10 September 2012
BOULDER, Colo.–As an engineer, you know that air safety has never been better. As a passenger, you may think, in the deep recesses of your mind, otherwise. Fortunately there are companies like Droplet Measurement Technologies, here, which are in the business of engineering even safer skies and calmer passengers.
Droplet, founded 25 years ago by two engineers and an atmospheric scientist, makes complex systems used to measure particles of all sizes and shape in the atmosphere. Part of what they do is instrumentation for icing research. Icing is suspected as one of the causes of the Air France Flight 447 crash over the Atlantic on June 1, 2009.
Lloyd Banta, an engineer with the company (pictured, right, with colleague Larry Blair), invited us–early in the Drive for Innovation–to stop by, and so we did to see an array of amazing instruments that operate in nasty environments and measure particles as small as 1/10th of a micron for everything from icing to cloud seeding to pollution applications.
Banta, who separately took time out of engineering to sail around the world, gave us an in-depth tour of Droplet’s measurement technology: