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

18 Phase I Selections from the 12.1 Solicitation

(In Topic Number Order)
Boulder Precision E-O
5733 central ave
Boulder, CO 80301
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(303) 570-1806
Mark Notcutt
SB121-001      Selected for Award
Title:Frequency Stabilized Laser for use in Microwave Generation
Abstract:We construct a frequency stabilized laser which will generate 10 GHz microwaves with Phase noise -100 dBC/Hz at 1 Hz, or equivalently, an optical frequency with an Allan Deviation of 8e-16 and a drift rate of < 1 Hz/s. This is achieved with a silicon reference cavity (for short-term stability) which is disciplined at long times with a lock to a saturated absorption feature in an acetylene line. The molecular reference will discipline the drift of the locked laser to give the required phase noise at 1 Hz in a wide range of environments.

HQPhotonics
1453 E. California Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91125
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(626) 720-3499
Hansuek Lee
SB121-001      Selected for Award
Title:A High Stability, Monolithic, Spiral Reference Cavity & Integrated Source for Application to Ultra-stable Microwave Generation
Abstract:Frequency division of a stable optical reference using frequency combs is a proven technique to create the highest stability microwave signals, especially for close-to-carrier offset frequencies. The prospects for miniaturization of these systems are good based on recent progress in microcombs, high-Q microresonators, and coherent sources. However, there remain technical issues that must be solved. In this effort we attack the problem of miniaturization of the stable optical source. This source sets overall stability of the microwave oscillator upon frequency division and relies upon a special reference cavity with very low thermal-induced frequency fluctuations. In Phase I, a new approach will be used to create integrated reference cavities that are both high Q and that feature very low thermo- refractive noise. In addition to being inherently robust with respect to shock and vibration this reference cavity will also utilize semiconductor process techniques that the principal investigator and coworkers have previously used to create high-efficiency microwave repetition rate microcombs on a chip. If Phase I is successful, the reference cavity will be combined with a high coherence laser in Phase II to create a high-stability optical reference. This optical reference will then be tested at NIST in a 10 GHz oscillator system.

NP Photonics, Inc.
UA Science and Technology Park 9030 S. Rita Road, Suite #120
Tucson, AZ 85747
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(520) 799-7494
Rajesh Thapa
SB121-001      Selected for Award
Title:Optical Frequency Comb-Based 10 GHz Microwave Oscillators
Abstract:Low phase noise microwave oscillator based on the phase-coherent division of the optical signal are very compelling tool for many scientific applications such as high bandwidth precise timing distribution and synchronization, novel imaging techniques, precision metrology and spectroscopy, and radar system. This is because of the low absorption and scattering in the optical domain. The microwave generation in the phase coherent division approach is based upon high quality factor optical resonator and a frequency comb functioning as an optical-to-microwave divider. The advantage of the frequency comb technology to generate the microwave over the commercial counterpart is the versatility, portability, large bandwidth and unprecedented precision in the fractional frequency stability in both long term and short term time scale. NP Photonics specializes in highly doped, high gain per unit length specialty fibers. This glass and fiber waveguide technology allows for tailoring the optical gain, nonlinear response, and group-velocity dispersion of the active medium. This enables a simple, compact, robust, cost efficient and ultimately integration- compatible approach to develop high repetition rate (~10 GHz) fundamentally mode-locked Er/Yb-doped fiber lasers and cavity stabilized ultralow noise single frequency laser. At the end of phase II project, we propose to achieve 10 GHz microwave electrical signal with the frequency stability of 1 in part 10^17 at 1s of averaging time with exceptional frequency stability and spectral purity. The all-fiber based system will be developed to prototype level such that a packaged system could be transported and used for laboratory demonstration purposes.

OEwaves, Inc.
465 N. Halstead St. Suite 140
Pasadena, CA 91107
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(626) 351-4200
Andrey Matsko
SB121-001      Selected for Award
Title:Integrated Ultra-high Performance Oscillator based on a Crystalline Kerr Comb
Abstract:Photonic techniques for generation of RF signals provide a desirable alternative solution to the problems, adding new features to the oscillator, such as ultra-low phase noise [1], low power consumption, and small size. In this DARPA SBIR program, team of OEwaves Inc. and UC Davis will demonstrate an integrated 10 GHz oscillator based on hyper-parametric optical oscillations in crystalline whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators [2]. These resonators are characterized with very-high Q [3], are compact and environmentally stable, and are ideal for realization of miniature, high performance, RF photonic oscillators operating from X- to W- frequency bands and beyond. The proposed approach will ultimately produce oscillators consisting of a semiconductor laser, resonator, and high speed detector integrated in a chip-scale package. The proposed oscillator is innovative in the sense that it exhibits outstanding spectral purity in broad frequency range while keeping the SWaP small. This is achieved by locking the frequency difference of two optical modes having significantly different environmental sensitivity, to an ordinary miniature quartz oscillator. In such a system, the stability of the resultant X-band signal can be at least seven orders of magnitude better than the stability of the quartz oscillator [4].

Aptima, Inc.
12 Gill Street Suite 1400
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(781) 496-2444
Alan Carlin
SB121-002      Selected for Award
Title:INTERACT: Inspection of Normal and Typical Encounters Requiring Asymmetric Collection and Tracking
Abstract:Because social interactions are ubiquitous for both the police and the military, it is crucial to improve their outcomes. However, assessing the success or failure of social interactions can be rather cumbersome. In order to capture and measure these interactions, video, sound, movement, and other forms of data must be collected and analyzed. However these methods require that comprehensive data is collected from all individuals involved. What is needed are ways to “fill in the gaps” when data are missing. In this proposal, titled INTERACT, we propose to develop these methods using supervised learning through support vector machines and temporal learning through a Hidden Markov Model (HMM) representation. Supervised learning allows the system to predict missing data based on patterns in the available data. The Hidden Markov Models will then assess and predict the interaction dynamics. Linking these methods in a feedback loop will allow each learning method to benefit from the conclusions of the other. This methodology will be verified by assessing and predicting interactions within existing data sets.

Charles River Analytics Inc.
625 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(617) 491-3474
Mike Farry
SB121-002      Selected for Award
Title:A System to Observe and Classify Interactions for Assessment and Learning (SOCIAL)
Abstract:Military personnel are asked to interact effectively, under stress, with individuals from both similar and dramatically different backgrounds and cultures. The desire for automated, operationally deployable capabilities to improve such interactions has created an interest in the development of technologies to sense and report in real-time on the properties of interaction. To address this need, we propose to design and demonstrate a System to Observe and Classify Interactions for Assessment and Learning (SOCIAL). First, we will conduct a requirements analysis to identify a subset of the types of sensor data that are likely to yield insightful information within operational environments. Second, we will collect raw sensor data using only one instrumented individual. Third, we will process sensor data into interaction assessment metrics with an explicit appreciation for individual differences of all participants in the interaction. Fourth, we will enable personnel to review the interaction and assess their actions with respect to individual responses. We will demonstrate the feasibility of this approach within an end-to-end SOCIAL prototype, enabling review of the overall concept by the project team, subject matter experts, and the Sponsor. We will pursue evaluation opportunities for this technology at the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin.

Ejenta, Inc.
865 Wisconsin Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(510) 681-4037
Maarten Sierhuis
SB121-002      Selected for Award
Title:Agent-based Models of Multi-lateral Social Interactions
Abstract:In this Phase I SBIR proposal, Ejenta investigates the use of an agent-based modeling and simulation language to represent, analyze and predict participant activities and beliefs in social interactions. People are represented as individual behavioral actors (i.e. agents) that can reason based on beliefs about the world, act based on beliefs and communicate beliefs with others. We hypothesize that by exploiting models of human work practice we are able to narrow the gaps that arise from sensor data asymmetry. Our approach is to create a “template” practice model in the domain of the social interaction, based on ethnographic observations, video analysis and/or role-playing. We use the template model as input, together with the sensor dataset of a social interaction, to generate a situation-specific model of the interaction. This situation-specific model will include an encoding of the participants, belief changes, activities over time, communication, use of artifacts, movement and location, that together represent the social interaction.

Mentio, Inc.
5 Butternut Ln
Hanover, NH 03755
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(617) 817-4514
Tanzeem Choudhury
SB121-002      Selected for Award
Title:Assessment of Asymmetric Social Indicators using Non-Verbal Vocal Cues
Abstract:The objective of this proposal is to develop, implement and evaluate aset of accurate and robust algorithms specifically designed to captureand measure multilateral social interactions automatically throughaudio-based methods based on asymmetric data design. We propose toaccomplish this by: 1) Developing a novel method that uses multiple microphones interfaced with a smartphone and placed on a singleparticipant to detect, segment and identify participants in aconversation using non-linguistic methods; and 2) Measuringinteractions using conversational dynamics. We propose to evaluateour asymmetric design under controlled experimental laboratoryscenarios with contextually relevant noise (i.e., explosions, trafficand street noise, etc.) to demonstrate robustness of the proposedaudio methods to relevant military and medical scenarios. Finally, weaim to link the smartphone to a web-based platform that enables securegraphical visualization of transmitted social interaction data from aremote setting in a near real-time manner.

Agave BioSystems, Inc.
P.O. Box 100
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(607) 272-0002
Joel Tabb
SB121-003      Selected for Award
Title:PNA-Based Rapidly Adaptable Anti-Microbial Nanoparticles
Abstract:Agave BioSystems proposed to develop a system of Rapidly Adaptable Nanotherapeutics (RANT) by combining advanced bioformatics, with DNA-based nanoparticles, peptide nucleic acid (PNA) antisense oligonucleotides, and cell permeating peptides (CPPs). Advanced bioinformatics computing will allow for the identification of essential and drug resistance genes within the target pathogens. These genes will be used to develop and synthesize PNA based anti-sense oligonucleotides. These PNAs are designed to suppress the growth and destroy the target microorganisms. DNA nanoparticles coated with CPPs will be used to get the anti-sense PNAs into the target microorganisms. Combined, these components will allow for the rapid targeting of essential or drug resistance microbial genes, and the delivery of stable antisense oligonucleotides into the target microorganisms.

AuraSense Therapeutics LLC
1801 MAPLE AVE STE 4301
EVANSTON, IL 60201
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(847) 467-2887
David Giljohann
SB121-003      Selected for Award
Title:Genetically Programmable Spherical Nucleic Acids as Rapidly Adaptable Nanotherapeutics
Abstract:AuraSense Therapeutics is developing oligonucleotide-modified gold nanoparticles called spherical nucleic acid (SNA) constructs, which are a powerful new way of regulating cellular gene expression. AuraSense Therapeutics will use SNAs as genetically programmable antimicrobial agents in a manner to provide a rapid and effective way to develop next generation antibiotics. The outcome of this work will be a new approach to generating bactericides- a rapidly adaptable genetically programmable nanoparticle therapeutic (RANT). The strategy is designed to be capable of being rapidly re-programmed to counter microbial threats, both natural and engineered. Importantly, our system can be adapted to kill emerging and mutating microbial threats, on-the-fly, by simply changing the oligonucleotide sequence conjugated to the Au NP surface. Because the constructs only change in genetic targeting sequence, it is a way in which to develop new agents without altering major toxicity and biodistribution profiles. As a result, an argument can be made for compassionate use of a new sequence via an abbreviated pharmaceutical development cycle.

Techulon
2200 Kraft Drive Suite 2475
Blacksburg, VA 24060
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(540) 443-9254
Joshua Bryson
SB121-003      Selected for Award
Title:Rapidly Adaptable Nanotherapeutics
Abstract:Drug resistant pathogens represent a growing and significant risk. Post-treatment hospital infections account for over 90,000 deaths per year and an additional $30b in cost to the healthcare infrastructure. Techulon intends to commercialize a flexible system to significantly impact the $40b antibiotic marketplace. The company proposes the development of a scalable and adaptable system for neutralizing drug-resistant bacteria through a novel nanoparticle platform. The company will leverage the use of informatics for pathogen identification and a polymer-based platform for nanoparticle delivery of targeted peptide-RNA sequences specific for each threat. Techulon has assembled a qualified and experienced team to prove feasibility of pathogen identification, platform development, and in vitro feasibility. The company will develop a robust system capability from foundational technologies that exist today. Techulon has pioneered a new family of polymers that can overcome the major obstacles of in vivo RNA delivery. The company proposes a means to treat extracellular, intracellular and viral infections that can be quickly adapted to novel and engineered threats. The research will focus on advancing the technology readiness level by refining and demonstrating feasibility, leading to a Phase II in vivo demonstration.

General Tactical Systems
101 Western Ave, Apt #25
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(248) 739-0833
Sohan Mikkilineni
SB121-004      Selected for Award
Title:Biometrics-at-a-distance: GTS RFLD
Abstract:no keywords provided

Olea Systems, Inc.
1999 S. Bascom Ave.
Campbell, CA 95008
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(408) 216-7802
Frank Morese
SB121-004      Selected for Award
Title:Biometrics-at-a-distance
Abstract:The ability to biometrically identify and/or monitor human subjects remotely using physiological data, without intervention is growing in importance for a wide variety of applications. Current biometric modalities such as fingerprint, retina scans and facial recognition limit the effectiveness of remote or unattended applications and may not provide real-time subject health status. OLEA Systems provides Radar Seismocardiogram (R-SCG) based identity and authentication systems and technologies to address the gaps in current market technologies.

Omnevia
350 S. Center Street, Ste 500
Reno, NV 89501
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(925) 548-5555
E. Tom Rosenbury
SB121-004      Selected for Award
Title:Biometrics-at-a-distance
Abstract:The DOD has a need to leverage state of the art technologies remotely detect, collect, and evaluate physiological signals of interest. Applications and concepts-of-operations (CONOPs) that would benefit from this capability include, but are not limited to: building- clearing, warfighter health monitoring or battle damage assessment and triage, situational awareness and assessment. The main goal of the Biometrics at a Distance is to build a handheld device that detects multiple personnel in challenging environments. Omnevia proposes to build such a device based on our previous efforts, 1.) 300’ Line of Sight (LOS) radar, 2.) 70’ Rubble radar and 3.) MOPP4 (through clothing) radar. Challenges include penetration of clothing, walls/doors/windows and the fact that the cross-section of the target is so small. Omnevia proposes an array technique with (30 billion times) less stringent timing requirements called, cyclostationary. Essentially, data from the nodes is cross- correlated to search for matching repetitive patterns. As long as Heart Rate (HR) and Respiration Rate (RR) signals from two different nodes overlap in time, they will correlate as array gain. These devices set new standards for personnel detection in challenging environments. Omnevia personnel used the radar to search for victims at the World Trade Center in 2001. Heart Rate (HR) and Respiration Rate (RR) radar(s) developed by Omnevia engineers were utilized at the World Trade Center to search for victims after the 9/11 attack and were tested at Texas A&M’s “Disaster City,” so Omnevia’s advanced technology is well proven in an R&D sense. However, the technology was never carried- through to operational capability.

VAWD Applied Science &Technology
1607 S Pantano Rd, Ste 405
Tucson, AZ 85710
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(520) 241-9713
Vinh Adams
SB121-004      Selected for Award
Title:Biometrics-at-a-distance
Abstract:VAWD Applied Science and Technology is pleased to offer the following proposal in response to DARPA’s Small Business Initiative SB121-004, Biometrics-at-a-Distance. VAWD’s experience with development and testing of stand-off range Sense-Through-the- Wall (STTW) and Foliage Penetration (FOPEN) radars for detection and tracking of human motion in last five years enable VAWD to propose the following tasks to meet the requirements in Phase I. Use a BioPac BioHarness to collect human postural sway, breathing and heartbeat micro-movement data. Use simulation and analysis to develop radar DSP algorithms for extracting, discriminating and classifying micro-Doppler signatures associated with human postural sway, breathing, and heart-beat. Build human micro- movement simulator hardware for testing with one of VAWD’s Sense Through Obstruction Remote Monitoring Sensor (STORMS) radar products. Perform initial tests at stand-off ranges of 20, 30, and 50 meters with and without an obstructing wall. Final delivery will consist of a report containing the results and analysis from both the simulation and the initial testing.

HITEMCO
160 Sweet Hollow Road
Old Bethpage, NY 11804
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(516) 752-7882
CHARLES BERGER
SB121-005      Selected for Award
Title:High Strength Materials at Elevated Temperatures for High Pressure Turbines
Abstract:This firm does not wish to sumbit public abstract for the proposalHigh engine overall pressure ratios (OPR) enable more efficientoperation for gas turbine engines, but also require higher turbine inlettemperatures. The temperature capabilities of hot section hardware havebeen improved through alloy development, manufacturing processes, air cooling, and thermal barrier coatings (TBC). However, turbine aircooling creates thermodynamic penalties to the engine cycle, as well asmanufacturing cost and complexity. It is therefore highly desirable todevelop alloys with coating systems which may be run without air coolingup to temperatures of 3500 F, in order to attain peak efficiencies. Inthe proposed project, Hitemco and Williams International will developadvanced alloys with the addition of bond coats and thermal barrier topcoats (TBC) to address this need. We will perform a detailed alloy, topcoat and bond coat investigation to identify the best candidate materialsystem to attain 3500 F turbine inlet temperature capability withoutcooling air. A relevant gas turbine engine component for testing inPhase II will be identified, and preliminary design with the coatingwill be performed. A plan for fabricating and testing the components inPhase II will be developed.

Ultramet
12173 Montague Street
Pacoima, CA 91331
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(818) 899-0236
Timothy R. Stewart
SB121-005      Selected for Award
Title:Fiber-Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites for High-Pressure Turbines
Abstract:For a selected vehicle and jet engine configuration, fuel consumption is to a significant degree dictated by the thermal efficiency of the engine. Achieving optimal thermal efficiency and minimizing fuel consumption requires high temperature operation with minimum cooling of hot gas path components, including combustors, high-pressure turbine blades, and inlet nozzle (stator) vanes. In parallel, cost reduction and reliability enhancements can be achieved by minimizing system complexity, in part by eliminating or minimizing cooling and by eliminating the need for thermal barrier coatings. Currently, cooled blades and vanes are constrained to a peak operating temperature of ~3000°F. Successful implementation of cost- effective and reliable materials and processes with operational capability to 3500°F would result in dramatic gains in jet engine efficiency. Gains to date have in large part been achieved by evolutionary improvements in turbine blade alloys, thermal barriers, and cooling gas path designs. Anticipated gains expected from the use of ceramics and ceramic matrix composites (CMC) have been slow to accrue. This project will pursue revolutionary improvements in materials and processing capabilities via the application of innovative fiber interfaces and melt infiltration processing and proven oxidation protection coatings to produce a durable and cost-effective carbon fiber-reinforced metal matrix composite (Cf/MMC) with mechanical properties and environmental resistance suited to cyclic and long-duration operation at turbine inlet temperatures to 3500°F within the jet engine environment. In Phase I, conceptual design will be performed of representative composite hardware; preliminary goals will be identified for thermal, chemical, and mechanical properties of these key turbine subcomponents; demonstrator subelements will be designed; test articles will be fabricated and tested; and demonstrator subelements will be fabricated as a preliminary demonstration of feasibility. In the Phase I option, the demonstrator subelements will be tested in a laboratory environment. A cost-effective and representative engine demonstration will be performed in Phase II to provide an early path for commercialization leading to opportunities for future implementation of the technology. Project emphasis will be on demonstration of turbine components, but the developed technology would also be applicable to applications for other hot section components including combustors.

Utron Kinetics, LLC
9441 Innovation Drive
Manassas, VA 20110
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(703) 369-5552
Karthik Nagarathnam
SB121-005      Selected for Award
Title:High Strength Materials at Elevated Temperatures for High Pressure Turbines
Abstract:The DARPA is seeking rapid innovative manufacturing for turbine components in Vulcan Program. We, at UTRON Kinetics, propose a modern rapid Combustion Driven Advanced Powder Compaction Manufacturing to fabricate simple and complex shapes of various refractory alloys and composites using Mo-Re, with Nb, Ti-aluminides, and carbides for temperatures of 3500 degF as a proof of concept in Phase I and we then focus on the most promising materials and manufacturing using CDC in Phase I option and further scaling up in Phase II. Gasturbine materials include superalloys, single crystal materials etc which have limits for the operating temperatures (<900 degC is commonly used!!). Developing advanced high temperature materials with required mechanical and thermal properties (for temperature of 3500 degF) using metal matrix composites of Mo-Re with Niobium/Titanium aluminides and composites and Making several of these materials in a suitable near net shape or net shape component form rapidly and cost-effectively (30- to 50% less expensive than by conventional means of fabrication) with significant reduction of materials wastage using CDC method forms the basis for this DARPA SBIR innovation proposed research. The major objectives of the Phase I effort will be focused on fabrication, testing and materials performance characterization of CDC compacted Molybdenum/Rhenium, alloys with Niobium, Ti-and select composites of aluminides, and carbides. The proof of concept in Phase I is added demonstrating the higher pressure consolidation rapidly and uniquely in near net shape and net shape forms with advantages to process select groups of materials and shapes of DOD and industry interest and evalauate properties at 150 tsi. Other advantages include near net shaping ability, and materials properties after suitable sintering/heat treatment. Select geometrical shapes such as 1 inch diameter cylinders/disks, and 3.5 inch long tensile dogbones will be fabricated using the available 300 ton CDC press and existing die/punch assemblies for initial exploration of property testing of coupons and small scale turbine blade/hollow disk components of fabrication. Compositions will be optimized in consultation with DARPA sponsors in Phase I. Appropriate experimental process optimization at much higher compaction pressures (e.g., up to 150 tsi) will be developed as an integral part of Phase I, Phase I option and Phase II. Key CDC process optimization, suitable sintering/heat treatment response, near or net shaped part quality, microstructural/microchemistry properties, and mechanical properties such as hardness and other strength/ductility properties at room and elevated temperature upto 3500 degF will be evaluated in Phase I for optimized samples. In Phase I Option, we will focus our attention on the most promising alloys of interest, establish cost-effective discrete manufacturing strategies based on the potential DOD/commercial aerospace end user needs in consultation with DARPA sponsors. In Phase II, Based on the optimum process condition and sintered properties of CDC samples, we will further develop other advanced lightweight/stronger alloys of interest to anticipated potential end users (e.g., GE, General Dynamics), procure the suitable hardware/tooling for scaling up and optimize the