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Development of Low-Noise Smart Sensors for Small Explosion Monitoring

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2007 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Rocky Mountain Geophysics, Llc
167 Piedra Loop Los Alamos, NM 87544-3836
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2007
Title: Development of Low-Noise Smart Sensors for Small Explosion Monitoring
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-07ER84740
Award Amount: $99,999.00


In the absence of full-scale nuclear tests, a nuclear weapons state typically performs sub-critical nuclear explosions in order to study aging properties of nuclear components as part of a stockpile stewardship program. However, nascent nuclear states may be interested in weaponizing their first generation bombs by miniaturizing components so that they can be fitted onto a missile delivery system. It is therefore important for the United States to have the capability to monitor foreign sites in which these sub-critical experiments may be occurring. In the absence of bilateral or multilateral sub-critical explosion transparency agreements, it becomes important to develop an unobtrusive stand-alone Deployable Small Explosion Monitoring System (DSEMS) system that can be clandestinely deployed near suspected experimental sites. This project will develop a Low-Noise Smart Sensor (LNSS) that would be part of a DSEMS for remotely monitoring sub-critical nuclear explosions. In Phase I, data from sub-critical explosions conducted at the U1a underground facility at the Nevada Test Site will be assembled and analyzed in order to determine the operational characteristics of a low noise smart sensor that would be part of a DSEMS. Additionally, a ground truth noise experiment will be conducted at U1a in order to identify man-made and ambient noise sources that must be differentiated from sub-critical explosions. Through analysis of this U1a signal and noise data, simple and robust signal identification algorithms will be developed for implementation on a small microprocessor. In Phase II, the small microprocessor will be packaged with a low-noise Microelectromechanical System (MEMS) accelerometer, in order to develop an LNSS. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: In addition to the application for nuclear explosion monitoring, LNSS systems also should have commercial applications to facility monitoring, perimeter monitoring, and border security.

Principal Investigator:

Steven R. Taylor

Business Contact:

Pamela L. Naugle
Small Business Information at Submission:

Rocky Mountain Geophysics, Llc
167 Piedra Loop Los Alamos, NM 87544

EIN/Tax ID: 202353803
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No