Development of a Microwave Radiometer for Aviation Safety

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

$80K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Boulder Environmental Sciences and Technology
5171 Eldorado Springs Drive Suite A
Boulder, CO 80303
Principal Investigator, Firm POC

Abstract

This SBIR Phase I project proposes the design and prototype development of a compact microwave radiometer to be used as a remote sensor of inflight icing hazards, and will be capable of detecting and evaluating icing conditions in an aircraft"s flight path. Boulder Environmental Sciences and Technology will design a sensor that could be used on a number of different aircraft, will be reliable, robust, require minimal maintenance, and will be small and inexpensive. The Microwave Radiometer for Aviation Safety (MRAS) will provide data on air temperature and water vapor profiles as well as cloud liquid water content. It will be designed to distinguish between the phases of cloud particles (water/ice) ahead of the aircraft and issue an appropriate warning to the cockpit. We propose to design a very compact, practical instrument that will require minimal user attention, and will potentially utilize data from other available sources to improve hazard detection and to quantify hazard levels. Phase I project is focused on modeling and simulation of MRAS detection sensitivity in realistic atmospheric conditions, development of suitable hardware requiring minimal space, weight, power and cooling, preliminary design of a software algorithm and three dimensional preliminary mechanical design.