Press Release

NASA awards contracts for new remote sensing instrument technology

By SpaceRef Editor
August 23, 2001
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NASA awarded funding for 11 new contracts for technology
development of innovative Earth Science remote-sensing instruments
under its Instrument Incubator Program (IIP).

The objective of the program is to invest in new and innovative
technologies that could lead to smaller, less expensive and more
efficient flight instruments.

The technologies selected include active and passive techniques for
measuring global carbon dioxide, the buildup of which may be a
contributor to the global increase in the greenhouse effect. Also
selected are instrument technologies for microwave radiometry and
advanced radars to measure global precipitation, soil moisture and
sea surface salinity, leading to a more accurate understanding of
climate change.

In addition, investments will be made in instrument technologies for
the measurement of far-infrared thermal radiation, an emerging
science area not previously explored, with the potential to better
understand the Earth’s radiation balance.

Instrument technologies leading to the potential measurement of
tropospheric ozone and other gases from space will be advanced by
investments in Fabry-Perot interferometer technologies. Geomagnetic
measurements enabled from investments in magnetometer technologies
can provide a means to study the structure and dynamics of the
Earth’s interior, leading to better utilization of natural resources
including water and land use and the mitigation of natural hazards
such as earthquakes, volcanoes, flooding, sea level change, and
severe storms.

NASA received 64 proposals for technology development efforts and was
able to select 11 for funding. The total funds made available for
these investigations averages nearly $1 million per year for three
years or a total of approximately $29.5 million.

The 11 proposals focus on near term investment to support high-
priority measurements in the areas of:

* Atmospheric Chemistry: Tropospheric profiles of O3, CO, NOx

* Solid Earth: Topography and the Deformation of Land and Ice

* Global Carbon Cycle: CO2 Column Abundance and Profile

* Global Water and Energy Cycle: Precipitation Rate, Tropospheric
Winds, and Sea Surface Salinity/Soil Moisture

* Climate Variability and Prediction: GPS Altimetry and Ocean Surface
Winds Atmospheric Chemistry (Tropospheric profiles); Solid Earth
(Topography and the Deformation of Land and Ice); the Global Carbon
Cycle; Global Water and Energy Cycle (Precipitation Rate,
Tropospheric Winds, and Sea Surface Salinity/Soil Moisture);
Climate Variability and Prediction (GPS Altimetry and Ocean Surface
Winds).

The investigations selected by NASA’s Office of Earth Sciences are:

* James Anderson, Harvard University: ICOS, CAPS and CRDS: New
Techniques for Precise, Low-Cost, Airborne, In Situ Mapping of
Species for AURA Collaborative Science

* William Heaps, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: Fabry-Perot
Interferometer for Column CO2

* Eastwood Im, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL): The Advanced
Precipitation Radar Antenna and Instrument

* Joel Johnson, Ohio State University: Digital Receiver with
Interference Suppression for Microwave Radiometry

* Allen M. Larar, NASA Langley Research Center: Tropospheric Trace
Species Sensing Fabry-Perot Interferometer

* Robert Menzies, JPL: Laser Absorption Spectrometer for Global-Scale
Profiling of Tropospheric Carbon Dioxide

* Mahta Moghaddam, JPL: Dual-Low-Frequency Radar for Soil Moisture
Under Vegetation and At-depth

* Martin Mlynczak, NASA Langley Research Center: Far-Infrared
Spectroscopy of the Troposphere

* Robert Slocum, Polatomic Inc., Richardson, Texas: Miniature Vector
Laser Magnetometer

* Eric Smith, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: Engineering
Development of Lightweight Rainfall Radiometer as Candidate for
Baseline Global Precipitation Mission Constellation Microwave
Radiometer

* William Wilson, JPL: Development of Ultra Stable Microwave
Radiometers for Future Sea Surface Salinity Missions

-end-

SpaceRef staff editor.