Topic Information Award/Contract Number Proposal Information Company Performance

Software Based Roots of Trust for Enhanced Mobile Device Security

HSHQDC-13-C-00100 HSHQDC-13-R-00032-H-SB013.2-002-0016-I
(HSHQDC-13-R-00032 Phase I)
Practical Roots of Trust for Mobile Devices

Galois, Inc.
421 SW Sixth Avenue
Suite 300
Portland, OR 97204-1662


To meet the critical security needs of the Department of Homeland Security and others, we propose two methods for providing a secure root of trust for mobile devices. One method is designed to integrate as easily into existing systems, while the other requires deeper integration but provides correspondingly stronger security. The keys to our work are practicality and integration: practicality to ensure our system applies to current and near-term mobile devices, and integration to allow for a smooth transition path to mobile device manufacturers. In the proposal we describe not only the technical path to implementation for these two approaches, but also the business, legal, and political steps required to bring root of trust technology to market. Once in place, root of trust technology can be used as a strong basis for implementing other key mobile security solutions, such as secure data at rest, secure data in transit, secure authentication, and mobile device management.

Chem-Bio Sensors Employing Novel Receptor Scaffolds

NBCHC040072 04111040
(FY04.1 Phase I)
CMOS FET and AlGaN MODFET Receptor Scaffold for Molecular Recognition and Direct Detection

Peterson Ridge LLC (dba Fluence)
PO Box 1257
Sisters, OR 97759-1257


This project is designed to test a novel receptor scaffold/sensor combination for the selective and direct measurement of antigens and to compare direct electric detection of antigens against the corresponding antibody based ELISA method. The scaffold concept combines a robust nucleic acid receptor (aptamer) coupled to a low cost CMOS FET and AlGaN MODFET transducer. Aptamers are short nucleic acid polymer sequences (oligonucleotides) of between 20 and 80 nucleic acid residues. Aptamers can be isolated and tested for binding affinity with a variety of target molecules (e.g. pathogenic bacteria). Unlike antibodies, those aptamers with demonstrated affinity can then synthesized using high volume commercial methods unlike antibodies. They are also typically stable to heat and surface denaturation unlike antibodies, and can be synthesized with modified nucleotides so as to avoid degradation in most harsh biological or non-biological environments. Multiple candidate aptamers specific for a biological agent provides potential for validation and greater confidence in the detection process, and the CMOS FET transducer matches well the potential of aptamers to be able to quickly adapt to new biological and chemical threats. The FET for sensing applications was first reported thirty years ago. FETs can be manufactured in large quantities with consistent electrical properties using an industry standard process. In principal, the FET detects the charge redistribution as a result of aptamer binding the target molecule. The aptamers are linked closely to the sensor by a robust commercial process. Silane chemistry is used to modify the oxide surfaces of the FET channel region and the subsequent covalent bond to the protein avidin to produce a common surface for attaching a variety of different aptamers. Aptamer candidates are modified by the addition of biotin and attached to the avidin-modified surface. The resulting receptor modified surface has a potentially longer shelf life and active life in the field than do sensors where the receptor is physically adsorbed on a surface or embedded in a polymer matrix. It is unlikely that direct detection using aptamers will compete with the sensitivity of laboratory methods (ELISAs) using antibodies, but the aptamer sensor combination should be a more robust detection method requiring less maintenance than the antibody version of the same sensor and more flexible in adapting new threats.


HSHQDC-07-C-00044 0621070
(FY06.2 Phase I)
High Quantum Efficiency Fast Detectors for Readout of Scintillators for Gamma Ray Detection

Voxtel, Inc.
12725 SW Millikan Way
Suite 230
Beaverton, OR 97005-1782


High quantum efficiency (QE), fast (<20 nsec.) silicon APD detector will be optimized for the blue (e.g., 340-400 nm) optical radiation emitted by scintillators under gamma irradiation. The APDs have been designed to be highly manufacturable, with low dark count rates, high uniformity, nanosecond-scale temporal response. In Phase I, through a set of orthogonal designed experiments, the silicon APD array will be optimized for both the performance specifications required of gamma cameras as well as for high manufacturing yields. Candidate devices will be coupled with existing 2.5 GHz, low noise (20 e- rms) amplifiers, and the characteristics of the device, with and without coupling to LaBr3, will be measured. In Phase II, we will perform full reliability testing on the devices, and a fully functional high-performance gamma camera will be manufactured and its performance verified.

Highly Scalable Identity Management Tools

NBCHC090045 0911036
(FY09.1 Phase I)
A Certifiable Federated Identity System for Cross-Agency Collaboration

Galois, Inc.
421 SW Sixth Avenue
Suite 300
Portland, OR 97204-1662


The Department of Homeland Security`s charter has a fundamental requirement to collaborate with other government agencies. Secure collaboration on this scale requires strong identity management which can ``vouch for`` DHS personnel working with other agencies, and makes it possible to provide DHS resources to individuals in other agencies whose work requires it. We propose the development of a reusable identity metasystem which will be designed foundationally to support government certification for deployment across agency boundaries, focusing on open standards, secure development, and a cross-domain design. Anticipated Benefits: The opportunity to deploy standard trusted components in a variety of agencies, each of which can continue to maintain their own method of managing identity and authorization. Agencies can share information based on this layer, which will evolve to support a wide variety of needs. Potential commercial applications: Compliance with government standards of trustworthiness in software used for critical purposes, along with a user-centric approach to identity management can enable Internet users to merge their many usernames and passwords, can allow critical transactions to be executed with a higher degree of trust, and can help bring about an environment where e-voting increases voters` trust in the validity of the outcome of elections.

Wearable Energy to Power and Operate Responder Tools (Wearable EPORT)

N10PC20031 0921055
(FY09.2 Phase I)

Perpetua Power Source Technologies, Inc.
4314 SW Research Way
Corvallis, OR 97333-1070


This SBIR Phase I will model and physically demonstrate wearable, small factor, and lightweight thermoelectric generator prototypes powered by human body heat. The project will make use of Perpetua`s novel Flexible Thermoelectric Film technology to yield higher voltages and power from small active areas. End devices will be in wearable form factors, including a flexible button array that can be integrated into textiles, harnesses, helmets, and other gear. Challenges to overcome center around thermal optimization specific to the unique conditions of wearables. Phase I prototypes will power autonomous low power wireless transceivers. No commercially viable wearable thermoelectric energy harvesting system has ever been brought to market due to the counteracting difficulties of achieving a small form factor while still providing sufficient voltage to power a wireless transceiver. The resulting renewable thermoelectric generators will reduce and in some cases eliminate the need for battery replacements. Market applications include safety diagnostic systems for emergency responders, situational awareness for Incident Commanders, along with related medical and military applications.