Optimized Taggant Delivery Systems
ABSTRACT: Tagging, Tracking, and Locating (TTL) using optical taggants is a powerful tool for locating modern military threats. While many taggant delivery systems have been conceived, few are practical. Large surface-to-volume ratios make nanoparticles difficult to work with as they tend to agglomerate. Moreover, the oily ligands used in nanoparticle synthesis are not compatible with the range of solvents, binders, and additives that comprise a taggant and allow it to be stored and dispersed. When deployed on a target they must be imperceptible and, applied in sufficiently high density, they must be detectable. An optimized taggant system will demonstrate delivery by dry propellant-, aerosol-, paint-, and water-based media in a custom-designed, small-sized system mounted on a remotely piloted vehicle (RPV). Using end-to-end system models the requisite taggant density and area covered will be determined for candidate standoff ranges. Using an RPV-based delivery system, the optimized taggants will be demonstrated in the field. A radiometrically calibrated laser and near-infrared LIDAR detection system will be used to assess the performance of the system. This data will be used in Phase II to optimize a delivery system and to demonstrate that system in government-sponsored field tests. BENEFIT: The needs satisfied by the proposed taggants and taggant delivery systems: Tagging, Tracking, and Locating (TTL), Combat Identification (CID), Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF), Materiel Control and Tracking, Access Control, and others. Commercial applications include security inks, anti-counterfeiting of luxury items (watches, etc), lottery tickets, and tax stamps.
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