Compact, Wide Field Photoacoustic Explosive Detection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W15QKN-11-C-0045
Agency Tracking Number: A2-4291
Amount: $358,030.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: A09-038
Solicitation Number: 2009.2
Small Business Information
461 Boston Street, Topsfield, MA, -
DUNS: 038336723
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Craig Schwarze
 Systems Engineer
 (978) 887-6600
Business Contact
 James Engel
Title: President
Phone: (978) 887-6600
Research Institution
OPTRA proposes the development of an explosive detector comprised of a Risley scanner and a standoff photoacoustic detector for robot-based mobile operation. The Risley scanner is a mature technology, which uses a pair of matched prisms to steer a laser beam anywhere inside a cone. OPTRA has extensive experience developing and customizing such Risley scanners to accommodate a variety of applications including laser ranging, optical avoidance and optical communication. The standoff photoacoustic explosive detection hardware concept was developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL) and utilizes a Quartz Crystal Tuning Fork (QCTF) to detect reflected returns from the target. Using this technology, ORNL has demonstrated the ability to detect explosive concentrations as low as 100 ng/cm2 at a range of 20 m and to distinguish between various explosives. By coupling these two demonstrated technologies, OPTRA developed a breadboard system during the Phase I, which was demonstrated to collect TNT and RDX explosive spectra. During the Phase II, OPTRA will build on this success by developing a compact prototype system complete with detection and discrimination algorithms suitable for mobile standoff explosive detection. This highly sensitive, wide field explosive detector prototype will be capable of monitoring large areas from a safe distance, which should help neutralize the IED threat in the near term.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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