An Innovative Low-Cost Dropsonde using Integrated Flexible Circuit Design

Award Information
Agency: Department of Commerce
Branch: N/A
Contract: DG133R-04-CN-0159
Agency Tracking Number: 2003-90
Amount: $300,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.1.9
Solicitation Number: NOAA-2003-1
Small Business Information
Yankee Environmental Systems, Inc.
101 Industrial Blvd., Turner Falls, MA, 01376
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 William Stein
 Sr. Design Engineer
 (413) 863-0200
Business Contact
 Mark Beaubien
Title: General Manager
Phone: (413) 863-0200
Research Institution
Upper atmospheric measurements of temperature, humidity, pressure and winds are required daily at hundreds of locations around the world to drive numerical weather prediction forecast models. In the US these critical measurements are made by Radiosondes carried aloft by balloons filled with helium and tracked by 104 NWS ground stations. However, data-sparse regions off the west coast can only be accessed via dropsondes. Today, radiosondes are commodities, manufactured using relatively old designs and production methods. Dropsondes measure 16"x2.25", weigh more than a pound, and support only one sounding at a time. Significant reductions in size/weight and support for multiple simultaneous soundings would permit Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) use in the Global Universal Profiling System (GUPS). In phase I, we developed a GPS dropsonde design using fewer than 15 active components, including sensors, and demonstrated its performance. In Phase II we will further reduce the parts count to four active integrated circuits. Our design can optionally incorporate in-situ chemical sensors, providing on line real time chemical analysis in support of homeland security initiatives, so in addition to meteorology, this technology is also important to evolving homeland defense requirements.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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