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An Autonomous Wireless Instrumentation Network for Antarctic Research

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / 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 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: An Autonomous Wireless Instrumentation Network for Antarctic Research
Agency: NASA
Contract: NAS5-03068
Award Amount: $99,977.00


In November 1998 a network of seismic stations was deployed by S. Anandakrishnan (now at Penn State) and others in West Antarctica. These autonomous stations returned state-of-health data via satellite, and stored high-volume instrument data for later retrieval. The satellite links demonstrated a novel and sophisticated application of technology to the problem of retrieving in situ data from harsh remote terrestrial environments. Using these Antarctic seismic stations as a starting point, we propose to make a second innovative leap in remote instrumentation by creating intelligent, self-organizing instrument networks capable of recording, storing, processing, and returning high volumes of geophysical data from the field. These instruments will be built from low-cost COTS components, will intercommunicate via wireless microwave protocol, and will return data through a high-rate telemetry system. As such the proposed instrument network will drastically reduce the costs of field instrumentation and data recovery. The notion of an intelligent autonomous array of sensors has gained in popularity and momentum in the scientific world with new technological advances. We believe this is the opportunity to implement such a concept, with considerable but surmountable technical challenges, direct application to NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, and tremendous potential for future commercial application.

Principal Investigator:

Paul Bodnar

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: Susan Lavan
Contact Phone: (814) 865-7650
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university