SBIR Phase I: Long Endurance Autonomous Aerial Vehicles for Geoscience Applications

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0339532
Agency Tracking Number: 0339532
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
104 Walker Pl., Lawrence, KS, 66049
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Tom Sherwood
 (785) 979-1116
Business Contact
 Tom Sherwood
Phone: (785) 979-1113
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop and demonstrate capable and reliable autonomous aerial platforms for geoscience missions. This will allow relevant scientific data to be gathered via remote, autonomous means, providing timely atmospheric and environmental data on a global scale, using a reliable, costeffective, easy-to-use tool. Such data has been shown to have significant bearing on the global weather patterns, thereby affecting the lives of people in all parts of the planet, both in the short term and in the long term. There are two major challenges: efficient aerodynamic, efficient engines and robust airframes to withstand turbulence. This proposal tackles these challenges, and presents innovative airframe and engine concepts that will enable long range (3500+ miles), long endurance (50+ hour) missions to be flown routinely. The aircraft will be able to make transoceanic or transcontinental flights, gathering relevant atmospheric data. Due to their improved aerodynamics and engines, such aircraft will also be able to fly in adverse weather conditions, which is currently not possible with existing UAV designs. The company is currently working with several university groups on such scientific missions, along with the US Department of Defense, Department of Transportation, NASA, and the Department of Homeland Security, thus giving us a clear path to commercialization. The vehicle developed in this effort can be sold or leased to end-users for scientific, civilian or military missions including atmospheric and environmental monitoring, wildlife monitoring/tracking, aerial photography, border patrol, law enforcement surveillance, communication nodes, target designation and tracking.

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

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