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Self-Calibrating Balloon-Borne Greenhouse Gas Sensor

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Southwest Sciences, Inc.
1570 Pacheco St. Suite E-11 Santa Fe, NM 87505-3993
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: Yes
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Self-Calibrating Balloon-Borne Greenhouse Gas Sensor
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-09ER85441
Award Amount: $100,000.00


The release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels is considered to be the major cause of global warming, with potentially damaging economic and environmental effects worldwide. The sources and sinks of CO2 and the interactions between the biosphere and atmosphere must be understood in order to devise strategies to minimize the effect of global warming. However, in situ measurements of CO2 and other greenhouse gases have been restricted to airplane or large balloon-gondola platforms, due to the size, weight, and power requirements of current instrumentation. A more frequent, widespread measurement campaign, using smaller less-expensive balloon sondes, is limited by this lack of suitable instrumentation. Therefore, this project will develop a lightweight, inexpensive, stand-alone carbon dioxide sensor that is capable of measuring sub-part-per-million fluctuations of CO2 and is suitable for balloon sonde measurements. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee In addition to research instruments for atmospheric measurements, low cost, portable gas sensors should find applications in such areas as environmental monitoring, gas leak sensing of pipelines, fire detectors for commercial and military aircraft, and process control sensors for energy and chemical production industries.

Principal Investigator:

Joel Silver

Business Contact:

Alan Stanton
Small Business Information at Submission:

Southwest Sciences, Inc.
1570 Pacheco Street Suite E-11 Santa Fe, NM 87505

EIN/Tax ID: 850340320
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No