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Isotope Nuclear Forensics from Optical Real-time Measurements (INFORM)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Contract: HDTRA118P0020
Agency Tracking Number: T172-008-0029
Amount: $149,952.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: DTRA172-008
Solicitation Number: 2017.2
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-02-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-09-14
Small Business Information
46665 Fremont Blvd
Fremont, CA 94538
United States
DUNS: 147539378
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Dr. Jhanis Gonzalez
 (510) 657-7679
Business Contact
 Dr. Richard Russo
Phone: (925) 330-1431
Research Institution

The SBIR Phase I effort will demonstrate the performance of an Atmospheric Pressure Glow Discharge (APGD) excitation/ionization source with Laser Ablation (LA) sampling and Optical Emission Spectroscopy (OES) for rapid field elemental and isotopic analysis of surrogate nuclear debris samples. Laser sampling mitigates the need for sample preparation or consumables. The APGD will be tested as an atomization-ionization source for LA of solid samples as well as a secondary excitation source to extend laser-induced plasma optical emission persistence. The goal is to achieve laboratory sensitivity and precision (or better) in a portable (potentially battery operated) Pelican-case footprint by developing appropriate hardware and data processing analytics. Optical isotopic analysis will be emphasized through atomic and ionic line and molecular band emission spectra. Data fusion and data analytics using chemometric processing will be implemented to achieve isotopic ratio precision at sub-percent levels. The system will be bench-marked against laboratory mass spectrometry measurements of U235/238 ratios. Fundamental understanding of the glow-discharge plasma spectra will show ionization performance that also can benefit mass spectrometry. The effort will demonstrate proof of concept that optical emission spectroscopy using laser sampling and the APGD is a compelling technology for real-time field isotopic analysis of nuclear debris.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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