The sensor-UAS provides a low-cost atmospheric sensing platform option that requires minimal training for use. As such, the potential NASA applications include many of the atmospheric research areas of interest, as well as some atmospheric sensing applications. The Phase II demonstration application will be a cloud sensing mission for characterizing the cloud content by pressure, temperature, humidity, and wind speed. Hurricane research is a second NASA application, with Barron?s UAS able to provide capabilities for wind and PTH sensing in turbulent environments. A third NASA application is volcanic research, measuring ash and particle concentrations, gas species concentrations and winds. Another application for NASA is for climate research, in particular the measurement of methane in the Arctic. Satellite calibration/validation campaigns represent an additional NASA application as programs such as OLYMPEX are frequently measuring specific atmospheric properties and coverage could be enhanced with the technology.
Potential non-NASA customers include NOAA, DoD, DoE domestically, and international atmospheric researchers with similar interests to NASA. NOAA is a primary customer with several possible applications. Hurricane researchers at NOAA demonstrated in September of 2014 the use of tube launched, expendable UAVs for atmospheric science in a hurricane. Wildfire monitoring is a second application for NOAA. The DoE desires small UAV methane sensing capability. The DoD has ongoing interest in the use of small, expendable UAVs for reconnaissance, ordinance delivery and battlespace awareness. International agencies conducting atmospheric science for clouds, climate, volcanoes, hurricanes and the arctic would all be potential customers.