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A Compact, Low Power Depolarization Backscattering Cloud Spectrometer for Water and Ice Discrimination

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-12ER90235
Agency Tracking Number: 98659
Amount: $149,939.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 03 b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000577
Solicitation Year: 2012
Award Year: 2012
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2012-02-20
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2012-11-19
Small Business Information
2545 Central Avenue
Boulder, CO 80301-2865
United States
DUNS: 786731802
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 David Thomson
 (303) 440-5576
Business Contact
 Gregory Kok
Title: Dr.
Phone: (303) 440-5576
Research Institution

Mixed phase clouds, i.e. those that contain water droplets and ice crystals, make up a large fraction of the clouds that are found over the Arctic region. The radiative impact of these clouds on climate modulation is highly sensitive to the relative mix of water and ice, the size distribution of these hydrometeors and the shape and optical properties of the ice crystals. The properties of mixed phase clouds and the microphysical processes that underlie their formation and evolution remain largely un-documented, particularly in the Arctic. This is primarily due to the lack of instruments that can accurately discriminate water droplets from ice crystals as well as measure their optical properties and size distributions, especially in the size range from approximately 1 50 m where imaging techniques with optical array probes have factors of two or more uncertainties in sample volume and are unable to distinguish liquid from ice below about 30 m. A very small sensor is proposed for measuring the optical diameter and light depolarization of individual particles from 1 m to greater than 50 m from airborne platforms. This sensor will have the sensitivity and accuracy to discriminate not only water droplets from ice crystals, but will also identify volcanic ash and dust aerosol particles, a complementary but highly important capability.

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

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