Weapon Payloads for Chemical and Biological Agent Plume Neutralization

Award Information
Department of Defense
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
General Sciences, Incorporated
205 Schoolhouse Road, Souderton, PA, -
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Peter Zavitsanos
President/Senior Scientist
(215) 723-8588
Business Contact:
Evelyn Downs
Contracts Manager
(215) 723-8588
Research Institution:

OBJECTIVE: To provide new and innovative weapon payload concepts that can neutralize (e.g., detoxify, kill or decompose) chemical and biological (CB) warfare agents in a plume released from an offensive operations strike on enemy Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) facilities. DESCRIPTION: Current conventional weapons rely on blast, fragmentation, and heat as their primary mechanism to defeat targets containing CB agents. Unfortunately, these same mechanisms can create large and unacceptable consequences through the release of hazardous and toxic materials into the environment typically as a vented downwind plume. Research of WMD defeat payloads have typically focused on neutralization of CB agents inside target structures prior to venting. However, the risk remains that live CB agent may escape from the targeted structure. An additional capability is necessary that will continue to neutralize CB agents after escaping from a target. This prolonged effect would help further mitigate collateral effects. This type of capability is envisioned to be a singularly deployed subsystem integrated with existing and future conventional and WMD defeat weapons. It would have self-sustaining neutralization characteristics able to travel with aerosolized CB agent escaping outside of the targeted structure, and neutralize the agent as it travels in the contiguous plume. This type of capability is envisioned to reduce the viable CB agent survival fraction by more than an order of magnitude while operating in time-frames of several minutes. Potential solutions may include, but are not limited to, thermal or chemical reactive materials, photo-catalyzed systems, and other conventional munition technologies that are effective against a wide variety of CB agents and sufficiently robust to survive an explosive environment. Solutions should avoid or minimize the creation of toxic degradation products, be safe to store and handle and easily integrated into weapon systems. PHASE I: Perform analysis and research to demonstrate the feasibility of the innovative technology to neutralize CB agents in vented plumes. Any modeling and simulation studies will address the neutralization performance against agents released from all types of CB agent targets that range from mobile launcher to metal buildings and hardened bunkers. The design concept should be benchmarked with data that validates the underlying assumptions and neutralization technologies. The Phase I final report must clearly describe the Phase I to Phase II decision point along with a roadmap of key events through the planned Phase III. PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a prototype payload capable of neutralizing CB agents/simulants within plumes emanating from offensive operation attacks.. The final Phase II report will include an evaluation of weapon system integration risks and mitigating factors. The report must clearly demonstrate how this concept can be used as a fieldable system with a complete discussion of the design tradeoffs required to make this a fieldable system. Include potential partners for production and future use of the developed technology. Include a clear Phase II to Phase III decision point and a roadmap that takes the program through Phase III. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: In addition to the employment of this technology for offensive counter WMD operations, potential applications of this technology include CB defensive measures, industrial accident/ hazard response decontamination needs, and homeland security situations. This technology could also have dual use in fire plume or industrial waste plume interaction for clean-up/better scrubbing of toxic materials, and also in academic and environmental study of Gas/aerosol/ash interaction of volcanic plumes. REFERENCES: 1. National Military Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, February 13, 2006, www.defenselink.mil/pdf/NMS-CWMD2006.pdf 2. Prompt Agent Defeat-A Program to Counter Facilities for Biological Weapons of Mass Destruction, DRTA-TR-04-5, 01July 2004

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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