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Volcanic Ash Nephelometer Probe

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Innovative Dynamics, Inc.
2560 North Triphammer Road Ithaca, NY 14850-
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: Volcanic Ash Nephelometer Probe
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX12CA52C
Award Amount: $749,949.00


Advanced dropsondes that could effectively be guided through atmospheric regions of interest such as volcanic plumes may enable unprecedented observations of important atmospheric phenomena. IDI proposes to develop a flight ready optical sensor to provide cloud properties and hazardous volcanic ash and icing information within commercial airspace. The probe will initially be developed for a dropsonde but eventually be integrated into the unmanned SCAN EAGLE UAV. The innovation is a new capability for making in-situ measurement of cloud particulates to improve pilot awareness of hazardous operating conditions, such as those recently experienced by aircraft engines operating near volcanic plumes in the North Atlantic near Iceland. .During a Phase I program IDI developed a miniature Nephelometer sensor prototype and demonstrated the ability to measure small ash and water particulates as well as provide discrimination between them. Phase II will integrate the Nephelometer and a commercial SO2 sensor into a radiosonde package for a tethered field test at the NASA Wallops test facility and finally deployed near an active volcano in central America. The probe packaging will designed such that it is upwardly compatible in size and weight with the SCAN EAGLE UAV payload as well as other payload recovery vehicles.

Principal Investigator:

Jack Edmonds
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Kumar Seetharam
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

Innovative Dynamics, Inc.
2560 North Triphammer Road Ithaca, NY -

EIN/Tax ID: 161407666
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No