DHS SBIR HSHQDC-15-R-00017
NOTE: The Solicitations and topics listed on this site are copies from the various SBIR agency solicitations and are not necessarily the latest and most up-to-date. For this reason, you should use the agency link listed below which will take you directly to the appropriate agency server where you can read the official version of this solicitation and download the appropriate forms and rules.
The official link for this solicitation is: https://www.fbo.gov/index
Application Due Date:
Available Funding Topics
- H-SB015.1-001: DNA and Latent Fingerprint Collection from Same Sample
- H-SB015.1-002: Low-cost, Disposable, Tamper-Proof Bolt Seal
- H-SB015.1-003: Enhanced Distributed Denial of Service Defense
- H-SB015.1-004: Privacy Protecting Analytics for the Internet of Things
- H-SB015.1-005: A Wearable Communications Hub Designed to Streamline and Improve First Responder Communication Capabilities
- H-SB015.1-006: Total Vehicle Mobile X-Ray Scanner
- H-SB015.1-007: Canine Mounted Track and Transmit Device
- H-SB015.1-008: Mass/Shielding Anomaly Passive Detector Module
- H-SB015.1-009: Stable Semiconductor Modules as Core Component in Pager Radiation Detectors
DNA and Latent Fingerprint Collection from Same Sample
OBJECTIVE: Develop a method for latent print work and DNA analysis from the same sample while optimizing DNA extraction protocol for fingerprints deposited on evidentiary materials used for human identification.
DESCRIPTION: Forensic evidence collection is an essential tool for acquiring information for law enforcement investigations and latent fingerprints are the main piece of evidence to investigate due to the unique and unchanged nature of the ridge patterns of each individual. Leveraging the S&T Directorate’s current DNA Collection Efficiency project, identify techniques to both recover latent fingerprint and to extract DNA profile from the same piece of fingerprint evidence collected in the crime scene.
PHASE I: Determine by theory, previous research in related areas and/or laboratory experimentation, the most efficient and practical approach to both preserve the physical integrity of latent fingerprints on the typical surfaces on evidence encountered by Custom and Border Protection (CBP) forensic analysts while not interfering with DNA collection, extraction and analysis. Indicate for each method investigated, latent fingerprint image and DNA collection efficiency, physical and chemical degradation, detection sensitivity in the context of real world scenarios on each surface material from sample evidence and a prototype chemical or optical concept in the Phase I final report.
PHASE II: Construct, operate, and analyze the data from one (1) working prototype device based on a down select from concepts identified in Phase I, calibrated against a laboratory gold standard and real world evidence. The prototype will be delivered to the CBP LSS forensic laboratory no later than six months before the contracted closing date of the Phase II project with a comprehensive performance analysis. Government personnel will operate the system in the CBP LSS forensic laboratory for the remaining 6 months of the Phase II project.
PHASE III: COMMERCIAL OR GOVERNMENT APPLICATIONS: A commercial version of the system, if system performance is confirmed, will be developed, and then installed to operate in the CBP forensic laboratory in Houston, TX. A system architecture, specification, and operator manual will be provided with the system for CBP to procure additional systems for use in other CBP forensic laboratories.
Low-cost, Disposable, Tamper-Proof Bolt Seal
OBJECTIVE: Develop, prototype, and demonstrate a low-cost electronic reusable and/or disposable, tamper-proof cargo container/conveyance bolt seal for the maritime and air cargo environments.
DESCRIPTION: The current generation of bolt seals, despite being ISO-17712-2013 compliant, provides only limited protection from tampering and illicit entry into the container or conveyance. They can be defeated to gain access to the container or conveyance through removal and replacement, and disassembly and reassembly among other methodologies. Entries may be for the purpose of removing goods or merchandise but, they also present an opportunity for insertion of contraband (i.e., drugs, bulk currency, weapons, etc.), weapons of mass effect, as well as illegal aliens.
A number of more sophisticated and more secure devices have been developed and are available to industry as well as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA). While such units are very secure, they are also more costly and can be difficult to use. Except for compliance factors under the C-TPAT and FAST programs, the use of these devices are not mandatory to the industry, and as such, industry is reluctant to use these devices except in the case of highly valued and expensive merchandise. Meanwhile containers carrying more mundane cargo are essentially unprotected. This SBIR topic seeks a solution that would ensure the integrity of the container and its cargo between segments of the supply chain such as, for example, between a freight consolidator and an air cargo facility subject to the requirements as established below. The bolt seal must have unique non-duplicable features such that it cannot be replaced, must not in any way or in any form be reassembled after disassembly and removal, and must not allow tampering in any manner. The electronics of such device may have GPS and time keeping capability and, if so equipped, may store location and time of a tamper event in non-volatile memory. The memory may be queried by a relocatable device and/or by a handheld device such as a smart phone. The vendor shall propose schema whereby a point of departure interrogation system shall relay presence of a seal and identification of such to the receiving facility. However, under no circumstances shall the actions described herein increase the time, effort, or workload on CBP or TSA Officers using the seals. In addition, the seals shall be designed so that they can be mass produced.
This SBIR topic description seeks proposals to prototype and test, in a field environment, an innovative, low-cost (i.e., ≤$15.00 each), electronic disposable and/or reusable tamper-proof cargo container/conveyance bolt seal.
PHASE I: Develop conceptual designs for the bolt seal and determine the technical feasibility and potential for transition to high-speed bulk manufacturing for each concept. A final report on the above is required at the conclusion of the Phase I period.
PHASE II: Phase II will develop one (1) or more low-cost prototype(s), electronic disposable and/or reusable tamper-proof cargo container/conveyance bolt seals for internal (Contractor) testing. Upon successful completion of internal testing, the Contractor shall deliver to the Government no less than six (6) prototypes including any support or ancillary equipment for external testing by the Government with assistance from the Contractor. These prototypes shall be delivered not later than seven (7) months prior to the end of Phase II period of performance to allow for six (6) months testing and one (1) month for analysis and final report development. The final report is to include, at a minimum, external test results (with Government assistance); disposable and/or reusable bolt seal business case; and, a definitive plan to transition to full scale production.
PHASE III: COMMERCIAL OR GOVERNMENT APPLICATIONS: This technology can benefit government entities such as the DHS operating components, CBP and TSA, as well as DOD, DOS, and ODNI. Commercial entities that ship high-value goods within the U.S. can benefit from the use of simple, cheap, and secure protection for their goods.
Enhanced Distributed Denial of Service Defense
OBJECTIVE: Develop tools, techniques, and polices that mitigate the impact of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
DESCRIPTION: Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are used to render key resources unavailable. For example, a classic DDoS attack might disturb a financial institution’s website, and temporarily block a consumer’s ability to conduct online banking. A more strategic attack makes a key resource inaccessible during a critical period. Some examples of this type of attack may include rendering a florist’s website unavailable on Valentine’s Day, slowing or blocking access to tax documents in mid-April, disrupting communication during a critical trading window, etc. Prominent DDoS attacks have been conducted against financial institutions, news organizations, providers of internet security resources, and government agencies. Any organization that relies on network resources is considered a potential target.
The current environment provides several advantages to the attacker, considering that the resource acquisition cost for attackers is relatively low. An attacker often relies on a large number of compromised computers to conduct the attack. Further, as the network bandwidth and computational power increases, the attacker benefits from the increased resources, providing the capability to conduct more powerful attacks. Organizations that make use of network services must invest in resources that keep pace with the increasing significance of the attacks; while organizations that fail to do so run the risk of being compromised. In addition, organizations that deploy resources carelessly may simply provide the attacker with easily compromised resources that can then be used in future attacks. Even businesses with global scale reach, including those providing security related services, have faced challenges in keeping pace with vast DDoS attacks.
This effort seeks tools, techniques, and policies that would help mitigate the attack impact of a 1 Tbps attack originating from over 1,000 locations while shifting the overall advantage from the attacker to defender. The target of the attack may be a hypothetical regional bank that does not have capacity to absorb a 1 Tbps attack. Some collaborative effort will be needed to mitigate the attack. The collaborative effort must make reasonable assumptions on business relationships between the victim and other ISPs, content providers, and other organizations that may be relevant to mitigating the attack. In addition to tools that address today’s attacks, this effort also encourages an approach that looks forward to new DDoS attack vectors, and propose solutions for attacks that are likely to occur in the future. Many of today’s defenses are reactive and designed to address attack patterns that have already been observed. The network infrastructure continues to evolve, therefore enabling the potential for both new types of DDoS attacks and new defenses. For example, attackers are now adapting to growth in smart devices, cyber physical systems, and cloud computing, and are developing new types of DDoS attacks that exploit the unique characteristics of these systems. These same device characteristics may also be used to develop new defenses. Proposals that look forward to network changes and exploit these changes for defense are encouraged.
PHASE I: Phase I proposals should describe a specific tool or technique that can be applied in DDoS defense in the current network, and/or show how the tool or technique would address network changes that might occur in the next 3-5 years. The result is expected to include both an analysis that demonstrates the potential of the approach and proof of concept software.
PHASE II: A prototype device or software capable of deployment in medium scale organization or government agency is desired. The developed component will be delivered to DHS for piloting. The component should leverage applicable and operational best practices for the intended environment. Assertions of security should be verified by independent 3rd parties.
PHASE III: COMMERCIAL OR GOVERNMENT APPLICATIONS: Refine components from Phase II, and work with operating systems and application developers to leverage the functions the module provides. Ensure that the component meets the standards necessary for the deployment in a federal government agency or department.
Privacy Protecting Analytics for the Internet of Things
OBJECTIVE: Develop and commercialize analytic capabilities and systems to characterize information from large collections of static and mobile sensors while protecting the privacy of individuals.
DESCRIPTION: With the rapid proliferation of sensors, embedded systems, and big data analytics come a host of opportunities for improving safety and security services for the public, critical infrastructure and first responders. As embeddable sensors and sensor platforms become smaller, consume less power and are dynamically re-configurable, a variety of applications associated with awareness, prevention, mitigation and response can be developed to improve the homeland security mission and operations related to catastrophic events. For example, an embedded accelerometer can determine impact to an object, chemical sensors detect the presence of toxic gasses, and physiological sensors can communicate health status. Analysis of different sensor modalities and locations can improve the efficiency and accuracy of responsive actions. However, there are significant privacy concerns associated with such individual sensors and/or sensor readings involving locations and individuals. This effort explores systems that will make it possible to accumulate process and characterize such data in ways that are not attributable to individuals but result in analytic results that are actionable to improve public safety and security.
PHASE I: Phase I will examine the feasibility of a proposed privacy protecting system for leveraging the internet of things for public security and safety. During this phase, sensors, embedded systems and scalable architecture designs will be defined that clearly protect the privacy of individuals while producing sensor network information that is clearly actionable for public safety and security applications. Primarily, the performers will conduct an analysis of the proposed system architecture and components that are relevant to the homeland security enterprise. Although not absolutely required, for mature concepts, performers may wish to demonstrate technical feasibility of the privacy protection methods that are inherent in the proposed design. Finally, depending on system maturity, performer may prototype and/or model a proposed system and components that demonstrate their proof of concept. Required Phase I deliverables will include a technical report that outlines the proposed concept and include architecture, embedded system and sensor design requirements and choices. Included in the report will be an analysis of the proposed system and results from relevant modeling activities and if available, any experimental prototyping that reflects performance for a mutually determined operational environment that is relevant to homeland security applications.
PHASE II: In Phase II, feasible designs will be implemented and demonstrate a priority homeland security capability in an operationally relevant environment. (See the 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review 2014). Performers will demonstrate the efficacy of their design through a series of increasingly complex operations where various aspects of privacy, security, and information accuracy are communicated to the government. Progress and performance analysis of the sensors, embedded systems and architecture will be documented in the monthly technical reports. A robust prototype of the system will be developed and demonstrated using design choices that are suitable for commercialization, manufacturing and maintenance with targeted price points that are realistic relative to market demand. Demonstrations of the system will clearly communicate the privacy protection inherent in the design, scalability for large applications (greater than millions of sensors) and the value proposition created for users and responders to the overall system. Deliverables will include a demonstration for privacy officials as well as the user community, a final technical report that documents the Phase II system design, prototype sensors, embedded systems and the architecture.
PHASE III: COMMERCIAL OR GOVERNMENT APPLICATIONS: Capabilities that result from this effort will lead to increased privacy for architecture designs involving high scale sensor networks. Commercial applications are significant and include: improved traffic flow, medical treatment, and customer service. Government applications include the prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction related terrorism, situation awareness for first responders, and mass evacuation management.
A Wearable Communications Hub Designed to Streamline and Improve First Responder Communication Capabilities
OBJECTIVE: Develop a high-level, scalable next-generation architecture and prototype for an intelligent communications interface device (also referred to as a communications hub) that serves to interconnect wearable technologies (e.g., video camera, sensors, heads-up displays) and voice communication tools to an array of radio communication devices carried by a first responder.
DESCRIPTION: Today, when a highly-trained first responder arrives at an incident scene, an array of communication tools such as land mobile radio (LMR), smartphone and other available communication devices and sensors can overwhelm and distract the first responder. The objective of the communications hub is to dissolve the barrier between responders and the many available sources of critical information.
The final goal is to integrate existing and emerging communications technologies already under development and sensors into responders’ protective garments and standard equipment, making each responder a mobile, wireless communications hub and sensor platform, linked automatically to a wide-ranging mesh network. For example, a first responder could send a video clip collected at an incident scene without specifying which wireless network will be used to transmit the video clip, and be given a notification whether the video clip was successfully transmitted. With the creation of a broadband network by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), public safety will have access to another broadband network in addition to their commercial provider, resulting in the ability for first responders to move seamlessly from one network to the other. The communications hub will further improve the situational awareness of the first responders in performing their duty of saving lives and protecting property.
To enable first responders to communicate seamlessly, a next generation communications system must include the following features: multimedia (support emergency responder’s requirement for voice, data and video services); user friendly (auto detection, connection and configuration of wearable sensors and tools, including an array of available wireless communication devices); scalable (can incorporate new devices by using standard communication protocol); streamlined (automatically select the optimum communication network medium for communication); resilient (store and forward information when communication resources are congested or unavailable); ruggedized (able to withstand different extreme environmental conditions); weight and size (must be wearable in lightweight, compact enclosure); and availability (battery will support a minimum of 8 hours of emergency response operation).
PHASE I: Develop a high level concept of operations for a next generation communications hub that supports a list of the various connected wearable sensors and tools and relevant use cases. The communications hub will also include a conceptual scalable next generation architecture supporting multiple networks (e.g., LMR, Commercial as well as Public Safety Broadband, Satellite, LTE deployable, Wi-Fi, etc.) connected to existing and theoretical first responder devices, along with a section outlining the technical feasibility and potential improvement in operations. The concept should embrace a standards-based approach.
PHASE II: Develop a detailed next generation technical architecture with width backward compatibility along with identifying and proposing relevant standards, and interfaces. Develop and deliver one or more working prototype(s) and conduct a pilot(s) and/or trial(s) to evaluate the operational use of the proof of concept. Include a comprehensive security assessment.
PHASE III: COMMERCIAL OR GOVERNMENT APPLICATIONS: Based on the pilots/trials, refine the prototype for possible inclusion into the current APEX program within the First Responder Group at the DHS Science and Technology Directorate.
Total Vehicle Mobile X-Ray Scanner
OBJECTIVE: Develop a real time mobile X-Ray scanning and diagnostics device that can quickly scan an entire vehicle in near real time in order to determine if any explosive devices are present.
DESCRIPTION: Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosives Devices (VBIEDs) are the choice weapons of terrorists that threaten the security of a society. To counter this threat, the First Responders and other law enforcement personnel need Diagnostic Imaging tools to make a determination of the contents of the suspicious object without endangering the lives of the First Responders and security personnel. Current COTS (Commercially-Off-The Shelf) Mobile X-ray Scanners are truck mounted and neither suited for use in tight spaces or between parked cars to scan for vehicle bombs nor autonomous. The scanners also have a very small imaging area that makes them unsuitable for effectively scanning large objects. Screening vehicles for threats using X-Ray technology is a tedious and time consuming effort for bomb technicians. When responding to a possible vehicle bomb, a bomb technician’s current options include manually opening the vehicle or using techniques that physically intrude upon the vehicle possibly resulting in physical damage to the vehicle. Bomb technicians require a means of determining the contents of a car or truck without physically opening or breaking into the vehicle. Three-dimensional mapping of vehicle contents is also desired.
The mobile Total Vehicle X-Ray Scanner would fill this capability gap by providing bomb squads the ability to conduct rapid mobile screening of vehicles and identifying explosive threats in near real time. Images will be of diagnostic resolution able to identify the threats listed above, will be sent to a mobile control box/screen operated by a bomb technician positioned a safe distance from the scanning area. The system can be used by public safety bomb squads, law enforcement and other first responders operating at the scene to scan suspicious vehicles that have a maximum height of 83 inches. The mobile platform needs to be remotely controlled, and must be maneuverable in tight spaces. The system will also improve the safety of first responders by allowing them to remotely control the device, providing a safe distance between themselves and the target being examined.
All operations must be remotely controlled by a wireless link, an optical fiber, or an Ethernet cable. The system is battery operated and can be driven around using a standard game pad. In the event the game pad is lost or damaged, all operations including driving and deployment can be performed by keys on a laptop. The image of the scanned object is displayed real-time on the laptop screen.
This scanning system will be designed to communicate with the laptop over a standard Wi-Fi link. In situations where there is radio frequency interference, an optical fiber can be used to communicate between the laptop and the scanner. The optical fiber is provided on a spool and unwraps as the scanner drives away.
PHASE I: Conduct and deliver a feasibility study to determine the most suitable option and establish requirements for the development of a Total Vehicle X-ray Scanning device. This includes initial design drawings and a list of materials needed.
PHASE II: Develop and delivera Total Vehicle X-Ray Scanner prototype. Images must be of sufficient diagnostic quality and resolution to clearly identify all components of an IED to include power sources, detonators, circuit boards, and wires.
PHASE III: COMMERCIAL OR GOVERNMENT APPLICATIONS: The Total Vehicle Mobile X-Ray Scanner would be a commercially available tool for bomb technicians at all levels of government whether federal, state or local as well as the private sector.
Canine Mounted Track and Transmit Device
OBJECTIVE: Demonstrate canine carried low profile GPS with stabilized integrated camera, to real-time track, record and transmit canine’s path of movement.
DESCRIPTION: Develop a tracking device that will attach to a canine for the purpose of documenting the movements of the canine for court/evidence purposes or verification of area(s) that have or have not been searched by a canine during deployments (i.e., wooded areas, water deployment reference cadaver canines, search and rescue operations, large crowd deployments for PB-IED K9 operations to verify whether a canine has swept an area or not, etc.). Such a device should be able to relay information to both the handler of the canine via a wrist or forearm mounted remote monitor and a command coordination center which would allow supporting teams to track the location of the canine teams for both safety and situational awareness.
The described tracking device would need to be able to deploy in all types of weather conditions (heat, cold, wet, dry, etc.) and be able to take direct impact strikes from objects to include but not limited to obstacles a canine might encounter during deployments and suspects during criminal apprehension. The mounting of such devices should be streamlined to the canine and avoid the possibility of being entangled around certain types of obstacles during actual deployments (i.e., tree branches, shrubs, fencing, furniture, etc.). The construction of such device needs to be of a low profile configuration that is a requirement for both the safety of the canine and handler who may have to be exposed while freeing the canine from becoming entangled. The proposed device should be affixed to a mounting device (collar, harness, etc.) that could be easily and quickly attached to the canine prior to being deployed (sometimes seconds can make a difference in the apprehension of a fleeing felon so the ease of utilizing this device is a must). The information/location from such tracking device would also need to be archived and producible for court purposes.
The device should be able to record the location of evidence or other important factors observed during the deployment of canines (i.e., clothing, weapons, change in direction, origination points, end points, etc.). Law enforcement canines deploy for various reasons that consist of the apprehension of fleeing persons, lost or medically ill persons, the recovery of evidence, the detection of contraband, crowd control, search and rescue operations, recovery of persons fatally injured, etc. Having a device that would track and record information during such deployment would be instrumental in the accuracy/proficiency of such operation. Data output requires date, time and location stamping at 1 sample/second and be capable of up to 8 hours of person borne recording media and 4 hours for canine borne storage data. Video data requires up to 30 minutes of storage allowing for overwriting of data over 30 minutes. All video output must be capable of being transferred to permanent storage. Geospatial location of 20 feet for outdoors and 10 feet for indoors are required. All outputs must match commercial quality standards. Offerors are encouraged to consider all devices already on the COTS market for potential integration and applicability in meeting the requirements described above.
PHASE I: Deliverable will be a design analysis that identifies the key component technologies used in the design, the integration approach, application to the mission areas identified, and design approach to achieve real-time stabilized streaming video to both handler and remote command center. The design analysis should also detail the technical feasibility of integration of additional sensory inputs including, but not limited to, canine physiological measurements, accelerometers, audio inputs and environmental conditions.
PHASE II: Develop and deliver five complete functioning prototypes for Government test and evaluation, with at least one spare component replace module for each piece of the key technologies, i.e., tracking and recording devices. Prototypes to be sufficiently ruggedized to operate in typical conditions of canine law enforcement deployment with a streamlined deployment profile that does not increase safety risk to either the canine or handler. In addition, the Offeror shall produce a complete developmental test and evaluation report depicting the results of a prototype assessment in simulated (or actual) operational conditions.
PHASE III: COMMERCIAL OR GOVERNMENT APPLICATIONS: Deployment of a fully functional canine tracking device has diverse application throughout the Homeland Security Enterprise (HSE). Major DHS components including the Transportation Security Administration, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Secret Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Protective Service all maintain canine teams that are employed for diverse mission areas from narcotics and explosives detection, urban and rural search and rescue and traditional law enforcement patrol. There are over 16,000 non-Federal canine teams nationwide under the HSE umbrella that could have operational use of an effective tracking device. This device could be commercialized for use within the federal, state and local canine communities with a potential for use in the recreational canine community with some modification.
Mass/Shielding Anomaly Passive Detector Module
OBJECTIVE : Develop an innovative system to detect highly shielded special nuclear material (SNM) contained within Personally Owned Vehicles (POVs) through measurements of total mass, mass distribution, density, or whether it is high-Z material.
DESCRIPTION: Technology is sought to detect highly shielded special nuclear material within Personally Owned Vehicles (POV) at checkpoints, entry points, or inspections through the detection of anomalous dense masses. The proposed system should not use external sources of ionizing radiation. The technical approach will need the capability to sufficiently discriminate between potential threats and other dense masses to include, but not limited to, the engine block, fuel, and passengers contained within the POV. The sensitivity should be as such to detect anomalous dense masses in the nominal range of 50-500 kilograms. Approaches that utilize a single sensing approach or a fusion of multiple approaches are acceptable. In the proposal the following information should be provided: the technologies estimated performance in detection of mass anomalies in POVs with calculations and/or modeling, cost of implementation, and other implementation requirements such as estimated screening time. If the proposed technology provides the ability to further discriminate between various density classes such as high-z materials, then its estimated performance should also be provided. The intended use of this technology is a sensor component within a larger threat detection system that may also include radiation detection. However, the proposed system should not include radiation detectors unless radiation detectors are needed to demonstrate the goal of detection of mass anomalies.
PHASE I: Evaluate innovative technologies/components/system(s) and/or improved capabilities fusion that detect heavily shielded SNM. Phase I will determine the scientific, technical, and commercial merit and feasibility of the proposed approach. Quantification of feasibility shall be demonstrated through either validated predictive modeling or through laboratory level measurements of sensor sensitivity. The preliminary design will be reviewed to determine feasibility/viability and readiness to proceed to Phase II.
PHASE II: Evaluate the performance of potential system components leading to the best system design. The effort will then extend into building the subsystem and/or prototype so that its performance can be quantified. The approach should include system analysis that incorporates empirical laboratory measurements in a simulated operational setting to establish its effectiveness. During this Phase, the Offeror will engage with a number of potential end users to determine a range of performance requirements and translate those into evaluation criteria.
PHASE III: The prototype developed in Phase II shall be further developed to meet end user requirements and to be integrated into a full shielded SNM detection system. The prototype shall then be evaluated in a controlled operational environment to assess operational viability.
Stable Semiconductor Modules as Core Component in Pager Radiation Detectors
OBJECTIVE: To develop a semiconductor-based module for enhanced radiation detectors in pager applications. The selected semiconductor materials shall have neutron or gamma detection capability. Design and performance objectives shall satisfy or exceed the requirements set forth in the ANSI standards N42.32.
DESCRIPTION: Advances in radiation detection materials will greatly impact our present nuclear detection framework. Recent developments in semiconductor radiation detectors have provided a number of candidate materials for gamma and/or thermal neutron detection which can potentially provide low cost, high performance alternatives to the current COTS materials such as CsI and CZT for gammas and He-3 tube technology or LiI for neutrons. This topic area is soliciting efforts to further advance the state-of-the-art for materials that will be integrated into full detector devices or systems, such as personal radiation detectors (PRD's) in particular. The aspects of this topic will focus on materials and supporting technology development. The proposed approach shall also include efforts on integration of the module into a pager-based detector system. Each module should demonstrate long-term (>2 year), stable operation when controlled to operate at temperatures at or near room-temperature, but need to be able to be used in the ambient temperature ranges per the ANSI standards noted above. Materials of interest for this topic are limited to semiconductor-based technologies. Proposals submitted against this topic must address one of the following approaches listed below:
For each approach, the proposal can include one or more candidate materials.
For each approach, the proposal can include one or more candidate materials.
• Neutron-based Modules
- Material candidates for neutron-based modules for pagers can include, but are not limited to: boron-filled 3-D semiconductor structures, LiInSe2, or other neutron-sensitive, semiconductor-based compounds. Neutron intrinsic efficiencies should be greater than 50%.
• Gamma-based modules
- Material candidates for gamma-based modules for pagers can include, but are not limited to: TlBr, Tl6SeI4 and other high-Z based semiconductor compounds.
The proposed approach for each sub-topic shall include discussion on electronics for readout and signal processing and shall address improvements over the current state-of-the-art. Materials developed as part of this SBIR, when coupled with advanced processing electronics and appropriate algorithms, will improve the detection of radiological and nuclear threats, and preferentially be capable of isotope identification.
PHASE I: The Offeror will identify one material as described in the aforementioned sub-topics. The Offeror must demonstrate feasibility of the selected material towards a viable detector. Furthermore, the Offeror must provide a preliminary design of the semiconductor module and integration plans into a pager-based system. Offeror shall identify and address all critical scientific and technical issues and risks.
PHASE II: The Offeror must demonstrate the integration of the module into a pager-detection system prototype. The Offeror must provide the final design and evaluation of the prototype system and further initiate the transition of the prototype system as a commercial product, with the identification of a transition partner.
PHASE III: COMMERCIAL OR GOVERNMENT APPLICATIONS: Design and demonstration of a production line of semiconductor modules for integration into pager-detector systems.