STTR Phase II: Compact, Low-cost Remote Sensing of Methamphetamine Labs

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Bridger Photonics, INC
112 E. Lincoln, Bozeman, MT, 59715
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Peter Roos
(303) 818-1653
Business Contact:
Peter Roos
(303) 818-1653
Research Institution:
Montana State University
Andrij Holian
280B Skaggs Building
Missoula, MT, 59812 1046
(406) 243-4048
Nonprofit college or university
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II project addresses an urgent law enforcement need for a sensitive, portable, low-cost, laser remote sensor to detect illicit methamphetamine (meth) production labs from a distance. The research objectives are to: 1. Refine, optimize, and package laser subsystem, 2. Design, construct, and optimize receiver subsystem, 3. Integrate laser and receiver subsystems onto compact breadboard and test, 4. Design and construct first-revision prototype. To accomplish these objectives, the team and Montana State University will optimize the performance of the critical high-energy, narrowband, mid-infrared pulsed laser system that was developed under the Phase I effort. The laser subsystem will be miniaturized and packaged for use in the sensor and for direct sales to bootstrap the sensor commercialization. The receiver subsystem will be designed, constructed, and optimized for performance, size, weight, and cost. The laser and receiver subsystems will be integrated and the unit will be field-tested. The first revision prototype will then be designed and constructed, incorporating identified improvements and modifications, and law enforcement customer input. Meth use in our country has reached epidemic levels. It is considered the most addictive illicit drug, can be easily produced with widely available and inexpensive ingredients, and is rapidly becoming more popular with young adults. Almost 1/5 of 2003 federal sentences were meth related and the state of Illinois estimates a $2B/yr meth-related burden. In 2005, 65% of Montana?s young adults reported that meth is ?very or somewhat easy? to obtain. Meth?s abundance is often attributed to the fact that it is alarmingly easy to produce in makeshift clandestine labs (in homes, apartments, motels, storage facilities, etc). These labs also pose lethal hazards to law enforcement, first responders, and children inhabitants. Washington State reported that children are or have been at 35% of the lab sites. Although 2005 legislation restricting the sale of a key meth ingredient reduced the number of labs, there is now resurgence. Moreover, the labs are becoming increasingly difficult for drug enforcement to uncover as the producers become more sophisticated and mobile. Drug enforcement personnel on local, national, and international levels require the ability to detect meth labs rapidly and in widely varying locations and circumstances. If successful law the outcome of the project will enable enforcement personnel to have a higher success rate in detecting these meth manufacturing laboratories.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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