Next-Generation Marine Atmosphere Observing Instrumentation
Navy SBIR FY2008.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2008.2
Topic No.: N08-195
Topic Title: Next-Generation Marine Atmosphere Observing Instrumentation
Proposal No.: N082-195-0525
Firm: Basic Commerce and Industries Inc.
304 Harper Drive
Suite 203
Moorestown, New Jersey 08057
Contact: Timothy Maese
Phone: (856) 778-1660
Web Site:
Abstract: The overall objective of this Phase I program is to develop the architecture for a satellite data uplink system for transmitting dropsonde measurement data from the sensor to a ground-based terminal without the use of a specialized receiver or direct line-of-sight radio links from the sonde to the host aircraft. This project is intended to complement the high-altitude, automatically ejected dropsonde system, XDR-928ds variant, being developed by Yankee Environmental Systems (YES) by providing a reliable non-direct radio data link between the YES sonde and the ground based users. The resulting satellite uplink device, SatSonde, will replace the standard point-to-point link used on the current XDR-928ds dropsondes (radio transmitter in sonde and corresponding AirHub receiver in the launching aircraft) with a satellite uplink system that will push the data from the sonde through an existing orbiting satellite data network and to the end-user through a web-based data dissemination service.
Benefits: The BCI SatSonde link system will provide the following key improvements over the point-to-point radio links used in the current dropsonde system. 1.Removal of the aircraft receiver and use of direct sonde-to-satellite uplink supports multiple sondes to be launched and operated simultaneously, where the current receiver systems are limited to about 4 sondes operating at once. In the sonde-to-satellite mode of operation the sondes are independent from one another and communicate directly with the satellite in orbit, so the limitation in the number of simultaneous sondes in flight is limited by the number that can be physically launched from the aircraft and the uplink capacity of the satellite system. In all of the satellite systems surveyed for this project, the number of supported simultaneous satellite users far exceeds the number of sondes that would be in flight at any given time (assumed 30 sondes per hour). 2.Direct sonde-to-satellite uplink removes receiver hardware from the launching aircraft a.The aircraft does not need to maintain radio contact with the sondes (can continue on flight path without fear of losing radio link, and thus all data, from the sonde). Current systems such as the NCAR AVAPS / Vaisala RD-93 are limited to 325km and the Yankee Environmental Systems XDR-928ds are limited to 300 km. b.There is no specialized radio hardware needed to install on the aircraft and no sonde antenna to mount on the aircraft body (sondes can be launched from any aircraft with suitable launcher). The removal of the receiver hardware presents a substantial cost savings opportunity described in more detail in section 7 "Commercialization Strategy" of this proposal. 3.Sonde data are made available directly on the Internet through the SondeSat DCAS software and can be accessed directly by users even during the sonde flight (depending on satellite service used and the location and connectivity of the end-user). The potential commercial products developed in the SBIR project are the satellite transmitter hardware devices (SatSonde transmitter) and the SatSonde Data Collection and Access System software and service. In order to commercialize the technology, BCI intends to work closely with the Yankee Environmental Systems to integrate the satellite transmitter hardware into the YES XDR dropsonde product line. These transmitter modules can be sold to users as an option to the standard dropsonde product line, providing a product revenue stream to both BCI and YES.