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SBIR/STTR

Dropsonde System for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Dropsonde System for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Phase I
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are assuming more numerous and increasingly important roles in global environmental and atmospheric research. There is a corresponding growth in equipment needs for UAVs so that they may meet their mission goals. Some critical measurement needs can only be satisfied by in-situ measurements. Key examples of such measurements include detailed atmospheric profiles, point meteorological conditions on the surface, and in-situ measurements for calibration and validation of remote sensing systems. A scalable dropsonde launcher will be developed that will be able to fit a range of UAVs. It will be able to launch a variety of dropsondes derived from Anasphere's existing radiosonde and dropsonde families. Dropsondes for high-precision, high-density, and surface-based measurements will be developed. Phase I will involve designing a launcher that uses an existing Anasphere dropsonde and fits into a representative UAV provided by Vanilla Aircraft. The launcher will be demonstrated in the laboratory and in a high-speed airflow environment. The ultimate result of the project will be a dropsonde system that can be fitted to many NASA UAVs and enable them to gather in-situ atmospheric profiles and surface measurements using dropsondes. More »

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