Topic Information Award/Contract Number Proposal Information Company Performance

Enhanced Agent Situational Awareness in Dismounted, Low Light/Adverse Conditions

HSHQDC-17-C-00026 HSHQDC-17-R-00010-H-SB017.1-001-0002-I
(HSHQDC-17-R-00010 Phase I)
Infrared and Optical Wilderness Location and Surveillance System

Physical Optics Corporation
1845 West 205th Street
Torrance, CA 90501-1510


To address the DHS need, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new InfraRed and Optical Wilderness Location and Surveillance (IROWL) system based on the unique integration of a handheld spotting device, display, and compact multispectral zoom optics. The lightweight handheld device includes surveillance optics, infrared sensors, and display electronics to enable Border Patrol Agents to detect, identify, recognize, and track humans while on the move under low-light and adverse conditions. The onboard computing software supports real-time image stabilization, image enhancement, and via integrated components enables computation of target coordinates, making it a complete system. In Phase I, POC will demonstrate feasibility by design, modeling, assembly, and testing of a preliminary prototype. It will result in an illustrated hardware design that depicts the necessary requirements and technical solution including a system architecture, a hardware design, and on-board computing software design, and mock-up of the IROWL hardware units. Working with input from Border Patrol Agents, we will define and describe a general usage as a starting point for proposed Phase II testing and demonstration of two operational prototypes. In Phase II, POC will build a functional prototype for testing and demonstration with Border Patrol. The successful completion of this project at the end of Phase III will benefit the nation in both government and commercial sectors by improving Border Patrol's ability to safely and effectively monitor U.S. borders. Commercial applications for this technology include geo-location, spotting, and tracking on wilderness terrain for professional and recreational pursuits.

Wearable Chemical Sensor Badge

HSHQDC-17-C-00043 HSHQDC-17-R-00010-H-SB017.1-006-0002-I
(HSHQDC-17-R-00010 Phase I)
A Wearable Toxic Chemical Sensor Badge

Design West Technolgies, Inc
2701 Dow Ave
Tustin, CA 92780-7209


Due to the high probability of exploiting common toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) as a weapon there is an increasing demand for rapid chemical detection technologies. A sensor that alerts the user of the presence of TICs independent of human interpretation is highly desirable. Furthermore, the sensor should be configurable as either a wearable badge or button so that it can be integrated as part of a first responders uniform. To address the difficulty associated with miniaturizing conventional detection technologies, Design West Technologies, Inc. (DWT) proposes a chemiresistor sensor array for the development of a wearable sensor badge that detects multiple TICs. This approach leverages the unique and rapid electrical response of carbon nanotubes. Notable advantages include high sensitivity and selectivity, low power consumption, and ease of miniaturization. During Phase I, DWT will optimize the sensor formulations and detection algorithm to detect a representative TIC in various environmental conditions. Feasibility of detecting the representative TIC in the presence of an interfering gas, secondhand smoke, will also be demonstrated. A 3D model of the proposed wearable sensor badge will be developed, and any miniaturization-related performance tradeoffs will be addressed and mitigated. A miniaturized chemiresistor sensor array would lead to a low cost, compact and lightweight wearable sensor badge. This wearable sensor technology is well aligned with the critical missions of DHS, and would find applications in one or more operational components of the DHS.

Wearable Chemical Sensor Badge

HSHQDC-17-C-00045 HSHQDC-17-R-00010-H-SB017.1-006-0003-I
(HSHQDC-17-R-00010 Phase I)
A Versatile Wearable Chemical Sensor using Ultrasound gas sensing technology (CMUTs)

Aromatix Technologies
2033 Gateway Place
Suite 577
San Jose, CA 95110-3709


We will develop a compact solid-state gas sensor using a novel ultrasound technology called CMUTs, invented by renowned Stanford Professor B. Khuri-Yakub two decades earlier. Although its application in gas sensors was known for some time, its challenges have so far prevented its commercialization. Aromatix Technologies has identified solution to each of these challenges, which are the subjects of research in this project. Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasound Transceivers, or CMUTs, have the highest sensitivity of all gas sensors to date. Using polymer coating, the ultrasound devices use gravimetric sensing principle to detect the concentration of a target gas. However its selectivity is moderate compared to technologies such as infrared or gas chromatography. Aromatix Technologies has perfected the Machine Learning algorithm for ultrasound systems for gas sensing to circumvent the issue; we have demonstrated that sensitivity and selectivity can both be achieved using Machine learning algorithms. CMUT's size, low cost, low power and the ability to functionalize the sensor with targeted polymers make it an ideal candidate for wearable chemical sensor badge. However there are a couple of challenges which we need to overcome for its commercialization: charge buildup in CMUTs degrading its sensitivity with time, poor selectivity, high sensitivity to humidity and temperature. We have assembled the best talents in the industry in each field to address these issues. The details are discussed in the Research Plan. We have done the necessary groundwork to ensure success and we are confident that we can commercialize the technology in six to eight quarters.