DOD SBIR 24.4 Annual

Active
Yes
Status
Open
Release Date
October 3rd, 2023
Open Date
October 3rd, 2023
Due Date(s)
March 31st, 2025
Close Date
March 31st, 2025
Topic No.
A244-008

Topic

Biometrics for Multi Factor Authentication

Agency

Department of DefenseN/A

Program

Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2024

Summary

The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking proposals for the topic "Biometrics for Multi Factor Authentication" as part of their SBIR 24.4 Annual solicitation. The specific branch for this topic is the Army, and the topic number is A244-008. The objective of this solicitation is to develop dual-band Mid-wave Infrared/Long-Wave Infrared (MWIR/LWIR) Infrared Focal Plane Array (IR FPA) technology that can meet Third Generation Forward Looking Infrared (3GEN FLIR) performance objectives. This technology will benefit all forms of Army and DOD night vision sensors, including individual soldier, ground vehicle, unmanned vehicles, and aircraft. The combination of MWIR & LWIR imaging increases the ability to penetrate fog and dust clouds and provides resilience against stray light artifacts from bright sources. The project will focus on the use of Antimonide-based strained layer superlattices (SLS) as a cost-effective and high yield detector material for dual-band FPAs. The project will be conducted in multiple phases, starting with Direct to Phase II (DP2) proposals, followed by fabrication capability demonstration in Phase II, and finally, dual-use applications in Phase III. The potential applications for this technology include enhanced vision for emergency response, earth observation, autonomous driving, maritime navigation, and security systems. The solicitation is currently open, and the application due date is March 31, 2025. More information can be found on the grants.gov website or the DOD SBIR/STTR Opportunities page.

Description

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Microelectronics; Advanced Materials; Integrated Sensing and Cyber

 

OBJECTIVE: The U.S. Army seeks to develop dual-band Mid-wave Infrared/Long-Wave Infrared (MWIR/LWIR) Infrared Focal Plane Array (IR FPA) technology that can meet Third Generation Forward Looking Infrared (3GEN FLIR) performance objectives, such as clusters, dark current, noise, quantum efficiency, operability, spectral crosstalk, modulation transfer function, non-uniformity correction (NUC) stability, etc. This project benefits all forms of Army and DOD night vision sensors, including individual soldier, ground vehicle, unmanned vehicles, and aircraft wherein dual-band thermal sensors are used. The combination of MWIR & LWIR imaging increases the ability to penetrate fog and dust clouds and provides resilience against stray light artifacts from bright sources. Image fusion between the spectral bands also enhances target detection.

 

DESCRIPTION: The Mercury Cadmium Telluride (HgCdTe) supplier has been the incumbent detector material system for advanced sensors, but remarkable progress has been made in the electro-optical performance of IR FPAs made from Antimonide-based strained layer superlattices (SLS) resulting in the adoption of sensors based on this technology for fielded systems. A cost-effective and high yield SLS detector material will provide broad benefits to the Army & DoD for maintaining dominance of the electro-magnetic spectrum on the battlefield, particularly in the domain of thermal infrared imaging. The innovative approach of using SLS detectors to solve high-volume high-performance night vision imaging systems will be a game changer for the new class of ground and airborne systems. The SLS material for dual-band FPAs can be made cost-effectively in commercial growth foundries, which were established during the Vital Infrared Sensor Technology Acceleration (VISTA) program. This initiative enables manufactures to access high quality SLS materials in larger size (up to 5” diameter) wafers to streamline high yield, low-cost unit production while meeting stringent FPA specifications. The spatial uniformity of the SLS material is far superior and results in longer DRI range for the infrared system than can be obtained with the incumbent material.

 

PHASE I: This topic is accepting Direct to Phase II (DP2) proposals. Proposers interested in submitting a DP2 proposal must provide documentation to substantiate that the scientific and technical merit and feasibility equivalent to a Phase I project has been met. Documentation can include data, reports, specific measurements, success criteria of a prototype, etc.

 

(DIRECT TO) PHASE II: Demonstrate fabrication capability of MWIR/LWIR dual-band SLS FPAs that can meet 3GEN FLIR performance objectives. During Phase II, the awardee will fabricate multiple lots (minimum 3 lots) of MWIR/LWIR dual-band FPAs with progressively improved key performance matrices such as dark-current, quantum efficiency, Noise, operability, modulation transfer function, and non-uniformity correction (NUC) stability. The awardee will work with growth foundries to qualify optimized starting SLS material wafers for fabrication of FPAs. Awardees will perform FPA qualification tests in a laboratory Dewar under 3 GEN FLIR relevant operation conditions. The company/companies must have demonstrated the ability to make large format small pitch arrays using SLS detector material. They must show some examples of what they have done in the past on SLS detector arrays with some significant detector metrics.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Dual use potential is primarily centered around infrared (IR) applications that require high sensitivity, detection range, and/or capture rate that is enabled by cooled infrared focal plane array (FPA) technology, like SLS detectors. SLS detectors have cost, fabrication, and performance advantages over the incumbent cooled IR FPA of choice, HgCdTe, but still have higher cost and cooling requirements than uncooled IR FPAs.

Market applications for SLS-enabled infrared optics could potentially include:

Enhanced vision for emergency response (e.g., firefighter situation assessment, thermal imaging for search and rescue)​
Earth observation (e.g., environmental monitoring, satellite imagery)​
Autonomous driving (e.g., sensing through poor weather conditions)​
Maritime navigation (e.g., collision prevention, autonomous operation)​
Security systems 

 

REFERENCES:

http://physicsnet.co.uk/a-level-physics-as-a2/materials/stress-strain/
U.S. Pat. No. 7,485,799, "Stress-induced bandgap-shifted semiconductor photoelectrolytic/photocatalytic/photovoltaic surface and method for making same," John M. Guerra, Priority date May 7, 2002. Assigned to Nanoptek Corporation.
II-V Compound Semiconductor Superlattices for Infrared Photodetector Applications” Opt. Eng 26 249-255 (1987).

 

KEYWORDS: Mid-wave Infrared/Long-Wave Infrared (MWIR/LWIR); Infrared Focal Plane Arrays (IR FPA); Strained Layer Superlattices (SLS); Third Generation Forward Looking Infrared (3GEN FLIR); HgCdTe; Sensors; Materials; Imaging