Topic Information Award/Contract Number Proposal Information Company Performance

Malware Prediction for Situational Understanding and Preemptive Cyber Defense

HSHQDC-16-C-00073 HSHQDC-16-R-00012-H-SB016.1-003-0021-I
(HSHQDC-16-R-00012 Phase I)
InnerAwareness: Preemptive Cyber Defense and Situational Understanding Through MemoryOriented Cyber Genomics and Physiology

ZeroPoint Dynamics, LLC
130 Hamilton Hedge Pl
Cary, NC 27519-9144


Motivated by a real operational need to tackle threats posed by the onslaught of constantly evolving exploits and malware, this proposal describes techniques for dynamically analyzing malicious documents and malware that addresses weaknesses in the status quo by (i) focusing on memory-oriented artifacts without the use of traditional sandbox hooks, while at the same time (ii) providing operators with enhanced situational understanding and preemptive malware and exploit defenses. Specifically, we will explore the design and implementation of novel memory-oriented techniques for conducting automated analysis of malware binaries, malicious documents and exploits (i.e. so called cyber-physiology techniques) to not only assist analysts in understanding the their function and intent, but also produce a novel set of outputs (i.e. artifacts, behaviors, code constructs) that, combined, concisely represent human understandable malware and exploit fingerprints. Second, we will design and implement so called cyber-genomics techniques for both individually using and collating a multitude of these malware and exploit fingerprints over time to not only aid in determining their identity, lineage, and provenance, but also identify trends in fingerprint components to pinpoint key distinguishing characteristics of malware and exploits in future waves of attack.

Deterministic Augmentation of RF Transmissions for PNT

70RSAT18C0000026 FY18.1-H-SB018.1-004-0002-I
(FY18.1 Phase I)
Augmented Commercial Radio for Navigation (ACORN)

Setter Research, Inc.
3306 Windrift Drive
Greensboro, NC 27410-3950


The Global Positioning System (GPS) and other global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) have become critical elements of diverse activities including safe and efficient ground and air transportation, manufacturing, power generation, financial transactions, farming, cellular communications, first responder operations, law enforcement, consumer activities, all in addition to military operations for which they were originally designed. The widespread adoption and integration of GPS has created significant risks due to the known threats to GPS signals. With low signal power at the earth's surface, transmission in well-known and well-defined spectral bands, and sensitivity to interfering signals, GPS signals are easily jammed, spoofed, blocked, or otherwise corrupted. These risks to GPS can have tremendous economic and public health and safety impacts. This proposal takes a new approach to providing a nationally available, highly accurate, and low-cost position, navigation, and timing (PNT) system by augmenting existing commercial broadcast transmissions. Augmented Commercial Radio for Navigation (ACORN) is a general purpose PNT capability, supporting an unlimited number of simultaneous users, applicable indoors, outdoors, and airborne. ACORN should be more accurate than GPS L1 CA code, entirely independent of GPS and other GNSS, equally accurate and available indoors and outdoors, and very difficult to jam or spoof. ACORN is a significant step toward achieving assured PNT.

Improved and Innovative Cooling Garments for Emergency Responders

NBCHC050021 0421020
(FY04.2 Phase I)

Porticos, Inc.
2701 Aerial Center Parkway
Suite 102
Morrisville, NC 27560-7444


Emergency-responders, soldiers, industrial workers, and athletes are often required to work in hot environments, usually while encumbered with heavy protective gear. These individuals are especially susceptible to heat-stress. The mental and physiological symptoms can result in severely impaired performance, which can be disastrous in a dangerous environment. Porticos, Inc. proposes to develop a Personal Cooling System (PCS) that will efficiently transfer body-heat to the surrounding environment in a controlled and adjustable manner. The PCS, envisioned as an upper-body garment, is based on the use of a liquified atmospheric gas as both a thermal accumulator and a mass-transport cooling medium. Preliminary thermodynamic calculations indicate that all HSARPA performance goals are achievable by implementing the system described in this proposal. Porticos will demonstrate technical feasibility and complete an engineering design based on the PCS concept.


NBCHC050105 0511149
(FY05.1 Phase I)

Mariner Container Corp.
PO Box 873
3821 North Main Street
Granite Falls, NC 28630-0000


The global economy has brought about enormous opportunities in the areas of trade with developing nations. Nowhere is it more evident than in the East Asian basin. In 2002, over 12 million TEU containers where imported into the U.S. with over 60% originating in China/Hong Kong. In the same year, only 7 million TEU containers where exported from the U.S. to the rest of the world. What happened to those 5 million TEU empty containers? Shipping of steel containers (both full and empty) poses several problems to Homeland Security and shipping companies. RFID systems will not operate in steel containers because of wave propagation and false signals. X-ray systems must be extremely powerful (3MeV to 6Mev systems) to penetrate steel siding and can only review 20 containers per hour per system. At a 50% return rate, the shipping of empty containers is an expensive choice for shipping companies. Steel, while strong, rusts in marine environment. Mariner Container Corp. is ready to take advantage of opportunities available in today's global intermodal transportation market by providing a quantum increase in the level of detection, protection, tracking, recycling, and advanced manufacturing processes of a hybrid recyclable plastic 40' "smart" merchant ship containers.


NBCHC060033 0521110
(FY05.2 Phase I)
Handheld Multianalyte Biosensor Platform

TIRF Technologies
951 Aviation Parkway, Suite 700
Morrisville, NC 27560-9225


The goal of this project is to develop a handheld biosensor for rapid detection of bioanalytes such as proteins, peptides, nucleic acids, toxins, viruses, bacteria and other molecular targets that represent interest for the biodefense area. We propose to build a rugged device, similar to a palm computer, equipped with a disposable sensor cartridge designed for simultaneous detection of multiple target molecules with sensitivity at the level of single molecule detection. Inexpensive sensor cartridge will have an array of printed receptor molecules and set of reagents for a one-step detection process. For many existing technologies, rate of response is slow, which makes them useless for biodefense applications that need results in several minutes or less. In contrast to currently available technologies that require multiple stages of reagent injection and washing, the envisioned biosensor system is based on a one-stage process that allows detection of molecular signatures in a matter of seconds or a few minutes. Complex samples such as whole blood, saliva, suspensions of cells, and contaminated turbid solutions can be analyzed with no or minimum sample preparation stages. This SBIR project builds upon the experience of the investigators at TIRF Technologies in developing total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) biosensor systems. We have built a benchtop, analytical grade, versatile TIRF biosensor instrument, which detects single biomolecules. In the proposed project we will use our previous experience to develop a handheld multianalyte biosensor with exceptionally low probability of false positive and false negative responses. The proposed technology has the potential to revolutionize many areas that are related to life sciences, including the biodefense potential of the Department of Homeland Security. In Phase I we will demonstrate the feasibility of the envisioned handheld biosensor, and in Year 1 of Phase II build its upgradeable prototype. During Phase II we will partner with academic groups to test the biosensor on 20-30 bioanalytes. We have in-house facilities for rapid prototyping and small-volume manufacturing. In Year 2 of Phase II, anticipating large demand for the envisioned handheld biosensor, we plan to partner with manufacturing companies to start large-scale production. The envisioned biosensor can find broad application for biodefense, biomedical, environmental and forensic analyses.

Engineered Building Materials

NBCHC090002 0821143
(FY08.2 Phase I)
3WEAVE Fabric Composite and Sandwich Core Panels for Blast Protection

3TEX Inc.
109 MacKenan Drive
Cary, NC 27511-7903


The new material technology is based on 3D weaving for the reinforcement of buildings against both bomb blast and mitigation of the damage caused by flying objects. Four alternatives will be considered for the Phase I work dry 3D fabric, solid composite, sandwich core structures, and combination of these.

Low-Cost and Rapid DNA-based Biometric Device

NBCHC090035 0911079
(FY09.1 Phase I)
Low-cost and Rapid DNA Sequencer for Biometric Applications

Advanced Liquid Logic, Inc.
615 Davis Drive, Suite 800
PO Box 14025
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3169


A DNA sequencer for biometric applications will be developed. The system will enable rapid and low-cost identification of individuals and kinship verification using a self-contained and portable device. All process steps from DNA extraction to DNA sequencing will be automatically performed within the disposable single-use cartridge. This high-level of functional integration is made possible by Advanced Liquid Logic`s digital microfluidic technology which enables precise manipulation of liquid droplets using an array of electrodes formed on an inexpensive printed-circuit-board (PCB). The goals of the Phase I project are to develop detailed use cases and product requirements, identify key technical risks and required research activities and to develop a system architecture and preliminary design.

Noise Cancellation for Voice Operated Switch (VOX) Communications

N10PC20023 0921187
(FY09.2 Phase I)
Intelligible Speech Communications with Robust Voice Operated Switch (VOX) Operation for High Noise Environments

Broad Audio LLC
704 Loch Highlands Drive
Raleigh, NC 27606-8431


First responders operate in challenging acoustic environments where noise, alarms, engines, radio communications, and communications to others in the environment make voice communications with hands-free, voice operated switch (VOX) operation difficult. Broad Digital will use a combination of passive acoustic design, noise suppression and subtraction, signal separation, and equalization to provide clear speech for audio communications and robust VOX operation. Broad Digital will combine this with adaptive gain control, compression, equalization, and noise cancellation for intelligible, clear speech to the responder`s headset. This combination of algorithms will allow the first responder to hear, and be heard, using VOX operation while saving lives in these challenging environments. This development will provide the core technologies for improvements to military radio handsets and headsets and for other commercial communications systems.