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Terahertz Imaging System for Concealed Weapon Detection

Award Information

Department of Homeland Security
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2005 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Spire Corporation
One Patriots Park Bedford, MA 01730-2396
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2005
Title: Terahertz Imaging System for Concealed Weapon Detection
Agency: DHS
Contract: NBCHC050158
Award Amount: $749,798.00


This Phase II Small Business Innovation Research project is aimed at designing, assembling, and demonstrating an entirely new imaging system capable of detecting hidden weapons at standoff distances. Phase I of this program successfully identified critical terahertz atmospheric transmission windows with high precision, defined the best candidate imaging system, and carried out an analysis of this system resulting in detailed system performance predictions. Compact and efficient semiconductor terahertz quantum cascade lasers are currently being developed by several companies (including Spire) and laboratories, and will soon be commercially available. Using these laser sources as illuminators and local oscillators, a small and portable imaging system based on ultra-sensitive, room temperature, coherent heterodyne detection is proposed. Terahertz radiation, with its submillimeter wavelengths, is non-ionizing and low in energy, avoiding environmental safety issues. Working with the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Submillimeter Wave Technology Laboratory as a subcontractor, Phase II will involve (a) completion of the imager system design begun during Phase I, (b) assembly of a breadboard imaging system, and (c) demonstration and evaluation of the imaging system under simulated field conditions using representative or surrogate explosives and weapons. Commercialization of the imaging system will be carried out utilizing Spire’s Biomedical manufacturing, marketing, and sales resources. The commercial availability of terahertz imaging systems will have a strong impact on homeland defense

Principal Investigator:

Kurt Linden
(781) 275-6000

Business Contact:

Mike O'Doughtery
(781) 275-6000
Small Business Information at Submission:

Spire Corporation
One Patriots Park Bedford, MA 01730-2396

EIN/Tax ID: 042457335
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No