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Innovative Technologies for Detection and Discrimination of Surface and Buried Explosive Hazards


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics, Sensors

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation.


OBJECTIVE: Design and develop novel and innovative sensor technologies for stand-off detection and discrimination of surface and buried explosive hazards.


DESCRIPTION: Sensor investments in counter explosive threat technologies during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom have resulted in the solution of many niche problems but provided few long-term solutions for sustaining operational tempo, assured mobility and survivability. In order to address emerging and evolving threats, novel and innovative technologies are required. Capabilities from these technologies could lead to improved buried in-road and surface side attack threat clearance as well as standoff threat identification. This SBIR will seek development of novel and innovative sensor technologies to detect and discriminate surface and/or buried explosive hazard targets. A successful proposal will explain the phenomenology the sensor seeks to exploit and how that phenomenology relates to either buried or surface explosive hazard targets, such as discrimination between natural and man-made objects. Proposals that provide sensor solutions relevant to either buried or surface targets will be accepted, but sensors that are applicable to both problem sets are preferred. Technology solutions, other than ground penetrating radar, are preferred. The proposed development activity only needs to focus on a single phenomenology to be exploited, however technologies that can show applicability to multiple Army problem sets or multiple phenomenologies are preferred, such as disturbed earth, threat and common clutter detection.


PHASE I: The Phase I goal is to demonstrate the proposed sensor technology, the phenomenology being exploited and the utility of that phenomenology in detecting and discriminating the targets of interest. The Phase I work can be accomplished using modeling and simulation, but a data-driven experiment using actual hardware (bench-top or early prototype) is preferred. A Phase I report is required.


PHASE II: The Phase II goal is to develop a prototype demonstration sensor. The prototype sensor should be capable of collecting data in a controlled setting. During Phase II, the prototype sensor will be used to demonstrate the utility of the sensor and phenomenology being exploited. The Phase II final report must include a description of the developed sensor, a study validating the sensor and the phenomenology being exploited, problems discovered with the sensor/phenomenology, and recommendations for future sensor improvements.


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Mature the sensor such that it can be fielded by the military or sold commercially for homeland security applications. This includes improvements described in the Phase II report. Develop Aided Target Recognition (AiTR) algorithms to detect and discriminate targets of interest. The resulting sensor could then be fielded for use in detecting buried or roadside hazards during military operations or for detecting buried or roadside hazards or other concealed structures of interest by city planners and utility/highway inspectors.


KEYWORDS: counter explosive hazards, buried target detection, roadside target detection, sensor development 

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