Birkeland Current  describes a phase 1 development project as one that takes a technological application from Technology Readiness Level 1 or 2 (Basic Principles, Concepts and Applications formulated) thru Technology Readiness Level 3 or 4 (Analytical and/or experimental integrated function proof of concept in a laboratory setting). Mockups in this phase typically utilize representative systems or components that are readily available and rapidly modified.

In addition, a phase 1 project includes a preliminary assessment of target markets, competing technologies and companies, and a development roadmap that includes schedule and cost estimates.

This phase should last no more than 1 year and more typically is 6 months or less. The end result is a demonstrated feasibility for a particular technological application along with a preliminary business model and concept of operations for future development.

Investment in this phase of a project represents a small fraction of the product development cost while providing a significant reduction in both technological and programmatic risks.  The completion of a phase 1 project provides tangible evidence for investor decisions, patent protections, and expanded application exploration. 

We have been following the proposed Birkeland Current detector development with great interest. Our current research in wild-land fire applications, stream hydrology and wetlands would all benefit from having a low cost, easy to use multi-spectral device for data gathering. Of course, we are aware that our research interests only scratch the surface of the potential applications.
— Bruce Byars - Director of Center for Spatial Research, Baylor University
We have discussed Birkeland Current’s proposed technical approach for ultrasonic imaging of high curvature composite surfaces and believe their approach has good merit. As a leader in composite ultrasonic imaging equipment, Imperium is very interested in the simulation and test results from the Phase 1 study and believe strongly that there are commercial and military Non-Destructive Inspection applications that would benefit including but not limited to composite manufacturers, automotive and aerospace OEM, petrochemical manufacturers and engineering services entities as this type of capability and technique matures.
— Ron Westemik, Vice President Sales and Business Development, Imperium Inc.