An Autonomous Wireless Instrumentation Network for Antarctic Research

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NAS5-03068
Agency Tracking Number: 020036
Amount: $99,977.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Vexcel Corp
1690 38th St., Boulder, CO, 80301
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Paul Bodnar
 (303) 583-0225
Business Contact
 Paul Bodnar
Title: VP Finance and Administration
Phone: (303) 583-0225
Research Institution
 Pennsylvania State University
 Susan Lavan
 442 Deike Bldg
University Park, PA, 16802
 (814) 865-7650
 Nonprofit college or university
In November 1998 a network of seismic stations was deployed by S. Anandakrishnan (now at Penn State) and others in West Antarctica. These autonomous stations returned state-of-health data via satellite, and stored high-volume instrument data for later retrieval. The satellite links demonstrated a novel and sophisticated application of technology to the problem of retrieving in situ data from harsh remote terrestrial environments. Using these Antarctic seismic stations as a starting point, we propose to make a second innovative leap in remote instrumentation by creating intelligent, self-organizing instrument networks capable of recording, storing, processing, and returning high volumes of geophysical data from the field. These instruments will be built from low-cost COTS components, will intercommunicate via wireless microwave protocol, and will return data through a high-rate telemetry system. As such the proposed instrument network will drastically reduce the costs of field instrumentation and data recovery. The notion of an intelligent autonomous array of sensors has gained in popularity and momentum in the scientific world with new technological advances. We believe this is the opportunity to implement such a concept, with considerable but surmountable technical challenges, direct application to NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, and tremendous potential for future commercial application.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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