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See-In-The-Wall (SITw) Imager Technology

Description:

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Sensors 

OBJECTIVE: DTRA seeks to investigate the feasibility of developing a standoff distance See–In-The wall (SITw) imager that can detect and positively identify hidden threats. 

DESCRIPTION: The topic is designed to identify methods producing imagery enabling detection and identification of threats hidden within concrete or similarly dense structures. Current state of the art SEE-THRU-THE-WALL (STTW) sensing capabilities mostly offer human detection and breathing signature detection, and may offer some insight into whether that person is carrying a weapon. Currently available technologies that could be further developed for our purpose include but are not limited to the following: RF (requires tradeoffs of penetration, resolution, and size of array), X-Ray backscatter (single energy offers very little discrimination in terms of material identification - explosives resemble a book), thermal imagers (material temperature gradients right behind walls are faintly distinguishable). We are interested technology breakthroughs such as multi-energy x ray backscatter, UWB imaging modality, or other novel technologies that will lead to our goal imagers. At this point, portability and Size, Weight, Power, and cost (SWaPc) are less important than the actual technology/capability, so long as it is of size and weight that could be carried into a building through a typical door. We are seeking innovative ideas and technology breakthroughs that will provide an asymmetric advantage to our warfighters by enabling them to see booby trap structures, explosives, switches, and related components. Solutions providing greater standoff distance for operators will be viewed with more favor. 

PHASE I: Identify imaging modality and show theoretical demonstration. Demonstrate pathways for meeting the performance and cost goals with the feasibility studies at the end of Phase I: Achieve feasibility for standoff and imaging. 

PHASE II: Develop the selected methodology further to develop instrumentation and validate concept with resolution and penetrability. Develop manufacturing and commercialization plans for implementing the research in production and further increase stand-off range, resolution, and size, respectively. 

PHASE III: Team up with a National Laboratory or commercial partner to develop a commercial instrument for military applications of interest to DTRA as well as domestic applications to support warfighters and regulatory inspections, border and port security, at the TRL level of 6. 

REFERENCES: 

1: Thunderstorm, Ft. Bragg, STTW Brief November 2018

KEYWORDS: See Thru The Wall, See In The Wall, Imaging, Booby Trap Structures, Hidden IED Detection 

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