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Low-cost, high efficiency neutron detector for mobile systems

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W912CG22C0018
Agency Tracking Number: D2S-0026
Amount: $1,499,911.84
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: H-SB017.1-009
Solicitation Number: 00.1
Solicitation Year: 1900
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-03-14
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-10-09
Small Business Information
117 Beaver Street, Suite 150
Waltham, MA 02452-8428
United States
DUNS: 079115463
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Andrew Inglis
 (617) 684-5925
Business Contact
 Sarah Baker
Phone: (617) 684-5925
Research Institution

The specific technical opportunity addressed in this project is to increase the efficiency density of a low-cost neutron detection technology, previously developed for affordable wide-area monitoring capability, to apply it to vehicle and other mobile systems that require higher detection densities to meet relevant ANSI standards. Creating detectors with higher efficiency density usually requires a nonlinear increase in cost and complexity of the detector, which can be at odds with the low-cost imperative to make this critical national security technology scalable. This effort is to investigate and apply the science needed to move the Li-6 metal, flat panel multi-wire proportional chamber (MWPC) technology to the required higher efficiency density, while maintaining or decreasing cost of the overall system.  This can enable widespread, scalable use of the gas-readout enriched lithium metal MWPC in ANSI-standard vehicular radiation detection systems. The Base includes concept design, prototyping, and testing steps leading to the a down-select of the design concept that best optimizes tradeoff between cost, complexity, and maximal efficiency density. Three iterations of the technology will be designed, prototyped, and tested, each with increasing technical risk as size, weight, and cost reductions are explored. Additionally, a combined hardware/software solution will be designed and tested for vibration attenuation to meet a stringent requirement for no erroneous signal creation within vehicular applications. The Option includes low-rate initial production (LRIP) and a testing campaign of ten vehicle systems.  

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

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