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Lightweight Autonomous Dropsonde MET Package for UAVs

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1995 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
9950 Wakeman Drive Manassas, VA 20110-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 1995
Title: Lightweight Autonomous Dropsonde MET Package for UAVs
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $99,714.00


Knowledge of the vertical profile of atmospheric parameters can be an important factor in determining the operational effectiveness of many military and civilian systems. For the past three years Aurora Flight Sciences has used support from the National Science Foundation to develop a lightweight autonomous dropwindsonde system (LADS) specifically for use with UAVS. This system, developed in cooperation with Radian Corporation, uses the Global Position System (GPS) for windfinding, and thus offers both world-wide coverage and accuracies an order of magnitude better than current windfinding radiosonde systems. NSF and Aurora funds have paid to design and produce the first LADS prototype hardware, which is now ready for flight demonstration. In this proposal, we request funds to: (1) flight-test the existing hardware on an Aurora-owned UAV, and (2) prepare a preliminary design for a complete MET package, incorporating the LADS system but adding other in situ sensors to measure temperature, humidity, radiation, opacity, etc. Deliverables from Phase I would consist of a report plus videotapes of the flight demonstration. In Phase II we would fabricate a complete LADS/MET system, install it on a UAV (supplied at the customer's convenience by either the customer or Aurora), and demonstrate it in flight.

Principal Investigator:

John S. Langford

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Aurora Flight Sciences Corp
10601 Observation Road Manassas, VA 22111

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No