Whimbrel Unmanned Aircraft System-Borne Atmospheric and Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Sensor

Period of Performance: 01/01/2015 - 12/31/2016

$400K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Piasecki Aircraft Corp.
519 West Second Street P.O. Box 360
Essington, PA 19029
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Piasecki Aircraft (PiAC) proposes to continue development and testing efforts of the Whimbrel UAS, a low cost, expendable, air-deployed weather survey unmanned aircraft system. The Whimbrel UAS, a low cost, expendable, air-deployed weather survey unmanned aircraft system. The Whimbrel USA has been developed to support the Tropical Cyclone Boundary Layer mission requirements and contains sensors and data processing algorithms to measure temperature, pressure, humidity, wind vector, Sea Surface Temperature (SST), and sensible and latent heat flux. The Phase II effort will consist of a detailed design with updated stress, aerodynamics, and joint dynamic analyses from the Phase I effort. We will fabricate four prototypes for component and integrated system testing, culminating in a week long validation test effort at the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) main site in the Southern Great Plans (SGP). We will perform 8 air launches to validate launch method reliability and aerodynamic performance (glide, ratio, power use) will be recorded for later analysis. The validation effort will make use of thee collection of reference sensors at the SGP site to document uncertainty ranges of the Whimbrel sensor suite.