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

30 Phase I Selections from the 09.3 Solicitation

(In Topic Number Order)
Star Technology and Research, Inc.
3213 Carmel Bay Drive Suite 200
Mount Pleasant, SC 29466
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(843) 856-3590
Jerome Pearson
N093-223      Awarded: 5/26/2010
Title:Extended Long Ranger
Abstract:Our innovation is a low-cost method for removing orbital debris. We propose to remove debris from medium and high Earth orbits, as well as from LEO, and do it much more cheaply than conventional rockets. Our approach uses a combination of propellantless and high-Isp propulsion and high-power solar arrays to drive a robotic vehicle with nets to capture debris objects and carry them to re-entry or to a safe storage orbit, all under positive ground control.

Wacari Group, LLC
5371 Desert Mountain Court
Boulder, CO 80301
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(303) 249-2549
Tim Kelly
N093-223      Awarded: 6/21/2010
Title:Low Cost Orbital Debris Removal System
Abstract:The proposed space tug concept proffers a cost-effective rocket stage and debris removal solution that eliminates the need for any physical contact between the spacecraft and the target object, thus eliminating costly precision control and maneuvering systems, the risks of collision with the target-object, and the possibility of elements breaking off the target-object. Furthermore, a novel and highly efficient propulsion system is proposed that should provide for exceptionally long serviceable life.

Solidica, Inc.
1194 Oak Valley Drive Suite 80
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(734) 222-4680
Urban DeSouza
DARPA 09-001      Awarded: 7/30/2010
Title:Multi-Material Structures
Abstract:Solidica proposes a new, more efficient joint design to join composite materials to steel structures. Using Ultrasonic Consolidation (UC), a low cost next generation additive manufacturing process, Solidica can build steel laminates that are later joined to the composite material through both a mechanical interlock and an adhesive bond. Using ultrasonically cold-welded foils shapes can be produced that are difficult or impossible to achieve using standard metal machining techniques. A steel joint with long metal “fingers” would be manufactured by welding layer upon layer of metallic foil. Ultimately, the foils would be built up to specified dimensions and tailored to each individual application, or possibly mass produced in stock sizes. Mechanical interlocks would be machined or physically manipulated into the metal fingers extending into the composite structure. This joint design outlined would significantly increase the usage of composite materials on ships and ground vehicles, by improving the strength of the joint and at the same time removing any worry of galvanic corrosion. The Phase I portion of this program is designed to establish and demonstrate all of the important proof-of-concept milestones required to justify the Phase II investment. Solidica will demonstrate that it is possible to reach strengths at or close to the surrounding monolithic materials and that it is possible to avoid galvanic corrosion issues associated with carbon steel joints.

Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc.
9063 Bee Caves Road
Austin, TX 78733
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(512) 263-2101
Harry Perkinson
DARPA 09-001      Awarded: 7/30/2010
Title:Multi-Material Structures
Abstract:The use of graphite fiber reinforced composite materials in Navy ship applications has a number of potential benefits that can be attributed to the material’s high specific strength and stiffness. However, graphite fiber can form a galvanic cell with the steel structure, especially at the joints between the composite and steel, promoting corrosion that degrades both the composite and the steel. Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc. (TRI/Austin) has a proven COTS technology for preventing galvanic corrosion between dissimilar metals in marine applications that is based on the use of a dielectric barrier in the joint. This TRI/Austin patented technology offers a means to produce a lightweight, corrosion resistant, structurally robust graphite composite-to-steel joint. The technology is readily adapted to the manufacture of adhesive or mechanical composite-to-steel joints. Mechanical fasteners can be corrosion proofed as well. In that galvanic corrosion is a major cause of failure in adhesively bonded metals, the proposed technology can lead to robust, durable adhesive composite-to-metal joints for ship applications. The use of the proposed technology will permit the extensive use of graphite reinforced composite material structures on Navy vessels without the concern for galvanic corrosion between the graphite fiber and the ship’s steel.

AlphaSense, Inc.
28 Hillstream Road
Newark, DE 19711
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(302) 294-0116
Pengcheng Lv
DARPA 09-002      Awarded: 6/17/2010
Title:A Handheld Sensor for Amorphous Coating Integrity Evaluation
Abstract:Under the DARPA sponsored Naval Advanced Amorphous Coating (NAAC) program, a novel, thermal sprayed amorphous metal coating has been developed. Such a coating has demonstrated superior mechanical and corrosion resistance properties. Although the coating is designed to be life-of-ship, the application and operational conditions may compromise the integrity of the coating. For example, the application parameters may not be appropriate to produce a fully amorphous structure. Overspray/unmelted particles can leave embedded oxide or particles within the coating, which will lead to coating surface corrosion. Even if the amorphous coating is successfully applied, the coating microstructure and the interconnect porosity may lead to a degraded coating/substrate interface, affecting the coating integrity. In this proposal, AlphaSense, Inc. (AI) and the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) detail the development of a novel noninvasive microwave sensor to evaluate the integrity of amorphous metal coating in real time. With our approach, the merits of the proposed sensor and its advantages over other techniques include: a) Rugged, handheld and low cost, b) Sensitive for defect detection, c) Capable of detecting defects in different forms, d) Noninvasive, e) Real- time analysis capability, and f) Easy and safe to the operators.

ReliaCoat Technologies, LLC
25 Health Sciences Drive. Box 324 Long Island Hi-Tech Incubator
Stony Brook, NY 11790
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(631) 721-5305
Wanhuk Choi
DARPA 09-002      Awarded: 6/15/2010
Title:In-Situ Sensors and Non-Destructive Examination Tools to Assess Integrity of Thermal Sprayed Amorphous Coatings on Ship Decks
Abstract:ReliaCoat Technologies, LLC a spin-off from Stony Brook University in partnership with Argonne, Sandia and Praxair TAFA, proposes a two pronged approach to address requirements of developing coating integrity monitoring tools for thermal sprayed amorphous corrosion and wear resistant coatings. For successful implementation of these coatings on ship-deck surfaces, it is critical ensure that coating deposition is optimized to eliminate “extrinsic” defects such as porosity, cracks and delamination and to prevent their occurrence during service. Of further importance is maintaining the amorphous structure within the coating both as-deposited and in-service. For effective implementation of non-destructive coating examination (NDE) tools, correlations are envisaged through this SBIR partnership between intrinsic coating characteristics (residual stresses, modulus, adhesion) and potential monitoring tools such as thermal imaging tomography. ReliaCoat will benchmark NDE tools by first employing its in situ coating property sensor to characterize key features of optimized and non-optimized coatings (including its evolution) and subject them to a battery of NDE tests so that the most appropriate system can be selected. The coatings will also be subjected to accelerate laboratory degradation and reanalyzed to determine the measurement sensitivity on degraded coatings. A frame work for implementation on ship deck will also be developed.

Perceptronics Solutions, Inc.
3527 Beverly Glen Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(818) 788-1025
Gershon Weltman
DARPA 09-003      Awarded: 2/5/2010
Title:Stress Resilience Training System (SRTS) for Inoculating the Warfighter
Abstract:This proposal is to develop the research, theoretical, and technical basis for an innovative Stress Resilience Training System (SRTS) to inoculate the warfighter against the adverse effects of stress -- both during exposure and in the post traumatic situation. Our scientific and technical approach is based on our own research, our present analysis of the literature, and the practical experience of our team members. Our key working hypotheses are that: (1) It is feasible to minimize the adverse effects of stress during combat and other traumatic exposure by a well designed program of (a) indoctrination and cognitive training to anticipate the effects of stress, and (b) advanced biofeedback to mitigate stress effects and aftereffects; (2) Minimizing the adverse effects of stress at the time of exposure will help prevent the occurrence of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); (3) State-of-the-art personal assistance systems such as the ubiquitous iPhone can provide new means for delivering training and practice to the warfighter that can greatly enhance the effectiveness of the techniques by permitting on-the-spot refreshment and practice. With subcontractor Ease Interactive, the Perceptronics Solutions team has the know-how and experience to translate the results of this project into widespread market acceptance and sales.

The Virtual Reality Medical Center
6155 Cornerstone Court East Suite 210
San Diego, CA 92121
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(858) 642-0267
Mark Wiederhold
DARPA 09-003      Awarded: 3/19/2010
Title:Virtual Reality Stress Inoculation Training for Combat Medics and Others In High-Risk Military Occupations
Abstract:This proposal will leverage recent and current projects led or co-led Drs. Mark and Brenda Wiederhold of The Virtual Reality Medical Center (VRMC) to mitigate or prevent stress-related disorders as a consequence of participation in military operations. These projects include developing objective pre- and post-deployment predictors of PTSD, testing pre-deployment resiliency interventions, and stress inoculation training (SIT) validation and longitudinal tracking. These assessments and interventions complement current Battlemind concepts and resources (www.battlemind.org). The effort will conduct research to identify and evaluate a multi-modal approach to providing effective psychological combat resilience. The technical challenge will be to develop a comprehensive potential solution that will combine neuro-pharmacological approaches that will inoculate against the damaging neural effects of stress pre-traumatic exposure or prevent the harmful changes in neural function post-traumatic exposure. We will focus on a cognitive approach that emphasizes resilience building through a controlled stress exposure intervention (e.g. immersion in VR), with planned validation through both physiological and biochemical testing. The desired research outcome is a capability that demonstrably reduces the prevalence of combat stress injuries in military personnel.

Management Sciences, Inc.
6022 Constitution Avenue NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(505) 255-8611
Kshanti Greene
DARPA 09-004      Awarded: 2/8/2010
Title:Massively Distributed Problem-Solving (MDPS)
Abstract:We propose a unique system for massively distributed social problem-solving that will enable large groups of individuals to form solutions to complex, multi-factor problems. Our minimalist framework, called the ePluribus Solver, will leverage the viral nature of communication in existing social networks to engage individuals in the problem solving process and allow them to develop their own emergent processes. The ePluribus Solver enables users to decompose complex problems into their component parts and work on these parts asynchronously, and then recomposes the parts to form a collective solution from the input of many problem-solvers. The ePluribus Solver will manage the problem solving process made more complex by its large-scale social aspect, while allowing the humans to do what they do best- reasoning. We leverage a Blackboard system developed Management Sciences to form the distributed, asynchronous problem-solving foundation, enabling us to concentrate on the high-risk social aspects of the proposed system. The Technosocial Predictive Analytics initiative at Pacific Northwest National Labs joins our team to provide an interface to their gaming engine that will increase the engagement and exploratory capabilities of our human problem-solvers. The University of New Mexico will develop algorithms to combine the contributions of many diverse individuals.

Smart Information Flow Technologies, d/b
211 N 1st St. Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(612) 789-0559
Dan Thomsen
DARPA 09-004      Awarded: 2/8/2010
Title:PARCEL: Planning And Rewards for Community Enabled Learning
Abstract:SIFT proposes the PARCEL technology to establish a knowledge economy for solving hard problems that require thousands of participants. PARCEL rewards participants with a combination of altruism, recognition, competition and monetary rewards. PARCEL provides a collaboration environment that integrates many existing open source and social networking tools to ensure efficient use of participant's time. Underneath the user interface, the PARCEL engine manages all the housekeeping tasks. Furthermore the PARCEL engine enables knowledge matching to aid the current problem by finding relevant past solutions and experts. PARCEL presents a human driven approach that focuses human effort on the problem solving. PARCEL contains innovative tools to inspire, aid collaboration and motivate people to solve problems beyond the scope of today’s tools.

Kinea Design, LLC
1711-1 Darrow Ave
Evanston, IL 60201
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(847) 864-1005
Julio Santos-Munné
DARPA 09-005      Awarded: 6/22/2010
Title:Tactile Detection Robotic Hand System
Abstract:By any measure, the human hands and brain form a remarkable system for perception and manipulation. Of particular interest to us is the ability to perform tactual stereognosis: i.e., to identify objects by touch. In a landmark study, Lederman and Klatzky (1987) showed that stereognosis is subserved by a set of stereotypical “exploratory procedures” (EP) such as enclosure for shape, static contact for temperature, lateral motion for texture, unsupported holding for weight, etc. Moreover, they showed that EPs are accessed hierarchically because they differ in terms of their duration and breadth of sufficiency for identification. Lederman and Klatzky proposed that these findings could form the basis of a computational theory of haptics. Our approach to this project will be deeply integrative. For example, we do not see it as adequate to add an artificial skin to existing hand hardware. Instead, it is necessary to carefully plan and integrate the mechanical behavior of the hand, the mechanical and sensing properties of the skin, and the structure of the software control. In particular, we are guided by four organizing principles: 1) Compliance is essential, 2) Prior information is essential, 3) Hierarchy of Exploratory Procedures, and 4) Tradeoff of Spatial and Temporal Frequencies.

SynTouch LLC
2222 South Figueroa Ave. PH23
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(213) 477-0710
Nicholas Wettels
DARPA 09-005      Awarded: 2/16/2010
Title:Tactile Detection Robotic Hand System
Abstract:We have developed a robust, multimodal tactile sensing technology that has similar sensitivities and mechanical properties to the human fingertip. We will incorporate these sensing modules into a mechatronic anthropomorphic robot hand and develop computer software to perform exploratory behaviors and discriminate objects based on sensory feedback. This sensor is based on a biomimetic design and strategies. The world is full of tools and objects for which the human hand seems ideally suited. Not only is the human hand a highly evolved solution to many difficult problems, but the world has evolved to accommodate its strengths and weaknesses. Much of the emphasis on biomimetic design of robotic hands to date has concerned the mechanical linkages – the location and nature of rigid segments, articulations between them and linkages to actuators (bones, joints and tendons, respectively). But such anthropomorphism is no guarantee of success; achieving functionality such as dexterous manipulation will require the addition of sensors and sensorimotor control algorithms, which should also benefit from biomimetic design.

Perceptronics Solutions, Inc.
3527 Beverly Glen Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(818) 788-4830
Amos Freedy
DARPA 09-006      Awarded: 2/1/2010
Title:Multiagent Autonomous Reasoning System (MAARS) for Satellite Defense
Abstract:In this document, we propose to carry out the research and development required to establish a distributed multi-agent system that will provide planning and execution capabilities that is aimed at protecting U.S. space capabilities against offensive space technologies. The uncertainty in detection and potential impact of offensives and their corresponding defenses, communication/time limitations and the highly sensitive nature of the decisions to be made are some of the major challenges of this application domain. To address these issues, our approach is based on two main components: Team’s Reshaping of Models for Rapid Execution (TREMOR) planning algorithm that is based on Distributed Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes (Dis-POMDPs) and also Adjustable Autonomy (AA). University of Southern California (USC)’s TeamCore research group has extensive experience with distributed multi-agent planning algorithms and Perceptronics has been developing systems that apply these algorithms and many other planning and execution approaches in a wide variety of domains with varying levels of autonomy and human intervention. We are confident that uncertainty handling in TREMOR and AA’s elegant handling of human intervention, along with the addition of team level plans and sensitivity analysis of potential defense actions, will be able to address all characteristics of our application domain.

Smart Information Flow Technologies, d/b
211 N 1st St. Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(612) 325-9314
David Musliner
DARPA 09-006      Awarded: 2/1/2010
Title:SAT-CIRCA: Verifiable Real-Time Autonomy for Satellites
Abstract:On-board autonomy for satellite defense poses significant challenges to today’s planning and execution technology, including mission-critical performance, hard real-time deadlines, and limited computational resources. To meet these challenges, SIFT proposes to build SAT-CIRCA: an integrated, verifiable architecture for real-time satellite response planning and execution. In previous research, we have developed the Cooperative Intelligent Real-time Control Architecture (CIRCA), including a planning system uniquely capable of reasoning about adversarial domains, building reactive real-time plans for those domains, and using formal verification techniques to prove that its plans will guarantee system safety while also making best efforts to achieve mission goals. In this project, we propose to integrate the CIRCA reaction planning system with NASA’s most advanced technologies for verifiable onboard plan execution, the Plan Execution Interchange Language (PLEXIL) and the Universal Executive (UE). PLEXIL is a uniform plan representation with formal semantics that is well-suited to formal verification methods. The UE is a very compact plan executive that NASA researchers designed from the ground up to meet the challenges of spacecraft control, including limited computational resources and reliable, verifiable execution. The UE has been proven to enforce the semantics of PLEXIL using formal software analysis methods. Together, PLEXIL and the UE provide a way to reify CIRCA’s guarantees. That is, SAT-CIRCA will use CIRCA’s reaction planner to build plans in PLEXIL and execute them using the UE, thus guaranteeing that the UE will enforce the guarantees that CIRCA planned. SAT-CIRCA will be the first onboard autonomous satellite system capable of reasoning about its hazardous environment and guaranteeing to keep the system safe if at all possible.

Aptima, Inc.
12 Gill Street Suite 1400
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(781) 496-2456
Shawn Weil
DARPA 09-007      Awarded: 9/3/2010
Title:Automated Collaboration Collection & Relationship Understanding Environment
Abstract:Operations centers used for incident response, tactical military activities, and air traffic management can all be characterized as having multiple teams of individuals, each with defined responsibilities, interacting with people and systems within and outside of their organization to enable continuous mission success. Effective coordination and collaboration is critical in these organizations; however, there is as yet no established sensor and analysis technology employed widely that formally captures/represents interactions and allows analysis of coordination. ACCRUE, the Automated Collaboration Collection & Relationship Understanding Environment is envisioned to meet this need. A model of interaction can be developed by construing existing communication tools, such as e-mail and text chat, as sensors of interaction. This model can be enhanced further by incorporating data from wearable sensors which measure face-to-face contact, thereby capturing and representing all critical interactions. Pattern matching algorithms can then be used to identify interactions in the modeled interactions that might be clear exemplars of key coordination activities or indicators of dysfunction. This will allow analysts, trainers, operations officers, and researchers (1) a window into team processes and (2) a systematic mechanism for investigating and interpreting those processes.

Charles River Analytics Inc.
625 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(617) 491-3474
Mike Farry
DARPA 09-007      Awarded: 2/8/2010
Title:A System for Automated Real-time Collaboration Assessment for Distributed Environments (ARCADE)
Abstract:As mission needs evolve, specialties and resources can be brought to bear through cross-agency or coalition collaborations. Each collaborator who joins the team brings along his or her training, doctrine, and processes, which introduces collaboration challenges. An automated capability to assess the effectiveness of collaboration in real time would help to ensure that command teams are collaborating optimally. The key challenge in that capability, however, is making the links from measurable data to effective collaborative performance. To provide that automated collaboration performance capability, we propose to design and demonstrate a system for Automated Real-time Collaboration Assessment for Distributed Environments (ARCADE). Four core components characterize our approach. First, we will conduct a requirements analysis to determine the needs of collaborating command teams. Second, we will design a Performance Assessment Fusion Framework, taking a multimodal, task-independent approach. Third, we will design a set of automated Performance Analysis Techniques to capture communication using wireless sensors and digital capture of electronic communication. These techniques will leverage statistical analysis, NLP, and linguistic style to assess trends and content across modalities of communication, and calculate performance criteria. Fourth, we will design a User Interface to enable command teams to review their collaborative performance.

Boulder Nonlinear Systems, Inc.
450 Courtney Way, Unit 107
Lafayette, CO 80026
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(303) 604-0077
HUGH MASTERSON
DARPA 09-008      Awarded: 3/22/2010
Title:Novel Non-mechanical Liquid Crystal based Foveated Imaging System
Abstract:A novel foveated imaging technology is proposed, suitable for integration into an urban surveillance system. The proposed technology has no moving parts has low power requirements and requires a single imaging camera. The technology exploits the beam steering capabilities of liquid crystal polarization gratings (LCPGs) which diffract light only into the m=±1 orders according to the handedness of incident circular polarization which is controlled by switchable halfwave plates. The LCPGs steer the high field angles into the axial direction of a lens train where a high resolution image is produced. Field angles simultaneously steered into off-axis directions produce a blurred image region due to lens aberrations. A second LCPG stack and lenses re-image and re-steer the object field to the image plane reversing grating dispersion and image shift. The result is a static image field with a moveable foveated region. The technology is suitable for wide angle imaging as the lens aberrations do not have to be corrected for high angles. The system is integrated with a hemispherical mirror to capture a 360°X20° field of regard. A 10x foveated region zoom is provided by additional small diameter axial lenses. Polarization independent operation is possible using a two arm system.

FiveFocal LLC
1035 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(720) 238-7309
Kenny Kubala
DARPA 09-008      Awarded: 2/22/2010
Title:Compact high performance 360 degree foveated imaging systems
Abstract:There is a strong need for improved panoramic imaging and situational awareness for many military and commercial systems. Security and border patrol systems demand greater panoramic viewing with the ability to zoom into potential threats for identification. Most importantly, improved situational awareness will help to protect our soldiers especially in complex battlefields such as urban environments. Although 360 degree situation awareness systems exist today, they have unacceptable size, weight and cost and also limited performance. This proposal is aimed at addressing these weaknesses through an innovative new system architecture that promises to deliver a high performance, compact system with constant 360 degree monitoring and zoom capability for threat identification.

Ziva Corporation
6440 Lusk Blvd D-107
San Diego, CA 92121
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(858) 458-1860
Aaron Birkbeck
DARPA 09-008      Awarded: 2/22/2010
Title:Foveated Vision Technologies
Abstract:Ziva Corporation proposes to develop and demonstrate an innovative ultra-wide field of view imaging system that incorporates foveated zoom capability and is fabricated without having multiple cameras, bulky gimbals, or large mechanically moving parts. Ziva has developed under IR&D a unique catadioptric optical system that incorporates a wide-angle “fish-eye” lens and adaptive optical elements for the purpose of enabling rapid, wide field of view (WFOV) optical foveation and zoom capability in real-time with very low weight, volume and power. Ziva’s catadioptric foveated zoom optical system is unique because it: • Can rapidly foveate on any region in the 360° FOV without loss of overall contextual information • Allows ATR (automatic target recognition) capability at 5X distance without 20X more pixels • Enables tracking of multiple moving targets incorporating visible and infrared wavelengths at frame-rate speeds (1/30 sec.) • Utilizes 10X lower SWaP (Size, Weight, and Power) vs. electric motors, which translates to 10X longer duration of imaging motes • Employs a unique adaptive optics approach that enables 10X resolution enhancement over entire FOV • Optical design provides extendibility in foveated wavelength resolution from visible to IR (up to ~3um depending on the detector type)

Electrooptic Technologies and Applicatio
4729 Shadwell Place
San Diego, CA 92130
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(858) 245-3285
Pang-chen Sun
DARPA 09-010      Awarded: 2/1/2010
Title:High Sensitivity/Throughput Biosensor for Bioagent Detection and Identification
Abstract:The proliferation of the contagious Bioagents (BAs) and its lag feature (time lagged between a biological attack and the appearance of symptoms) requires very high sensitivity instruments for early detection of such threats. The complex and rapidly changing environmental background would inhibit accurate identification of the lethal BAs therefore cause an increase of the false-alarm rate. Consequently, bio-sensors that provide very high degree of specificity are essential and highly desirable. The fast response rate of the sensing instrument is another important factor in order to reduce the casualty and the area of containment. In addition to these challenges, making such biological sensor instrument more compact and have user-friendly interface is also critical for battle field operation. Recent advances in bioassay (bio-chips) technology have opened a great opportunity for developing a novel compact bio-sensor microsystem that addresses and overcomes above challenges . The High Throughput Screening (HTS) immunoassay technology can now be used as an effective sensing mechanism for massive biological agent detections. Specifically, using a large matrix of various receptors in a high throughput nanosensor array combined with advanced detection methods and signal analysis will enable construction of BA sensor instrument with characteristics necessary for military systems applications.

Real-Time Analyzers
362 Industrial Park Road Suite #8
Middletown, CT 06457
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(860) 635-9800
Frank Inscore
DARPA 09-010      Awarded: 2/8/2010
Title:A Chip-Scale Sensor for High-Throughput Detection of Multiple Waterborne Pathogens
Abstract:The overall goal of this proposed program (through Phase III) is to develop a chip-scale assay that can detect, identify, and quantify the presence of Category A (or B) bioagents in water at the required sensitivity (e.g. 400 B. anthracis spores or 15 µg of ricin per liter water) within 10 minutes. During the Phase I program feasibility will be demonstrated by 1) functionalizing silver particles to specifically bind B. anthracis-Sterne and 2) detecting the capture event by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). During the Phase II program, a prototype will be designed built and tested, with superior weight, size and power in mind for integration into military equipment during the transition phase. The initial part of the Phase III transition phase will involve validation tests of Category A pathogens at the US Army’s Edgwood Chem Bio Center to bring the prototype to a technology transition level of 6.

Resonant Sensors Incorporated
416 Yates Street, NH518, Box 19016
Arlington, TX 76010
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(817) 300-8297
Debra Wawro
DARPA 09-010      Awarded: 2/16/2010
Title:Compact photonic sensor system for rapid biological threat detection
Abstract:The objective of this work is development of a new sensor system to rapidly detect and diagnose biological threats to the public, including microbial and toxic agents. A unique, new photonic resonance sensor concept implemented with subwavelength waveguide gratings is applied to monitor each detection event in real-time. Due to inherent polarization diversity, multiple resonance peaks shift their positions in angle when a bioreaction occurs, thereby providing cross-referenced data and protection against false positives. This label-free technology can be applied in complex biological samples, such as food products and water sources. It does not require extensive processing steps, thus simplifying assay tests and enabling a rapid response. The biochip detection system connects to portable computer interfaces for data acquisition and analysis by dedicated software codes. The research proposed will accomplish design, fabrication, testing, and verification of a prototype sensor for microbial and toxic agents. Commercial applicability of the technology is high relative to competing products. The basic sensor can be fashioned into ultra compact, dense arrays for simultaneous monitoring of multiple biological species as planned for Phase II.

Magnolia Optical Technologies,Inc.
52-B Cummings Park Suite 314
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(781) 503-1200
Ashok Sood
DARPA 09-011      Awarded: 2/16/2010
Title:Design and Development of High Performance UV Imaging Focal Plane Arrays
Abstract:Magnolia Proposes to design, optimize and demonstrate small-pixel Gallium Nitride based Ultraviolet (UV) Avalanche Photo Diodes (APD) for solar blind UV imaging and applications. As part of the proposed phase I effort, we will model the sensor performance with detector size of approximately five (5) microns unit cell size and also ranging from as large as 30 um to 5um unit cells. We will model read-out integrated circuit (ROIC) designs consistent with state of the art imaging array technology, establishing the basis for mega-pixel UV arrays. Magnolia plans to demonstrate state of the art small pixel UV APD’s that have low noise and high gain. We propose to use MOCVD growth technique to fabricate GaN / AlGaN based UV APD’s. We also plan to develop Read-out integrated circuit (ROIC) design that will allow for efficient injection of charge from the detector and with the characteristics associated with state of the art imaging with low noise and high dynamic range.

MP Technologies, LLC
1801 Maple Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(847) 491-7208
Ryan McClintock
DARPA 09-011      Awarded: 2/1/2010
Title:AlGaN based detectors for Solar Blind Focal Plane Arrays
Abstract:The overall objective of the proposed project is to develop the feasibility of large format solar-blind focal plane arrays (FPAs) based on wide band-gap III-Nitride based optoelectronic sensor elements hybridized to silicon based read-out integrated circuits (ROICs). MP Technologies and the proposed subcontractor (the Center for Quantum Devices at Northwestern University) have already demonstrated themselves in the areas of III-Nitride optoelectronic devices and III-V semiconductor based focal plane arrays. The goal of Phase I is to take our existing AlGaN based detector capabilities and pursue necessary improvements in order to target a mega-pixel FPA compatible pixel size of between 5 to 25 micron. Extensive evaluation of commercially available read-out integrated circuits (ROICs) for use with III-Nitride solar-blind imaging will also be performed in order to develop a detector designs compatible with the ROIC specifications. This will then be used to predict the performance of any large-format camera that will be demonstrated in Phase II.

Physical Optics Corporation
Photonic Systems Division 20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg. 100
Torrance, CA 90501
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(310) 320-3088
Gennady Medvedkin
DARPA 09-011      Awarded: 7/27/2010
Title:Ultraviolet Focal Plane Array Detector
Abstract:To address the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) need for a focal plane array solar-blind UV imaging detector and readout integrated circuit designs, establishing the basis for megapixel UV arrays, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new UV Focal Plane Array (FOCAR) photodetector. This proposed device is based on megapixel silicon microchannel technology and integration with state- of-the-art CMOS detector-readout on-chip technology. The innovation in a high-quantum- efficiency, solar-blind, variable wide-gap photocathode and integrated CMOS sensor will enable the acquisition of two-dimensional projection data for UV imaging. As a result, this device offers small-size megapixel photodetector arrays with improved surface control, increased quantum efficiency, a high signal-to-noise ratio (>10), an integrated ROIC detector-readout, high response uniformity (better than 10%) across large areas, and high dynamic range (70-90 dB), which directly address the DARPA acquisitions program requirements. In Phase I, POC will demonstrate the feasibility of UV FOCAR by developing a small pixel size (~5 µ) prototype UV detector array, evaluating its characteristics, and comparing experimental results with a theoretical model. In Phase II, POC plans to demonstrate a UV imaging focal plane array with a format 64×64 or larger, and a CMOS readout integrated circuit concept.

RAM Photonics
13689 Winstanley Way
San Diego, CA 92130
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(732) 213-3872
Igor Djokovic
DARPA 09-012      Awarded: 2/1/2010
Title:Fast, Narrow Linewidth Near Infrared (NIR) / Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) Scanner
Abstract:Rapid tuning of narrowband sources is inherently limited by the number of roundtrips required in the high-Q cavity, which is required for generation of a narrow lasing linewidth. We propose to break the cavity tuning/linewidth barrier presented by conventional reconfiguration of the physical cavity itself. In our proposed configuration, the linewidth, scanning speed, and tuning range are decoupled in a practical and realizable design using technology block similar to those that have been previously demonstrated. In this program, we will perform in-depth computational modeling, based on proven theoretical frameworks, that will be quantitatively validated and benchmarked by experiments in a state-of-the-art research facility. Successful completion of this program will result in calculation of the ultimate performance limitations of the proposed design, derivation of the engineering rules governing practical NIR/SWIR operation, and a baseline design for a Phase II program.

LATEL CORPORATION
2850 Horizon Ridge Parkway SUITE 200
Henderson, NV 89052
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(702) 425-3952
Eugene Chen
DARPA 09-013      Awarded: 2/8/2010
Title:Inexpensive, Portable Sensors for Chemical-Biological Agent Detection
Abstract:In modern battlespace, deployment of chemical and biological agents by our adversaries is a threat that needs to be addressed. These agents are cheap to manufacture and easily available. Their effects can be devastating to our troops. Detecting chemical and biological agents often require bulky equipment in a laboratory. Identifying the agents could take many minutes in such facilities. A more effective approach is to design and develop a low-cost portable sensor for detection of probable chemical and biological agents that our adversaries could deploy. Latel Corporation proposes to develop sensors for detecting chemical-biological agents by application of several promising and novel technologies: (1) Ion Mobility Spectrometry; (2) Fluorescence Analysis; (3) Vibrational Spectroscopy; and (4) Nanotechnology. Each of these technologies has some unique features and capabilities for chemical-biological agent detection. A combination of 2 or more of these technologies into one portable sensor would be a breakthrough in chemical sensing methodology.

Princeton Nanotechnology Systems LLC
11 Deer Park Drive Suite 102-I
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(732) 355-9550
Richard Skibo
DARPA 09-013      Awarded: 2/16/2010
Title:Low Cost Continuous Wave Terahertz Spectrometer for Chemical-Biological Agent Detection
Abstract:We are proposing a continuous wave terahertz (THz-CW) spectroscopy system, composed of highly cost effective 1.55µ diode lasers derived from the telecommunications industry, in conjunction with photoconductive switch devices and antennas fabricated from InGaAs grown on InP substrates, coupled with a sensitive heterodyne detection system that is orders of magnitude more sensitive than the more common THz time domain spectrometry (THz-TDS) systems that exist today. The low cost THz-CW system will detect a wide range of analytes, ranging from biologicals and chemicals, through low vapor pressure chemical residues left by “fingerprints” on external surfaces by clandestine deployment, as well as trace vapor products from the deployed terror devices, which may have been covered by uncontaminated dust or debris, either purposefully or by normal traffic. This breakthrough technology device, including next-generation, ultra low power, FPGA-based DSP logic, advanced classifiers such as Support Vector Machines, Independent Component Analysis, and neural network analysis and integration subsystems, provides evolutionary leaps in sensor technology suitable for ubiquitous low cost distribution in domestic and military venues. The system will be field updateable and reconfigurable to address evolving threats, and will also serve as a development platform to other researchers for developing algorithms and techniques.

LYTEC LLC
1940 ELK RIVER DAM RD P. O. BOX 1581
TULLAHOMA, TN 37355
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(931) 393-4500
JOHN LINEBERRY
DARPA 09-014      Awarded: 8/9/2010
Title:A Novel MHD Power Generation and Energy Storage Concept for Re-Entry Vehicles
Abstract:An innovate re-entry power system is proposed for development which collects the re- entry energy for a vehicle/module entering the atmosphere for LEO using an MHD power generator that is configured on the exterior surface of the vehicle nose to utilize the heated air sheath as the plasma for promoting the MHD power process. The MHD power produced is collect in an internal energy storage system that will dispense the energy to a deployable pod for a subsequent lower atmosphere tactical flight mission. Phase I will assess and qualify the MHD power system which has been pre-defined from earlier work for this specific re-entry tactical mission application. Phase I will also perform engineering and trade studies on energy storage technologies to down select a single technology or multiple technologies in combination which best suits the tactical mission requirements of minimum size and weight and high specific energy. Phase I will conclude a preliminary overall power system concept inclusive of defining its integration into a standard re-entry vehicle fairing. The results of Phase I will be assembled to provide direction for a Phase II follow-on focused at research and development of the overall power system including definition of need system laboratory demonstrations.

Physical Sciences Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 689-0003
Hartmut Legner
DARPA 09-014      Awarded: 6/1/2010
Title:Re-Entry Energy Scavenging Storage System (REESSS)
Abstract:PSI proposes an innovative approach to harvesting the large kinetic energy available during the re-entry of flight modules. The ability to capture a significant fraction of this energy depends upon the type of the re-entry trajectory. Energy capture for high Beta vehicles occurs at low altitude whereas the opposite occurs for large, blunt low Beta vehicles. It is also important to capture the energy from the external flow past the vehicle rather than the thermal energy due to heating. Consequently, MHD appears to offer the optimum energy harvesting approach. MHD energy collection method requires high velocity for large power generation and potential trajectory shaping to maintain good collection efficiency. The focus of the Phase I effort is to perform a detailed trade-space analysis in order to determine optimum performance features taking re-entry flight, collection method, energy storage and applications into account. The trade-off study will also point to effective sub-scale demonstrations that will be undertaken during the Phase II effort.