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An Autonomous Wireless Instrumentation Network for Antarctic Research

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2004 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
1690 38th Street Boulder, CO 80301
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2004
Title: An Autonomous Wireless Instrumentation Network for Antarctic Research
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNG04CB10C
Award Amount: $499,858.00


The innovation of this project is to bring the power and flexibility of a wireless computer network to harsh-environment fieldwork. By integrating a small computer with GPS and a multi-channel digitizer we have created a network node which is low cost, low power, adaptable to practically any electronic instrumentation, and capable of storing large volumes of data over long field deployments. The node's wireless capability permits data sharing (redundancy) and cost-saving data retrieval via telemetry. During Phase I we exceeded our research objectives by building and testing a working prototype and in consequence have enlisted the interest and enthusiasm of a host of Geophysicists for a variety of experiments. Our baseline test plan in Phase II is a seismic experiment on Whillans icestream, West Antarctica, now supplemented by additional potential research projects. These include ice dynamics surveys on coastal outlet glaciers in Greenland, seismic monitoring of Alaskan tidewater glacier calving, bat research in Southeast Alaska, and bistatic radar sounding experiments on Antarctic ice sheets. These wireless networks are built on the open source paradigm based in our cultural enthusiasm for what we can accomplish as explorers; they will facilitate the next generation of scientific fieldwork on earth and beyond.

Principal Investigator:

Dennis Fatland
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Paul Bodnar
VP Finance and Administration
Small Business Information at Submission:

Vexcel Corp
1690 38th St. Boulder, CO 80301

EIN/Tax ID: 840992830
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Pennsylvania State University
442 Deike Bldg
University Park, PA 16802
Contact: Sue Lavan
Contact Phone: (814) 863-8724
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university