2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2007 - 10th Annual

Global Environmental Micro Sensors Test Operations in the Natural Environment

M.L. Adams, J. Manobianco, M. Buza and F.J. Merceret

wireless, microsensor, environmental, in situ, airborne

ENSCO, Inc. is developing an innovative atmospheric observing system known as Global Environmental Micro Sensors (GEMS). The GEMS concept features an integrated system of miniaturized in situ, airborne probes measuring temperature, relative humidity, pressure, and vector wind velocity. In order for the probes to remain airborne for long periods of time, their design is based on a helium-filled super-pressure balloon. The GEMS probes are neutrally buoyant and carried passively by the wind at predetermined levels. Each probe contains on-board satellite communication, power generation, processing, and geolocation capabilities. ENSCO has partnered with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for a project called GEMS Test Operations in the Natural Environment (GEMSTONE) that will culminate with limited prototype flights of the system in spring 2007. This paper will report on the results of the GEMSTONE project and discuss the challenges encountered in developing an airborne sensor system.

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