Topic Information Award/Contract Number Proposal Information Company Performance

Precision Information Environments

D11PC20109 1012001
(FY10.1 Phase II)
Precision Information Environment for Collaborative Emergency Support (PIECES)

Charles River Analytics Inc.
625 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138-4555


Decision makers responding to homeland security incidents must rapidly integrate and manage dynamic, time-sensitive information from many heterogeneous and multimodal information sources. Responders access this information through numerous software applications, all while attempting to collaborate in real-time. Based on the results of our Phase I design effort, we propose to develop and evaluate a Precision Information Environment for Coordinated Emergency Support (PIECES). Four core components characterize our approach. First, we will streamline access to multiple information resources by building PIECES on a software framework that uses emerging DHS data standards to fuse heterogeneous information for presentation through a single access point. Second, we will develop advanced, human-centered, multimodal displays within a fully tailorable environment to support manipulation, understanding, and exploitation of correlated data sources via an integrated view. Third, we will support collaboration between teams of local and distributed responders by providing a work environment that allows teams to share and manipulate data sources in real-time despite significant differences in hardware capability. Fourth, we will leverage existing, in-house technology and other emerging and planned DHS systems to rapidly prototype software components. This will allow us to evaluate PIECES capabilities and demonstrate to relevant stakeholders in regional EOCs.

Molecular Recognition for Explosives Detection

D11PC20126 1012002
(FY10.1 Phase II)
Magnetically Switchable Explosives Vapor Isolator(1001-687)

Triton Systems, Inc.
200 Turnpike Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824-4000


The proposed work details a molecular recognition based explosives pre-concentration and sampling system which can be coupled to a wide variety of current and future commercially available sensors. The system works by initially isolating and concentrating specific explosives from a sample stream through a novel, robust and tunable molecular recognition system. The concentrated molecules are released to the sensor in a preprogrammed manner through a novel desorption mechanism that minimally impacts the analyte of interest. The technology is easily adaptable to a broad range of explosive threat materials. Based on the success of our initial proof of concept work, we are proposing to extend the technology to build a working prototype.

Monolithic, Electronically and Widely Tunable Semiconductor-Based Infrared Laser Sources

D12PC00460 FY11.1-H-SB011.1-004-0003-II
(FY11.1 Phase II)
Monolithic, Electronically and Widely Tunable Quantum Cascade Laser Sources

EOS Photonics, Inc.
30 Spinelli Place
Suite A
Cambridge, MA 02138-1070


Eos Photonics, in collaboration with the group of Prof. Loncar at Harvard University, proposes to further develop a novel widely tunable, high power quantum cascade laser source for remote sensing applications. Eos will then transition this revolutionary mid-IR laser into a commercial product that is ideally suited for the standoff detection and identification of threats such as explosives and chemical warfare agents. The tuning mechanism of our source is fully electronic and uses no moving parts, relying instead on the integration of intersubband tuning elements fabricated monolithically with DBR gratings to ensure electrically-controlled wavelength tuning over a wide wavelength range and with excellent mode suppression ratio.

Improved Wipes for Surface Sampling of Chemical Agents on Porous Materials

D12PC00473 DHS SBIR-2011.2-H-SB011.2-002-0006-II
(DHS SBIR-2011.2 Phase II)
Development of a New Collection Methodology for Low Volatility Chemicals from Porous Surfaces

35 Hartwell Avenue
Lexington, MA 02421-3102


In this effort, TIAX LLC will complete development of an innovative combination of commercially available materials that will permit the efficient and reproducible extraction, collection, concentration, recovery and analysis of low volatility chemicals from porous surfaces such as concrete, painted wall board, and flooring tiles. This work builds on a successful Phase I program, that demonstrated a proprietary method that collects significantly higher amounts of target compounds when compared to a standard collection method. Those higher comparative yields were up to 50 times greater than the standard method that utilizes gauze wipes with a solvent. The successful development and evaluation of this new surface collection methodology will yield a new SOP for the sampling and analysis of surfaces that have been contaminated by low volatility organic chemicals. After a chemical contamination event, the results obtained from this approach can be used for subsequent legal proceedings and also to verify the effectiveness decontamination procedures on porous surfaces. The fully developed method will have commercial uses in the analysis of low volatility chemicals, and as such a wide market potential for use in both environmental contamination and forensic applications. This Phase II effort will allow this methodology to proceed through a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 5 "Component and/or breadboard validation in a relevant environment". If exercised, the proposed two Option Years will then result in a TRL level of 7, "System prototype demonstration in an operational environment".

Safe Standoff Detection of Bulk Explosives on a Person

HSHQDC-13-C-00025 DHS SBIR-2012.1-H-SB012.1-003-0015-II
(DHS SBIR-2012.1 Phase II)
Portable Imager for Stand-off Detection of Person-Bourne Bulk Military and Homemade Explosives

Polestar Technologies, Inc.
220 Reservoir Street
Suite 3
Needham Heights, MA 02494-3133


Title: Portable Imager for Stand-off Detection of Person-borne Bulk Military and Homemade Explosives. The overall goal of this SBIR proposal is to develop a portable system for stand-off detection of concealed explosives. The system will produce images positively identifying the presence of explosives and have the ability to detect and identify different types of military explosives (like TNT, C-4, PETN) and homemade explosives such as TATP and HMTD. The system will process persons entering a federal building from a stand-off distance of 3-5m at a data collection rate sufficient to image moving subjects. The system's power and weight will allow it to be portable so that it can be deployed at any required location inside or outside the building. The proposed imager could be deployed at mass transit locations, national security event checkpoints, controlled-entry checkpoints at the entrance to buildings of national importance or at entrance to largely attended sports and entertainment venues.

Capability for the Tracking of Any and Every Person within a Security Perimeter

HSHQDC-13-C-00072 DHS SBIR-2012.1-H-SB012.1-005 -0006-II
(DHS SBIR-2012.1 Phase II)
Remote Identification and Tracking of Non-Cooperative Subjects (REMIT-NCS)

Charles River Analytics Inc.
625 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138-4555


The ability to reliably track and recognize individuals inside a security perimeter is a critical component of next-generation distributed security systems. While state-of-the-art surveillance systems can reliably track pedestrians in sparse, static environments with minor occlusions and few moving subjects, performance degrades rapidly as scene complexity and crowd density increase. The problem becomes even more difficult when tracking individuals over long time scales, or across cameras with non-overlapping fields of view, a scenario which is unavoidable in most urban environments. Existing systems are also unable to re-acquire individuals who have been previously tracked in a separate location, but for whom recent track data is unavailable. To address these issues, we propose a system for Remote Identification and Tracking of Non-Cooperative Subjects (REMIT-NCS). REMIT-NCS extracts stable, descriptive signatures from tracked individuals in surveillance imagery by reconstructing a tracked individual's anthropometric parameters (shape and pose) and using these to produce higher-order, viewpoint-insensitive signatures from the individual's intrinsic attributes (e.g., physical build and motion characteristics) and extrinsic attributes (i.e., outward appearance). The combined intrinsic and extrinsic signatures are then compared to a database of similarly processed tracks to identify the features most suitable for supporting long-term tracking and re-acquisition. Persons moving from one camera view to another are then re-acquired by the system via the resulting discriminative models, enabling persistent tracking of individuals throughout the facility.

Objective, Quantitative Image Quality Measurements and Metrics for Screener Imaging Technologies

HSHQDC-13-C-00073 DHS SBIR-2012.2-H-SB012.2-003-0001-II
(DHS SBIR-2012.2 Phase II)
Objective X-ray Image Display Evaluation (OXIDE)

Charles River Analytics Inc.
625 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138-4555


Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) are tasked with exploiting X-ray inspection systems to detect potential threats. To ensure efficient operation and the safety of the traveling public, TSOs must maintain a 100% probability of detection (Pd) while minimizing screening time. To achieve these objectives, X-ray inspection systems must operate in accordance with manufacturer specifications, and be calibrated to maximize Pd and reduce screening time. The ASTM X-ray Test Object aims to evaluate image quality (IQ) with respect to Pd to support optimal system calibration. However, the ASTM is fundamentally flawed for several reasons: (1) it is prone to operator bias; (2) it is not directly representative of real-world operation; (3) it does not quantify the relationship between IQ and Pd; and (4) it cannot handle moving objects, and is therefore ineffective for exploring the use of continuously rotating conveyor belts to speed up the screening process. To address these concerns, we designed, developed, and demonstrated a prototype for Objective X-ray Image Display Evaluation (OXIDE). OXIDE uses a predictive approach to assess functional IQ during normal operation, producing a single General Image Score that can cue the operator to potential image degradations. The system leverages our existing object detection and IQ technologies to achieve robust and purely objective IQ evaluation for X-ray screening systems. The Phase I prototype accurately predicts functional IQ on real X-ray imagery that has been randomly degraded, corresponding well to a human's qualitative interpretation of relative image quality, and demonstrating the feasibility of our predictive IQ assessment approach.

Software Based Roots of Trust for Enhanced Mobile Device Security

D14PC00178 HSHQDC-13-R-00032-H-SB013.2-002-0009-II
(HSHQDC-13-R-00032 Phase II)
Software-based Dynamic Mobile Trusted Module (SW-dMTM)

BlueRISC, Inc.
28 Dana St
Amherst, MA 01002-0000


The proposed SW-dMTM mobile security solution is lean and fully-software-based. The goal is to provide the required Roots of Trust (RoTs) and trusted security services via a fully software implementation while maintaining the heightened level of assurance typically only achieved through additional, security-centric hardware. This will be achieved by building a solution that is not only compatible with the Trusted Computing Group's (TCG) MTM mobile device security specification but also by supporting government use cases and providing additional dynamic trust verification. The solution has the following key benefits: (i) a cumulative chain of trust via a secure boot methodology, (ii) dynamic RoTs through the runtime verification and persistence achieved by stealth Trusted Agents, (iii) MTM trusted services and extensions. In addition to trusted services they provide the foundation for both static and dynamic data and application protection and attestation. The Phase I effort was successful in proving feasibility of key components through a proof-of-concept demonstration. The expected result of a Phase II proposal is a prototype that could be piloted by DHS. The TRL at the start of the Phase I effort was 2. This was brought to a level 4 through the completion of a proof-of-concept demonstration during Phase I. The expected TRL upon completion of the Phase II effort is 6. A Phase IIB/Cost Match opportunity would increase the TRL to 8 or 9.

Commodity Goods Counterfeit Detection

D14PC00160 HSHQDC-13-R-00032-H-SB013.2-005-0007-II
(HSHQDC-13-R-00032 Phase II)
Detection of Counterfeit Commodity Goods

35 Hartwell Avenue
Lexington, MA 02421-3102


In the Phase I program, TIAX LLC developed a detection methodology that was able to measure significant differences between pairs of counterfeit and authentic products in four different product categories. Establishing the proof-of-concept of this technique creates the potential for a new detection methodology that can be utilized at a port of entry by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to identify shipments of counterfeit goods. The objective of the Phase II program is to further develop and optimize the detection methodology developed in the Phase I program. In the Phase II program, we will develop a prototype detection system and demonstrate it under field conditions in a U.S. port of entry. When fully developed, the methodology will allow for the rapid and accurate screening of closed containers for counterfeit products. It will be designed to work outdoors in a port environment in extreme weather conditions. The TIAX methodology will use instruments that are rugged, mobile and can be operated by personnel with minimal scientific training.

Automatic Detection and Patching of Vulnerabilities in Embedded Systems

D15PC00114 HSHQDC-14-R-00035-H-SB014.2-002-0004-II
(HSHQDC-14-R-00035 Phase II)
Autonomous Detection and Healing of Silent Vulnerabilities

BlueRISC, Inc.
28 Dana St
Amherst, MA 01002-0000


BlueRISC's proposed solution provides a fundamentally new approach to enable autonomous detection of exploitation attempts as well as healing of silent vulnerabilities. It follows a hybrid approach consisting of (i) new static silent vulnerability point and associated path pre-characterization concepts, and (ii) the insertion of minimal and low-overhead runtime support enabled by the vulnerability characterization framework to enable validation, detection and healing at runtime. As opposed to other solutions, which rely on an attacker successfully injecting functionality in order to detect, this solution is also able to detect the exploitation of silent vulnerabilities, which leak information without modifying the system. The solution is CPU and operating system agnostic and thus widely applicable. Initial sectors that will be targeted include the critical infrastructure Energy Sector and the Defense Industrial Base Sector.

Radiant Laser Exposure Monitoring for Nominal Hazard Zone (NHZ) Evaluation

D15PC00108 HSHQDC-14-R-00035-H-SB014.2-004-0004-II
(HSHQDC-14-R-00035 Phase II)
Laser Exposure Measurement Device

461 Boston Street
Topsfield, MA 01983-1290


The widespread use and deployment of laser systems in the public domain has led to the need for laser exposure measurement systems that operate over wide spectral range and provide sufficient dynamic range to measure exposure relative to maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits and establish normal hazard zones (NHZ). OPTRA, Inc. proposes a solution based on multiple detector arrays, custom CMOS readout integrated circuitry and diffractive optics to directly measure the laser characteristics and evaluate the exposure with respect to MPE limits established by the ANSI Z136.1 standard and determine NHZ.. In the Phase II R&D effort, OPTRA, Inc. will design, develop, build and test a UV through LWIR laser NHZ measurement system.

DNA and Latent Fingerprint Collection from Same Sample

HSHQDC-16-C-00043 HSHQDC-15-R-00017-H-SB015.1-001-0005-II
(HSHQDC-15-R-00017 Phase II)
Non-Contact Device for Latent Fingerprint Capture

35 Hartwell Avenue
Lexington, MA 02421-3102


TIAX will develop a set of fingerprint treatments (including either chemical or instrumental methods, or a combination of both) that allows accurate collection of latent print images from any of the three main classes of surface (porous, nonporous, and adhesive) without compromising subsequent profiling of DNA that may be present in the print. Treatments identified will be developed into prototype products, validated, and applied to real case work in collaboration with DHS-CBP. Our methodology includes use of a statistically rigorous dose-response method to support claims of non-interference with DNA profiling, as well as an experiment-based rational design process to identify suitable or optimal product formulations and instrument configurations. Independent validation of products and methods will be accomplished through partnership with a DHS laboratory.

Malware Prediction for Situational Understanding and Preemptive Cyber Defense

HSHQDC-17-C-00008 HSHQDC-16-R-00012-H-SB016.1-003-0004-II
(HSHQDC-16-R-00012 Phase II)
Cyber Attack Prediction for Situational Understanding and Preemptive Cyber Defense

BlueRISC, Inc.
28 Dana St
Amherst, MA 01002-0000


BlueRISC's proposed solution provides a fundamentally new approach to predicting the presence of malware in a network based on a novel graph-theoretical framework. Unlike traditional approaches that are reactive, it builds on a predictive capability that is flexible, adaptive, and is not relying on signatures or strict rule based malware definitions. The approach captures system motion as a predictive surrogate for malicious activity. This occurs based a concise graph-based forensics representation of a system's state and associated space-time correlation algorithms which use graph theory.

Development of a Wearable Fentanyl Analog Sensor

70RSAT19C00000009 FY18.1-H-SB018.1-001-0015-II
(FY18.1 Phase II)
Rapid Tox-Based Wearable Sensing Badge for Solid Aerosol and Contact Exposure to Fentanils

Nano Terra, Inc.
737 Concord Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138-1002


Clear Scientific, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nano Terra, proposes to develop a low-cost and wearable detector badge that quickly alerts the user in real time to the presence of solid or aerosolized fentanils with an audible and visual alert. Current commercial opioid detectors are bulky, costly, and cannot be used passively in real time. Clear Scientific will leverage their expertise in ultra-sensitive dosimetric detection of threat agents to advance their highly-sensitive opioid sensor for use in a compact wearable badge. The proposed system will be unobtrusive and inexpensive, while offering the necessary high sensitivity, high selectivity (distinguishes amongst fentanyl analogs and cutting agents), and rapid response time needed for the requirements of law enforcement and first responders. The system will provide a real-time response based on the effective human toxicity of operational environments containing multiple opioid species whose concentration or identity may not be known.

New System/Technologies to Detect Low Vapor Pressure Chemicals (e.g., TICs)

NBCHC050065 0412010
(FY04.1 Phase II)
Rapid Low Vapor Pressure Chemical Detection Using a Hand-held Artificial Nose

CogniScent, Inc.
410 Concord Rd.
Weston, MA 02493-1313


The Phase II SBIR research proposed here extends and expands upon the results from our successful Phase I research to develop a hand-held electronic nose capable of rapid, sensitive, and accurate detection and identification of a broad range of low vapor pressure (LVP) compounds. The overall goal of this R&D effort is to optimize detection of LVP compounds by improving system signal-to-noise through carefully evaluated modifications to the various subsystems of the device. We propose to enhance the device by: 1) continued development of sensitive chemical sensors for a range of LVP compounds, 2) deploying these chemical sensor on a novel filament substrate that increases signal amplitude, 3) improving the optoelectronics to efficiently illuminate and interrogate the chemical sensors, 4) improving vapor sampling to effectively present LVP odors to the sensor array, and 5) developing new data processing algorithms to reduce sensor signal variability. These enhancements will be incorporated into a new prototype device that will be thoroughly tested and quantitatively characterized. With inclusion of these improvements, our preliminary data provide strong evidence that this Phase II R&D will lead to at least a 10-fold improvement in sensitivity, forming the basis for a commercially viable device for detecting LVP compounds.

Innovative Techniques for Concealed Weapons or Explosive Detection at a Distance

NBCHC050158 0422011
(FY04.2 Phase II)
Terahertz Imaging System for Concealed Weapon Detection

Spire Corporation
One Patriots Park
Bedford, MA 01730-2396


This Phase II Small Business Innovation Research project is aimed at designing, assembling, and demonstrating an entirely new imaging system capable of detecting hidden weapons at standoff distances. Phase I of this program successfully identified critical terahertz atmospheric transmission windows with high precision, defined the best candidate imaging system, and carried out an analysis of this system resulting in detailed system performance predictions. Compact and efficient semiconductor terahertz quantum cascade lasers are currently being developed by several companies (including Spire) and laboratories, and will soon be commercially available. Using these laser sources as illuminators and local oscillators, a small and portable imaging system based on ultra-sensitive, room temperature, coherent heterodyne detection is proposed. Terahertz radiation, with its submillimeter wavelengths, is non-ionizing and low in energy, avoiding environmental safety issues. Working with the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Submillimeter Wave Technology Laboratory as a subcontractor, Phase II will involve (a) completion of the imager system design begun during Phase I, (b) assembly of a breadboard imaging system, and (c) demonstration and evaluation of the imaging system under simulated field conditions using representative or surrogate explosives and weapons. Commercialization of the imaging system will be carried out utilizing Spire's Biomedical manufacturing, marketing, and sales resources. The commercial availability of terahertz imaging systems will have a strong impact on homeland defense, military and police surveillance, biomedical technology, agricultural inspection, transportation security, analytical instruments, and high-resolution spectroscopy. Homeland defense and military applications include detection of hidden weapons and explosives, while biomedical applications include DNA identification and analysis, high resolution spectroscopy for organic material identification, discrimination between normal and cancer cells, and potential identification of other tissue abnormalities. Scientific applications include high-resolution spectroscopy for rapid identification of trace gasses of heavy molecules, including explosives and chemical weapons.

Improved and Innovative Cooling Garments for Emergency Responders

NBCHC050163 0423006
(FY04.2 Phase II)
Improved Vapor Compression Personal Cooling

Aspen Systems, Inc.
24 St. Martin Drive
Marlborough, MA 01752-3060


Aspen Systems proposes to develop a unique state of the art miniature vapor compression cooling system for use by emergency first responders. The program is structured to include investigation and research into realistic user needs as part of the product definition activities. Aspen has established relationships with representatives from the various user groups within the first responder communities. Through collaboration with these users we plan to clearly define the user requirements and translate them into engineering of an optimized cooling solution. We will build upon the success of the Phase I program and address issues in the prototype developed in that effort. The final output of this Phase II program will be a personal cooling solution optimized for the first responder and ready for transfer to production.


NBCHC070018 0512007
(FY05.1 Phase II)

Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA 02472-4699


Spread of the weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear weapons is a serious threat in the world today. Prevention of the spread of radioactive materials and nuclear weapons has reached a state of heightened urgency in recent years, especially since the events of September 11, 2001 and its aftermath. Gamma ray spectrometers are an important tool in homeland defense and monitoring to check the spread of special nuclear materials (such as highly enriched uranium and weapons grade plutonium) and nuclear weapons. An important challenge in homeland security monitoring is not only to detect hidden radioactive materials but also to distinguish them from routinely used radiopharmaceuticals as well as naturally radioactive materials. The goal of the proposed effort is to investigate promising new scintillators for homeland security applications.


NBCHC070002 0512004
(FY05.1 Phase II)
Untethered Electro-Muscular Disruption Round

Mide Technology Corporation
200 Boston Avenue Suite 1000
Medford, MA 02155-4242


Mide is proposing to develop and demonstrate an untethered electro-muscular disruption non-lethal stun round for civil law enforcement officers and the military. The innovative device will provide individual threat control at increased range (15 - 50 meters) over existing weapons and it will be compatible with 12-gauge shotguns. The device combines the proven effectiveness, legal and social acceptability of the current tethered EMD devices with the ease of use, practicality, and extended range of shotgun shells. Utility of the innovation is probably best realized in crowd control situations or riots having high levels of aggression. The major benefits of the innovation is that the untethered round avoids all the problems associated with tethered wires, snagging and breaking of the wires, resistive losses and inaccurate delivery of the barbs. While Phase I established a feasible preliminary design, Phase II will further optimize the design and validate though engineering tests the performance of the round. Real scale round will be fired to ensure accuracy and safety. Additional physiological performance tests will also be performed as needed. If funded, the effort will provide a timely non-lethal round that will help to safe lives and protect our people and security forces.


NBCHC070089 0522010
(FY05.2 Phase II)
Real-Time System for Stand-Off Measurement of Structural Stability

Summit Safety, Inc
94 Jackson Road
Devens, MA 01434-4014


This project will utilize a non-contact ultrasonic sensing system previously developed by Summit Safety, and convert it from an engineering tool to a user-friendly system capable of providing real-time measurement of structural stability and advanced warning of pending collapse. The sensor provides high resolution measurements of position, velocity, and acceleration from standoff distances upt to 50 feet. The system incorporates multiple sensors connected by a wireless link to a central display unit. Unlike laser-based systems, the ultrasonic system is capable of operating in dense smoke. Phase 2 will complete the development and testing of the system.


NBCHC070140 0612018
(FY06.1 Phase II)

15 Cabot Road
Woburn, MA 01801-1003


We propose to supply an improved version of our recently demonstrated trace explosive detection technology. This technology is comprised of a surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) sampling chip, a highly efficient air collection design, and a low cost Raman signal detection technique for trace peroxide-based explosive detection. This novel approach overcomes intrinsic limitations of current detection technologies. The proposed approach leverages the leading-edge micro-optical component development and manufacturing technology of Agiltron and extensive experience in nano-material engineering within the research group headed by Prof. Vladimir V. Tsukruk at Georgia Institute of Technology. Our novel sampling chips feature high detection sensitivity, fast data collection (second or subsecond), and reproducibility that are not yet attainable by alternate technologies. The proposed sampling cell will be compatible with current commercial Raman probes as a direct "ADD-ON" module and enable much faster detection speeds, much higher sensitivity, and much shorter collection times than those of the state of the art systems. Agiltron also proposes to design and prototype an extremely low cost (< $2K) SERS explosive sensing system with real-time response and very low false alarm rate (< 1%). In this program, Agiltron will design, build, and commercialize these trace peroxide based explosive sensing systems.


NBCHC070141 0612008
(FY06.1 Phase II)

Excellims Corporation
20 Main Street
Acton, MA 01720-3575


Recently, trace detection and imaging portal systems have begun to be deployed into airport check points and other high threat facilities, to meet the need for detecting explosives on people. In this project, we propose a sample collection method that is similar to the one used in trace portal systems; however, instead of using large scale air handling systems to release, collect, and transport samples to the detector, we bring the collector and optionally the detector closer to the targeted explosive residues. Just as handheld metal detectors are used to detect weapons on selectees and after walkthrough metal detector alarms, the proposed trace detection wand may be used to resolve alarms generated by the trace portal or imaging systems. In addition, at checkpoints where there is not sufficient space or the necessary throughput for portal systems to be deployed, the trace detection wand can be used with a detector, in place of large and expensive portal systems. The proposed trace detection wand is designed to release particles and vapors from cloth, preconcentrate both particles and vapors in the wand, and then detect them with an ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) in a few seconds.


NBCHC070121 0612001
(FY06.1 Phase II)
Microsensor for the Detection of Humans in Cargo Shipping Containers

89 Rumford Avenue
Newton, MA 02466-1311


Project Summary: This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project is aimed at developing a wireless microsensor for the detection of humans in cargo shipping containers. During Phase I, feasibility of the proposed microsensor was successfully demonstrated. In Phase II we will conduct detailed studies to refine the performance of the microsensor. The microsensor will be configured for independent operation, yet with sufficient flexibility to be integrated and/or communicate wirelessly with the Advanced Container Security Device (ACSD). Two fieldable prototype microsensors will be made available to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as well as to sensor manufacturing partners, for independent evaluation of the performance of the microsensor. Anticipated Benefits and Potential Commercial Applications: The microsensor will be an important tool in the hands of law enforcement agencies for the reliable detection of stowaways in cargo shipping containers. A small, reliable, low-power-consuming, long life and inexpensive ($150 for quantities larger than 5000) cargo shipping container monitor could prevent illegal transportation of humans and make our nation safer. In addition, the potential commercial applications for the proposed microsensor could include: - Environmental applications; - Medical applications; - Agricultural and Bio-related processes - Food packaging and - Brewing and Carbonated drink industries.


NBCHC070126 0615002
(FY06.1 Phase II)
Botnet Analytics Appliance (BNA)

Milcord LLC
1050 Winter Street Suite 1000
Waltham, MA 02451-1406


Recent reports indicate the activity of more than 6,000 botnet C&C servers. 70 million zombies are responsible for 80% of SPAM. Given the exponential growth of the botnet threat, the security of our nation's cyber infrastructure demand automated botnet activity monitoring solutions. In Phase I, Milcord developed a feasibility prototype of a "Bayesian Activity Monitor for Botnet Defense". We developed: indicators for measuring botnet behavior, mechanisms for capturing and analyzing packet content to detect bot commands, blacklist interfaces, and a set of Belief Networks that fuse network indicators, DNS data, and bot commands in order to detect and classify botnet behavior. Our results have in general shown the feasibility of learning and predicting botnet behavior at the network level, and blacklist membership in DNS queries. In Phase II, we propose to develop a full-scale prototype of a Botnet Analytics Appliance (BNA) that leverages botnet intelligence contextual knowledge and integrates with Security Event Management platforms, and transition this technology to commercialize use. The development of our Phase II prototype will not only leverage contextual knowledge obtained from real-time aggregated botnet intelligence data and cybersecurity infrastructures but also contribute to the botnet community knowledge base enhancing DHS cyber security mission.


HSHQDC08C00057 0622007
(FY06.2 Phase II)
High Quantum Effiency, Fast Detectors for the Readout of Scintillators for Gamma-Ray Detection

Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA 02472-4699


Gamma-ray spectrometers consisting of inorganic scintillators coupled to optical detectors such as photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) are an important element of the systems that are used to monitor and prevent the spread of special nuclear materials. Two very important requirements for the scintillation detectors used as gamma-ray spectrometers in homeland security monitoring include high sensitivity and high energy resolution. New, bright scintillators such as cerium doped lanthanum bromide (LaBr-3:Ce) exhibit high energy resolution. The energy resolution of LaBr3:Ce with PMT readout is at present limited by photoelectron statistics. The quantum efficiency of even the best PMTs over the emission spectrum of LaBr3:Ce (340-450 nm region) is quite low (about 30-40%). The low PMT quantum efficiency is one of the main factors that limits the energy resolution of LaBr3:Ce scintillators at present. As a result, the goal of the proposed project is to design, build and evaluate advanced, silicon based photodetectors that have very high quantum efficiency for scintillator readout and are also fast and compact.

Trace Explosives Particle and Vapor Sample Collection

NBCHC080100 0714011
(FY07.1 Phase II)
Handheld Trace Explosives Sampler

Implant Sciences Corporation
107 Audubon Road #5
Wakefield, MA 01880-1246


Non contact trace explosives detection has not been comparable to results obtained from wipe sampling. Many issues, including finding a method to release particles from a surface, efficient particle and vapor transport, and limited particle and vapor trap collection efficiency have all limited the process. Other related issues have included cost of ownership, ease of contamination removal, and compatibility with existing detection equipment. This Phase II proposal summarizes work performed on a Phase I SBIR program to develop solutions for these problems. The methods used in the final prototype hand sampler include aerosol ablation for particle release, a vortex attractor for particle and vapor transport, and a planar stainless steel mesh with optional coating for particle and vapor collection.

Secure Wrap

D09PC75587 (formerly NBCHC090022) 0714012
(FY07.1 Phase II)
Tamper-Resistant Stretch Wrap

Infoscitex Corporation
303 Bear Hill Road
Waltham, MA 02451-1016


The selected approach has been devised with the objective of fabricating an anti-tamper stretch wrap material that preserves the essential optical, mechanical, and thermal properties of existing wrap products, while providing a very effective and easily detectable method for tamper detection using low cost materials and processes.

Improved Solid-State Neutron Detection Devices

HSHQDC-08-C-00190 FY07.1-0711077-II
(FY07.1 Phase II)
Combined Solid-State Neutron Gamma High Efficiency Detector

NOVA Scientific, Inc.
Sturbridge Technology Park 10 Picker Road
Sturbridge, MA 01566-1251


NOVA Scientific proposes Phase II development of a solid-state, high-efficiency neutron detection alternative to 3He gas tubes employing neutron-sensitive microchannel plates (MCPs) containing 10B and/or Gd. This program supports the DNDO development of technologies designed to detect and interdict nuclear weapons or illicit nuclear materials. This solid-state neutron detector would permit operations in wide-ranging environments limited with 3He. The small prototypes resulting from the Phase II effort will be designed and sized to support the Intelligent Personal Radiation Locator (IPRL) hardware. Phase I neutron detection efficiency measurements of > 25 % were rigorously carried out using a 252Cf source. With a surrounding gamma scintillator measuring the instantaneous 478 KeV gamma from the boron-neutron interaction, an electronic coincidence procedure verified a neutron event with high confidence, rejecting spurious counts and interference from gamma photons at a level of 10-4, comparable to the selected 3He tube used as a standard. The objective of Phase II Year 1 is to move the MCP component capability to its projected full potential of 60-75 % detection efficiency for thermalized neutrons from a fast source and develop the surrounding scintillator system configuration to establish a gamma rejection of 10-5 to 10-6. This would effectively match or exceed 3He tube performance. Additionally a high yield, low noise vacuum encapsulation of the MCP and algorithm peak search will be carried out. Year 2 will assemble repetitive prototypes, establish a breadboard electronics power and data package, and carry out an assessment of pre-commercialization readiness for field operations. NOVA Scientific is teaming with several experts for support; St. Gobain Crystals for expertise in high speed scintillators; VPI Engineering for power and readout electronics and packaging; Sensor Sciences for test and characterization support; and American Electro-Optics for vacuum tube encapsulation.

Improved Solid-State Neutron Detection Devices

HSHQDC-08-C-00169 FY07.1-0711133-II
(FY07.1 Phase II)
Improved Solid-State Neutron Detector

Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA 02472-4699


The use and applications of radiological sources, for power, medical, and defense applications, continuously increases with time. Illicit nuclear materials represent a threat for the safety of the American citizens and the detection and interdiction of a nuclear weapon is a national problem that has not been yet solved. This represents an enormous challenge to current detection methods and monitoring technologies that require improvement to demonstrate accurate radiation identification capabilities. Using neutron signatures represents a promising solution, however, such a detection technique requires capabilities of detecting neutrons, both thermal and energetic neutrons, while rejecting effectively background gamma rays. Rugged and low-power neutron detectors are highly desirable for large-scale deployment. This research develops a neutron detector that has the potential of replacing pressurized 3Hetubes and current solid-state detectors with an ultra-compact detector based on CMOS-SSPM (Solid State Photomultipliers) technology. This technology provides a low-power, portable unit that can be mass-produced and deployed in a wireless network on a large scale. The detector is very fast and, in addition, can provide time and spectroscopy information over a wide energy range, including fast neutrons and is, therefore, capable of identifying threatening incidents in real time. 2. Anticipated benefits/Potential Commercialization The proposed design for neutron detection has a strong potential to replace He-3 tubes, and can also replace current neutron solid-state detectors, which are either sensitive to gamma-rays or cannot have high-scale production to form a deployable technology for a detection network. In addition the proposed technology is fast, can provide energy and time information, and can be easily adapted into compact packages with or without remote readout electronics. The direct application of this project is to contribute to the national effort of protecting the United States against terrorism through DNDO related missions. However, this research as a whole and with its diverse components will have a big impact on many other research fields that are directed toward general public benefit. The proposed technology with its timing resolution of sub-ns and sub-um high-spatial resolution has immediate application in thermal neutron radiography used to probe macromolecular structures in protein crystallography and in investigations of new materials. The double-pulse signature of thermal neutrons interacting with boron-loaded plastic readout by PMT's is being used for which is the NASA discovery mission that will explore two complementary protoplanets, Ceres and Vesta, to provide new information on processes by which the planets formed. Replacing the PMT by CMOS-SSPM for this mission will definitely enhance this research since SSPM detectors are ultra-compact devices, rugged and operate at low voltages, which is very desirable for space missions. Speaking of space, investigation of highenergy neutrons in space necessarily requires a new type of detection material since fast neutron detectors are traditionally made of liquid compounds that are considered hazardous cargo for space flights. The proposed technology can be scaled to few more layers of detector segments to detect fast neutrons. This technique can be also used for neutron detection in nuclear waste management and especially in investigating the amount of fissile materials when enclosed in waste containers. Neutron/gamma discrimination, which is also important for such applications will be tested through two different methods in the Phase I effort. These techniques of thermal neutron capture, and photon detection will have direct implication on neutron capture therapy of cancer. Due to the high-spatial resolution, energy information, the large signal to background ratio and the low cost of CMOS SSPM devices, this technology represents a strong candidate for neutron and even medical imaging such as PET, small animal SPECT imagers, x-ray imaging and biomedical applications that are directed toward the diagnosis and treatment of Cancer, the Alzheimer disease and disease progression studies. Last and not least, high-energy proton accelerator facilities have been constructed for application in various fields of study, such as nuclear physics, material science and radiotherapy. In these facilities, it is very important to monitor doses from neutrons which can penetrate radiation shields and contribute dominantly to the doses of workers and members of the Conventional moderator-based survey instruments, rem-counters, are, however, less sensitive to such high-energy neutron. The proposed effort will boost these studies since the techniques of collecting the scintillation photons and reading them out with CMOS integrated readout circuitry can be applied there as well.

Improved Solid-State Neutron Detection Devices

HSHQDC-09-C-00129 FY07.1-0711147-II
(FY07.1 Phase II)
New Neutron Detectors with Pulse Shape Discrimination

Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA 02472-4699


Proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear weapons is a serious threat in the world today. Preventing the spread of nuclear weapons has reached a state of heightened urgency in recent years, especially since the events on September 11, 2001 and its aftermath. One way to passively determine the presence of nuclear weapons is to detect and identify characteristic signatures of highly enriched uranium and weapons grade plutonium. Neutrons and gamma rays are two signatures of these materials. Gamma ray detection techniques are useful because the presence of gamma rays of specific energies can confirm the presence of a particular isotope. This technique however, has one significant drawback: In the presence of dense surrounding material such as lead, gamma ray attenuation can be significant. This can mask the gamma signatures of these special nuclear materials (SNM). Neutrons, on the other hand, easily penetrate dense, high atomic number materials compared to r-rays. Under these circumstances, passive assay techniques based on neutron detection can provide valuable information. When detected, neutrons are direct indicator of presence of spontaneously fissioning isotopes (plutonium and californium) and induced fissions (uranium). At present, there is a real need for a compact, efficient detection system that would allow neutron detection with an ability to discriminate gamma events from neutron events. The goal of the proposed effort is to address this need.

Neutron and Photon Generators for Advanced Special Nuclear Material (SNM) Interrogation and Verification Systems

HSHQDC-09-C-00018 FY07.1-0721038-II
(FY07.2 Phase II)
Proof of Concept Demonstration of a Compact Accelerator

Passport Systems, Inc
70 Treble Cove Road
N Billerica, MA 01862-2208


Electron accelerators that produce high duty cycle electron beams with beam energies up to 9 MeV are essential for use in practical Nuclear Resonance Fluorescence and EZ-3DTM imaging technologies. While isotopic identification of shielded materials is now possible via these technologies, it is still necessary to achieve accelerator portability, compactness and reasonable cost of ownership to make possible the widespread deployment of critical special nuclear material (SNM) interrogation and verification processes. With the availability of new materials, computing power, and components that were unheard of 50 years ago, an advanced compact accelerator design is proposed to provide an affordable, high duty cycle, portable accelerator that would match the requirements of high rate individual photon counting and spectroscopy which allow identification of SNM, other contraband and cargo verification. Proposed herein is an advanced electron accelerator which satisfies these needs and operates at a high duty cycle and high beam current while only occupying a very small spatial profile compared to existing machines (including power supplies). In Phase II, a Proof of Concept prototype will be designed, built and tested. As for Phase III, the commercialization probability for the portable, high duty cycle electron accelerator is high, with widespread interest in security scanning as well as a variety of commercial, non-security related applications.

Smart Sensor System

HSHQDC09C00085 0812005
(FY08.1 Phase II)
Smart Sensing and Tracking with Video and Mote Sensor Collaboration

intuVision Inc.
10 Tower Office Park
Ste 200
Woburn, MA 01801-2120


With growing concerns about the security of our borders and vulnerable entry points video imagery has emerged as a high potential surveillance data source for generating real time situational information. This potential comes with its challenges due to the large volumes of data need to be processed, lack of smart sensors to automatically detect and understand video content, bandwidth limitations to distribute the video to the hands of decision makers to provide actionable intelligence for first responders. Our proposal addresses each of these challenges, including end-to-end system integration with specific attention to deployment and life cycle costs with Smart Sensing and Video Understanding in a sensor web platform: 1.We embed the video content analysis processing into the video sensor with our Smart Video Node to offload processing of video to the sensor edge, 2.We use inexpensive ad hoc netted sensor motes to cue video sensors to collect and process data only when a mote field is triggered based on commanded rules, 3.We use a sensorweb platform to quickly discover sensors that are available, seamlessly integrate and collect data from disparate sensors, perform system leverage, remotely task sensors and receive alerts from multiple sensors.

Low-Cost and Rapid DNA-based Biometric Device

N10PC20105 0912003
(FY09.1 Phase II)
Customized STR Typing System for Kinship Analysis

NetBio, Inc.
830 Winter Street
Waltham, MA 02451-1477


First described in the early 1990`s, short tandem repeat (STR) analysis is the gold standard of human identification. With a false identification rate as low as one in hundreds of trillions, STR analysis is a powerful tool for determining human identification objectively. The goal of this work is to improve the ability to evaluate kinship based on STR analyses. By creating an STR assay system that allows more accurate determination of kinship, DHS responsibilities such as granting asylum, processing applications for relatives to come to the US, and deterring child trafficking and illegal adoptions can be enhanced significantly. Current STR assays are highly effective for determining the likelihood of first degree relationships (parent-child and sibling-sibling) but are less effective at more distant relationships. By increasing the number of STR loci tested in a given assay, more distant relationships can be determined. The proposed work would result in such an improved assay, building on NetBio`s experience in designing systems that rapidly process nucleic acids without human intervention. It is hoped that this technology will improve the safety of society in general, and protect some of the most vulnerable members of our society in particular.

Non Antibody-Based, Selective and Rapid Protein Analysis for Detection of Viruses and Bacteria in Environmental Samples

N10PC20052 0912005
(FY09.1 Phase II)
Generation of Bivalent Aptamers with High Affinity and Selectivity of Viruses and Bacteria from Environmental Samples

Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street
Watertown, MA 02472-4699


Better methodologies for the rapid detection of pathogenic bacteria and viruses are needed. A particular problem with current antibody-based assays is cross-reactivity with similar, but harmless, species. Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. proposes developing nucleic acid-based affinity reagents (aptamers) against botulinum neurotoxin, as well as against a model pathogenic virus (VSV) and spore (Bacillus subtilis). Aptamers displaying fast binding rates (kon) will be selected to increase the speed of the assay. A novel approach using bivalent, bispecific aptamers will be utilized to achieve binding affinities at least equal to that of typical antibodies. The aptamer selectivity will be enhanced by employing counterselection procedures whereby aptamers binding related species are deselected. Finally, the aptamers will be applied to an ELISA-like protocol and their performance directly compared to antibodies. Anticipated Benefits/Commercial Application A more rapid, sensitive, and selective assay for the detection of bacteria and viruses will have widespread applications in homeland security, the military, healthcare, and food safety. The assay could be used to screen ports of entry, public places of interest, and military sites for evidence of biological threat agents. Likewise, the assay could be used in a laboratory or clinical setting to rapidly diagnose infectious diseases.

Autonomous (or alternative) In-Liquid Survey Vehicle

N10PC20213 0914010
(FY09.1 Phase II)
BIOSwimmer: In-Liquid Inspection System

Boston Engineering Corporation
411 Waverley Oaks Road
Suite 114
Waltham, MA 02452-8414


This project addresses a critical need in the nation`s infrastructure and border protection, inspection inside tanks on large ships in port. These missions must be performed in a timely, effective, and safe manner in challenging environments. The BIOSwimmer system is an end-to-end solution that includes sensing, post processing, control, and a biomimetic autonomous swimming vehicle that provides efficiency, maneuverability and payload integration capability largely unavailable in other platforms. This PH II includes development of advanced sensing to perform in-liquid inspections with accuracy and reliability as well as design and prototyping in support of a Phase II vehicle build and demonstration. Additional work includes developing support equipment and testing them in realistic situations. The team will work hand in hand with end users, DHS, and actual tanker owners to provide an appropriate solution. A full specification effort is followed by the creation of a system specification for review with end users. Testing efforts provide confidence in the resulting product`s reliability, safety and ability to be certified and approved for use in the field. PH II provides a feasible, cost effective solution with a direct path towards commercialization and insertion into several relevant markets. Commercialization is a major focus of PH II.

Mobile General Aviation (GA) Aircraft Screener

D11PC20001 0922010
(FY09.2 Phase II)
AS&E Phase II Aircraft Scanner

American Science and Engineering, Inc.
829 Middlesex Turnpike
Billerica, MA 01821-3907


In this Phase II effort, American Science & Engineering, Inc. (AS&E) will design, fabricate, test and deliver a mobile X-ray Backscatter one-sided imaging system suitable for examining general aviation aircraft for the presence of weapons, contraband or other proscribed items. The system employs a high resolution X-ray Backscatter imaging module mounted on an omni-directional host platform, providing exceptional motion control and versatility for imaging key points on general aviation aircraft, including engines, wings, fuselage, and empennage. The system incorporates collision avoidance to prevent any inadvertent contact with the object being scanned. Real time imagery is displayed to the operator, who controls the system from a co-located graphical user interface. The operator can manipulate and analyze the resulting images using the included software toolkit. The aircraft scanner can be easily moved from location to location within the airport using its own power, or it can be loaded onto a standard flatbed transport for more distant relocations. The system is safe for the operator, the item scanned and the surrounding area. A prototype system, training, manuals and support will be provided within the twelve month program.

Human-Animal Discrimination Capability for Unattended Ground Sensors

D11PC20039 0922002
(FY09.2 Phase II)
DiamondBack: Sensor Fusion and Feature-Based Human/Animal Classification for UGS

Scientific Systems Company, Inc.
500 West Cummings Park, Suite 3000
Woburn, MA 01801-6562


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) needs a low cost reliable automated system to detect illegal border crossings. Current seismic UGS systems use cadence-based intrusion detection algorithms and are easily confused between humans and animals. The ensuing false alarms reduce the trustworthiness of the system and lead to unnecessary actions which may be costly. Scientific Systems Company Inc. (SSCI) through its Phase I research has developed and tested novel signal processing and classification algorithms to robustly discriminate between humans, animals and vehicles. SSCI identified that foot contact characteristics have a significant impact on the time-frequency characterization of recorded seismic signals. SCCI is teaming with Crane Wireless Systems (Crane WMS) and Applied Research Associates (ARA) for the Phase II work. SSCI will provide the signal processing and classification expertise, and Crane Wireless Monitoring Solutions and Applied Research Associates, both leading provides of Seismic Unattended Ground Sensors, will provide the hardware platform and systems support for porting the classification algorithms onto the UGS sensors. The UGS sensors will be field tested with input from the DHS for performance evaluation. SSCI intends to transition and commercialize the UGS technology using licensing arrangements for the signal processing, classification and power management algorithms.