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Anti-Tamper Technology for Missile Defense


OBJECTIVE: Zero Power/Ultra-Low Power X-Ray Sensors - Development of a zero power/ultra-low power x-ray sensing technology for use at the printed circuit board level or integrated circuit level, for the protection of critical technology from exploitation. DESCRIPTION: The Agency has issued a directive necessitating the protection of Critical Program Information (CPI) from unintentional transfer and the policy for the implementation of Anti-Tamper (AT) technology on MDA acquisition and associated technology programs. AT technology consists of engineering activities that result in the prevention and/or delayed exploitation of critical technologies in U.S. weapons systems. The purpose is to add longevity to critical technology by deterring efforts to reverse-engineer, exploit, or develop countermeasures against a system or component. Though the particular solution may be tailored for individual applications, the concept and methodology of the solution should be applicable to various Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) and military hardware. Preference will be given to solutions that provide protection for Critical Technologies without introducing additional risks or costs to the weapon platform and its mission. Additionally, attention will be focused on a low (or no) power requirement; the covertness of the technology; personal and mission safety; minimal impact to semiconductor manufacturing processes; minimal impact to system availability and maintainability; and seamless integration in the BMDS weapon platform. As a result, the MDA will maintain a technological edge in support of the warfighter. Recent developments in nanotechnology sensors and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) [1-8] offer opportunities for creating ultra-low power sensors to detect tampering and reverse engineering. The purpose of this SBIR is to develop tampering/reverse engineering x-ray sensors for the printed circuit board or integrated circuit level, that require zero power or near zero power (in the 0.1 to 1 microwatt range). Energy harvesting technologies may be used in conjunction with the development of ultra-low power x-ray sensor technologies, but must constitute less than 20% of the development effort. Sensor orientation effects must be considered in the development. MDA is not interested in the utilization of low duty cycle sensors to reduce power consumption (e.g. 1 % duty cycle at 0.1 milliwatts gives 1 microwatt average power consumption). Additionally, MDA is not interested in materials that require visual inspection for tamper detection, nor in material coatings for printed circuit boards or integrated circuits. Participation in this SBIR is limited to US citizens and US persons. PHASE I: Research and develop a prototype zero power/ultra-low power x-ray sensor (<1 microwatt continuous power consumption) for tamper detection and reverse engineering detection. Simple prototypes should be used to demonstrate the feasibility of the zero power/ultra-low power sensor; the prototypes may be complemented by simulations or models, as appropriate. Estimate the power consumption of the proposed sensor technology and estimate its sensitivity to detecting a tamper event. Estimate the range of probing intensities and wavelengths that the sensor will detect. Provide a Phase I final report to the government point of contact. A partnership with a current or potential supplier of MDA systems, subsystems, or components is highly desirable. PHASE II: Based on the Phase I research; develop, demonstrate and validate a prototype zero power or ultra-low power x-ray sensor. A partnership with a current or potential supplier of MDA systems, subsystems, or components is highly desirable. For an ultra-low power x-ray sensor development, research and develop methods to further decrease power consumption. An independent lab is to test and evaluate the zero power/ultra-low power x-ray sensor technology. A copy of the test report is to be provided to the government point of contact. This test and evaluation is a potential opportunity for future commercialization. The contractor shall also identify any anticipated commercial benefit or application opportunities of the innovation. Deliver to the government point of contact, two x-ray sensor evaluation boards, and all required software tools for testing and evaluation. Provide an on-site two day sensor system seminar at an MDA facility. Provide a Phase II final report to the government point of contact. PHASE III: Integrate selected AT protection technologies into a critical system application, for a BMDS system level test-bed. This phase will demonstrate the application to one or more MDA element systems, subsystems, or components - as well as the product"s utility against industrial espionage. An analysis shall be conducted to evaluate the ability of the technology/technique to protect against tampering in a real-world situation. A partnership with a current or potential supplier of MDA systems, subsystems, or components is highly desirable. COMMERCIALIZATION: Anti Tamper technologies have numerous applications to printed circuit boards used by DoD contractors in MDA and other Military systems. Commercial electronics for personal, aviation, and automobile use will benefit from these technologies. Partcular interest has been found in the ISR community to prevent exploitation of military resources.
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