Development of a Compact Sensor for in-situ Thermospheric Neutral Wind Measurements from a CubeSat

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-19-C-0181
Agency Tracking Number: N182-137-0387
Amount: $124,954.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N182-137
Solicitation Number: 2018.2
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-12-17
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-06-24
Small Business Information
282 Century Place, Suite 1000, Louisville, CO, 80027
DUNS: 601975803
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Geoffrey Crowley
 (303) 993-8039
 gcrowley@astraspace.net
Business Contact
 Geoffrey Crowley
Phone: (303) 993-8039
Email: gcrowley@astraspace.net
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Knowledge of the thermospheric neutral wind remains perhaps the most elusive and yet most important parameter to understanding the complex feedback interactions that take place in the near space environment of the Earth. The lack of understanding of the interactions between the neutral atmosphere and ionosphere currently hampers efforts to predict Earths daily ionospheric and thermospheric conditions.
Measurement of the vector neutral wind can be accomplished from space using remote sensing optical imaging or in-situ techniques. The development of a small CubeSat payload for the measurement of in-situ neutral wind vector would be a significant step forward in the investigative capabilities focused on ion-neutral coupling in the atmosphere and in the generation of neutral wind driven current systems that dominate the dynamics of the low and middle latitude ionosphere. ASTRA and University of Texas Dallas (UTD) team propose to construct an analyzer system and a robust detector system for measuring the in-situ neutral wind vector called the Neutral Wind Sensor (NWS). Our ultimate objective is to produce a flight instrument design occupying 2U in a typical 6U CubeSat configuration.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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