Abstracts of HSHQDC-14-R-00005 Phase I Awards



Lynntech, Inc.
2501 Earl Rudder Freeway South
College Station, TX 77845-6023

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00005-H-SB014.1-001-0004-I - Detection of Texture Anomalies on the Ground (DTAG)
Topic Information H-SB014.1-001 - Mobile Footprint Detection
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-14-C-00017

Footprints trails left on unimproved roads during illegal border crossings are often useful starting places for Border Patrol Agents to begin their pursuits. Currently searching for footprints involves CBP agents driving over long stretches of road and visually searching for signs of human activities. In this technology and product development effort, Lynntech proposes to develop a COTS mobile-device based system (smart-phones and tablets) which can utilize vehicle-mounted COTS cameras to automatically scan upcoming segments of road for human footprint trails. At the beginning of the effort the TRL level will be 2, and at the end, the system will be TRL 4. Lynntech has already demonstrated the effectiveness of its proposed footprint detection algorithm on simulated road and footprint imagery during Preliminary Results work discussed in the Technical section of this proposal. In the Phase I, Lynntech will collect actual unimproved road imagery with and without footprints to improve the detection algorithm, and will demonstrate use of the algorithm to detect human footprints at real-time frame rates from a moving vehicle. The proposed approach has dual use as an inexpensive mechanism to enable manufactures to perform real-time surface defect inspection on production lines.


Polaris Sensor Technologies
200 Westside Square
Suite 320
Huntsville, AL 35801-4875

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00005-H-SB014.1-001-0006-I - Polarization Enhanced Thermal (eTherm) Imager for Mobile Footprint Detection
Topic Information H-SB014.1-001 - Mobile Footprint Detection
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-14-C-00018

Imaging polarimetry has demonstrated the ability for detection of military targets in situations where traditional imaging sensors fall short. Detection of polarization of light emitted or reflected from objects in a scene enhances contrast between objects and backgrounds, providing additional information about the geometry, material, temperature, and surface characteristics of the objects in the scene. Polaris Sensor Technologies has developed an infrared polarimetric imager for military applications that will be adapted here to detect footprints and other signs of human activity in the desert through surface texture and other changes in the soil due to foot traffic. The Phase I will use an existing system for data collection, demonstrate the capability, and produce a system design with user interface and features customized for the CBP mission to be implemented in Phase II. The eTherm sensor at completion of Phase II will provide real time video suitable for use on a vehicle travelling up to 25 mph on unimproved roads while monitoring the border. The CBP agent will view fused IR and polarimetric imagery and receive alerts from the eTherm system via a smart phone or tablet interface. Strong commercial potential applications exist with CBP, a major drone manufacturer, and DoD.


Spectrum Photonics, Inc.
2800 Woodlawn Dr.
STE #150
Honolulu, HI 96822-1862

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00005-H-SB014.1-001-0011-I - Low-cost Multi-spectral Infrared Sensor for Mobile Footprint Detection
Topic Information H-SB014.1-001 - Mobile Footprint Detection
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-14-C-00019

Spectrum Photonics will utilize our 20 years of experience in developing and employing multi-spectral disturbed earth sensors to develop a vehicle-mounted, low-cost mobile footprint detector. To meet the specifications described in the SBIR topic, our team will develop a multi-spectral long wave infrared sensor that will exploit the restrstrahlen effect for the silicate-based soils that dominate the southern border between the United States and Mexico. The sensor will operate while integrated onto a vehicle moving up to 25 mph in both daytime and nighttime conditions. The sensor is intended to be cost-effective with a targeted price of $1,000 per installed device. Our project will focus on the design, development and demonstration of a prototype mobile footprint detection system, with the end result being a final technical report that includes demonstration results, demonstration anomalies (e.g., not conducted at desired speed or rugged environment), anticipated costs, and proposed Phase II solutions to address resulting shortcomings and demonstration anomaly issues.


5551 Ekwill Street, Suite A
Santa Barbara, CA 93111-2355

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00005-H-SB014.1-001-0012-I - A vehicle mounted radar footprint trail detection system
Topic Information H-SB014.1-001 - Mobile Footprint Detection
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-14-C-00020

Often illegal border crossing along the southern border takes place in unimproved areas not constantly monitored by Border Patrol agents or deployed sensors. Agents must rely on sign-cutting to detect traffic and start their pursuit. These signs can be difficult or impossible to detect from a moving platform with the unaided eye due to inclement weather, insufficient illumination and agent fatigue. By developing an all weather sensor focused on footprint trail detection to aid in monitoring unimproved areas, additional illegal border crossing can be detected. AKELA is proposing to develop a low cost, vehicle mounted, radar based footprint trail detection sensor to aid Border Patrol Agents in this task. The system will consist of simple low cost Ka-band radar hardware and data preprocessing and detection algorithms. Work will include radar test bed development, research into electromagnetic footprint scattering phenomenology, and algorithm development. A feasibility demonstration using a brassboard system prototype will be conducted at the end of Phase I. A manufacturing cost analysis will inform system design and help to minimize system cost. Completion of Phase I and Phase II efforts will result in a mature system prototype capable of detecting footprint trails from a moving vehicle in real environments. Commercial applications resulting from research and development efforts include roadway-monitoring sensors and airport runway foreign object damage detection sensors.



VST LLC dba Medgene Labs
1006 32nd Avenue, Suite 104
Brookings, SD 57006-4728

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00005-H-SB014.1-002-0001-I - Oral vaccine delivery of recombinant subunit vaccines for animal diseases
Topic Information H-SB014.1-002 - Mass Delivery of Countermeasures to High Consequence Diseases (HCD) in Wildlife
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-14-C-00024

Wildlife are a reservoir of diseases affecting both humans and domestic animals. These wildlife reservoirs represent a potential threat to public health, serving as a continuous and difficult to eradicate source of infection for zoonotic diseases, but may also represent a significant economic threat to US agriculture. In particular, wild ruminants including white-tail deer may harbor vector-borne infectious diseases that can directly impact US Cattle and Sheep operations. Medgene Labs focuses on the development of novel subunit vaccine formulations to address these critical diseases that may affect both public health and US agricultural animals. Subunit vaccines have the advantage of being highly stable and safe from potential reversion to virulence, supporting strong protective immune responses without the potential for contributing to new outbreaks through combination with wild-type agents. Furthermore, these strategies are ideally suited to the development of immune responses to effectively differentiate vaccinated from infected animals (DIVA approach). Our current development efforts have defined highly efficacious, DIVA-compatible vaccine formulation directed against Rift Valley Fever Virus, and a focus of this proposal is to define an efficacious oral vaccine. This proposal will leverage the existing strength that Medgene Labs brings to the generation of highly effective and safe vaccine strategies directed against RVFV and other orbiviruses of national interest to define appropriate delivery systems for oral vaccination of wildlife. Following initial characterization of these oral formulations in a well-established sheep model, we will proceed directly in Phase II to define efficacy in target cervid populations for use in wild ruminants.


FoodSource Lure Corporation
520 Galloway Circle
Alabaster, AL 35007-4027

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00005-H-SB014.1-002-0002-I - Hands-off oral vaccine delivery system to immunize wildlife populations against high consequence diseases.
Topic Information H-SB014.1-002 - Mass Delivery of Countermeasures to High Consequence Diseases (HCD) in Wildlife
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-14-C-00025

The overall goal of this research project is to develop an effective, economical, bait-based oral vaccine delivery system for immunizing wildlife populations against high consequence diseases. This system is based on FoodSource Lures patented Incortrix bait formulation that can be used to incorporate complex agents such as vaccines with minimal loss of biological activity when exposed to the environment for several weeks. Our system has a number of novel features that will allow it to be deployed quickly over large areas and that should provide long term immunity in wildlife populations and thus help protect nearby livestock from infection. The specific objective of Phase I of this SBIR proposal is to obtain initial proof of concept for our delivery system when applied to two distinct categories of oral vaccines: a) recombinant live virus; and b) targeted protein subunits in microsphere carriers. Our preliminary testing of the bait system for delivery of a recombinant live virus will test several variations of the Incortrix bait to identify one which is most palatable to bighorn sheep. The subunit vaccine protein will be encapsulated within microspheres that are designed to minimize degradation of the protein as it passes through the harsh conditions of the stomach. Our novel oral vaccine system should be adaptable for a wide variety of animal pathogens; we expect that it may ultimately be used as a general method for immunizing livestock against common infectious agents.



Triple Ring Technologies
39655 Eureka Drive
Newark, CA 94560-4806

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00005-H-SB014.1-003-0001-I - X-ray Simulation Platform for Explosive Detection Equipment
Topic Information H-SB014.1-003 - System Simulation Tools for X-ray based Explosive Detection Equipment
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-14-C-00021

Computer simulations have the potential to improve the development x-ray-based explosive detection equipment. Despite the number of available simulation tools, no existing tool meets the needs of the explosive detection community. This is due to (1) the flexibility required to model the range of objects, physical processes, and system geometries used in explosive detection, and (2) the usability required for adoption. The proposed project will design a software tool that meets the needs of the explosive detection community, while being validated for imaging tasks relevant to explosive detection. One objective of this project is to evaluate how existing tools match experimental data, including artifacts and nonidealities. The second objective is to design a software architecture focused on usability and flexibility, while incorporating validated physics-based models. Usability and flexibility will be designed into the architecture by incorporating feedback from potential users. Successful completion through Phase I and Phase II will result in a software tool that is easy to use and is applicable to wide range system geometries, object definitions, and x-ray-based imaging techniques. Because the software will be designed to address user needs, the anticipated result is that the software will be adopted by developers of x-ray-based explosive detection equipment. Once adopted, the simulation software will be used to reduce time to market for scanners by enabling inexpensive and efficient system prototyping, parameter optimization, and system testing. The simulation software can also be used to generate a large library of test data for algorithm development and testing.


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

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00005-H-SB014.1-003-0003-I - Raw Data Generation Tool for X-ray Security Imaging Systems
Topic Information H-SB014.1-003 - System Simulation Tools for X-ray based Explosive Detection Equipment
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-14-C-00022

The X-ray intensity as measured by detectors depends on all aspects of the imaging system ranging from the source spectrum to various scatter events during the photon transport. The proposed simulator models the entire X-ray detection process from photon generation to various scatter events to the eventual detection of transmitted/scattered photons. In particular, the simulator models the two important form factors--coherent (Rayleigh and small angle) and incoherent (Compton)--to better guide the design of security imaging systems towards cost-effective and efficient operation aimed at optimizing classification of objects in packed bags as threats or benign. Central to the simulator are the analytical models for various components of X-ray physics. All components of the X-ray imaging system are modeled and parameterized with user specified parameters such as the scanner geometry (source/detector/conveyor positions), source characteristics (spectral shape, kVp and beam intensity profile of the X-ray source), and detector spectral response. In addition, various apertures (e.g., coded aperture) and collimators may also be included anywhere in the optical path. For instance, the vane collimators at the detectors typically used in CT scanners will also be modeled by the simulator. Such parameterization allows individual users to emulate any X-ray based imaging system. In particular, the simulator, through appropriate parameterization will allow the modeling of any Computed Tomography (CT) based Explosive Detection System (EDS).



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

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00005-H-SB014.1-004-0006-I - Wireless Physiological and Environmental Monitoring System
Topic Information H-SB014.1-004 - Physiological Monitoring and Environmental Scanning Technology
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-14-C-00023

To address the DHS need for a single wireless device that will monitor physiological and environmental conditions of and surrounding a first responder, and relay the information to the incident command, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Wireless Physiological and Environmental Monitoring (WiPEM) system incorporating four major components: (1) an array of physiological sensors, (2) an array of miniaturized environmental sensors, (3) processing and communication electronics, and (4) mechanical packaging. Leveraging POC's previous technologies, the proposed WiPEM system provides critical information not only on the physiological status of multiple first responders to be monitored and transmitted to the incident command, but also on critical surrounding information to enhance the situation awareness. The novel design of the open-architecture system is developed based on POC's prior developments in compatible PPE for DHS and working with the industrial leaders of PPE including Scott Safety to be able to achieve certification for various applicable NFPA standards in the future. In Phase I, POC plans to provide a comprehensive documentation, assessments, and feasibility demonstration of an optimal solution to address DHS's requirements and first responders' needs. The WiPEM system will also comply with the existing PPE/SCBA systems and FEMA requirements. In Phase II, POC plans to develop a fully functional prototype system according to the outline developed in the Phase I detailed technical analysis for further testing.



Ejenta, Inc.
3978 Cesar Chavez St
San Francisco, CA 94131-2004

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00005-H-SB014.1-005-0005-I - Intelligent Internet of Things Architecture to Improve First Responder Communications
Topic Information H-SB014.1-005 - Machine-to-Machine Architectures to Improve First Responder Communications
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-14-C-00026

Machine-to-machine communications (M2M) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are revolutionizing many industries and improving communications and operations, however adoption in public safety is still in its infancy. The emergence of first responder broadband networks introduces new ways to respond to incidents. Devices worn by first responders, or placed on victims during triage, can transmit voice, along with two-way video and data streams, including location, vital signs and environmental conditions, allowing unprecedented incident management capability. Today, first responders are starting to use wearable devices, such as sensors embedded in firefighter suits, and head-mounted cameras and heads-up displays used in law enforcement. However, most of these devices do not interoperate with each other or with existing land mobile radio (LMR) networks, which will realistically remain the primary voice communication devices for many years to come. Thus, interoperability between heterogeneous devices and networks remains a challenge for effective emergency response. In this effort, Ejenta will develop a scalable technical architecture that allows heterogeneous communication networks and wearable devices to interoperate to improve first responder communications. The architecture will use a standards based approach and will incorporate big data technologies that allow first responders to rely on increasingly large amounts of live streaming telemetry data (e.g., from wearable cameras and vital signs sensors, to road side sensors to social media feeds). The architecture will incorporate cloud-based intelligent agent services to route data and reduce information overload, with the goal of increasing first responder situational awareness and supporting real-time decision making capabilities.


BALFOUR Technologies LLC
510 Grumman Road West
Suite 212
Bethpage, NY 11714-3631

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00005-H-SB014.1-005-0008-I - A Scalable, Mobile Layer-1 M2M Architecture to Connect First Responders at the Incident Site
Topic Information H-SB014.1-005 - Machine-to-Machine Architectures to Improve First Responder Communications
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-14-C-00027

First Responders need to leverage automated (M2M machine-to-machine), mobile connectivity at an incident site. With connectivity automated through M2M network technology, responders would have much improved situational awareness, and can effectively focus their complete attention on the necessary emergency response actions. We propose to develop a futuristic automated M2M device mesh and concept of operations, that could be initially deployed NOW, that would enable M2M devices at the emergency site (building sensors, people, and other first responders) to automatically "talk" to each other, providing automated situational awareness and inter-communications. We intend to leverage our previous SBIR Phase I/II/III work and experience in M2M architectures to design a solution that can support "plugin" Standards modules, and evolve and leverage emerging "Internet-of-Everything" technologies in the coming years. This solution can be immediately integrated and commercialized into our existing fourDscape situational awareness, command and control, safety, security, and response product/marketplace.



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

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00005-H-SB014.1-006-0001-I - Smartphone Enabled Spectroscopic Gamma-Neutron Radiation Sensor
Topic Information H-SB014.1-006 - Smartphone or Tablet Controlled Devices for Radiation Detection, Identification, Classification and Quantification
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-14-C-00031

RMD is proposing the development of Smart-Phone Enabled Radionuclide Identifier (SERI), a new detection instrument designed to take full advantage of smartphone / tablet technology. The hardware platform will include a new advanced scintillator that will provide both high gamma-ray efficiency and spectroscopic performance, but also provide high neutron efficiency. The unit will communicate wirelessly to a smartphone / tablet, providing an interface for isotope ID and reach-back functionality. The early stage research is to optimally design the hardware components while moderating cost. Additionally, the software architecture of the accompanying application will be designed, including evaluation of key algorithms needed to determine isotope identity. The final product will be an instrument primarily geared to first responders. It will be compact, easily transportable and possibly worn, battery operable and rugged. Furthermore, with the novel detector design, it will provide a completely new level of performance.


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

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00005-H-SB014.1-006-0010-I - Low-Cost Radiation Detection Using a Smart Phone
Topic Information H-SB014.1-006 - Smartphone or Tablet Controlled Devices for Radiation Detection, Identification, Classification and Quantification
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-14-C-00028

Accurate high-performance, low-cost handheld devices are needed by law enforcement and first responders for the detection, identification, classification and reporting of radioactive materials. The goal of this program is to produce a compact, low-power radiation identifier that costs less than $500 to make and communicates with a smartphone or tablet for computational analysis. CapeSym will leverage its established CdZnTe manufacturing capability to integrate a high-performance CdZnTe detector into the device, although the architecture is also compatible with scintillating detectors. The Phase I effort will demonstrate breadboard validation (Technology Readiness Level 4) of the novel processing architecture, leading to a commercial product that is a D-cell battery-sized detection module which can be sold directly to first responders. The companion phone/tablet app will provide accurate radiation detection, radionuclide identification, user interface display, and user control of the detection module, through either wired or wireless communication, at very low cost. The phone/tablet app will also provide reach-back with GPS for spatio-temporal mapping of radiation levels. The technology will enable more thorough and wide-spread radiation monitoring and reporting to improve public safety.



Niowave, Inc.
1012 N. Walnut St.
Lansing, MI 48906-5061

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00005-H-SB014.1-007-0001-I - Portable High-Intensity X-Ray Source Based on a 10 MeV Superconducting Electron Linac
Topic Information H-SB014.1-007 - Miniaturization of Support Infrastructure for Non-Intrusive Inspection X-Ray Systems
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-14-C-00029

In the post 9/11 security environment, rapid cargo inspection has become a high priority. Cargo scanning using either radiographic imaging or active interrogation for Special Nuclear Material (SNM) requires high energy and high intensity x-rays. High intensity x-ray sources are especially important for active interrogation techniques such as photo-fission, delayed neutron & gamma measurements, pulse-shaped discrimination and Nuclear Resonance Fluorescence (NRF). The most common source of such x-rays is an electron accelerator. Existing pulsed copper accelerators can deliver high energy electrons (3-10 MeV), but have low duty cycle beams and correspondingly low average current. These low current beams limit the quality of x-ray images and SNM detection sensitivity. Furthermore, inspection systems based on copper accelerators typically weigh several tons, have a large footprint, and consume hundreds of kilowatts of electric power. As a result, these machines require a large, fixed site to operate. Niowave, Inc. has developed an alternative--a compact, portable, high-efficiency 10 MeV superconducting electron linac with 10 kW average beam power. This high-intensity source, evolved from linacs developed by Niowave for x-ray sterilization and free electron lasers, produces an electron beam with a 100% duty cycle. When equipped with a thin liquid metal bremsstrahlung converter, our superconducting linac generates a continuous, high-energy, high-intensity x-ray beam. Such a beam is ideal for x-ray radiography, or for initiating photonuclear reactions required for active interrogation.


RadiaBeam Technologies, LLC
1717 Stewart Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404-4021

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00005-H-SB014.1-007-0004-I - Miniaturized High Energy X-ray Source for Mobile Non-Intrusive Inspection Systems
Topic Information H-SB014.1-007 - Miniaturization of Support Infrastructure for Non-Intrusive Inspection X-Ray Systems
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-14-C-00030

Mobile Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) systems are advantageous as they can be deployed to where the greatest need exists, and they generally have small footprints, which is necessary in many locations. However the currently deployed mobile NII systems do not offer effective material discrimination, which is critical for shielded radiological/nuclear threat identification. This is because the current generation of high-energy interlaced 6/9 MeV X-ray sources needed for good material discrimination are too large and heavy to fit into a compact mobile system. In this project, RadiaBeam will develop an X-ray source that meets the small size and weight required for a mobile scanner yet can provide the imaging performance required to detect shielded threats. We will design a dual-energy, 6/9 MeV linac that, combined with all support infrastructure (electronics, cooling, shielding), will be half the weight and volume of the dual energy linacs on the market today. The X-ray source will find immediate application in the cargo scanning market.