Surveying Earth's Gravity with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Award Information
Agency: Department of Commerce
Branch: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Contract: WC-133R-14-CN-0101
Agency Tracking Number: 13-2-040
Amount: $399,903.92
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 9.1
Solicitation Number: N/A
Timeline
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-09-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-09-14
Small Business Information
4 Cambridge Center, 11th Floor, Cambridge, MA, 02142-1494
DUNS: 604717165
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Wissler
 Director, Systems Engineering
 (617) 500-3978
 jwissler@aurora.aero
Business Contact
 John Wissler, Ph.D
Title: Director, Systems Engineering
Phone: (617) 500-3978
Email: jwissler@aurora.aero
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
During the Phase I program, Aurora conducted a comprehensive survey of potential platforms that included government owned and furnished UAVs and manned aircraft as well as Aurora’s Centaur Optionally Piloted Aircraft (OPA). The survey concluded, in part, that UAVs offer a significant improvement in data collection capability when compared to manned aircraft that are currently fielded by NOAA. The Centaur OPA has the potential to serve as a scientific research platform that enables significant mission flexibility to the end user by allowing for both unmanned flight over littorals and spare regions and manned flight over populated or high traffic areas. Further, the survey concluded that the Centaur OPA offers significant cost savings compared to UAVs currently fielded by government agencies. During the Phase II program, Aurora will integrate a Micro-g Lacoste TAGS-6 gravity meter in the Centaur OPA and demonstrate the Centaur/TAGS-6 platforms’ ability to autonomously gather gravity data. The Centaur OPA will fly gravity survey missions that are representative of the gravimeter flight campaigns currently underway by the GRAV-D program. Aurora intends to demonstrate the capabilities of the Centaur/TAGS-6 platform and its suitability for the GRAV-D program and commercial gravity data gathering applications.

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

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