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Microwave Photonic Radiometers for Weather Forecasting and Situational Awareness

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9453-19-C-0711
Agency Tracking Number: F182-001-0460
Amount: $749,998.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF182-001
Solicitation Number: 18.2
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-09-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-09-19
Small Business Information
51 East Main Street Suite 201
Newark, DE 19711
United States
DUNS: 805473951
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Thomas Dillon
 Director of Engineering
 (302) 286-5191
Business Contact
 Ahmed Sharkawy
Phone: (302) 286-5191
Research Institution

Passive Microwave Remote Sensing is currently utilized by AFRL, NASA, NOAA, and others to conduct Earth Science missions, including weather forecasting, early warning systems, and climate studies. Soundings of the atmosphere are conducted near several oxygen and water absorption lines at frequencies of ~20-200 GHz to determine key parameters of the atmospheric state, including temperature and humidity profiles. To improve retrieval accuracy of these parameters as well as predictive ability of weather models, a large number of closely spaced frequencies, i.e. hyperspectral sensing is needed. As such, PSI will develop a hyperspectral microwave radiometer sounder capable of acquiring a hundred or more detection frequencies simultaneously on a <1 GHz channel spacing. We leverage microwave photonics to convert the radio frequency signals to optical frequencies, where they are readily manipulated with low loss and wide bandwidth using optical components and detected using an optical spectrometer back-end. Under the proposed effort, we extend our existing radiometer hardware to enable concurrent, spectrally resolved measurements of the sky brightness temperature in the frequency range of 50-75 GHz, at the oxygen absorption line. We demonstrate a 16-channel system with 1.6 GHz channel spacing that can be scaled to larger channel counts in a straightforward manner.

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

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