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Imaging Polar Nephelometer


Agency: NOAA, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research

Technology: Integrating Polar Nephelometer

Details: Climate science and air quality monitoring provide ongoing applications for instrumentation to accurately measure particulates in a gas medium. While standard integrating nephelometers lose a considerable amount of particle information by not resolving the light scattered at individual angles, polar integrating nephelometers overcome this issue. NOAA’s integrating polar nephelometer (N-IPN) uses a laser, fish-eye lens, and camera to image forward and backward scattered light from both molecules and particles. It measures the aerosol phase function through a range of nearly 180 degrees, and is sensitive enough to measure the molecular phase function, which provides an absolute calibration of scattered light and scattering angle.

Opportunity: NOAA is seeking manufacturers/licensees to deliver its newly patented imaging polar nephelometer to market in the United States and globally. Ideal partners will have a proven track record manufacturing quality scientific instruments domestically and a proven distribution network in the U.S. and abroad. NOAA offers a wide variety of licensing solutions with flexible terms and reasonable rates, and features a fast-tracked licensing process to allow licensee(s) to move the product from license to manufacture to market in the shortest possible time.

Benefits: Unlike other nephelometers on the market, the N-IPN has no moving parts and can measure multiple beams with different wavelengths and/or polarizations simultaneously. There is no need for a backscatter shutter, and the entire phase function is measured at the same time. The device provides a usable resolution of 0.2 degrees throughout the phase function range.

The N-IPN provides the scientist at the bench and in the field an instrument that can characterize particle size and distribution, as well as shape and light absorption properties. These additional data—in conjunction with the device’s compact size, solid and simple construction, and commercially available replacement parts—make the N-IPN a reliable and economical choice for a variety of applications.

Market Analysis: The markets for scientific instruments in the U.S. and abroad are well-established and supported by a small number of known scientific instrument manufacturers, including one commercial manufacturer of polar nephelometers. Given the unique features of this device and the relatively simple fabrication requirements, the N-IPN could be a strong addition to an existing instrument line. The N-IPN technology, with its enhanced particle characterization in a device that is inexpensive to manufacture, sturdy, and easy to calibrate offers an excellent licensing opportunity for the scientific instrument manufacturing sector.

Contact: To learn more, contact NOAA’s Technology Partnerships Office, or submit a licensing application form.

For more details, visit NOAA’s technology listing.


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