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Boulder, CO, United States

Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 450.74K | Year: 2011

This effort will support participation of the SPEC, Inc. instrumented Lear-25 aircraft and scientific support staff during the Ice in Clouds Experiment - Tropical (ICE-T), whose field phase is scheduled to occur during July 2011. The Lear-25 will complement the previously supported NSF/NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) C-130 research aircraft by providing a highly agile platform capable of rapid climb rates during steep banking turns that will allow the rapid successive (every 1 to 2 min) penetrations of the key cloud region characterized by temperatures of -5 to -10 degC. It is in this zone where a combination of warm-rain and first-ice processes are anticipated to develop. This will in-turn allow the C-130 aircraft to concentrate on measurements in lower/warmer regions of the cloud and subcloud region, where it will document cloud condensation nuclei, ice nuclei and drop spectra measurements as well as collect upward-looking radar and lidar data encompassing the zone of Lear-25 operations. The complementary nature of these cooperating platforms will significantly increase the probability of achieving ICE-T scientific goals. The Learjet brings with it state-of-the-art cloud microphysics probes, including a new 3V-CPI instrument that combines the best features of the 2D-S (stereo) and cloud particle imager (CPI). The 3V-CPI is particularly well suited to detection of large (i.e., > 50 micron) drops that signify initiation of the warm rain process, as well as detection of first ice, which signifies the initiation of cloud glaciation.

The intellectual merit of this effort centers on increased understanding of ice initiation within growing maritime clouds and in turn its impact on precipitation formation, latent heat release and cloud dynamics, particle scavenging and chemical processes, electrical charge separation, water vapor content, and aircraft icing potential. Broader impacts will include interface with faculty and students at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), where SPEC scientists plan to participate in the mini-conference, and potential interactions with a subset of these students in the field. Analyses supported through ICE-T are ultimately expected to enhance predictive capability of Earths hydrological and climate systems.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.11M | Year: 2009

In Phase I SPEC completed fabrication of a novel new instrument, the 3V-CPI, which makes high-speed size-distribution measurements and records high-resolution digital images of cloud particles. Also in Phase I SPEC continued to develop and improve software modules used to analyze 3V-CPI data. In Phase II SPEC anticipates working closely with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Research Aviation Department (RAF) to develop a fully functional 3V-CPI data reduction and analysis software package that is universally applicable, and marketable to potential users of 3V-CPI and other cloud particle probes. All software codes written under the proposed funding will be open source and shared with the scientific community. All NCAR analysis code is also available to SPEC and other users, so any products NCAR contributes as we work together will also be available to the user community. Complete documentation will be available so that Navy scientists can use this software to process and analyze 3V-CPI data (including other particle probe data). The software package developed during the Phase II research will perform many functions, including translating 3V-CPI data into a format that can be ingested by standard community software routines, including those of the NCAR RAF, development of a batch-processing software routine and new crystal-habit classification software routines using “canned” image processing techniques will be implemented from algorithms developed in the bio-medical and oceanic communities. The software package will be quality controlled and documented, including descriptions of software algorithms and procedures used to test and run the various software routines. The comprehensive software package developed during the Phase II research can be used to analyze data from all optical cloud particle probes and will therefore also become a product that is marketable to the atmospheric science community. Phase III will include conversion of portions of the software package from the IDL programming language (which requires that the user purchase an IDL license), to generic code that does not require any outside licenses.


Patent
SPEC, Inc. | Date: 2015-12-14

A fixing device includes an encircle element having lateral sides and left and right flap portions located inwardly of the lateral sides and extending transversely and outwardly from the lateral sides to define left and right chambers which are accessible only from the same direction, each of the left and right lateral sides being formed with a through hole; a fixing element installed on the encircle element at one of the through holes; and a locking plate having a first end fastened movably to the encircle element via a fastener such that the locking plate is movable relative to the encircle element between a locked position, where a second end of the locking plate engages the fixing elements, thereby preventing access into the chambers, and an unlocked position, where the locking plate disengages the fixing elements, thereby permitting access into the chambers.


Patent
SPEC, Inc. | Date: 2015-06-18

A structurally supportive backer panel formed to fit within the recesses of a form liner to support the form liner when casting textured surfaces into concrete. The backer panel has a series of protrusions which fit within the recesses of the form liner in order to prevent the concrete pressure from deflecting and buckling the form liner. When the wet concrete is poured into a form fitted with the backer panel and form liner, the concrete fills the form and contacts the form liner, wherein the backer panel ensures that the shape of the form liner is not affected by the pressure and weight of the concrete.


Patent
SPEC, Inc. | Date: 2011-03-29

A canopy apparatus includes a first and a second track assembly, a first and a second slide member, a frame apparatus, and a canopy assembly. The first and the second track assembly are configured for connection to the vehicle, the first track assembly defines a longitudinal axis. The first slide member slideably engages the first track assembly and is configured to move relative to the first track assembly in a direction parallel to the longitudinal axis. The second slide member slideably engages the second track assembly and is configured to move relative to the second track assembly in the direction parallel to the longitudinal axis. The frame apparatus includes a bail member having a first end portion configured for pivotal connection to the first slide member and a second end portion configured for pivotal connection to the second slide member. The canopy assembly is configured for connection to the frame apparatus. The frame apparatus is configured for movement in the direction parallel to the longitudinal axis about the first and the second track assemblies.

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