NASA SBIR 2021-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary


   
Proposal Number:          21-1- S1.08-2979
          
          
   
Subtopic Title:
      Suborbital Instruments and Sensor Systems for Earth Science Measurements
          
          
   
Proposal Title:
      A Particle Phase Spectrometer for Cloud Microphysics Research
          
          

Small Business Concern

   
Firm:
          
SPEC, Inc.
          
   
Address:
          
3022 Sterling Circle, Suite 200, Boulder, CO 80301
          
   
Phone:
          
(303) 449-1105                                                                                                                                                                                
          

Principal Investigator:

   
Name:
          
Paul Lawson
          
   
E-mail:
          
plawson@specinc.com
          
   
Address:
          
3022 Sterling Circle, Suite 200, CO 80301 - 2377
          
   
Phone:
          
(303) 449-1105                                                                                                                                                                                
          

Business Official:

   
Name:
          
Paul Lawson
          
   
E-mail:
          
plawson@specinc.com
          
   
Address:
          
3022 Sterling Circle, Suite 200, CO 80301 - 2377
          
   
Phone:
          
(303) 449-1105                                                                                                                                                                                
          

Summary Details:

   
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :                                                                                                                                                          
Begin: 4
End: 7
          
          
     
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words):

Satellite microphysics retrievals rely on in situ measurements to tune and validate their algorithms. Particle imaging probes have been the most reliable in situ instruments for identifying the shapes of cloud particles, thereby distinguishing (non-spherical) ice particles from (spherical) water drops. However, improvements in the pixel resolution, number of gray-levels and software processing of the particle images are required to take these measurements to the next level. Here we describe a new optical probe that vastly improves the ability to automatically identify and classify ice particles and water drops in mixed-phase clouds. The Particle Phase Spectrometer that SPEC will design and test in the laboratory in Phase I will integrate three optical instruments into a single package: 1) a very high-resolution (1-μm pixel resolution) digital camera imaging system, 2) a 10-μm 2D-Gray optical array probe and 3) a forward scattering probe that sizes particles from 2 to 50 μm.  The Particle Phase Spectrometer will provide unprecedented, high-resolution digital images that will be capable of distinguishing spherical from non-spherical cloud particles as small as 10 microns.

 

          
          
     
Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):

The Particle Phase Spectrometer will provide vastly improved ice particle and water drop size distributions in mixed-phase clouds, which constitute about 40% of clouds globally. The Particle Phase Spectrometer will also distinguish spherical from non-spherical particles in cirrus and sub-visible cirrus clouds. The improved microphysics retrievals from satellites will aid NASA in monitoring our changing climate.

          
          
     
Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):

The microphysical measurements will be used to validate satellite retrievals and improve calculations of radiative forcing by clouds, a critical factor in monitoring climate change. There will be a substantial benefit to both industry and society from an improved understanding of climate change.

          
          
     
Duration:     6
          
          

Form Generated on 04/06/2021 12:25:21