SBIR Phase I: The Marine Profiling Radiometer

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0944622
Agency Tracking Number: 0944622
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: IC
Solicitation Number: NSF 09-541
Small Business Information
Boulder Environmental Sciences and Technology, LLC
4425 Hastings Drive, Boulder, CO, 80305
DUNS: 623842619
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Marian KLein
 (303) 827-6420
Business Contact
 Marian KLein
Title: PhD
Phone: (303) 827-6420
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop an instrument that enables continuous, autonomous surveillance of key meteorological parameters, i.e., temperature, humidity profiles, cloud liquid water path, and integrated water vapor. The Marine Profiling Radiometer (MPR) is designed for operation on a buoy, ship, or for land-based applications. Despite the increased utility of weather forecasts over the past decades, accuracy decreases rapidly as the scale of the weather features decreases and the time range of the forecasts increases. Forecasting the evolution and movement of smaller-scale, short-lived, often intense weather phenomena such as tornadoes, hail storms, and flash floods is less mature than prediction of larger-scale weather systems. This is caused, in part, by inadequate observations. The proposed technology will fill the missing gap in data. Phase I will develop a simplified prototype of MPR to experimentally validate new concepts of ambient calibration, as well as, a self-cleaning mechanism for protection of optical components. The novel calibration approach will enable standalone operation even under extreme weather conditions that can be encountered in harsh marine environments. The major innovation of this all-weather technology is its ability to provide otherwise un-obtainable data in a timely and cost effective manner. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is in demonstrating a novel approach to radiometer calibration that could lead to advancement in its use and dramatic improvement in the understanding of the thermodynamic state of the atmosphere, especially in the boundary layer. As 50% of the US population lives within 50 miles of the coast, better information about offshore conditions can have significant economical impact. Improved forecasts will benefit water management of reservoirs/coastal regions, can be used by commercial/military vessels to improve safety and enhance missile guidance system accuracy. MPR data will improve coastal meteorology, improve protection mechanisms and reducing evacuation costs for severe weather events; enhance our understanding of ocean-atmosphere interaction and provide information about regional climate change; reduce the cost associated with offshore wind farm and oil platform operation while improving overall safety; facilitate optimization of the electrical grid improving energy efficiency; enhance weather/dispersion model ensembles for homeland security applications; and provide current weather information to help ensure efficient and environmentally sound sea and port operations for commercial and recreational vessels.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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