WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army’s emergency response to dangerous combat conditions requires reliable and portable radiation sensors across the battlefield.
To tackle this, the Army Applied SBIR Program awarded four small business contracts to deliver nuclear-survivable detectors that could replace Geiger-Muller tubes — the gas-filled counting tubes that help users avoid injury and exposure by sensing the presence of radiation in an area.
“Robust Geiger-Muller tube-based gaseous detectors have already hit their upper limit for miniaturization,” said Dr. Matt Willis, director of Army Prize Competitions and the Army Applied SBIR Program. “With these awards, we can explore other, more portable applications capable of sensing radiation in various conditions and environments.”
The businesses each received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research contract of up to $250,000 to develop low-cost, easily integrable and sensitive wearable radiation sensors. Through the awards, the companies will prototype compact solutions to reduce the size, weight and power requirements of existing tools.
Wearable Radiation Sensor Awardees:
· EngeniusMicro, LLC; Huntsville, Ala.
· Nu-Trek; San Diego
· Radiation Monitoring Devices; Inc., Watertown, Mass.
· Spectral Labs Incorporated; San Diego
The Army Applied SBIR Program provides Phase I contracts to small businesses and nontraditional vendors with solutions that show technical merit, feasibility and commercial potential. It also offers funds to companies that can help the Army achieve its goals and earn further federal support in Phase II. The Direct to Phase II award is for already-mature technologies ready for demonstration.
Through the Army Applied SBIR Program, businesses collaborate with technical, acquisition and operational subject matter experts. These specialists provide insight into the Army’s technological opportunities while guiding companies through the Army research and development ecosystem.
The Army Applied SBIR Program releases contract opportunities on a rolling, ad-hoc basis to respond to current and expected warfighting technology needs. For eligibility information and a list of open solicitations, please visit the Army SBIR|STTR website.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology offers the American Soldier a decisive advantage in any mission by developing, acquiring, fielding and sustaining the world’s finest equipment and services. It also leverages technologies and capabilities to meet current and future Army needs. For more information, please visit the Army ASA(ALT) website.