NASA's Science Mission Directorate Awards Funding for 17 Projects Under the Instrument Incubator Program (IIP)
2013 ROSES A.40 Solicitation NNH13ZDA001N-IIP Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences

NASA's Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC, has selected proposals, for the Instrument Incubator Program (IIP-13) in support of the Earth Science Division (ESD). The IIP-13 will provide instruments and instrument subsystems technology developments that will enable future Earth science measurements and visionary concepts.

The ESD is awarding 17 proposals, for a total dollar value over a three-year period of approximately $71 million, through the Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO).

The goals of the IIP are to research, develop, and demonstrate new measurement technologies that:

• Enable new Earth observation measurements and
• Reduce the risk, cost, size, volume, mass, and development time of Earth observing instruments.

The IIP is envisioned to be flexible enough to accept new instrument and measurement concepts. Through appropriate risk reduction activities, the IIP seeks to advance the system's technology readiness to the level necessary to compete successfully in future science solicitations or space flight demonstrations.

Eighty IIP-13 proposals were evaluated of which 17 have been selected for award. The awards are as follows (click on the name to go directly to the project abstract):

Andy Brown, Polatomic Incorporated
High Accuracy Vector Helium Magnetometer (HAVHM)

Tim Durham, Harris Corporation
Enhancement, Demonstration, and Validation of the Wideband Instrument for Snow Measurements (WISM)

James Garrison, Purdue University
Signals of Opportunity Airborne Demonstrator (SoOp-AD)

Chris Hostetler, Langley Research Center
Multi-Wavelength Ocean Profiling and Atmospheric Lidar

Joel Johnson, Ohio State University
UWBRAD: Ultra Wideband Software Defined Microwave Radiometer for Ice Sheet Subsurface Temperature Sensing

Lihua Li, Goddard Space Flight Center
Wide-Swath Shared Aperture Cloud Radar (WiSCR)

Nathaniel Livesey, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
A Compact Adaptable Microwave Limb Sounder for Atmospheric Composition

Kevin Maschhoff, BAE Systems
MISTiC Winds

Pantazis Mouroulis, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Snow and Water: Imaging Spectroscopy for Coasts and Snow Cover (SWIS)

Dragana Perkovic-Martin, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Ka-band Doppler Scatterometer for Measurements of Ocean Vector Winds and Surface Currents (DopplerScatt)

Steven Reising, Colorado State University
Wide-band Millimeter and Sub-Millimeter Wave Radiometer Instrument to Measure Tropospheric Water and Cloud ICE (TWICE)

Erik Richard, University of Colorado, Boulder
Development of a Compact Solar Spectral Irradiance Monitor with High Radiometric Accuracy and Stability

Gregory Sadowy, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Three Band Cloud and Precipitation Radar (3CPR)

Babak Saif, Goddard Space Flight Center
Cold Atom Gravity Gradiometer for Geodesy

Upendra Singh, Langley Research Center
Triple-Pulsed 2-Micron Direct Detection Airborne Lidar for Simultaneous and Independent CO2 and H2O Column Measurement Novel Lidar Technologies and Techniques with Path to Space

Sara Tucker, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation
HSRL for Aerosols, Winds, and Clouds Using Optical Autocovariance Wind Lidar (HAWC-OAWL)

Robert Wright, University of Hawaii at Manoa
TIRCIS: A Thermal Iinfared, Compact Imaging Spectrometer for Small Satellite Applications

 


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Andy Brown, Polatomic Incorporated
High Accuracy Vector Helium Magnetometer (HAVHM)
The proposed HAVHM instrument is a laser-pumped helium magnetometer with both triaxial vector and omnidirectional scalar measurement capabilities in a single package. The HAVHM project will complete the recent prototype development sponsored by NASA. The HAVHM design goals include CubeSat size and mass in order to make the instrument suitable for emerging Earth Science investigations. A major HAVHM design goal is vector accuracy improved over that of fluxgate magnetometers.

The HAVHM instrument is intended for future Earth Science investigations under the Earth Science objective in the NASA SMD 2010 Science Plan to characterize and understand Earth surface changes and variability of Earth’s gravitational and magnetic fields. The HAVHM instrument can be used for investigations of the Earth’s surface and interior, space weather, and Earth hazards such as volcanoes and earthquakes. The HAVHM will also be applicable to Heliophysics and Planetary science investigations.

Seven tasks have been identified for the successful completion of the HAVHM project. The high accuracy requirements for the full Earth field range and design goals for the HAVHM engineering model will be refined and specified in cooperation with NASA. An existing vector helium magnetometer prototype will be rigorously evaluated and calibrated to identify design components that require improvement in order to achieve the HAVHM performance goals. Design trade studies will be conducted to determine the optimum design. A comprehensive design for the HAVHM engineering model will be developed. The HAVHM sensor and electronics will be fabricated and assembled. Initial testing and evaluation will be conducted primarily at Polatomic facilities. Incremental design evaluation and final demonstration and calibration will be performed at the GSFC Spacecraft Magnetic Test Facility.

The proposed HAVHM project is a three year effort. The entry TRL is estimated to beTRL4. The goal for the final TRL is TRL6.


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Tim Durham, Harris Corporation
Enhancement, Demonstration, and Validation of the Wideband Instrument for Snow Measurements (WISM)
After nearly four decades of international effort developing remote sensing techniques, measurement of land surface snow remains a significant challenge. Developing the tools needed to remotely measure Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) is an Agency priority, as SWE is currently sparsely sampled in-situ, and there is no remote sensing product available for mountainous regions, while spatial SWE estimates are required for current water resource management and climate studies. To address this need, Harris Corporation has teamed with investigators from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), University of Washington (UWA), Boise State University (BSU), and Nuvotronics Corporation to develop a Wideband Instrument for Snow Measurement (WISM). WISM is an airborne instrument comprised of a dual-frequency (X- and Ku-bands) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and dual-frequency (K- and Ka- bands) radiometer. All measurement bands share a common antenna aperture that utilizes a highly novel current sheet array (CSA) antenna feed. A combination of radar and radiometric measurements spanning this 8-40 GHz spectrum shows great promise for quantifying the geospatial distribution of surface snow. For a prior 2010 IIP, Harris led the design, fabrication, and testing of the CSA, as well as development of the WISM instrument. For the proposed IIP, the instrument’s capabilities will be enhanced and tested with the use of two additional frequencies: a lower channel at Ku-band to the SAR and an X-band channel to the radiometer. We will demonstrate the enhanced capability through airborne measurements conducted over the 36-month period of performance. In- situ snow and high resolution ground-based radar measurements, plus airborne LiDAR measurements will validate WISM retrievals. Improvements in the loss and beam efficiency of the CSA will also be made through a second design, build, and test of the feed array. The entry technology (CSA feed) is currently at Technical Readiness Level (TRL) 5. We plan to bring the enhanced wideband feed and WISM payload to an exit TRL of 8 for airborne applications.


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James Garrison, Purdue University
Signals of Opportunity Airborne Demonstrator (SoOp-AD)
Root zone soil moisture (RZSM) provides a key link between surface hydrology and deeper processes. Biomass also plays a critical role in regulating the carbon cycle, with forests storing nearly the same amount of carbon as the atmosphere. In spite of its importance RZSM is not directly measured by any current satellite instrument. Model assimilation of surface measurements or indirect estimates from other observations must be used to infer this quantity.

The objective of SoOp-AD is to develop an airborne demonstrator of a new microwave remote sensing instrument to directly measure RZSM. Signals of Opportunity (SoOp) methods exploit reflected signals at VHF and S-band. This has many of the benefits of both active and passive microwave remote sensing. Reutilization of active transmitters, with forward-scattering geometry, presents a strong reflected signal even at orbital altitudes. SoOp will not be limited to a few protected frequencies and is far less susceptible to radio-frequency interference (RFI). These unique features of SoOp circumvent past obstacles to a spaceborne VHF remote sensing mission and have the potential to enable new RZSM measurements that are not possible with present technology. A spaceborne SoOp instrument would have a substantially smaller antenna (75 X 75 cm) than a radiometer and require an order of magnitude lower power than radar, while meeting soil moisture (SM) science requirements with a 1 km resolution. SoOp-AD addresses both goals of the IIP: Enabling new Earth observations and reducing the cost and size of Earth observing instruments.

A two-year instrument development will transform a current TRL3 breadboard design to TRL4. Flight demonstrations over a Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) calibration and validation site will take place in year 3, exiting the program at TRL5. A subsequent development path to a satellite instrument is well defined. SoOp-AD would also be available for airborne science.


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Chris Hostetler, Langley Research Center
Multi-Wavelength Ocean Profiling and Atmospheric Lidar
We propose to build and demonstrate the world’s first multi-wavelength ocean-profiling high spectral resolution lidar (HSRL). The lidar will provide profiles of plankton backscatter (bbp) and diffuse attenuation coefficient (Kd) at two wavelengths, 355 and 532 nm, via the HSRL technique. As part of this effort, we will advance the TRL of key instrument component technologies to lower the development time, risk, and cost of a future satellite instrument. We will develop high speed detection electronics to sample the ocean profile at 1 m vertical resolution, develop an advanced data acquisition and control system employing intelligent FPGA signal preprocessing and averaging, and

demonstrate a novel, quasi-monolithic interferometer implementing the HSRL optical filter at 355 nm. We will also explore technologies to attenuate pernicious signal spikes from specular reflection of the laser from the ocean surface. These surface reflection spikes are a significant source of signal artifacts in ocean subsurface lidar signals, and we will implement the following technologies to reduce these surface spikes: (1) fast photo- multiplier tube (PMT) gating circuits that will reduce PMT gain for the duration of the surface spike, (2) new hybrid detectors that have improved immunity to after-pulsing common to PMTs, and (3) application of Pockels cells in the receiver to optically attenuate the surface reflectance. We will integrate the most promising of these technologies along with the new instrument controller and interferometer into a new receiver for the existing HSRL-2 instrument and characterize the performance of the new instrument in ground and flight tests. We exit the project with an operational ocean- optimized multi-wavelength HSRL instrument that will serve as an airborne prototype for a future space-based instrument. In addition to key new ocean remote sensing capability, the instrument will provide the atmospheric aerosol products called for by the Aerosol- Clouds-Ecosystems mission of the Decadal Survey.


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Joel Johnson, Ohio State University
UWBRAD: Ultra Wideband Software Defined Microwave Radiometer for Ice Sheet Subsurface Temperature Sensing

Existing space and airborne remote sensing instruments have pushed the state-of-the-art in the characterization of ice sheet behaviors with the exception of one key parameter: internal ice sheet temperature. The proposed Ohio State University (OSU) led Ultra- wideband Software-Defined Microwave Radiometer (UWBRAD) will address this gap and provide researchers with the capability to measure ice sheet internal temperatures at depth. This data will enhance the research community’s ability to determine the ease at which ice deforms internally and the rate at which the ice sheet flows across its base. It will also enhance the community’s ability to compile mean annual temperatures and monitor climate change; other potential applications include the measurement of deep surface soil moisture as well as snow thickness.

The proposed UWBRAD is the product of modeling studies and research activities conducted at OSU, including analyses of key science results from ESA’s 1.4 GHz Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity satellite microwave radiometry data that probed deep ice sheet properties at Lake Vostok, Antarctica. These OSU research and technology development activities have confirmed that (1) relative changes in ice sheet internal temperature can be gleaned from multi-frequency emission data over the range 0.5 to 2 GHz, and (2) a multi-frequency radiometer has the potential to separate temperature and electromagnetic properties in the ice sheet through a model-based retrieval approach.

Today, there are many radiometers operating in the protected portion of L-band that provide only partial ice sheet temperature information due to their single frequency measurements. In contrast, UWBRAD will provide brightness temperatures in 15 channels over the ultra-wideband 0.5-2GHz range and in environments containing radio frequency interference (RFI). To enable operations outside the protected portion of the spectrum, UWBRAD incorporates full bandwidth sampling with software defined

algorithms to provide real-time detection and mitigation of interference and a cognitive radiometry method for locating and utilizing portions of the spectrum free of RFI. The initial design of a 0.5-2 GHz antenna commensurate with instrument and science requirements and capable of airborne deployment has also been completed.

UWBRAD will (1) push the state-of-the-art for ultra-wideband software defined microwave radiometers and antennas; (2) provide NASA and the research community with a capability that can be adapted for use on a variety of aircraft with a path to operation in space; and (3) address key NASA climate variability and change issues including the determination of mechanisms that control the mass balance and dynamics of ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica and the parameterization of predictive models of the contribution of land-based ice to sea level change.

A three-year program is proposed. Year one will complete the instrument and antenna design and construct and demonstrate a two-channel system in a laboratory environment. Expansion to 15 channels and additional laboratory demonstrations will be conducted in year two. Year three will include tests in a relevant environment through a Twin Otter (~24 science flight hours) deployment conducted in Greenland observing polar ice sheet temperatures and associated in- situ validation sites.


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Lihua Li, Goddard Space Flight Center
Wide-Swath Shared Aperture Cloud Radar (WiSCR)
The Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (NGES) seek to advance key enabling technologies for next generation multi-frequency space-borne radar for cloud and precipitation measurements. The Earth Science Decadal Survey (DS) Aerosol, Cloud and Ecosystems (ACE) mission calls for a dual-frequency cloud radar (W band 94 GHz and Ka-band 35 GHz) for geospatial measurements of cloud microphysical properties. Meanwhile, a tri-frequency spaceborne radar concept (W band 94 GHz, Ka-band 35 GHz, and Ku-band 14 GHz) is being considered by the cloud and precipitation science communities. We envision a Wide-swath Shared Aperture Cloud Radar (WiSCR) that will provide unprecedented, simultaneous multi-frequency measurements to enhance understanding of the effects of clouds and precipitation and their interaction on Earth climate change.

ESTO’s Instrument Incubator Program (IIP-2010), enabled our investigation team to success-fully demonstrate the technical feasibility of a shared, large aperture antenna to achieve wide swath imaging at Ka-band and nadir profiling at W-band. Our approach employs a parabolic cy-lindrical reflector with a Ka-band Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) line feed to achieve a swath exceeding 120 km. A low-loss reflectarray surface is applied to the primary re-flector to provide a focused W-band beam. We propose to advance these technologies to address the emerging needs for spaceborne atmospheric radar.

We will advance the technology readiness of WiSCR through the following activities: (1) de-sign/develop the Ka band AESA module including the GaN power amplifier MMIC, the GaAs multi-function MMIC, the GaAs low noise amplifier MMIC, the Power

Controller/Gate Regula-tor ASIC, and the transmit/receive circulator; (2) develop through airborne demonstration a Mul-ti-channel Arbitrary Waveform Generator (MAGW), a Multi-channel Frequency Conversion Module (MFCM) and a novel Frequency Diversity Pulse Pair (FDPP) technique; (3) investigate architectures that extend our dual-band aperture technologies to provide tri-frequency shared ap-erture capability.

 


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Nathaniel Livesey, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
A Compact Adaptable Microwave Limb Sounder for Atmospheric Composition

We propose to develop an engineering model integrating the key enabling system and subsystem technologies for a Compact Adaptable Microwave Limb Sounder (CAMLS) for atmospheric composition. CAMLS builds on earlier IIP, ACT, SBIR, and JPL internal efforts, with heritage from the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) instruments on NASA's UARS and Aura missions. We will develop the core receiver/spectrometer system for a 340-GHz instrument making unique and essential observations of composition, humidity, temperature and clouds in Earth's upper troposphere (UT, the atmospheric region from ~10-15km) and stratosphere (from the UT to ~50km). Specific tasks for this 3-year effort include:

1. Developing a compact Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit, Low Noise Amplifier-based receiver front end (RFE) at 340GHz. Aura MLS had seven receivers in five frequency bands. A single RFE at 340GHz can make the most important UT and stratospheric measurements using an antenna only 70% the height of that needed for the MLS 190-GHz UT observations, giving an instrument that is far easier to deploy on a mission of opportunity.

2. Developing a compact, low-power, low-mass digital spectrometer back end, taking advantage of rapid technology developments driven by the communication industry, to further simplify and miniaturize subsystems developed through previous ESTO and SBIR-funded efforts.

3. Integrating the receiver and spectrometers into an engineering model system and demonstrating performance over RFE temperature to inform performance, complexity, and cost trades.

4. Integrating the system, plus cost-effective coolers, into the existing Airborne-SMLS instrument, demonstrating capability in a relevant environment, establishing TRL-6

The end product will be a compact, low-mass, low-power, low-cost mature instrument that can be implemented confidently within the budgetary and schedule constraints of the Earth Venture program. Additionally, with appropriate cooling, it could serve as thebasis of a Decadal Survey class mission providing cross-track scanning for detailed transport and trace gas studies.


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Kevin Maschhoff, BAE Systems
MISTiC Winds
The BAE/JPL/GSFC team proposes a three year effort to advance the readiness of MISTiC Winds, an approach based on a miniature high resolution, wide field, thermal
emission spectrometry instrument that will provide global tropospheric profiles of atmospheric temperature and humidity at high (2-3 km) spatial resolution. Its extraordinarily small size, low mass, and minimal cooling requirements can be accommodated aboard a micro-satellite. Low fabrication and launch costs enable a LEO sun-synchronous sounding constellation that would collectively provide frequent (1-2 hour) sounding refresh rates or frequent, vertically resolved, tropospheric wind observations. These observations are highly complementary to present and emerging environmental observing systems, and would provide a combination of high vertical and horizontal resolution not provided by any other environmental observing system currently in operation. These observations, when assimilated into high resolution weather models, would revolutionize short-term and severe weather forecasting, save lives, and supportkey economic decisions in the utility, air transport industry, and agriculture–at much lower cost than providing these observations from GEO. In addition, this observation capability would be a critical tool in the study of transport processes for water vapor, clouds, pollution, and aerosols.

The key technical risks in meeting these objectives relate to providing accurate, precise radiometry within the limited accommodations of a micro-satellite. We will reduce risk through integrating and demonstrating the calibration stability of our advanced, miniature dispersive infrared spectrometer in the laboratory, and in high-altitude airborne observations of 3-D cloud-drift and water vapor motion vector winds, (advancing TRL from 4-6). We will reduce component risk through space radiation tolerance testing of a critical new APD-Mode High Operating Temperature IRFPA that allows substantially reduced instrument power.

This innovative approach, utilizing state of the art sensor technology in a novel architecture, will make critical new atmospheric state and transport observations affordable to the nation.


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Pantazis Mouroulis, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Snow and Water: Imaging Spectroscopy for Coasts and Snow Cover (SWIS)
This proposal addresses the NASA Earth Science focus areas of Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems, and Water & Energy Cycle. We will develop and demonstrate a scalable imaging spectrometer system that is suitable for small satellites, including CubeSats. Deploying a small number of such satellites is a cost-effective way to close the gap in high spatial and temporal resolution measurements over targeted areas of the Earth’s surface. The technology enhances the ability of future NASA missions to address critical science in two localized regions of the Earth: the coastal zone and snow/ice covered mountains. In both cases, high-fidelity imaging spectrometer measurements are needed with comparatively frequent revisit. The high dynamic range needed to sample both bright (snow) and dark (ocean) targets requires a unique and innovative design, as proposed here. Compelling scientific questions can be addressed in both cases with the different orbits of 30-60 m resolution with weekly sampling, and 120-180 m resolution with near daily global revisit times.

To address these questions we will demonstrate a high-uniformity, low-polarization sensitivity imaging spectrometer operating in the 35-1700 nm spectral region. We will also demonstrate an on-board calibration system to address the stringent radiometric stability and knowledge that these missions require. The dynamic range of the spectrometer is achieved through high throughput, rapid readout rate, and programmable integration time. A new HgCdTe detector array, optimized for high temperature operation will be fabricated. The array will also feature a linear variable anti-reflection coating to enhance quantum efficiency and minimize backscatter. A CubeSat-compatible assembly comprising the optomechanical system, detector array, and on-board calibrator will be tested in thermal vacuum and vibrated to typical launch loads. The period of performance is three years with an assumed start of April 2014. The entry and exit TRL are 4 and 6 respectively.


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Dragana Perkovic-Martin, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Ka-band Doppler Scatterometer for Measurements of Ocean Vector Winds and Surface Currents (DopplerScatt)
Ocean surface currents impact heat transport, surface momentum and gas fluxes, ocean productivity and marine biological communities. Ocean currents also have social impacts on shipping and disaster management (e.g., oil spills). There is an intrinsic two-way coupling between ocean currents and surface winds and concurrent measurements of the two enable the understanding of the relevant air-sea interaction. The ability to simultaneously measure winds and currents improves the accuracy of both individual measurements.

To date, measurements of ocean surface currents and winds have not been made simultaneously. Currently there are no planned global direct measurements of ocean surface currents and winds (SWOT and altimeters measure geostrophic components of ocean currents). We propose to build the first demonstrator instrument of the new measurement technique capable of measuring both currents and winds using a compact radar instrument that will be developed in this project.

The instrument is a spinning Ka-band pencil-beam Doppler scatterometer system (DopplerScatt). The proposed development will demonstrate measurements that can be scaled to wide swath spaceborne observations using a single cost-effective instrument.

The proposed work will be divided into three major tasks: 1) design and build of the radar for a spinning antenna configuration, closed-loop calibration and a digital back-end system for on-board processing, 2) end-to-end system test and integration on the airborne platform and 3) demonstration of achievable accuracy for joint vector wind and current retrieval through a designed airborne experiment. The last year of the proposed 3-year duration will be used for instrument integration and testing, aircraft installation and engineering flights. The details of the work plan and cost assumptions are provided in Section 6. The entry TRL for DopplerScatt will be 3 while the exit TRL will be 6 upon completion of the engineering checkout and validation flights.


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Steven Reising, Colorado State University
Wide-band Millimeter and Sub-Millimeter Wave Radiometer Instrument to Measure Tropospheric Water and Cloud ICE (TWICE)
We propose to develop, fabricate and test a new, multi-frequency millimeter and sub- millimeter-wave radiometer instrument to provide critically-needed measurements in NASA’s Earth Science Focus Areas of Climate Variability & Change and Water & Energy Cycle. Specifically, the new Tropospheric Water and Cloud ICE (TWICE) instrument will address the need for measurements of water vapor and cloud ice in the upper troposphere at a variety of local times, to provide data not currently available from microwave sensors in sun-synchronous orbits. Such global measurements will enable more accurate cloud and moisture simulations in global climate models, improving both climate predictions and characterization of these models uncertainties. Second, this capability will address the need for measurements of cloud ice particle size distribution and water content in both clean and polluted environments to investigate the effect of aerosol pollution on cloud properties and climate. This is particularly important since the uncertainty in the aerosol effect on climate is at least four times as great as the uncertainty in greenhouse gas effects. Additionally, this instrument will provide humidity and temperature profiles covering most of the troposphere in nearly all weather conditions.

The TWICE radiometer instrument will advance the state of the art of sub-millimeter- wave radiometers by transitioning from Schottky mixer-based front ends to InP HEMT MMIC low-noise amplifier front ends, thereby substantially reducing the mass, volume and power consumption of space-borne radiometers. This will greatly enhance the suitability of these instruments for deployment on small satellite platforms in general, and on CubeSats in particular. The proposing team is well positioned to achieve these goals since Co-Is Drs. Deal and Kangaslahti have demonstrated world-record low-noise InP HEMT MMIC LNAs in the frequency range from 100 GHz to 670 GHz and were the first to develop a low-noise amplifier at 670 GHz. In this project, we will develop the next generation of MMIC LNAs for this frequency range. The TWICE instrument will perform water vapor and temperature sounding near multiple absorption lines from 118 to 380 GHz as well as cloud ice particle sizing at multiple window frequencies from 235 to 670 GHz. The initial technology readiness level (TRL) of the required components is 3. Over the three-year period of performance, this IIP project team will produce the TWICE instrument and demonstrate the complete system in a relevant environment, for an exit TRL of 5.


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Erik Richard, University of Colorado, Boulder
Development of a Compact Solar Spectral Irradiance Monitor with High Radiometric Accuracy and Stability

The objectives and benefits of the proposed instrument development are to produce a compact solar spectral irradiance (SSI) monitor covering 200-2400 nm with the required SI-traceable accuracy and on-orbit stability to meet the solar input measurement requirements defined in the Decadal Survey for establishing benchmark climate records. Building upon our experiences and resources from the Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS) program, the proposed instrument will reduce cost and size of a solar spectral irradiance monitor with SI-traceable absolute calibration at the 0.2% uncertainty level (k=1) while also increasing implementation flexibility for future accommodation opportunities. The 3-year effort will design, analyze, and construct a high-fidelity prototype instrument increasing from entry TRL 3 (design and performance analysis) to exit TRL 6 by validating and quantifying complete spectral and radiometric performance while operating under relevant environmental conditions.

The instrument utilizes a straightforward optical design in a compact, folded geometry that overcomes the extremely high tolerance and costly fabrication requirements and reduces the overall calibration risks associated with previous designs. The prototype instrument will use a coupled, two-channel design that separates the ultraviolet from the visible-near infrared regions and thus allows each channel to be optimized in performance separately, including the dispersive optical material and reflective coating selection.

System level performance characterizations and final end-to-end absolute calibration will be accomplished with the LASP Spectral Radiometer Facility (SRF), a comprehensive LASP-NIST jointly developed spectral irradiance calibration facility utilizing the SIRCUS tunable laser system tied to an SI-traceable cryogenic radiometer. The final high fidelity, calibrated photodiode instrument would serve as an ideal sub-orbital sounding rocket or CubeSat payload for cross-calibration opportunities, with the ultimate future intent to incorporate ESR absolute detectors for full on-orbit calibration maintenance capability.


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Gregory Sadowy, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Three Band Cloud and Precipitation Radar (3CPR)

We propose to design and demonstrate key enabling technologies for Cloud and Precipitation radars capable of closing the observational gaps left by current and upcoming missions (i.e., TRMM, CloudSat, GPM and EarthCARE), and identified by the cloud-precipitation science community as essential for the advancement of global characterization of the cloud-precipitation processes and their correct modeling in weather and climate models.

The proposed instrument is Three-band (Ku/Ka/W-band) Cloud and Precipitation Radar (3CPR). 3CPR enables the simultaneous three-band observation, Doppler measurement, cross-track electronic scanning, and polarimetry). 3CPR achieves this using an extremely versatile and efficient antenna system referred to as ACPRA (Advanced Cloud and Precipitation Radar Antenna). ACPRA combines the high gain of a large parabolic- cylindrical reflector with the beam agility of an electronically-scanned feed system.

The 3CPR configuration fulfills the draft requirements of a Global Cloud and Pre- cipitation Mission (GPCM). The Ka-/W-band subset of the 3CPR design satisfies all of the requirements and most of the goals of the Aerosol/Cloud/Ecosystems (ACE) mission. It would also meet the requirements set by the snowfall measurement community. The key enabling technology meeting the requirements of GPCM and ACE is the W- band ACPRA. Using recent technological advancements in microfabricated interconnects and radiators, GaN and SiGe MMICs together with innovations in feed array design, we will demonstrate a W-band electronically-scanned array-fed reflector system. The reflector will be a scaled version of the 3CPR antenna with W-band scanning electronics. We will demonstrate this technology in thermal vacuum and vibration environments, advancing the key technology from TRL3 to TRL5.

This TRL advancement along with a comprehensive instrument design and accommodation study to be performed during this task will bring the 3CPR instrument to TRL5, ready for Phase A start for ACE, GPCM, or other mission concepts by 2017.


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Babak Saif, Goddard Space Flight Center
Cold Atom Gravity Gradiometer for Geodesy

We propose to design, build and test a high-performance, single-tensor-component gravity gradiometer applicable to Earth science studies on a satellite platform in low- Earth orbit. The instrument will take advantage of the long interrogation times that are available in microgravity environments. Our proposed design is based on light-pulse atom interferometry using cold atoms, and implements recent developments in atom cooling, interferometry and detection technologies. The sensor incorporates an intrinsic method of compensation for rotation-induced errors in the gravity gradient measurement. The gradiometer has a target gravity gradient noise floor of 7×10 5 E/Hz1/2 when extrapolated to operation in a low-noise microgravity environment. This is an improvement over the noise performance of ESA’s Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) gradiometers, whose short-term noise is approximately 3×10 3 E/Hz1/2. In contrast to NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission, the instrument will be capable of high-precision geodesy from a single satellite platform. In contrast to previous gradiometers based on atom interferometry, the proposed instrument achieves orders-of-magnitude improvements in sensitivity by exploiting the advantages of the microgravity environment.

At the outset of the program, we will perform analysis and trade studies to determine sensor design parameters. At the same time, we will begin to conduct technology validation studies to reduce technical risk and select instrument components. We will create conceptual and detailed designs of the sensor that will lead directly into the sensor build effort. Following completed assembly of the instrument, we will conduct laboratory optimization and testing. The culmination of the program will be testing at the long interrogation times that will be achievable in a microgravity environment.

The proposed performance period is three years. The initial TRL will be 3, and through testing in the laboratory and in a simulated microgravity environment we will advance the TRL to 5.


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Upendra Singh, Langley Research Center
Triple-Pulsed 2-Micron Direct Detection Airborne Lidar for Simultaneous and Independent CO2 and H2O Column Measurement Novel Lidar Technologies and Techniques with Path to Space

We propose to design, develop and demonstrate a triple-pulsed 2-micron direct detection Integrated Path Differential Absorption (IPDA) lidar to measure the weighted-average column dry-air mixing ratios of carbon dioxide (XCO2) and water vapor (XH2O) from an airborne platform. This novel technique allows measurement of the two most dominant greenhouse gases simultaneously and independently using a single instrument. This enables new Earth observation measurements and reduces risk, cost, size, volume, mass and development time of Earth observing instruments.

We propose, in partnership with Fibertek, to design and fabricate a single, state-of-the- art, efficient, conductively-cooled, space-qualifiable, triple-pulsed injection seeded 2- micron laser to generate three tunable wavelengths. Optimized positions for the three wavelengths are selected such that H2O interference is eliminated from the CO2 measurement, and CO2 interference is eliminated from the H2O measurement. This XCO2/XH2O IPDA lidar instrument will leverage a NASA ESTO funded program receiver that includes a Newtonian telescope, detection and data acquisition systems, and other low-risk, commercially available components. The triple-pulsed 2-micron IPDA laser transmitter will meet the energy, repetition rate, wavelength locking and wall-plug efficiency requirements for a future space-based mission. The XCO2 measurements are weighted to the atmospheric boundary layer, ideal for studying surface-atmosphere exchange and boundary layer dynamics. The dual species measurement provides a unique ability to study coupled carbon and water dynamics.

The integrated XCO2/XH2O IPDA instrument will be initially ground-tested from a mobile trailer then will be demonstrated on the NASA Langley UC-12/B-200 aircraft. In- situ sensors on-board the aircraft and flight track will be selected to validate the measurements. This instrument will contribute to the regional carbon and water cycles studies and to the CO2 climate change issues. We propose a 3-year period of performance; raising the TRL at component and system level from 3 to 5.


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Sara Tucker, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation
HSRL for Aerosols, Winds, and Clouds Using Optical Autocovariance Wind Lidar (HAWC-OAWL)
The High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) for Aerosols Winds and Clouds using the Optical Autocovariance Wind Lidar (HAWC-OAWL) is designed to provide co-located and simultaneous measurements of wind and aerosol properties with a focus on the study of how aerosols and winds affect cloud radiative forcing. Under this IIP, Ball Aerospace will enhance the OAWL system science measurements in the following ways: provide additional aerosol characterization information by adding 1064 nm wavelength backscatter and depolarization to the existing 532 nm and 355 nm channels; enable retrievals of horizontal wind speed and direction profiles by integrating two high TRL- telescopes with perpendicular line-of-sight (LOS) perspectives on the wind fields; increase data coverage by adding a wavelength/polarization multiplexing system to make measurements along the two LOS perspectives, simultaneously, with one wavelength per view; increase TRL and improve data precision and throughput through the design and build of low-noise detector electronics and a robust path-to-space data acquisition system with real-time processing of wind and aerosol products; and package and qualify the system for ground and for flexible NASA aircraft operation with frame and housing that provide structural and thermal independence from widely varying aircraft environments.

The system will be validated in a co-located ground-based validation of the HAWC- OAWL system against an existing HSRL after which we will work with the HAWC science team to demonstrate the impact that combined wind/aerosol data products can have on future atmospheric science campaigns The HAWC-OAWL IIP is a three year period of performance, with a flexible start date of March 2014. The entry Technology Readiness Level for the overall HAWC system is TRL3 and the exit is expected to be TRL5.


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Robert Wright, University of Hawaii at Manoa
TIRCIS: A Thermal Iinfared, Compact Imaging Spectrometer for Small Satellite Applications

This project will demonstrate how hyperspectral thermal infrared (TIR; 8-14 microns) image data, with a spectral resolution of up to 8 wavenumbers, can be acquired by an instrument of sufficiently low mass, volume, and power consumption that it could be cost effectively deployed on small- or micro-satellites. This would constitute a new earth science measurement as there are currently no operational hyperspectral sensors acquiring TIR data with the spatial resolution needed to perform imaging spectroscopy for earth science applications, although these are many (mineral exploration; wildfire characterization; volcanic hazards; soil moisture/drought characterization). The University of Hawaii has developed a breadboard that uses uncooled microbolometers and a Fabry-Perot interferometer to acquire image cubes of 52 TIR spectral bands. This project will mature this technology towards spaceborne deployment. The proposed work involves, 1) optimizing the optical and mechanical design and calibration system; 2) incorporating new microbolometers with surface coatings that increase sensitivity and flatten responsiveness between 8-14 microns, 3) conducting a system level characterization of the instrument using NIST-traceable standards (SNR, spectral and spatial resolution, saturation radiances, radiometric linearity/response; 4) producing integrated instrument control and interferometric processing software; and 5) demonstrating science data collection from an airborne platform. The spatial resolution of the proposed microbolometer-based instrument would be ~120 m from an orbit of 480 km. Performance period is 36 months. Entry TRL is 4 and exit TRL is 6.


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