A Cloud Particle Imager for Balloons and Remotely Piloted Aircraft

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 991708
Amount: $599,904.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2001
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
5401 Western Ave. Suite B, Boulder, CO, 80301
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 R. Lawson
 Research Scientist
 () -
Business Contact
 R. Paul Lawson
Title: President
Phone: (303) 449-1105
Email: plawson@specinc.com
Research Institution
The Earth Observing System (EOS), a constellation of satellites that will observe clouds from space, needs reliable in situ measurements of cloud drops and ice particles for validation of remote retrieval algorithms. Current aircraft cloud particle measurements do not give good statistical data sets when compared to satellite overpasses. A new instrument, the cloud particle imager (CPI), previously developed under the SBIR program by SPEC, is now providing unique, high-resolution airborne digital images of cloud particles. A CPI that is configured for long-term measurements from a tethered balloon, or remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), such as the newly acquired NASA Proteus, can provide valid statistical comparisons. In Phase I, we will design a miniaturized, stand-alone CPI that can be operated for extended periods on a tethered balloon or an RPA. The balloon tether is heated so it can remain free of ice and stay aloft in clouds for days. In Phase II, we will build and test the miniature, stand-alone CPI on a research aircraft, RPA (if the NASA Proteus is available) and on the tethered balloon.

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

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