Quantum Dot Based Optical Taggants for Combat Identification

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-13-C-1618
Agency Tracking Number: F121-146-1062
Amount: $749,565.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: AF121-146
Solicitation Number: 2012.1
Small Business Information
MA, Andover, MA, 01810-1077
DUNS: 073800062
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jay Giblin
 Principal Scientist
 (978) 689-0003
Business Contact
 B. Green
Title: President and CEO
Phone: (978) 689-0003
Email: green@psicorp.com
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI), working with Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (NGES), proposes to develop a passive optical Identification-Friend-or-Foe (IFF) patch that utilizes the absorptive and emissive properties of quantum dots (QDs) to provide a unique signature when interrogated by a weapons targeting pod. The patch will be a flexible, robust, and low-cost composite capable of being placed on military vehicles, soldiers, and buildings. During the Phase I program PSI evaluated, through a quantitative system model, the feasibility of detecting a passive QD-based IFF indicator at operationally relevant standoff distances using the operating characteristics of a laser targeting pod. In parallel, chemical procedures were developed that produced QDs that emit light within the wavelength range of a targeting pod"s sensors. These procedures, as well as an overcoating method that was developed to improve the emission quantum yields and stability of the QDs, provide a foundation for preparing these materials. In the Phase II program, PSI will build upon the system model and synthetic procedures while incorporating the QDs into a polymer composite in order to deliver a prototype with a TRL value of 5 to the Air Force. The patch will be evaluated under realistic solar and thermal conditions. BENEFIT: The proposed research will provide the military with a rugged, low cost, passive indicator of friendly or non-combatant individuals or entities prior to a targeted weapons deployment. The successful completion of the development program will enable the Air Force to limit or eliminate friendly fire casualties and unnecessary destruction of military equipment or non-combatant property during air-to-ground attacks. In addition, the proposed IFF patch can be extended to applications beyond its current requirements because its spectral output can be deliberately controlled. For example, the use of tunable QD emission, coupled with spectrally selective sensors and eye-safe excitation, could lead to spectral barcodes used to track high value targets tagged at a checkpoint and through an urban environment.

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

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government