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Handheld Hidden Chamber Detection


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors, Electronics 

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this topic is to develop and demonstrate innovative technologies to quickly detect, locate, and discriminate hidden chambers within an average-sized room (168 square feet) which may contain suspicious contents with a handheld, easy to operate sensor at a range of 2 meters. 

DESCRIPTION: U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) requires the tactical capability to quickly detect, locate, and discriminate hidden chambers to support Identity Intelligence Operations (I2O). USSOCOM I2O) has the requirement for handheld, automated hidden chamber sensor system to detect, locate, and discriminate hidden compartments within an average-sized room (168 square feet) at a range of 2 meters. The hidden compartment may contain various article, including electronics, weapons, chemicals, documents, money, people, etc. The automated sensor system must be able to distinguish between a normal space, for example the space between wall studs and a suspicious space, to enable the SOF operator to quickly focus their SSE operations. The system needs to operate with various common building materials, including, brick, cinder block, concrete, wood, sheet rock, etc. The system needs to be automated, easy to operate, and not require specialized technical training to interpret. Current systems/technologies are designed for other mission areas, for example people detection or whole building sensor systems which are too large and complicated to operate. Modern Radio Frequency (RF) Transmit/Receive (T/R) modules, advanced computer vision algorithms, modern computer processor technologies, or other innovative sensor technologies/modalities may offer potential innovative technology solutions. As a part of this feasibility study, the proposers shall address all viable overall system design options to meet the above requirements. 

PHASE I: Conduct a feasibility study to assess what is in the art of the possible that satisfies the requirements specified in the above paragraph entitled “Description.” The objective of this USSOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough feasibility study to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space that will satisfy a needed technology. The feasibility study should investigate all known options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technology options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with USSOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II. 

PHASE II: Develop, install, and demonstrate a prototype system determined to be the most feasible solution during the Phase I feasibility study. 

PHASE III: This system could be used in various applications beyond the DoD, including law enforcement, security, and construction. 


1: "Underground Utility Location", Ground Hound Detection Services, Incorporated:

2:  "Ground Penetrating Radar:, Wikipedia, 1 June 2017:


KEYWORDS: Through The Wall Radar, Hidden Chamber Detection 

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