Compact Raman Sensor for Underwater Explosives Detection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00024-10-C-4180
Agency Tracking Number: N091-046-0988
Amount: $749,861.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: N091-046
Solicitation Number: 2009.1
Small Business Information
Agiltron Corporation
15 Cabot Road, Woburn, MA, 01801
DUNS: 004841644
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Wayne Weimer
 Principal Scientist
 (781) 935-1200
 wweimer@agiltron.com
Business Contact
 Amanda Contardo
Title: Administrative Assistant
Phone: (781) 935-1200
Email: acontardo@agiltron.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
We propose to develop a compact, marine-deployable chemical sensor for the underwater detection of explosives using surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). SERS is a well known tool for chemical identification, down to the single molecule level of sensitivity that provides some unique advantages for the present topic. These include application to aqueous environments, sensitive to all classes of explosives (nitro, peroxide, etc), proven trace detection capability in water, and no sample preparation or extraction required. For these reasons we propose to develop a prototype SERS sensor unit for underwater explosives detection in a configuration consistent with the size, power, and other specifications required to allow utilization with the Navy HULS and DHINS programs. In order to provide the optimum sensitivity for trace explosive detection we plan to utilize an integrated gold nanosurface SERS detector, a design based on the Company''s proprietary SERS chip technology. In principle, any explosive agents or their residue in seawater that comes in contact with the gold sampling surface will be detectable via a characteristic vibrational signature of that analyte. We expect that the full range of explosive contaminants which might be potentially encountered in the marine environment will be amenable to this approach.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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