High Altitude Water Vapor Concentration Measurement Using Diode Laser Interferometry

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-96ER82246
Agency Tracking Number: 34604
Amount: $74,407.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1996
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
461 Boston Street, Topsfield, MA, 01983
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mr. James R. Engel
 (508) 887-6600
Business Contact
 Mr. James R. Engel
Title: President
Phone: (508) 887-6600
Research Institution
40467 OPTRA, Inc. More detailed atmospheric data and a better understanding of atmospheric chemistry are important to gauge what effects energy sources contribute to pollution problems, such as the ¿greenhouse effect.¿ This project will demonstrate the feasibility of sensing water vapor concentrations by measuring the change in the index of refraction of a gas sample as a diode laser is tuned through a water vapor absorption line. The behavior of the index of refraction in the vicinity of an absorption line is known as the anomalous dispersion. This technique will be demonstrated by measuring a water vapor concentration of 2 x 10l3 molecules/cm3. Anticipated Results/Potential Commercial Applications as described by the awardee: This project should result in a more stable and reliable water vapor sensor for use on unmanned aircraft in the upper atmosphere. The laser-based sensor should also have applications in the natural gas industry, semiconductor manufacturing, and for process control and environmental monitoring.

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

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