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Abstracts of HSHQDC-12-R-00052 Phase II Awards

12.1-001

Company

CapeSym, Inc.
6 Huron Drive
Suite 1B
Natick, MA 01760-1325

Proposal Information DNDOSBIR12-01-FP-001-CAPE-II - Establishment of Scientific and Industrial Base for Production of High Purity Precursor Materials for SrI2: Eu and CLYC
Topic Information 12.1-001 - High Purity Precursor Materials for Growth of Large Single Crystals
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-13-C-00080
Abstract

Successful growth of novel halide scintillators SrI2:Eu and CLYC depends on a supply of highly pure precursor materials. CapeSym and SAFC have partnered to develop a thorough understanding of the factors that influence purity, and techniques to reduce these impurity levels in SrI2:Eu and CLYC precursors. Novel processing and crystal growth experiments at CapeSym, and materials characterization at SAFC-Hitech will be used to assess the impact of purification techniques. Technologies will be transferred to SAFC-Hitech for implementation into production processes. In parallel we will conduct market research and pricing analysis to better estimate volumes needed to meet DHS requirements. Anticipated benefits include: - increased understanding of binary-halide contamination issues - improved precursor processing techniques - improved scintillator performance - a roadmap for attaining precursor cost reduction.

12.1-002

Company

Physical Sciences Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810-1077

Proposal Information DNDOSBIR12-02-FP-001-PSI-II - Embedded Search and ID Algorithms for Human Portable Radiation Detectors
Topic Information 12.1-002 - Embedding of Advanced Search Technique for Detect, Locate, and Track for Pedestrian-based Search
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-13-C-00083
Abstract

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) proposes to develop, implement, and test algorithms and hardware to enhance pedestrian search for radioactive threats employing man-portable radiation detectors through the use of advanced search techniques enabled by smartphone technology. The proposed solution will add significant value to the search missions carried out by first responders, customs and border protection officers, or military personnel engaged in pedestrian searches for radiological threats. The algorithms will analyze data from smartphone sensors (e.g. gyroscope, magnetometer, and camera) in conjunction with gamma spectra collected by a medium-resolution detector to determine and communicate to the user estimates of source location. The threat localization approach will be enhanced through the use of spectroscopic detection and identification information generated by advanced algorithms. These algorithms have been demonstrated to significantly improve detection sensitivity while reducing operational false alarms using low integration time spectra. The functionality will provide a complete search capability to the end users resulting in source localization inside a 100 m x 100 m search area within 10 minutes of entry. A nominal 1 mCi 137Cs threat will be localized to within 2 meters after 1-2 minutes from detection. The Phase II program will build upon algorithms supporting a systematic localization methodology developed and tested during the Phase I program. The Phase I system concept will be formulated into detailed software/hardware designs. The search algorithms will be embedded as part of a prototype Smart Hand Held Detector (SHHD) to facilitate the optimization of search methods and to enable testing and evaluation. The Phase II base program will result in a TRL 4 brassboard prototype that will be extensively tested in relevant environments. In Year 2 of the effort, independent testing by third parties will be used as a means to evaluate system performance and to collect user feedback. The feedback will be incorporated in a review of the prototype design and CONOPS, which will be modified as necessary. At the end of the successful program, PSI will demonstrate a TRL 5 capability that achieves the SHHD Threshold Key Performance Parameters. The SHHD will be at a sufficient MRL for low-rate initial production. Sales of the pedestrian search capability will be through value added resellers of detector technology and will be complemented by the licensing of algorithm capability for full integration into hand-held detector and portal screening systems.

Company

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

Proposal Information DNDOSBIR12-02-FP-002-PSPT-II - Integration of Inertial Measurement Data for Improved Localization and Tracking of Radiation Sources
Topic Information 12.1-002 - Embedding of Advanced Search Technique for Detect, Locate, and Track for Pedestrian-based Search
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-13-C-00046
Abstract

abstractAlgorithms to extract relative positioning from IMU data will be developed and implemented, and existing advanced Bayesian inference algorithms will be updated to utilize relative position data. The goal of the Phase II program is to provide fully integrated and tested pre-production radiation detectors with the improved search capability for further evaluation and CONOPs development. These pre-production devices will demonstrate the commercial viability of the enhanced search algorithms within a networked system of commercial radiation detectors.

12.1-003

Company

Spectral Labs Incorporated
12265 World Trade Dr. Ste E
San Diego, CA 92128-3771

Proposal Information DNDOSBIR12-03-FP-001-SLI-II - RadMATE- a Mobile RAD/NUC Reachback App
Topic Information 12.1-003 - Smart Phone App(s) for Radioisotope Identification Device (RIID) and Spectroscopic Personal Radiation Detector (SPRD) Reachback
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-13-C-00079
Abstract

The risk of an adversary mounting a Radiological or Nuclear (RAD/NUC) attack on the United States remains one of the greatest threats to our Nation. The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) has identified an opportunity for exploiting rapidly emerging Smart Phone technology as one of many tools to counter this threat by giving Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) and Emergency Responders (ERs) support on their local Smart Phones or Tablets to significantly enhance their ability to properly adjudicate encounters with radiation sources. The classification of RAD/NUC threats is challenging because the terrestrial environment includes significant radiation background. This includes Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) and many legal medical and industrial sources. Providing officers and responders with up to date support through an in hand Smart Phone or Tablet will optimize their defensive response throughout the Nation. The Smart Phone support will automate and standardize communications with centralized authorities. The benefits will include minimized burden on operators and eliminating the need for a specialized laptop computer with instrumentspecific Reachback software. SLI's proposed development of radMATE will combine all of these elements in a powerful software package to provide a user friendly Smart Phone App that is easily adaptive to individual agency requirements.

12.1-004

Company

CapeSym, Inc.
6 Huron Drive
Suite 1B
Natick, MA 01760-1325

Proposal Information DNDOSBIR12-01-FP-004-CAPE-II - Defect Engineering of Thallium Bromide (TlBr) for Room Temperature Gamma Radiation Detection
Topic Information 12.1-004 - Thallium Bromide (TlBr) Crystal Modules for Room-Temperature Gamma Radiation Detection
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-13-C-00082
Abstract

TlBr is a promising gamma radiation semiconductor detector material primarily due to its high Z component and high density. TlBr detectors, however, suffer from polarization at room temperature and degrade rapidly under applied bias. Polarization is associated with ionic conductivity in this material. This proposal is focused on controlling the point, chemical, and crystalline defects in TlBr to minimize ionic conduction, and thereby enable operation of this promising detector at room temperature.

Company

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

Proposal Information DNDOSBIR12-04-FP-001-RMD-II - TlBr Spectrometers with Improved Long-Term Stability at Room Temperature
Topic Information 12.1-004 - Thallium Bromide (TlBr) Crystal Modules for Room-Temperature Gamma Radiation Detection
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-13-C-00070
Abstract

The ideal semiconductor detector for the nuclear non-proliferation application should have good energy resolution, high detection efficiency, compact size, light weight, easy portability, low power requirements and low cost. In the proposed effort, we plan to continue our development of thallium bromide (TlBr), a wide band gap semiconductor that recently has shown great promise as a gamma-ray detector material. In addition to high density (7.5 g/cm3), high atomic number constituents (81, 35) and wide band gap (2.68 eV) the material melts congruently at a modest temperature (480 'C) and does not undergo a phase change as the crystal cools to room temperature, which allows use of melt-based crystal growth approaches to produce large volume TlBr crystals. The cubic crystal structure of TlBr also simplifies crystal growth and device processing. As a result of recent progress in purification, crystal growth and processing, TlBr detectors with mobility-lifetime products of mid 10-3 cm2/V for electrons and mid 10-4 cm2/V for holes has been achieved. This has enabled the development of TlBr gamma-ray spectrometers with thickness exceeding 1 cm. TlBr detectors fabricated in our lab have exhibited < 1 % energy resolution (FWHM) at 662 keV with cooling and depth correction. To date, to obtain excellent long term performance of thick TlBr detector arrays, modest cooling (to ~ - 20 C) has been required. We have demonstrated stable TlBr detector performance exceeding 9 months with the detector continuously biased and operated at ? 18 'C. This level of cooling is easily achieved with a thermoelectric cooler. Cooling however, does increase the power budget of a detector system. In addition to cooling as a method to obtain long term TlBr detector stability, research at RMD and elsewhere has shown that surface processing, electrode materials and thermal annealing significantly influence the long term stability of TlBr detectors operated at room temperature. During Phase I RMD has demonstrated 5 mm thick TlBr detectors with long term stability exceeding 90 days at room temperature. It is our goal in Phase II to further investigate the effects of surface processing, electrodes and annealing on long term stability of TlBr detectors operated at room temperature. In addition, doping will be investigated as a method for modifying ionic conductivity. Dr. Harry Tuller's group at the materials science department of MIT will collaborate with RMD on this aspect of the project. Ultimately our goal is to develop TlBr spectrometers that are stable for more than 1 year at room temperature. Such an efficient, high resolution detector will find applications in nuclear monitoring areas such as nuclear treaty verification, safeguards, environmental monitoring, nuclear waste cleanup, and border security. Nuclear and particle physics as well as astrophysics are other fields of science were gamma-ray spectrometers are used. The developed detectors should have the following advantages: - Efficient detection of gamma-rays (better than CZT per unit volume) - Energy resolution < 1% (FWHM) at 662 keV at room temperature - Lower cost than CZT-based system due to lower cost crystal growth

12.1-005

Company

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

Proposal Information DNDOSBIR12-05-FP-001-RMD-II - High Efficiency TlBr Gamma-Ray Detector Module
Topic Information 12.1-005 - Near-Room Temperature, Low-Cooling-Power Operation of a Large-Volume Thallium Bromide (TlBr) Crystal Detector
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-13-C-00068
Abstract

The ideal semiconductor detector for nuclear monitoring should have good energy resolution, high detection efficiency, compact size, light weight, easy portability and low cost. In the proposed effort, we plan to develop a detector module for nuclear monitoring based on thallium bromide (TlBr), a wide band gap semiconductor that recently has shown great promise as a gamma-ray detector material. TlBr has a number of very promising properties. It has high density (7.5 g/cm3) and high atomic number constituents (81, 35), which promises high sensitivity. The electrical resistivity of the material is high (>1010 -cm) without deep level doping. Furthermore, the material melts congruently at a modest temperature (480 'C) and does not undergo a phase change as the crystal cools to room temperature, which allows use of melt-based crystal growth approaches such as Bridgman and Czochralski to produce large volume TlBr crystals. The cubic crystal structure of TlBr also simplifies crystal growth and device processing. As a result of recent progress in purification, crystal growth and processing, TlBr detectors with mobility-lifetime (u) products of mid 10-3 cm2/V for electrons and mid 10-4 cm2/V for holes has been achieved. This has enabled the development of TlBr gamma-ray spectrometers with thickness exceeding 1 cm. In fact, TlBr detectors fabricated at RMD have exhibited < 1 % energy resolution (FWHM) at 662 keV upon depth correction. These detectors were cooled to -20'C to achieve stable operation. The goal of this Phase II project is to build a cooled, compact TlBr gamma-ray detector module using the 3-dimensional position-sensitive readout technology pioneered by the group at the University of Michigan. The key advancement is to develop a lower power charge sensing ASIC that can digitally sample the outputs of an array of preamplifiers. By sampling the preamplifier outputs, the induced charges on the detector electrodes can be obtained as a function of time, so that digital signal processing can be used to perform gamma-ray spectroscopy, to determine the depth of interaction of individual gamma-ray energy depositions, as well as to measure charge drift time, electric field distribution within TlBr and lifetimes of electrons and holes. The digital ASIC readout system will enable both fundamental research on TlBr detectors and practical operation to perform gamma-ray imaging and spectroscopy outside the laboratory. Since TlBr detectors can operate in a stable manner at 20C, power consumption of the digital ASIC system should be minimized so that the system can be cooled to required temperature using Peltier coolers. Such an efficient, high resolution, 3-D position sensitive detector module will find application in nuclear monitoring areas such as nuclear treaty verification, safeguards, environmental monitoring, nuclear waste cleanup, and border security. Nuclear and particle physics as well as astrophysics are other fields of science were gamma-ray spectrometers are used. The developed detectors should have the following advantages: - Efficient detection of gamma-rays (better than CZT per unit volume) - Energy resolution < 1% (FWHM) at 662 keV - Lower cost than CZT-based system due to lower cost crystal growth

12.1-007

Company

ArchSmart, LLC
13603 White Stone Court
Clifton, VA 20124-2400

Proposal Information DNDOSBIR12-07-FP-001-ARCH-II - Test & Evaluation Data Archival Repository (TEDAR)
Topic Information 12.1-007 - Versatile Data Archive and Interfacing System
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-14-C-00007
Abstract

TEDAR is an intuitive archival database and interfacing system that will serve as a centralized repository for results from testing and evaluation (T&E), modeling and simulation (M&S), and other analysis events sponsored by Federal agencies and other organizations in large-scale evaluation and analysis of radiation/nuclear (RN) detection instruments and procedures. The TEDAR will provide a repository for T&E event data, M&S event data, and other analysis event data, consisting of very large amounts of processed and raw structured and unstructured detection device data collected by T&E and M&S events and analyses of these data. Authorized users will be able to search for and access these data collections and retrieve data relevant to their business needs, such as performing engineering analyses and studies. TEDAR will support a variety of T&E/M&S and analysis data users and provide access to T&E/M&S data sources providing essential support to engineering, acquisition, and operational decision-making. The TEDAR will also provide each data collection and analysis organization a standard interface for sharing T&E data and lessons learned. The Phase I effort was focused on developing and demonstrating highly innovative solutions to these issues that involve: (1) developing TEDAR such that it is easily customizable to meet the varying needs of a broad range of government and commercial applications; (2) significantly reducing the potential Operations and Maintenance (O&M) costs for a large repository system; (3) providing a very flexible and intuitive interface for the system users; (4) providing an effective and efficient search mechanism via a rich and comprehensive set of metadata that is integrated and linked across the many disparate data collections in the repository; and (5) protecting the T&E/M&S data collections from unauthorized access, change, or corruption. The Phase II effort will build on the Phase I baseline to complete out the system to an initial product, ready for use by DNDO and to proceed with commercialization. Significant Phase II objectives are to: (1) Improve usability and robustness to a production state, (2) scale up for very large collections and a very large number of collections, (3) design and implement a collection manifest capability; (4) enhance search capabilities; (5) implement support for M&S collections; (6) enhance security; and (7) address commercialization. As required by the SBIR process, these objectives will be addressed over two contiguous 12-month periods. The base capability for DNDO production use will by necessity be addressed in the first 12-month period of Phase II. A key aspect of Phase II will be standup of a Beta Test version of TEDAR for the personnel that DNDO assigns to represent the intended TEDAR user community. These users will be able to access and use the system functionality to become familiar with TEDAR, explore its capabilities, and identify enhancements and added capabilities that are desired. Thus an additional objective for Phase II will be to incorporate user-requested enhancements/functionality as approved by the DNDO system owner within time and resource constraints.