John Manobianco

(Mano NanoTechnologies, Inc.)

GlobalSense: A New Environmental Observing System Inspired by Science Fiction

What
When Sep 26, 2018
from 03:30 pm to 04:30 pm
Where John Cahir Auditorium 112 Walker Building
Contact Name Yvette Richardson
Contact email
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John Manobianco

John Manobianco, Ph.D.

Mano NanoTechnologies, Inc.

State College, PA

Science fiction can foreshadow transformational ideas that emerge into science reality years or decades into the future. This evolution is often driven by enabling technologies, laws of physics, market forces, and other factors. Such progression inspired the original idea for a new environmental observing system known as GlobalSense. The system has potential to expand greatly in situ measurements and transform atmospheric sensing well beyond current capability. Data from GlobalSense will benefit a wide range of weather-sensitive sectors in the worldwide economy. Beyond traditional weather analysis and forecasting, the system can have broader impact by measuring parameters of interest related to air quality, greenhouse gas (climate change), surveillance, reconnaissance, and other applications.

GlobalSense system design has pivoted a number of times since the concept was first envisioned in the late 1990s. However, the basic framework has always featured an ensemble of disposable airborne probes, mechanisms to deploy probes, and receiver platforms to gather data from probes. The probes, called environmental Motes or eMotes, are passive drifters in the atmosphere using no active propulsion or flight. Early versions were based on emerging trends in “top down” electronics miniaturization and integration as well as “bottoms up” development in the field known as nanotechnology. For recent field testing, eMotes were fabricated with commercial-off-the-shelf electronic and mechanical components.

The colloquium presentation will highlight the history, challenges, and lessons learned from work on GlobalSense spanning nearly two decades including analytical, numerical, and now empirical studies with system prototypes. The talk will conclude with a glimpse at plans and possible future directions for GlobalSense.