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Abstracts of DHS SBIR-2012.2 Phase I Awards
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H-SB012.2-001

Company

ATC-NY
33 Thornwood Drive
Suite 500
Ithaca, NY 14850-1280

Proposal Information DHS SBIR-2012.2-H-SB012.2-001-0001-I - Arden
Topic Information H-SB012.2-001 - Solid State Storage Investigative Tools for Law Enforcement
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-12-C-00082
Abstract

Solid-state storage media, particularly solid-state drives (SSDs), present new challenges to forensic investigation that need to be addressed. The low-level behavior of these drives is dramatically different than for mechanical hard disk drives-including what low-level data is available, how that data is obtained, and how that data is interpreted. Interpreting low-level data is a useful tool in computer forensics, but disk forensics tools and techniques have not yet adapted to accommodate solid-state drives. The fundamental problem is that there is a layer of hardware logic between the computer and the raw flash storage that is difficult to bypass. To improve the analysis of SSDs in computer forensics, forensic analysts must be able to acquire data from as low a level as possible and must have tools and techniques available to properly interpret and analyze data acquired from SSDs. To address this need, ATC-NY will develop Arden, a collection of tools and techniques to acquire low-level SSD data and perform forensic analysis of both high-level and low-level data acquired from SSDs. We will develop and test techniques that obtain access to low-level device data over the peripheral bus, over debug ports, and through device reprogramming. Using Arden, a computer forensic analyst can easily acquire a forensic image of a solid-state drive; obtain SSD-specific evidence, such as hidden data; and then analyze the forensic image using existing analysis tools, such as EnCase or FTK. ATC-NY will release Arden as open-source software.

Company

CPR Tools Inc.
730 East Cowboy Way
LaBelle, FL 33935-4483

Proposal Information DHS SBIR-2012.2-H-SB012.2-001-0006-I - Forensic Acqusition of Solid State Storage Devices
Topic Information H-SB012.2-001 - Solid State Storage Investigative Tools for Law Enforcement
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-12-C-00075
Abstract

Solid state drives (SSD) suffer from data modification issues caused by internal influences such as those caused by manufacturer implemented functionality designed to increase product life and maintain performance. The purpose of the proposed innovation is to address these issues to provide the capability of acquiring a full forensic data copy while maintaining the forensic integrity of the subject SSD. The solution will be software and firmware based and will not require physical modification of the SSD. Work will include the research and implementation of a method of leveraging manufacturer based commands in order to attain forensic level access to the flash memory. Drive controller firmware research and modification will also be performed with the goal of providing similar forensic level access as well as write-protection of the device interface. An application suite providing a user interface to the proposed functionality as well as a method of reassembling physical memory images into a standard, logical format will also be developed. The output of the reassembly software will be compatible with existing analysis tools. Completion of Phase I and Phase II efforts will result in a comprehensive suite of software and firmware tools capable of retrieving data from SSD drives in a complete and forensically sound manner without physical drive modification. Commercial applications resulting from research and development efforts include a forensic quality SSD image acquisition toolkit for lab or field use, an SSD drive and flash chip data recovery toolkit, and an SSD drive and flash chip data destruction toolkit.

Company

S34A, Inc.
1532 N. Wakefield St
Arlington, VA 22207-2138

Proposal Information DHS SBIR-2012.2-H-SB012.2-001-0008-I - Method for a Comprehensive Memory Parser for Solid State Drives (SSDs)
Topic Information H-SB012.2-001 - Solid State Storage Investigative Tools for Law Enforcement
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-12-C-00079
Abstract

S34A, Inc. proposes research into methodologies for creating a coherent Logical Block Address (LBA) space in order to produce comprehensive images of the contents of solid state drives. Solid state drives (SSDs) are increasing in popularity - replacing traditional hard disk drives - and proliferating across a wide range of portable consumer devices. Unfortunately for law enforcement and forensic examiners, traditional forensic approaches used with hard disk drives are inadequate and irrelevant when applied to SSDs given the unique firmware, wear leveling, garbage collection, and TRIM algorithms used by SSDs. An alternative to write-blocking tools developed for hard disk drives is essential. At the end of a successful Phase I effort, S34A, Inc. will have developed a methodology that allows for the parsing of data from SSDs from multiple SSD manufacturers. The result of Phase II will be the development of a common set of hardware and software tools for parsing of data from multiple SSDs. These tools will provide Federal, State, and Local law enforcement with a capability that simply does not exist today. With SSD shipments expected to top 200 million units by 2016, this innovation will be critical to the continued, effective performance of day-to-day law enforcement activities across the globe. Technology readiness level at beginning of Phase 1: "1" Technology readiness level at conclusion of Phase 1: "3"

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H-SB012.2-002

Company

TeleSecurity Sciences
7391 Prairie Falcon Rd
Suite 150-B
Las Vegas, NV 89128-0186

Proposal Information DHS SBIR-2012.2-H-SB012.2-002-0001-I - Automatic Threat Recognition Algorithm for Volumetric CT Data
Topic Information H-SB012.2-002 - Automated Threat Recognition (ATR) Algorithms using Standardized Image File Formats
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-12-C-00076
Abstract

This Phase I proposal describes the development of an Automatic Threat Recognition (ATR) algorithm for volumetric CT data. Our ATR algorithm consists of four stages: (1) preprocessing of CT data, (2) object segmentation of preprocessed CT data, (3) post-processing of segmentation results, and (4) explosive detection from the segmented objects. The ATR algorithm will be made computationally efficient by GPGPU programming in order to meet desired throughput of the screening process. The performance of the ATR algorithm will be thoroughly analyzed via extensive experiments with CT dataset of typical checked bags with ground truth. Since a preliminary segmentation algorithm is already built, Phase I begins from TRL 3 and concludes with experiments and comprehensive quantitative performance analysis (TRL 4). A DICOS-compliant ATR algorithm and standard CT test datasets for reliable quantification of explosive detection performance is expected at the end of Phase II.

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H-SB012.2-003

Company

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

Proposal Information DHS SBIR-2012.2-H-SB012.2-003-0001-I - Objective X-ray Image Display Evaluation (OXIDE)
Topic Information H-SB012.2-003 - Objective, Quantitative Image Quality Measurements and Metrics for Screener Imaging Technologies
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-12-C-00077
Abstract

Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) are tasked with exploiting x-ray inspection systems to detect potential threats. To ensure the safety and security of the traveling public and to ensure efficient operation, TSOs must maintain a 100% probability of detection (Pd) rate while minimizing screening time and cost. Achieving these objectives requires that x-ray inspection systems operate predictably in accordance with manufacturer specifications and are calibrated to maximize Pd and reduce screening time. The ASTM X-ray Test Object aims to evaluate image quality (IQ) with respect to Pd in order 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 propose a system for Objective X-ray Image Display Evaluation (OXIDE). OXIDE uses a predictive approach to assess functional image quality, implemented using a large bank of image features, an array of test kit item detectors, and a regression algorithm which maps image features to detector performance. To maintain a high Pd, minimize screening time, and improve safety, OXIDE monitors IQ of unseen imagery during normal operation and cues the operator to potential image degradations during calibration.

Company

TeleSecurity Sciences
7391 Prairie Falcon Rd
Suite 150-B
Las Vegas, NV 89128-0186

Proposal Information DHS SBIR-2012.2-H-SB012.2-003-0002-I - Image Quality Assessment Toolkit for X-ray Imaging Systems
Topic Information H-SB012.2-003 - Objective, Quantitative Image Quality Measurements and Metrics for Screener Imaging Technologies
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-12-C-00080
Abstract

This Phase I proposal describes (1) an automated image quality assessment (IQA) software to objectively quantify image quality of airport security X-ray imaging systems for both checked and carry-on baggage and (2) a design for a novel test phantom specialized for security CT scanners. For fixed images, automated algorithms will measure the Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) and Contrast-to-Noise Ratio (CNR) of scan images; for moving images, automated algorithms will measure the uniformity of the horizontal speed of the object on the screen. These powerful automated IQA algorithms will objectively quantify image quality, without human intervention. For IQA of line scanners for carry-on baggage, we will use the existing ASTM phantom test object; for IQA of CT scanners for checked baggage, we will use a new test phantom, the TSS CT Phantom (TCP), which will be designed and built during this project. Given the widespread use of the MTF and CNR in IQA of medical X-ray imaging systems and that TCP is adapted from a prevalent medical CT phantom, Phase I efforts begin from TRL 2. Phase I mostly involves developing software and hardware-(1) the preliminary design and building of TCP prototype and (2) developing automated IQA algorithms-and concludes with performing experimental tests of the algorithms on available data (TRL 4). An on-site comparative analysis between human screener IQA and automated (algorithmic) IQA of real baggage data is expected at the end of Phase II.

Company

Design Interactive, Inc.
1221 E Broadway
Suite 110
Oviedo, FL 32765-7829

Proposal Information DHS SBIR-2012.2-H-SB012.2-003-0007-I - Discriminatory Analysis Display Assessment Toolkit (DADA)
Topic Information H-SB012.2-003 - Objective, Quantitative Image Quality Measurements and Metrics for Screener Imaging Technologies
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-12-C-00073
Abstract

The Discriminatory Analysis Display Assessment toolkit (DADA) will provide a methodology and embedded data analysis protocol to assess display technology image quality. DADA will identify the image/display characteristics that significantly impact human visual perception, specifically the ability to perceive and resolve key characteristics of screen objects. Further, DADA will incorporate perceptual characteristics of objects used by baggage screening personnel into an adaptive threshold protocol. This adaptive threshold protocol will establish the human ability to perceive and resolve differences in those key perceptual characteristics. The ability to resolve differences in key perceptual characteristics of objects will be related to the ability of screener's to identify and recognize threats. This will allow for the establishment of a criterion or threshold for image/display characteristics based on realistic human performance and relevant objects. An automated analytical component will then be embedded within the protocol to provide a rapid assessment of image quality of any display technology. This component will provide a simple, easy to interpret visualization of whether image quality affords optimal human performance and what display characteristics do not meet criterion thresholds.

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H-SB012.2-004

Company

SA Photonics
130 Knowles Drive
Suite A
Los Gatos, CA 95032-1832

Proposal Information DHS SBIR-2012.2-H-SB012.2-004-0003-I - Hardening for Commercially Available Hand Held Computing and Communications Devices for First Responders
Topic Information H-SB012.2-004 - Hardening for Commercially Available Hand Held Computing and Communications Devices for First Responders
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-12-C-00070
Abstract

First responders operate in emergency situations that require ruggedized gear that can survive temperature, impact, and moisture. Utilizing the communication devices that first responders already carry on them has many benefits including: always on-scene, reduced cost of distributing equipment, elimination of training requirements, and many others. Ruggedizing commercial hand held computing and communications devices provides the DHS the benefit of state of the art handsets without having to pay for the development of custom hardware. SA Photonics has developed a hardware agnostic approach to ruggedizing commercial off-the-shelf mobile communication devices. Our approach protects devices from impact, moisture, and temperature extremes. The SA Photonics ruggedized enclosure was especially designed to protect the weakest part of a smart phone; the glass touch screen. This protection is provided while still maintaining full functionality of a touch screen, such as pinch and swipe, that first responders are accustom to using in their daily lives. Additional battery life is also provided with an auxiliary battery and solar and inductive charging features. Our design can be modified to fit any smart phone or tablet platform. In a Phase I program, SA Photonics will first perform research with first responder groups to identify the most widely utilized devices and first responders' desired functionality and features. We will then complete the preliminary design of a ruggedized enclosure, provide technical drawings and demonstrate critical subsystem functionality. The SA Photonics ruggedized case will have commercial applications in first responder groups, Fire, Police, S.W.A.T, and military sectors.

Company

Cybernet Systems Corporation
3885 Research Park Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48108-2217

Proposal Information DHS SBIR-2012.2-H-SB012.2-004-0008-I - Ruggedization of Commercial-Grade Handheld Electronics for First Responders
Topic Information H-SB012.2-004 - Hardening for Commercially Available Hand Held Computing and Communications Devices for First Responders
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-12-C-00081
Abstract

Ruggedized electronics can be costly; utilizing commercial-grade hand-held computing/communication device and combining with well-designed case can provide ruggedization (impact, temperature, moisture) and extend capabilities such as integrated inclusion of smartcard/CAC readers, biometrics, and advanced barcode scanners. This program will determine the requirements for ruggedizing a device and use those requirements as inputs into a case design leveraging COTS gear. Phase I will result in an early prototype providing fit/function and preparation for improved production. Phase I will also plan for testing, certification, and integration into DHS workflows. The end system provides first responders with integrated, consistent platform for response coordination and management.

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H-SB012.2-005

Company

Wizbe Innovations LLC
167 Kerns Hill Rd
Manchester, ME 04351-3501

Proposal Information DHS SBIR-2012.2-H-SB012.2-005-0002-I - Next Generation Textiles for Multi-Threat Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Topic Information H-SB012.2-005 - Generation Textiles for Multi-Threat Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-12-C-00072
Abstract

When responding to an incident, first responders often do not know what environments they will encounter at the incident scene. Although the garments that they are wearing may provide protection in their normal working environment, it may not be suited for unexpected conditions they encounter when they reach the scene of the incident, or as the incident progresses. Through this SBIR, Wizbe Innovations, Tex Tech Industries, University of Maine, and Supreme Corporation, will develop and introduce a basic textile for use in protective clothing for first responders. This textile and clothing made from this clothing will provide a basic level of protection including: ballistic/fragmentation, slash/stab for knife/cut glass type incidents, antimicrobial protection, and fire resistance. The new textile and garments made from the textile will be lightweight and flexible enough to enable wearing in most typical, daily activities and enable a certain level of protection.

Company

Kappler, Inc
P.O. Box 490
Guntersville, AL 35976-0491

Proposal Information DHS SBIR-2012.2-H-SB012.2-005-0013-I - Kappler SBIR-2012.2-005
Topic Information H-SB012.2-005 - Generation Textiles for Multi-Threat Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-12-C-00078
Abstract

Kappler proposes to develop a novel fabric composite that when constructed into Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) garments, provides protection to the wearer from multiple threats. The proposed research set forth by Kappler, Inc. is innovative in that it augments current Kappler base fabrics that protect from chemical, biologic, and flame hazards, but will now include protection from ballistic and stabbing threats. The primary objective for this Phase I SBIR will be to (1) investigate fabrication and joining technologies and techniques to integrate Kappler's Lantex(R) and Frontline(R) fabrics with other commercially available fabrics that meet national standards for ballistic and stabbing threats and (2) to ensure that the resultant garment meets end user requirements for usability, durability, and cost. Kappler expects to develop, validate, produce, and commercialize a full spectrum novel protective suit that will be utilized by both first responders and security personnel that oftentimes deal with multiple unknown threats.

Company

Luna Innovations Incorporated
1 Riverside Circle
Suite 400
Roanoke, VA 24016-4962

Proposal Information DHS SBIR-2012.2-H-SB012.2-005-0015-I - Multifunctional Textiles for Advanced Personal Protective Equipment
Topic Information H-SB012.2-005 - Generation Textiles for Multi-Threat Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-12-C-00074
Abstract

Luna Innovations is addressing the Department of Homeland Security need to develop novel textiles for uniforms that provide multi-threat protection for first responders. Since first responders enter situations with unknown threats, their uniforms must be able to protect from multiple different hazards. Novel multifunctional textile technologies are required to protect from fire, chemical warfare agents, blast, ballistic, or sharp object penetration. Each of these novel textile technologies are currently under development by Luna's team. This program will combine these technologies into a lightweight garment with low thermal stress that provides chemical and biological protection from omniphobic surfaces, antimicrobial treatments, and advanced seam sealing combined with proven fire and blast/ballistic protection. All of these technologies will be combined to produce a garment that will be both comfortable to wear, and protect against numerous unknown hazards. Phase I will result in a TRL 4 prototype textiles demonstrating chemical agent defense, flame retardancy, and ballistic/knife protection. Phase II will result in design and manufacture of prototype first responder uniforms with the above properties for independent evaluation.

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