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Remote Through-Container Identification of CBRNE materials


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Advanced Computing and Software


OBJECTIVE: Conduct a proof of concept study to develop a rapid, remote, handheld, ruggedized, all-weather, self-powered, user-friendly device to be used by first responders to quickly and accurately identify the contents within opaque, sealed containers at a stand-off distance.


DESCRIPTION: The aim of this effort is to conduct a proof of concept study to develop a remote, light-weight handheld, ruggedized, self-powered, device to identify the contents of opaque sealed containers at various stand-off distances The solution should provide a user friendly interface and be accessible while wearing protective clothing for chemical or biological hazards. Additionally, the device should also have the capability to interpret and learn new materials as they are encountered. A similar topic was released was in 2012 under DTRA122-012 which ran through a Phase I effort. However, the emphasis here is placed on designing a handheld solution rather than man-portable, ensuring it can be operated with the latest issue of CBRNE protective clothing, ensuring rapid results, and taking advantage of the latest machine learning algorithms to improve the identification of unknown materials encountered in the field. Currently available sensors fall short of meeting all of these requirements.  The outcome of this effort shall improve upon current methods of identifying and characterizing CWAs in a tactical setting while streamlining and simplifying testing process for end users.


PHASE I: The performer must demonstrate in a laboratory environment the capability of sensing through opaque containers of varying thickness to detect and identify CBRNE contents such as chemical, biological, radiological materials with a high degree of confidence while minimizing physical contact with CWAs inside chemical munitions or improvised devices. The performer shall explore the tradeoff space related to the performance objectives and metrics. Additionally, the performer shall provide a design concept for a prototype related to form factors to include the device being handheld, ruggedized, providing rapid results, accessible while wearing CBRNE protective clothing, and providing a mechanism to discover new previously unknown materials in the field.


PHASE II: Phase II must develop a prototype device to meet the form factor requirements to include being lightweight, handheld, battery operated, and accessible while wearing protective clothing. The prototype must have a field upgradable library to learn new materials as they are encountered.  The Phase II final report should include a development plan for follow-on production and a Phase III roadmap. Phase II demonstrations should be provided for the DoD community and clearly demonstrate successful and accurate detection and identification of unknown substances in sealed containers.


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Phase III must include identification of support for commercialization of the device to include other government and commercial entities. Although additional funding may be provided through DoD sources, the awardee should look to other public or private sector funding sources for assistance with transition and commercialization.



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KEYWORDS: stand-off, opaque, remote identification

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