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Awards

Topic Information Award/Contract Number Proposal Information Company Performance
Period
Award/Contract
Value
Abstract

H-SB07.1-001
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

09/16/2008
to
06/15/2010
$750,000.00

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.

H-SB07.1-003
Secure Wrap

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

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

02/01/2009
to
12/31/2012
$795,681.00

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.

H-SB07.1-009
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

09/30/2008
to
09/29/2009
$492,248.00

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.

H-SB07.1-009
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

09/30/2008
to
09/29/2009
$463,736.00

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.

H-SB07.1-009
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

09/30/2008
to
09/29/2009
$499,999.00

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.