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Improve pyrotechnic smoke formulations that produce low flame

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Polaris Sensor Technologies Inc.
200 Westside Square suite 320 Huntsville, AL -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: Improve pyrotechnic smoke formulations that produce low flame
Agency: DOD
Contract: W911SR-13-C-0009
Award Amount: $406,450.00


The objective of this research is to develop materials that replace the current generation of visible smoke formulations used by the U.S. military. In particular the materials must produce low or no flame so that they don't present a fire hazard, have relatively low toxicity, and are efficient. The efficiency is defined in a figure of merit that combines fill factor, yield factor, extinction coefficient and density. Additionally, other targets are neutral buoyancy and volatility that affect obscurant duration. Polaris Sensor Technologies developed a non-incendiary, smoke-producing reaction that requires approximately 0.020 grams of material per cubic foot of obscured volume when viewed through a 10 m thick smoke screen. The obscurant factor is constant across the visible spectrum with good persistence. For a 300 m3 (3m by 10m by 10m) obscured volume, approximately 200 cm3 of material is required, representing a device approximately 4 inch in height and 2.25 inches diameter; without casing, fuze or ignition source. With casing and fusing, the final device will be 5 inches in height and about 2.5 inches diameter which is similar to devices in current inventory. Most importantly, the reaction temperature is well below the temperature of current smoke grenades. The reaction can place directly on paper towels without igniting them. Phase II development efforts will concentrate on maximizing the amount of smoke produced, to determine the optimum packing configuration for the most efficient smoke production, to design and develop packaging for the materials, and to establish a transition and commercialization path. The Phase II will result in working prototypes of the greatly improved, more compact, efficient, and cost effective grenade replacement.

Principal Investigator:

Peter Erbach
Senior Scientist
(256) 562-0087

Business Contact:

David Chenault
(256) 562-0087
Small Business Information at Submission:

Polaris Sensor Technologies, Inc.
200 Westside Square Suite 320 Huntsville, AL -

EIN/Tax ID: 431998920
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
University of Alabama Huntsville
301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899-
Contact: MIchael Banish
Contact Phone: (256) 824-3544