DOD STTR 24.B Annual

Active
No
Status
Open
Release Date
April 17th, 2024
Open Date
May 15th, 2024
Due Date(s)
June 12th, 2024
Close Date
June 12th, 2024
Topic No.
A24B-T015

Topic

Distributed Multithreat Microsensor

Agency

Department of DefenseN/A

Program

Type: STTRPhase: Phase IYear: 2024

Summary

The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking proposals for the topic "Distributed Multithreat Microsensor" as part of their Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The research topic falls under the Army branch and focuses on integrated sensing and cyber, microelectronics, integrated network systems-of-systems, and advanced materials. The objective of the solicitation is to demonstrate a mission-configurable miniature, deployable sensing capability. The technology should provide early warning and situational understanding of the battlespace, including the detection of hazardous persistent chemical agents and adversary actions. The technology should be small, lightweight, and integrate with existing equipment. The research will involve the development of multimission sensing technologies using functionalized materials such as metal oxide frameworks, carbon nanotubes, graphene, and conductive polymers. The proposed system should be modular and capable of detecting various chemical warfare agents and pharmaceutical hazards. The Phase I of the project will focus on defining a conceptual array of sensors, while Phase II will involve designing, building, and testing a prototype sensor array. The final phase, Phase III, will involve integrating the prototype into a compact device, establishing a manufacturing process, and developing additional commercial products. The project duration is expected to be two years, and the starting Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at the end of Phase II should be TRL5 or greater. The solicitation is currently open, and the application due date is June 12, 2024. For more information and to submit a proposal, interested parties can visit the solicitation agency's website at [solicitation_agency_url].

Description

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Integrated Sensing and Cyber, Microelectronics, Integrated Network Systems-of-Systems, Advanced Materials

 

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE: Demonstrate a mission-configurable miniature, deployable sensing capability.

 

DESCRIPTION: Maneuver elements require early warning and situational understanding of the battlespace to include adversary actions and the threat of area denial tactics through the employment of hazardous persistent chemical agents. Soldiers are at risk of encountering dangerous circumstances as a consequence of having limited remote sensing capabilities for these situations.  The joint forces require a small, lightweight technology that integrates with their equipment in a small form factor while affording prompt detection and reporting of the presence of multiple possible hazards or adversary troops and equipment in order to effect risk-based maneuver decisions and avoid hazards.

 

Emerging technology in miniature sensor science has increasingly demonstrated functionality and performance in the detection of hazardous chemicals and adversary movements and actions.  Functionalized materials including metal oxide frameworks, carbon nanotubes, graphene, and conductive polymers have been reported with increasing sensitivity, selectivity, and reliability as environmental sensing modalities. Colorimetric technologies supply an inexpensive option for prompt and effective threat agent detection, and lend themselves to automation through the incorporation of color imagery or diode transduction.

 

PHASE I: Define a conceptual array of multimission sensing technologies for motion detection, equipment and personnel movements, and materials that deliver a unique response pattern for the presumptive detection of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) including G-, V-, H-, L-, A- series threat agents and pharmaceutical hazards like fentanyl and other drug-derived hazardous agents.  Concepts for the sensing of such hazards and hazardous environments may include but is not limited to: magnetic, acoustic, passive infrared, and electromagnetic or electro-optical sensors, arrays of functionalized nanomaterials including metal and metal oxide particles and frameworks, single- and multi-walled carbon nanotubes, graphene, and colorimetric chemistries.  The system concept should be modular to accommodate the means by which operators can configure the sensor array to meet a given mission priority (i.e., chem threat sensing or troop movements and actions as appropriate).  Concepts should exhibit promising performance potential as evidenced by comparable reported performance testing or literature reporting on the recommended sensors and transduction mechanisms and the multivariate analysis approach that would yield reliable detection results.

 

PHASE II: Design, build, and test prototype sensor array that incorporates the proposed miniature sensors and functionalized materials onto an integrated compact device to demonstrate the proof of concept for the warning response in the presence of the aforementioned battlespace threat situations.  Demonstrate proof of concept for the sensitivity of the array (identification/classification not required) to surface-deposited persistent chemicals and objectively demonstrate warning response.  Further optimize the array performance and demonstrate its performance against each targeted hazardous situation.  Devices should be amenable to form factors in the <200g range for the complete system including any battery mass, and operate for 8 hours or longer on a single charge.  The starting Technology Readiness Level (TRL) on completion of the SBIR Phase II two-year Period of Performance should be TRL5 or greater, mandating the testing of the prototype under operational conditions and transduction mechanisms validated against live agents.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Integrate the prototype sensor array along with its electronic and physical packaging and software, and establish a manufacturing process for production of small production runs of scores of miniature deployable sensors.  Establish a quality assurance procedure to validate the reliability, consistency, and reproducibility of the manufactured items. Phase III performance will likely involve the development of non-recurring engineering (NRE) for the production of consistent and reliable multifunctional sensor products.  Support a test agency's operational test event and any user feedback events as opportunities present.  Demonstrate the "as manufactured" the sensitivity of the array (identification/classification not required) to battlefield threat situations including adversary movements of personnel or equipment, chemical hazards including G-, V-, H-, L-, A- series threat agents and pharmaceutical chemicals, objectively demonstrate warning response.  The starting Technology Readiness Level (TRL) on completion of the SBIR Phase III execution Period of Performance should be TRL6 or greater.  Develop additional commercial products based on the final integrated system and pursue appropriate demonstration and testing opportunities.

 

REFERENCES:

Potyrailo, R.A., Go, S., Sexton, D. et al. Extraordinary performance of semiconducting metal oxide gas sensors using dielectric excitation. Nat Electron 3, 280–289 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41928-020-0402-3; 
Lukasz Kowalski, Joan Pons‐Nin, Eric Navarrete, Eduard Llobet and Manuel Domínguez‐Pumar (2018) “Using second order sigma‐delta control to improve the performance of metal‐oxide gas sensors” Sensors (Basel) 18(2): 654.; 
Thanattha Chobsilp, Worawut Muangrat, Chaisak Issro, Weerawut Chaiwat, Apiluck Eiad-ua, Komkrit Suttiponparnit, Winadda Wongwiriyapan, and Tawatchai Charinpanitkul (2017) “Sensitivity Enhancement of Benzene Sensor Using Ethyl Cellulose-Coated Surface-Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes” Journal of Sensors, vol. 2018, Article ID 6956973; 
T. M. Swager, “Sensor Technologies Empowered by Materials and Molecular Innovations”, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2018.; 
Jennifer R. Soliz, Andrew D. Klevitch, Coleman R. Harris, Joseph A. Rossin, Amy Ng, Rhonda M. Stroud, Adam J. Hauser, and Gregory W. Peterson, “Structural Impact on Dielectric Properties of Zirconia”, J. Phys. Chem. C 2016, 120, 47, 26834–26840, November 2, 2016 https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b08478; 
Xiaohui Lu, Kenneth S. Suslick, Zheng Li, “Nanoparticle Optical Sensor Arrays: Gas Sensing and Biomedical Diagnosis”, Analysis & Sensing, 20 September 2022 https://doi.org/10.1002/anse.202200050; 
Mitchell B. Lerner, Felipe Matsunaga, Gang Hee Han, Sung Ju Hong, Jin Xi, Alexander Crook, Jose Manuel Perez-Aguilar, Yung Woo Park, Jeffery G. Saven, Renyu Liu, and A. T. Charlie Johnson “Scalable Production of Highly Sensitive Nanosensors Based on Graphene Functionalized with a Designed G Protein-Coupled Receptor” Nano Lett., 2014, 14 (5), pp 2709–2714.

 

KEYWORDS: microelectronics, sensor arrays, mesh networked sensors, nanotechnology, transducers, electronic nose, pharmaceutical-based agents, chemical hazards

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