New Generation Flask Sampling TechNology

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Atmospheric Observing Systems, Inc.
1930 Central Avenue, Suite A
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator, Firm POC


Scientists are turning their focus to the Arctic, site of one of the strongest climate change signals. A new generation of technologies is required to function within that harsh environment, chart evolution of its trace gases and provide new kinds of information for models of the atmosphere. Our response tracks how global atmospheric monitoring was launched more than a half century ago; namely, acquisition of discrete samples of air by flask and subsequent analysis in the laboratory. AOS is proposing to develop a new generation of flask sampling technology. It will enable the new Arctic programs to begin with objective high density sampling of the atmosphere by UAS. The Phase I program will build the prototype flask technology and show that it can acquire and store mol fractions of CH4 and CO2 and value of 13C with good fidelity. A CAD model will be produced for the entire platform including a package with 100 flasks and the airframe with auto- pilot, electronic propulsion and ground-to-air communications. A mobile flask analysis station will be prototyped in Phase I and designed to final form in Phase II. It expends very small sample per analysis and will interface directly to the flask package integrated permanently into the UAS fuselage. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: 1) The New Generation Flask Sampling Technology able to provide a hundred or more samples of air per UAS mission; 2) A mobile analysis station expending far less sample than the existing ones and small enough to be stationed at the remote sites of Arctic operations. 3) A new form of validation for continuous trace gas observations from all platforms including the small UAS. 4) Further demonstration to potential customers of the AOS capabilities to invent, build, deploy and exploit entire platforms for observations of Earths atmosphere and ocean.