High Precision CO2 Sensor for Balloon Sonde Atmospheric Measurements

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-03ER83779
Agency Tracking Number: 72037S03-I
Amount: $746,246.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: 7
Solicitation Number: DOE/SC-0059
Small Business Information
1570 Pacheco Street, Suite E-11, Santa Fe, NM, 87505
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Joel Silver
 (505) 984-1322
Business Contact
 Alan Stanton
Title: Dr.
Phone: (505) 984-1322
Email: astanton@swsciences.com
Research Institution
72037-A better scientific understanding of the sources and sinks of CO2, and of the interactions between the biosphere and atmosphere (troposphere and stratosphere) are needed. However, in situ measurements have been restricted to airplane or large stratospheric-type balloon gondola platforms, due to the size, weight, and power requirements of current instrumentation. A more frequent, widespread measurement campaign using smaller, less expensive balloon sondes is limited by the lack of suitable instrumentation. This project will develop a simple, lightweight, inexpensive carbon dioxide sensor suitable for balloon sonde measurements, yet exhibiting specifications that match the much larger and expensive research instruments used on current airborne platforms. Phase I developed calibration and analysis procedures, determined the best high-sensitivity optical detection methodology to employ, and developed proprietary components to assure precise measurement performance over the full range of balloon sonde flight, from sea level to the lower stratosphere. Phase II will develop and field test a prototype instrument with sub-part-per-million precision for carbon dioxide detection, suitable for deployment on balloon sondes. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: In addition to its use as a research instrument for atmospheric measurements, a low cost, portable gas sensor should have application in such areas as gas leak sensing of pipelines, fire detectors for commercial and private aircraft, and process control sensors for energy and chemical production industries.

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

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