Abstracts of HSHQDC-14-R-00035 Phase II Awards



TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave.
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-1916

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00035-H-SB014.2-001-0009-II - Photochemical ClO2 Decontaminant for Biological Agent Neutralization
Topic Information H-SB014.2-001 - Decontamination Technologies for Biological Agents
Award/Contract Number D15PC00112

DHS requires the ability to respond to an attack with biological agents. Specifically, it requires a decontaminant to kill anthrax spores on building exteriors and interiors, and even large outdoor areas. In this proposal we describe an innovative bio-agent decon technology that is particularly suitable for decon over wide areas; and as far as we are aware, no other technology in development can be used on such a large scale. Prior to the Phase I effort, this proposed technology had already demonstrated efficacy against chemical warfare agent simulants and anthrax surrogates. During the Phase I effort the technology was improved, and tests with bacterial spores demonstrated the ability to achieve an 8-log reduction within 15 minutes. The technology demonstrated excellent performance on glass, plastic, painted wallboard and soil. In this proposed Phase II DHS project, we further develop the technology to produce an optimized formulation to combat anthrax in the field. TDA will acquire the data and information required to support EPA registration of a disinfectant product with claims of efficacy against anthrax.


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

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00035-H-SB014.2-001-0013-II - Rapid Low-Cost Biological Warefare Decontamination
Topic Information H-SB014.2-001 - Decontamination Technologies for Biological Agents
Award/Contract Number D15PC00111

Lynntech, Inc. proposes the use of a novel oxidant as a powdered concentrate, that when dissolved in water, yields a potent sporicidal solution capable of reducing spores by greater than 6-logs on a variety of surfaces. The sporicidal formulation will be tested on concrete, wood, galvanized metal, glass, plastic and painted wallboard to determine if the formulation will reduce spores but not harm the contacted surfaces. The formulation will include gelling agents to increase the formulation viscosity to better adherence to walls and ceilings for longer contact times. The formulation will also contain additives to increase efficacy of spore coat penetration and long term shelf life. Potential markets include first responders, military, medical and biomedical industry, and agriculture and industrial sectors for clean up and first response remediation. Alternative end user interest might include clandestine drug synthesis laboratory clean-up companies.



BlueRISC, Inc.
28 Dana St
Amherst, MA 01002-0000

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00035-H-SB014.2-002-0004-II - Autonomous Detection and Healing of Silent Vulnerabilities
Topic Information H-SB014.2-002 - Automatic Detection and Patching of Vulnerabilities in Embedded Systems
Award/Contract Number D15PC00114

BlueRISC's proposed solution provides a fundamentally new approach to enable autonomous detection of exploitation attempts as well as healing of silent vulnerabilities. It follows a hybrid approach consisting of (i) new static silent vulnerability point and associated path pre-characterization concepts, and (ii) the insertion of minimal and low-overhead runtime support enabled by the vulnerability characterization framework to enable validation, detection and healing at runtime. As opposed to other solutions, which rely on an attacker successfully injecting functionality in order to detect, this solution is also able to detect the exploitation of silent vulnerabilities, which leak information without modifying the system. The solution is CPU and operating system agnostic and thus widely applicable. Initial sectors that will be targeted include the critical infrastructure Energy Sector and the Defense Industrial Base Sector.


Red Balloon Security
336 West 37th Street Suite 1024
New York, NY 10018-4592

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00035-H-SB014.2-002-0011-II - Automated Embedded Vulnerability Identification and Exploitation Mitigation System Using FRAK, Symbiote and Autotomic Binary Structure Randomization
Topic Information H-SB014.2-002 - Automatic Detection and Patching of Vulnerabilities in Embedded Systems
Award/Contract Number D15PC00113

We propose to implement a novel Embedded Live-Hardening framework and associated algorithms to combine the state-of-the-art in static firmware vulnerability analysis and mitigation with a suite of novel dynamic defensive techniques powered by Red Balloon Security's software Symbiote technology. While Symbiotes have traditionally been used directly to enforce dynamic firmware integrity attestation in embedded devices, we propose to design new Symbiote payloads capable of not only dynamic attestation, but live attack forensic data collection, analysis and ultimately, live hardening of vulnerable devices based on forensic data collected by other similar deployed devices. Lastly, we propose to design a comprehensive framework for truly integrating all meta-data collected through both static and dynamic analysis components to continuously, and automatically, identify and mitigate vulnerabilities on all protected devices. Such a framework will allow network defenders to: - Maximize vulnerability identification accuracy while minimizing expert human intervention - Minimize reaction time between threat identification and mitigation deployment for proprietary embedded devices - Maximize forensic data collection capabilities on black-box embedded devices - Minimize downtime of vulnerable and compromised devices while drastically increasing the defenders ability to patch vulnerabilities within embedded devices dynamically - Maximize overall embedded security situational awareness across enterprise-level networks of heterogeneous embedded devices We propose to deliver a phase one report that details the component technology designs and time and cost estimates for a phase two contract to implement, test and evaluate these technologies.


Power Fingerprinting, Inc.
1577 Spring Hill Road
Suite #405
Vienna, VA 22182-2223

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00035-H-SB014.2-002-0015-II - Automatic Detection and Patching of Vulnerabilities in Embedded Systems
Topic Information H-SB014.2-002 - Automatic Detection and Patching of Vulnerabilities in Embedded Systems
Award/Contract Number FA8750-16-C-0062

Embedded devices are vulnerable to cyber attacks and their compromise can severely impair critical infrastructure and mission-critical systems. Power Fingerprinting (PFP) is a novel approach for integrity assessment of critical embedded systems which is capable of detecting malicious intrusions at all levels of the execution stack. PFP is based on fine-grained anomaly detection on the processor's physical side channels such as power consumption or electromagnetic emissions. PFP leverages signal detection and classification principles to provide a quantitative metric of trust. PFP enables security monitoring and integrity assessment on platforms that would otherwise not have the memory or processing resources necessary to do it. In this Phase II project we will develop a commercial prototype of a remote PFP monitor to perform automatic detection and mitigation of exploited vulnerabilities in networked embedded control systems in critical infrastructure. The specific technical objectives include: 1) Leverage current PFP integrity assessment and intrusion detection platforms to create a commercial prototype for automatic detection and patching of exploited vulnerabilities in critical embedded systems. 2) Define and implement flexible mitigation strategies specifically tailored to critical infrastructure to be deployed automatically when an intrusion is detected. 3) Provide analytics on real-time feeds of broad PFP deployments to provide an enterprise level view of security status. The prototype will be validated in two industrial control platforms commonly used in critical infrastructure. A PFP-based automatic vulnerability detection represents a dual-use opportunity with a broad range of applications within the military, the federal government, and several commercial enterprises.



High Performance Imaging LLC
1281 Win Hentschel Blvd Ste W1105
West Lafayette, IN 47906-4182

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00035-H-SB014.2-003-0004-II - Inversion Engine: A Custom Hardware/Software/Algorithmic Solution for Fast MBIR Imaging
Topic Information H-SB014.2-003 - Development of Cost-Effective Iterative Reconstruction Computing Platforms for Computed Tomography (CT)-based Explosive Detection Equipment
Award/Contract Number D15PC00110

Model-based image reconstruction (MBIR) has been demonstrated to have great potential value in a variety of DHS applications including baggage and cargo CT scanning. However, while MBIR has the potential to reduce artifacts and increase resolution, the computational requirements remain a barrier to its application. High Performance Imaging LLC seeks to create and commercialize the InversionEngine, a novel integration of algorithms/software/hardware that will reduce the cost and time for computation of MBIR methods to levels feasible for EDS applications. The InversionEngine will provide a turnkey OEM solution to vendors that will allow them to incorporate MBIR technology into a wide variety of imaging systems, thereby eliminating an important technical and market barrier. The InversionEngine is designed to be geometry agnostic, so it will efficiently compute the solution to a wide variety of reconstruction problems, including CT systems with either dense or sparse views. HPI's commercialization plan is to license the technology first to TSA vendors that provide systems for screening baggage and cargo. In addition, other fertile markets exist for the InversionEngine in scientific imaging, industrial inspection, commercial imaging, and medical imaging.



461 Boston Street
Topsfield, MA 01983-1290

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00035-H-SB014.2-004-0004-II - Laser Exposure Measurement Device
Topic Information H-SB014.2-004 - Radiant Laser Exposure Monitoring for Nominal Hazard Zone (NHZ) Evaluation
Award/Contract Number D15PC00108

The widespread use and deployment of laser systems in the public domain has led to the need for laser exposure measurement systems that operate over wide spectral range and provide sufficient dynamic range to measure exposure relative to maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits and establish normal hazard zones (NHZ). OPTRA, Inc. proposes a solution based on multiple detector arrays, custom CMOS readout integrated circuitry and diffractive optics to directly measure the laser characteristics and evaluate the exposure with respect to MPE limits established by the ANSI Z136.1 standard and determine NHZ.. In the Phase II R&D effort, OPTRA, Inc. will design, develop, build and test a UV through LWIR laser NHZ measurement system.



SkySight Technologies LLC
5836 Highview Dr
Fort Wayne, IN 46818-1905

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00035-H-SB014.2-005-0005-II - Downed Power Line Sensor
Topic Information H-SB014.2-005 - Status Indicator for Downed Power Lines
Award/Contract Number D15PC00109

The proposed SkySight Technologies Downed Power Line Sensor will detect and alert to the presence of a downed power line and its energized status through a sensor on the power line. In the event of a downed power line, an alert message is sent via wireless network to the utility provider regarding the lines energized status. A concurrent visual onsite indicator flashes to alert first responders and others at the scene to the hazard. The serialized sensor will provide information regarding pole location as well. The study will demonstrate the feasibility of a sensor able to provide real-time line status information that a utility provider can use to plan restoration repairs that return power to the greatest number of people by quickly and accurately dispatching crews to locations where unsafe conditions exist. A Technology Readiness Level TRL 4 is expected at the beginning of the Phase II effort, with a TRL 7 expected at completion. The Phase II effort is focused on refining and updating the design, fabricating prototypes, laboratory testing to meet rigorous standards, and field testing in the working utility grid. Commercial applications include use by large and small utility companies maintaining the estimated 500,000 miles of high voltage transmissions lines in the United States.



N5 Sensors, Inc.
18008 Cottage Garden Dr., 302
Germantown, MD 20874-5820

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00035-H-SB014.2-006-0014-II - Ultra-Small, Low-Cost Hazardous Gas and Particulate Matter Detector Using Novel Chip-Scale Chemical Sensor Technology
Topic Information H-SB014.2-006 - Field Detection and Analysis for Fire Gases and Particulates
Award/Contract Number HSHQDC-15-C-00075

The proposed SBIR Phase II project will demonstrate a wearable, low-power, low-cost detector module capable of detecting 13 toxic and hazardous gases and particulate matter (PM) in air suitable for use by first-responders and fire-inspectors during active knock-down and overhaul phases of fire operation. Standard four-gas detectors are grossly inadequate not only in terms of the limited information they can provide, but also due to severe operational and reliability problems as well as high operational and maintenance costs. We will develop the detector by combining patent-pending chip-scale gas sensor technology with a low-cost PM detector module, resulting in an integrated solution for environmental threat monitoring. This microscale gas sensor technology relies on a nanophotocatalysts surface functionalization technique which allows for the detection of host of gases. Utilizing only a few sensor chips, small detectors capable of simultaneously monitoring multiple gases will be realized. These chip-scale microsensors are produced using highly-scalable microfabrication methods similar to those used in production of electronic integrated circuits, which are ideally-suited for low-cost mass-manufacturing. In addition, N5 will refine the sensor designs, introduce additional on-chip components for reliable field-operation, develop a robust manufacturing process, demonstrate the reliability metrics of these sensors, and develop three complete working prototype detectors. We will conduct field-testing of the completed handheld systems through various collaborations to gain insights into the operational, reliability, and maintenance issues, and explore strategies for seamless integration with the next-generation of incident command response and decision support systems.


Matrix Sensors Inc.
10655 Roselle Street
San Diego, CA 92121-1232

Proposal Information HSHQDC-14-R-00035-H-SB014.2-006-0017-II - A Handheld Multi-Gas Sensor Based on Selective Gas Adsorption on Mass Transducers
Topic Information H-SB014.2-006 - Field Detection and Analysis for Fire Gases and Particulates
Award/Contract Number D15PC00107

We propose to develop a portable, rugged, handheld multi-gas sensor that is well within the solicitation requirements. We will leverage a mature class of mass sensors that include capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (CMUTs). These sensors boast extraordinary sensitivity to changes in mass (e.g. 50 femtograms) and are used today in several applications including high resolution ultrasonic imaging and film thickness monitoring. The membranes will be coated with materials that exhibit highly selective uptake of the target gases specified in the solicitation. When the device is exposed to a gas molecule that binds to the coating material the resulting mass change will be detected by the mass sensor. The chemical kinetics of the coatings will be engineered to selectively adsorb and desorb the target gases with sub-10 second response times. We will integrate a commercial particle counter with multiple mass sensors to measure all 12 gases specified in the solicitation. The mass sensors are small and thin (less than 10x10x1 mm) and light (less than 1 gram) and their readout electronics can fit on a standard pc board that is 3 in x 3 in x 0.2 in while consuming 700 mW of power allowing for 17 hours of continuous operation. Because of the extraordinarily small size of our sensor technology, we will be able to use ruggedized packaging to meet the drop test requirement, while still satisfying the target specifications for size, weight, battery life, cost, and response time.