---------- DARPA ----------

12 Phase I Selections from the 06.2 Solicitation

(In Topic Number Order)
LUNA INNOVATIONS, INC.
2851 Commerce Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(540) 552-5128
Bryan Dickerson
DARPA 06-004      Selected for Award
Title:Nanocrystal FRET Probes for Multi-Wavelength Analysis of Protein Dynamics
Abstract:Luna Innovations will demonstrate the feasibility of using a novel set of nanoparticle fluorescence resonant energy transfer (FRET) probes to monitor protein dynamics via real-time single-molecule spectroscopy. The proximity-dependent FRET-like interaction between nanoparticles would translate into time-dependent spectroscopic monitoring of changes in a protein molecule's shape. The nanoparticle emitters will meet the following probe constraints: fluorescence FWHM less than 10 nm, probe diameter less than 3 nm, photoluminescence quantum yield (PLQY) greater than 90%, suspension in water, conjugation with antibodies. Strategies for optimizing the synthesis of these nanoparticles specifically for this application will be reviewed.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES GROUP
PO Box 3390
Winter Park, FL 32790
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(407) 628-2530
Mark Koltko-Rivera,
DARPA 06-007      Selected for Award
Title:Extremely Low Attention Demand Information Systems (ELADIS)
Abstract:The U.S. military has a pressing need to increase human information throughput. The proposed research will explore the effectiveness of a method to enhance human cognitive performance, to increase information uptake. Specifically, we propose the investigation of an innovative approach to the direct enhancement of the function of the human cognitive 'hardware' through nonpharmaceutical means: neurofeedback. This proposal describes research directed at proof-of-concept regarding the enhancement of human attentional capacity in military-relevant tasks through neurofeedback (the combination of electroencephalography and operant conditioning).

SMART INFORMATION FLOW TECHNOLOGIES, (SI
211 N 1st Street
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(612) 339-7438
Chris Miller
DARPA 06-007      Selected for Award
Title:Extremely Low Attention Demand Information Systems (ELADIS)
Abstract:We bring together research from cognitive psychology, social psychology and neuroscience to create an innovative approach to enhancing recognition of facial images through brief exposure presentation. Recent research has established that such brief exposure presentations can be more effective than longer-duration presentations of the same images in achieving affective and memory effects. We rely on a principle called the `mere exposure' effect to produce an affective response which is detectable with skin conductance response or other simple sensors, and verifiable with fMRI and similarly sophisticated brain imaging techniques. Further, there is some evidence that these techniques may be able to produce not just affective or memory enhancement, but visual performance enhancement.

COUGAAR SOFTWARE, INC.
7925 Jones Branch Drive
McLean, VA 22102
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(703) 506-1700
Todd Carrico
DARPA 06-008      Selected for Award
Title:Distributed Frameworks for Dynamic Human/Agent Collaborative Problem Solving
Abstract:The objectives of this effort are to build upon the body of previous work by Cougaar Software Inc. (CSI) and University of Texas, Austin (UT) to develop a complete distributed framework for dynamic human / agent collaborative problem solving. This effort would specifically augment our current framework capabilities with key capabilities necessary to deliver a high-quality usable tool capable of achieving highly capable human / agent collaborative problem solving in complex environments and demonstrate that tool in a representative domain with real planners and reasoners. The key research objectives of this effort are to design, develop and integrate (1) a comprehensive framework for implementing distributed problem solving networks specifically geared toward maximizing the effectiveness of human / agent collaboration; (2) a suite of services and support infrastructure to enable the collaboration, cooperation and communication between human and agents actors in a dynamic system; and (3) demonstrate the feasibility of the framework and services in a limited domain problem and evaluate the issues associated with a full implementation.

INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION, INC.
15400 Calhoun Drive
Rockville, MD 20855
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(301) 294-5278
Wei Chen
DARPA 06-008      Selected for Award
Title:A Shared Intelligence Framework Targeting Flexible Human Agent Cooperative Tasks
Abstract:We present an innovative solution: a shared intelligence framework targeting flexible human agent cooperative tasks employing both prior arts and the most updated research ideas in multi-agent systems and human agent interactions. By `flexible', we mean that the level of human agent collaboration is not static; instead, it is realized through negotiated task decomposition and allocation among team members, which ensures that human experts will always be updated with an appropriate level of information and could always take control of their task assignments with the collaboration of software agents in coordinated problem solving processes. The following topics are explored in detail: the representation of team members' roles and capabilities, agents' tasks and environments, dynamic team formation and task allocation, appropriate agent architecture and multi-agent system architecture, coordination among human experts and software agents through task planning agent (TPA), coordination communication protocols, and task structure analysis for managing interdependencies among agents' tasks, and finally, the application of the aforementioned general technical solution to a military medical service scenario. The proposed flexible human agent collaboration framework will be well suited to interface with resources and external systems, such as TMIP and information systems of MV-T of future combat systems.

METRON, INC.
11911 Freedom Drive
Reston, VA 20190
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(703) 787-8700
Greg Godfrey
DARPA 06-012      Selected for Award
Title:A Computerized Third Party to Aid Distributed Logistics
Abstract:The Metron team, consisting of Metron, Inc and its consultant Mr. John Kettelle, proposes to design and develop negotiation mechanisms to aid in distributed logistics planning involving multiple government, military and commercial parties. In particular, under Phase I, we are interested in the design of what we call a Computerized Third Party (CTP), which is a secure, potentially web-based environment into which each party can enter a list of issues subject to negotiation and private value functions and constraints on those issues. The CTP can then determine whether there is "room for a deal" - a set of agreements that would be acceptable to all parties. If so, then the CTP can help guide the negotiation of a final agreement that is acceptable and as beneficial to all parties as possible in terms of sharing the excess "room" found by the system.

VCRSOFT, LLC
30W084 Capistrano Court Suite 201
Naperville, IL 60563
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(630) 527-0425
VC Ramesh
DARPA 06-012      Selected for Award
Title:Assignment Game for Distributed Logistics
Abstract:Distributed logistics problems cannot be solved using traditional centralized optimization techniques because of the autonomous nature of the entities involved. We propose to design and demonstrate a decentralized automated negotiation based approach. This game theoretic approach is implemented as a generic agent toolkit that can be customized by the domain-expert.

PROGENY SYSTEMS CORP.
9500 Innovation Drive
Manassas, VA 20110
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(703) 368-6107
John MacKay
DARPA 06-020      Selected for Award
Title:Sparse Array Applications for Small Satellites
Abstract:DARPA desires to develop innovative approaches for using a sparse array of small satellites to sense radio frequency signals. During our Phase I effort our Progeny Systems Corporation and University of Hawaii team intends to develop a technique to resolve the dynamic position problem of individual nodes in the array using precision timing synchronization. Additionally we intend to develop a technique to correlate signals across multiple elements of the RF receiver array, develop a distributed onboard processing architecture across multiple satellite nodes to minimize earth station receiver data bandwidth requirements, and to develop inter-satellite and ground to satellite link communication architectures. During Phase II we intend to test and demonstrate our design concepts using CubeSats launched into orbit as a secondary payload in an Orbital Sciences Pegasus vehicle. The CubeSat project is an international collaboration of over 40 universities, high schools, and private firms developing picosatellites containing scientific, private, and government payloads. The basic CubeSat design is a ten centimeter cube with mass of up to one kilogram.

TIME DOMAIN CORP.
7057 Old Madison Pike, Suite 250
Huntsville, AL 35806
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(256) 428-6326
Alan Petroff
DARPA 06-020      Selected for Award
Title:Sparse Array Applications for Small Satellites
Abstract:The purpose of this project is to provide a technology that enables the use of constellations of satellite based, coherent, RF sparse arrays. Such sparse arrays would have higher resolution than conventional approaches and would provide superior remote sensing capabilities at a fraction of today's cost. The key enabling mechanisms are 1) the ability to accurately measure the distance between individual satellites, and 2) the ability to distribute a coherent clock among satellites in a given constellation. Time Domain proposes to use the transmission of ultra wideband RF pulses as a means to accomplish both goals. Existing Time Domain platforms can synchronize clocks to within 5ps and can range over hundreds of meters with an accuracy of a few centimeters. This represents the current, unoptimized performance. The goal of Phase I will be to demonstrate that the technology is capable of supporting coherent clock distribution suitable for 10 GHz sparse arrays, and that satellite-to-satellite distance can be measured with an accuracy of less than a centimeter and perhaps less than a millimeter. In addition, a path to a space based experiment using Cube Satellites will be defined. A successful conclusion will lead to a space based feasibility demonstration.

EIC LABORATORIES, INC.
111 Downey Street
Norwood, MA 02062
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(781) 769-9450
Jane Bertone
DARPA 06-022      Selected for Award
Title:Explosives Detection in Residential Building Ventilation Systems
Abstract:One approach to locating illicit bomb factories in Iraq and Afghanistan is analytical monitoring within the ventilation systems of suspect residential buildings. We are proposing a multiple sensor analyzer that sequentially interrogates individual vents or ducts in such buildings and produces fingerprints characteristic of present target substances. The basic premise of this proposal is to locate sensor probes in key ducts or vents and connect them with fiber cabling to a spectral analyzer located in the attic or roof of the building. This setup would monitor a number of different locations within the building with emission of a wireless alarm report to a regional Tactical Operations Center from all online sensors every 10 to 15 minutes. We will achieve reproducible and selective detection of explosives using novel self-assembled structures that create an inherently uniform pattern, leading to rapid, reproducible manufacturing. The specific instrument we propose to analyze the sensors is a field portable spectrograph, with accompanying fiber optic probes, coupled to an accessory containing the sensing elements. Phase I work will focus on the demonstration of reproducible detection of airborne explosives using the sensors in the presence of potentially confusing interfering substances. The Phase II program will focus on quantifying the extent of fouling of the sensors due to long-term exposure to building air, developing a fieldable self-contained and powered instrument including multiplexed probes and wireless communication, and testing the sensors in mock ventilation systems.

LYNNTECH, INC.
7607 Eastmark Drive, Suite 102
College Station, TX 77840
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(979) 693-0017
Anjal Sharma
DARPA 06-022      Selected for Award
Title:Inexpensive TSP Based Reagentless Explosive Detector
Abstract:It has become imperative to counter the escalating threat of improvised explosive device attacks on our armed forces personnel deployed in foreign locations by seeking out and neutralizing local terrorist operated bomb making factories. Such factories are typically located in apartment buildings or other large dwellings, where the level of out-gassed explosive marker vapors is so small and buried within numerous confusers such as common chemicals that current detectors cannot be utilized to aid in their location. Therefore, Lynntech proposes to address this critical DOD need by fabricating three novel TSP based colorimetric sensor elements each selective for DNT, TNB and picrate, and incorporating these into an automated bench scale detector to demonstrate our capability to reagentlessly detect and quantify trace vapor phase explosives markers in the presence of common confusers such as household chemicals and matches. During Phase II, we will fabricate additional selective TSP sensor elements for other molecular explosives markers encompassing groups A through D and integrate these into a prototype compact inexpensive explosives detection device which may be placed in the HVAC system of apartment buildings. The device will be tested for reliable operation with low false positives, multiplex-ability and wireless control during Phase II.

MICROSTRUCTURE TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
604 West Evergreen
Vancouver, WA 98660
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(360) 694-3704
Joseph Birmingham
DARPA 06-022      Selected for Award
Title:Low Cost Distributed Explosive Detection Device
Abstract:Automated vapor sampling detectors could potentially provide a detection capability for high vapor pressure explosives such as nitroglycerine (NG). However, for materials such as HMX and RDX, the equilibrium vapor pressures are at least four orders of magnitude lower than conventional trinitro-toluene (TNT) explosives, making detection based on sampling of airborne vapor difficult for all of the explosives without concentration. MicroStructure Technologies (MicroST) has undertaken a mission to develop small, compact, microstructured array detectors for explosive vapors (both nitrogen and peroxide-based materials). The upstream micropillars on the microstructured array have a high surface area and the vapors are adsorbed. The laser energy is coupled by fiber optic into the microarray to desorb a concentrated pulse of concentrated explosive vapor. A Microstructured Array Sampler (MAS) with an inorganic polymer coating as a sensing element to detect the concentrated vapors. The use of the inorganic polymers for explosive detection on an air-sampling microarray for confirmation is innovative. The key innovation of the proposed approach is to use a chip-based laser to selectively desorb a concentrated energetic sample onto sensing polymers coated onto a microarray. Lastly, the alarm signal from the microarray is sent wirelessly to reveal the type of explosive detected.