic scientific field campaigns. The airframe capabilities will be expanded to achieve high altitude flights through strong winds and damaging airborne particulates. The SuperSwift's well-documented power and data interfaces will be employed to integrate the sensors required for the measurement of atmospheric volcanic phenomenon that will have broader applications for atmospheric research.

The atmospheric models that are employed by dispersion studies provide information that can affect human safety. Examples not only include volcanic ash aviation hazards, but pollution alerts, toxic releases, dust storms and wildfire smoke hazards that often depend on the accuracy of these models. Accurate data input from the location as well model validation are needed for these important safety systems. Even basic atmospheric conditions such as wind and temperature are estimated or modeled from nearest weather stations that could be far from the location of interest and at limited elevations. Ground systems, manned aircraft, balloons and even dropsondes supply this data but have limitations. Satellites such as ASTER, MODIS, AIRS and OMI are invaluable but can still suffer from infrequent coverage, cloud masking and limits in resolution. The SuperSwift XT will be designed to collect data in harsh environments and will enhance the performance and utility of NASA's Airborne Science fleet

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In terms of addressable NASA markets, the SuperSwift XT with the custom sensor suite has several unique benefits and fulfils multiple needs of the agency. Key potential customers within the NASA Earth Science program include the Tropospheric Chemistry Program (TCP), the Applied Sciences Air Quality Program, the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) mission, the Aura mission, the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS), the Orbital Carbon Observatory (OCO-2/3) programs, and the Earth Ventures program for airborne field campaigns. These key potential customers would all benefit from the measurements provided by this system in various atmospheric conditions using different sensor payloads which, by design, are easily interchangeable. These key customers represent strategic activities within NASA including the Atmospheric Composition Focus Area, the Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems focus area, and the Weather focus area.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Key potential customers in other government agencies include NOAA, DOE and NSF. Public entities funded by these government agencies such as UCAR and NCAR are also important customers. Black Swift Technologies has engaged with multiple researchers at these organizations who are prepared to purchase commercial systems for atmospheric monitoring upon the successful completion of the Phase II work. For operational weather forecasting and monitoring the National Weather Service is expected to be a key potential partner and customer. Also, the capability of this system to operate in the hazardous environment of a volcanic plume can be utilized in wildfire monitoring and support, where particulates and severe turbulence are a regular occurrence. There is also a commercial market for the multi-hole probe sensor developed as part of this work. BST has been working with another commercial company to add it as part of their offering of atmospheric sensors for UAS. The key advantage of this new sensor is much lower cost at similar performance to existing commercial systems.

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
Algorithms/Control Software & Systems (see also Autonomous Systems)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Avionics (see also Control and Monitoring)
Fire Protection

Form Generated on 03-07-17 15:43