Wall-penetrating radar wins grand prize in Army competition for small businesses

By U.S. Army CCDC Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs OfficeOctober 24, 2019

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ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The U.S. Army announced the winner of the second Expeditionary Technology Search competition, known as xTechSearch, Oct. 16, 2019. Officials announced the grand prize at the 2019 Association of the United States Army meeting in Washington, D.C.

Lumineye, based out of Boise, Idaho, took the top prize of $250,000 for their wall-penetrating radar to help Soldiers and first responders identify people and potential threats through walls.

"The xTechSearch competition helped us learn a lot along the way," said Corbin Hennen, chief executive officer and co-founder of Lumineye, with Megan Lacy, co-founder and chief design officer. "Getting the first bit of funding was important. The funding from phase three was the first significant funding we've received, and made a world of difference for us. It showed us true customer support and that the Army was really interested in us. It also allowed us to participate in the Y Combinator accelerator program."

The xTechSearch competition is an opportunity for the Army and the non-traditional small-business sector to engage with each other to drive innovation for Army modernization challenges, spur economic growth, and uncover novel science and technology solutions.

"We need your insights, ideas, and creativity," said MG Patrick Burden, Director of Combat Systems, U.S. Army Futures Command, during welcoming remarks at the AUSA Innovators' Corner. "Some of the systems and technologies that will enable our Soldiers to win on the future battlefields will arise from the partnerships we establish here. We look to you to help us deliver the best technology in the world to our Army."

Small businesses start off the competition by submitting white papers. They progress through four phases of the competition including live pitch days and attendance at large industry trade shows, where they are exposed to direct dialogue with Army subject matter experts and government and industry stakeholders. In less than a year, the field was progressively narrowed to the 12 companies selected to give their final pitch presentation to a panel of U.S. Army active duty and civilian judges at the 2019 AUSA conference Oct. 14-15.

The Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), also known as ASA(ALT), launched the nationwide competitions to revolutionize the way the Army attracts and encourages innovation. The ASA(ALT), Bruce Jette, announced the xTechSearch 2.0 winner.

"We understand the need to invest in the future," Jette said. "Through the xTechSearch competitions, we have lowered barriers and expanded opportunities for non-traditional partners to do business with the Army."

Jeffrey Singleton, director of technology for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology, announced the 12 finalists for the third cohort of the competition, xTechSearch 3.0, which is ongoing and will culminate with the final round of pitches at the 2020 Association of the U.S. Army ILW Global Force Symposium & Exposition on March 17-20, 2020.

The 12 xTechSearch 3.0 finalists selected to compete for the grand prize in the spring are, in alphabetical order: Anti-Rotational Technologies, Inc.; Cayuga Biotech, Inc.; ElectroNucleics, Inc.; GhostWave, Inc.; Knight Technical Solutions, LLC; LiquidPiston; Merciless Motors; SIGINT Systems, LLC; Syncopated Engineering; TexPower, Inc; TRX Systems; and XO-NANO Smartfoam.

For information about the program, please visit xTechSearch (See Related Links below).


The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics & Technology) provides the American Soldier with a decisive advantage in any mission by developing, acquiring, fielding, and sustaining the world's finest equipment and services; and by leveraging technologies and capabilities to meet current and future Army needs.

Related Links:

U.S. Army CCDC Army Research Laboratory


Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology)

U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command

Army Futures Command