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16 Phase I Selections from the 11.1 Solicitation

(In Topic Number Order)
Physical Optics Corporation
Photonic Systems Division 20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg. 100
Torrance, CA 90501
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(310) 320-3088
Gregory Zeltser
CBD 11-101      Selected for Award
Title:Spores Viability Detection System
Abstract:There is an urgent need for a rapid biological detection system that demonstrates the efficacy of decontamination products for inactivating Bacillus anthracis spores on environmental surfaces. To address the U.S. Army/CBD need for such a fieldable, rapid, NIST-certified, quantitative bio-indicator system, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Spores Viability Detection (SVD) system that consists of (1) spore strips made of different materials that are inoculated with Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam spores and (2) a hand-held fluorometer. The SVD system will be a fieldable, rapid (35 min), sensitive, reproducible tool for assessment of the viability of decontaminated indicator spores in an easy-to-perform three-step assay protocol. In Phase I, POC will demonstrate the feasibility of the SVD system by developing a reproducible spore preparation protocol that meets the Army/CBD requirements, fabricating a fieldable fluorometer prototype, and demonstrating its ability to quantitatively measure live/dead spores after viability staining. In Phase II, POC plans to optimize the SVD system design and performance parameters including sensitivity and accuracy of the fluorometer and development of spore strips made of different materials that are inoculated with 6, 7, and 8 logs of the spores.

TRITON SYSTEMS, INC.
200 TURNPIKE ROAD
CHELMSFORD, MA 01824
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 250-4200
Yoojeong Kim
CBD 11-101      Selected for Award
Title:Rapid, Quantitative Biological Indicator System with Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam Spores(1001-677)
Abstract:Biological agents pose high threats, because they are invisible and odorless and a relatively small amount can infect a large population when released in a densely populated area. For the same reasons, assuring safety after cleaning decontaminated sites can be challenging. Currently available technologies require considerable labor, and results typically cannot be obtained before 24 ˇV 48 hours up to 7 days. Therefore, a system that can detect the effectiveness at a shorter period in a less labor-intensive manner can lessen the burdens of decontamination. Desired traits for such a system are: 1) suitable simulants for B. anthracis spores, 2) various materials for spore strips, 3) simple and rapid, 4) quantitative, and 5) portable. Our rapid and quantitative biological indicator system with B. thuringiensis spore strips will assess the viability of the spores quantitatively within 1 ˇV 3 hours. The materials for spore strips will have various porosities and hydrophobicities. We expect that the size of the system will be 30 cm (W) „e 25 cm (D) „e 10 cm (H) with the weight around 3 kg. The power consumption should be less than 150 W.

Lumilant, Inc.
51 East Main Street, Suite 203
Newark, DE 19711
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(302) 456-9003
Ahmed Sharkawy
CBD 11-102      Selected for Award
Title:Narrowband Perfect Absorber using Metamaterials
Abstract:Hyperspectral imaging systems acquire the spatial and spectral information of the image scene simultaneously, and thus find important applications in remote sensing, military surveillance, and target identification. Most contemporary hyperspectral imaging systems operate at UV/VIS/NIR (ultra violet/visible/near infrared) spectrums. However, in many cases, especially in military applications, (hyper)-spectral sensing in the longer wavelengths range, such as middle wavelength IR (MWIR) or long wavelength IR (LWIR) spectrums, is of more interest. This is because long wavelengths electro-magnetic (EM) waves suffer less loss when penetrating through the contaminated atmospheric environment (fog, sand storm, dust, etc) of the battlefield. Moreover, presently there is a drive for putting these imaging systems on a wide range of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) where their use depends on the characteristics of the many different surveillance and reconnaissance applications. The main discriminators are the operational flight duration and range, the altitude, and the payload capabilities. These features determine the feasible design of the sensor systems to be used on the platform.

Phoebus Optoelectronics LLC
12 Desbrosses Street
New York, NY 10013
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(805) 637-1067
Chris Sarantos
CBD 11-102      Selected for Award
Title:Narrowband Perfect Absorber using Metamaterials
Abstract:We propose a metamaterial-enhanced microbolometer with strong absorption over a narrow band that is dynamically tunable over the 8-10 micron band. A single-layer photonic metamaterial consisting of a thin metal film perforated with a 2-D array of dielectric apertures will be deposited on an amorphous-Silicon layer acting as an absorber and bolometer. The metamaterial, in conjunction with planar dielectric layers below the absorber, will trap and concentrate a narrow frequency band within the absorbing layer while strongly reflecting out-of-band light. This design is based on a previously developed metamaterial- enhanced Si photodiode that exhibited strong absorption over a narrow width (1% of the central frequency). Tuning the absorption band across the 8-10 micron range may be achieved via MEMS actuation applied to a standard air-bridge microbolometer structure. The metamaterial may be fabricated with standard photolithography, as we have demonstrated previously, and the rest of the fabrication involves materials and processes that are standard for microbolometers. We believe this structure offers considerable advantages over a multi-layer coupled split-ring and cut wire perfect absorber approach, including: ease of fabrication due to a single-layer metamaterial, scaling up an existing design rather than scaling down, and ease of integration with existing focalplane array microbolometers.

Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc.
2520 W. 237th Street
Torrance, CA 90505
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(424) 263-6360
Manal Beshay
CBD 11-103      Selected for Award
Title:Improved M8 Test Paper for Chemical Agent Detection
Abstract:Intelligent Optical Systems (IOS) proposes to develop a field-rugged, colorimetric indicating test paper that is capable of detecting multiple chemical warfare agents (CWAs), at low concentrations, in adverse environments. The proposed sensor array will detect threatening chemical agents and provide a visual readout after coming in contact with the agent, or agents. This array will overcome the stability issues encountered with current M8 test paper, allow vapor phase detection, and add a self reporting feature, eliminating the need for visual inspection. This will be obtained by implementing an innovative process immobilizing M8 colorimetric indicators in IOS novel cross-linked polymers, which will add robustness to the test platform, specifically in outdoor environments. As a starting point for this project, IOS will use its proprietary repertoire of CWA-sensitive colorimetric polymers that were developed for a fiber optic-based chemical warfare agent sensing system currently in "beta test" deployment. Our novel polymers have many advantages as a support medium, including a low glass transition temperature (broad operating range), no swelling by water (immersible in water without impact on performance), excellent permeation of target agents (fast detection), flexible and rugged containment of indicators (robustness and longevity), and ease of manufacturing (amenable to large scale production).

Orono Spectral Solutions Inc.
689 Odlin Road
Bangor, ME 04401
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(857) 488-4728
Carl Tripp
CBD 11-103      Selected for Award
Title:Improved M8 Chemical Agent Detector Paper for Facilities Monitoring
Abstract:The goal of this Phase I project is to develop coatings for M8 paper that improve its robustness and rate of detection of potential liquid/aerosol chemical warfare attack at fixed military sites and installations. A problem that is currently experienced with M8 paper is that it is easily contaminated by dust or destroyed by rain and thus requires frequent replacement in outdoor environments. Our initial studies have shown that, while commercially available M8 paper does posses minimal water repellant characteristics, droplets of water stick to the paper’s surface and penetrate into the paper over time, ultimately degrading its performance for CW detection. OSS will develop coatings that eliminate this issue by allowing water droplets to roll off the surface. Specifically, we will modify COTS M8 paper with ultrathin superhydrophobic and oleophilic material coatings that provide a self-cleaning and waterproof surface while retaining the M8 paper’s ability to detect CW agents. The results of phase I work will lead to a technology downselect for the best coating package for scale-up activities. Phase II work will focus on integrating the optimized M8 paper with a self- reporting system to reduce and/or eliminate visual inspection of the M8 detection strips.

Agiltron Corporation
15 Cabot Road
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(781) 935-1200
Alexander Mazurenko
CBD 11-104      Selected for Award
Title:Ruggedized FTIR Spectrometer Based on Calomel Prisms
Abstract:Leveraging on Agiltron industry leading development of optical systems and the PI experience with FTIR spectrometer design, we propose to develop a new class of compact monolithic Fourier-transform spectrometers for the long-wave (7.5-13 µm) infrared optical range. The proposed solution is based on creating a spatial interferogram with a pair of a calomel Wollaston prisms and digitizing it with an uncooled thermal camera. Unlike a traditional FTIR instrument based on Michelson interferometer with a delicate moving mirror, the proposed instrument has no moving parts and is sufficiently rugged for hand-held field applications. Being a common-path interferometer it is also insensitive to the system misalignment and temperature drifts. The Agiltron approach would advance many parameters of existing portable FTIR spectrometers. Using the developed device it would be possible to produce a compact instrument similar in function to the Joint Chemical Agent Detector (JCAD). Being based on Infrared Absorption Spectroscopy technique such an instrument would have an advantage of being more sensitive, universal, reconfigurable and less prone to errors and false-positive alarms. The technical approach will be proven in Phase I through the numerical simulations, design, build of a prototype and testing.

QuantaSpec Inc.
PO Box 163
Essex Junction, VT 05453
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(802) 861-2728
Kenneth Puzey
CBD 11-104      Selected for Award
Title:Wollaston prism based interferometer for chemical and biological early warning
Abstract:Rugged field spectrometers with no moving parts are needed for detecting chemical, biological, and explosive threats using the long wavelength infrared (LWIR)spectrum. QuantaSpec has successfully designed, developed, and tested a no moving parts spectrometer with a spectral range of 7 to 12 microns in a past project. This proposal will develop a rugged, simple, Wollaston prism spectrometer with no moving parts, a spectral range of at least 8 to 12 microns, and spectral resolution comparable to conventional FTIR spectroscopy. The proposed project will benefit from QuantaSpec's past experience in designing, developing, and testing similar spectrometers with no moving parts. QuantaSpec already has a majority of the components needed to build a Wollaston prism spectrometer and all of the components needed to test the spectrometer. Phase II will incorporate a light source, sample cell, and the Wollaston spectrometer into a complete detection system and its utility in chem/bio/explosive detection will be evaluated.

Arete Associates
P.O. Box 2607
Winnetka, CA 91396
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(303) 651-6756
James T. Murray
CBD 11-105      Selected for Award
Title:Solid state deep UV laser for Raman detection of CB agents
Abstract:Raman spectroscopy is a highly effective non-contact laser remote sensing method for detecting and identifying chemicals in every-day field environments. Raman spectroscopy is particularly suited for detecting trace surface contaminants that may indicate the presence of explosives, harmful chemical or biological agents. Contemporary systems, such as the vehicle mounted Joint Contaminated Surface Detector (JCSD), use gaseous KrF excimer lasers operating at 248 nm as the pump laser source. One of the key objections to the KrF laser is the unique maintenance requirements for on-site gas refilling operations that complicate logistics and severely limit that systems reliability. In this SBIR program Areté Associates will develop an efficient, compact, light-weight and rugged diode-pumped solid- state laser alternative. The laser source will be based on a frequency quadrupled Q- switched single-frequency Nd ceramic YAG laser operating on the 946 nm transition to achieve the desired 236 nm output. This method is capable of meeting the desired operating specifications of < 30 pm linewidth, > 10 mJ pulse energy, 75 Hz pulse repetition rate, > 100 ns pulsewidth, < 25 lbs, < 1800 cu. in and > 10,000 hrs operational lifetime. Areté will utilize proprietary single-frequency, injection-seeded, self-aligning, image rotating resonator designs; advanced ceramic YAG materials with custom doping profiles; and efficient cascaded frequency doubling in borate crystals to achieve the desired deep UV output wavelength of 236 nm.

Snake Creek Lasers, LLC
61 Railroad Avenue
Hallstead, PA 18822
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(570) 879-4992
David C. Brown
CBD 11-105      Selected for Award
Title:Compact Solid State Deep Ultraviolet (UV) laser for Raman detection of CB agents
Abstract:This topic addresses the need for compact efficient solid-state deep ultraviolet (UV) lasers operating in the wavelength range of 220-250 nm, for use in Raman systems for chemical and biological detection. The laser to be developed would also be very useful in the detection of explosives. We propose to develop an efficient 946 Q-switched nm laser system that is efficiently quadrupled to 236.5 nm. The laser system will produce excellent beam-quality and high pulse energy. It will operate single longitudinal and transverse mode. During Phase I we will generate a detailed design for the compact deep UV laser, complete experimental testing of candidate nonlinear crystals to be used for deep UV generation using existing high power lasers, generate detailed engineering device drawings for a Phase II demonstration, and develop a technology roadmap leading to a compact, efficient deep UV laser system with a volume of < 1800 in3 and a weight < 25 pounds. In the Phase I option we propose to demonstrate an integrated long-pulse Q-switched Nd:YAG laser that operates in both single longitudinal and transverse modes.

DBC Technology Corp.
4221 Mesa St.
Torrance, CA 90505
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(310) 378-4156
David B. Cohn
CBD 11-106      Selected for Award
Title:Advanced Transmitter for Chem-Bio Standoff Detection
Abstract:Program tasks include analysis to improve wavelength diversity, high PRF discharges and catalysis in normal and isotopic pulsed CO2 laser mixtures, and high energy extraction in a single mode resonator. Analysis will be performed for pulse energy scaleup to the 1-5 J level at high PRF in support of the cloud search, track, and map functions. The impact of improved laser operation and enhanced data stream on detection algorithms for chemical vapor and aerosol and biological particles will be evaluated for single target species and mixtures with interferents. Detailed designs for advanced laser components will be developed in support of an integrated laser detailed conceptual design. Applicability of the high power, extreme wavelength agile long wave laser to surface detection will be evaluated. A Phase II plan for laser development and testing will be formulated.

Eltron Research & Development, Inc.
4600 Nautilus Court South
Boulder, CO 80301
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(303) 530-0263
James H. White
CBD 11-107      Selected for Award
Title:A Reactive Coating for Air Purification
Abstract:This SBIR Phase I project addresses development of a self-cleaning coating for removing air-borne chemical and biological species. The coating materials possess impressive properties – e.g., ambient temperature adsorptive and low temperature thermal catalytic oxidation activity towards VOCs; electrochemical activity for hydrocarbon oxidation, and oxygen evolution. Evidence of photocatalytic activity of these materials has also been obtained. These multifunctional metal oxides demonstrate exceptional deep oxidation activity for organic species at low temperature and contain constituents that are individually photoactive. During this Phase I these materials will be rendered into forms possessing superior solid state and photocatalytic features. Currently, chemical and biological agents are removed from air using technologies based on adsorptive filters. However, these methods do not destroy impurities and present waste disposal problems. Other measures require unacceptable heat load, space, energy consumption, or a multiplicity of control devices. Thus, the proposed coating reactive systems potentially has value for cost effectively removing low concentrations of gas phase species (e.g., chemical agents, TICs, and other small molecules) and microbes. The ambient temperature capability of the coatings, tolerance to perturbations, and self-cleaning features will ensure their usefulness.

KCF Technologies, Inc
336 West Fraser Street
State College, PA 16801
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(814) 867-4097
Jacob Loverich
CBD 11-108      Selected for Award
Title:Robust Piezoelectric Sound Source with Helmholtz Acoustic Amplification
Abstract:KCF Technologies proposes to develop a robust and efficient sound generator for separation/isolation of aerosols. The critical limitations in the performance of conventional piezoelectric sound generators include degradation in performance over long periods of operation, poor electro-acoustic efficiencies at high amplitude drive levels, and large tolerances in their acoustic performance. These problems are not fundamental to piezoelectric devices; rather, they are related to conventional piezoelectric sound generator design and manufacturing. KCF proposes to solve these problems with an aggressive approach that addresses the essential features that are responsible for the performance degradations. A tuned Helmholtz resonator will be used to provide large gains in the SPL. In Phase I, KCF will develop a sound generator that demonstrates SPL in excess of 140 dB at 1m in a plane wave tube, exhibits at a stable SPL and frequency over a 2 month period, and requires less than 4 watts of continuous power for a package size smaller than 0.5 cubic inches. In Phase II, KCF will optimize the sound generator and work with its commercial partners in the piezoelectric industry to prepare for volume manufacturing of the sound generators.

Omega Piezo Technologies
2591 Clyde Ave.
State College, PA 16801
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(814) 861-4160
David Pickrell
CBD 11-108      Selected for Award
Title:Compact Piezoelectric High Intensity Sound Source
Abstract:There is a market need for high intensity sound sources that can operate for long durations over wide temperature ranges and in environments with dust and humidity exposure. Piezoelectric sound sources offer many advantages over compression drivers in these applications. They can be small and lightweight, have low power consumption, operate in narrow frequency bands, and can achieve a high sound pressure level (SPL) when properly designed and built. However, there are no off-the-shelf piezo sound sources that can achieve very high SPL’s for long time durations. They are designed more for alarm systems that work for short time intervals. At high power levels, or as the ambient temperature is increased, a commercial device may only last for a few minutes at a time before its performance is dramatically degraded. Omega has an innovative technology for high power alarms that will allow these devices to achieve extremely high sound pressure level’s and operate over extended periods of time. In the proposed program, Omega will apply this technology toward developing these high intensity sound sources and build upon the foundation of work it has already conducted in developing and manufacturing high performance piezoelectric alarms.

Agave BioSystems, Inc.
P.O. Box 100
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(607) 272-0002
Kathie Berghorn
CBD 11-109      Selected for Award
Title:Multiplex Microsphere Assay for Botulinum Neutralizing Antibodies
Abstract:Currently, the accepted standard experimental model for measuring protective efficacy against botulism is the Mouse Lethality Neutralization (MLN) assay. Botulism poisoning is a life threatening condition that is not only a public health concern, but could also be a potential biological weapon. With seven serotypes of botulinum neurotoxins, there is need for an alternative to the MLN assay due to the complexity of neutralizing a variety of these neurotoxins. Numerous MLN assays would be required to develop and produce cocktails of antibodies as protections against any combination of all seven botulism serotypes consuming time, resources and animals. In this Phase I, Agave BioSystems proposes to develop an accurate and sensitive in vitro assay to replace the Mouse Lethality Neutralization assay for testing botulinum neutralizing antibodies using flow cytometry microspheres in a 2 part assay. This microsphere-based assay can be multiplexed to cover all botulinum subtypes and has the flexibility to test cocktails of potential neutralizing antibodies to determine their efficacy. The two part in vitro assay will measure antibody affinity and neutralizing ability, two key features needed for effective, functionally active botulinum neurotoxins antibodies.

Electronic BioSciences LLC
5754 Pacific Center Blvd Suite 204
San Diego, CA 92121
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(801) 582-0146
Eric Ervin
CBD 11-109      Selected for Award
Title:Development of an in vitro assay as correlate of passive immune protection against botulinum neurotoxin to minimize use of whole animal testing
Abstract:This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop a non-animal based in-vitro assay for determining the efficacy of Botulinum (BoNT) neutralizing therapeutics; the dual nanopore assay (DNPA). New technologies are currently needed in order to facilitate the development and approval of BoNT vaccines and therapies, and align with the NIH and FDA’s guidance for reducing/replacing the number of vertebrate animals used in medical testing. Currently, the mouse lethality neutralization (MLN) assay is the standard test for determining the efficacy of BoNT neutralizing therapeutics. However, the inherent variability in sensitivity of the MLN assay due to different mouse species, test conditions, and the need to utilize live animal testing severely limit its accuracy and utility. EBS’s DNPA will be capable of monitoring the complete mechanism of all seven BoNT isoforms, making rapid analysis of BoNT neutralizing therapeutics, including complex mixtures, possible.