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DoD Awards 11.2M Contract to Develop Remote Chemical Sensor

IARPA SILMARILS Standoff Chemical SensorLGS Innovations has been awarded a four-year, $11.2M cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to develop a compact, laser-based system to aid in the detection of chemical weapons, biological agents, explosives, narcotics, and chemical indicators of nuclear material development.

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, announced that LGS Innovations will be one of four performers chosen to develop the system for the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).

The contract is in support of IARPA’s Standoff Illuminator for Measuring Absorbance and Reflective Infrared Light Signatures (SILMARILS) project.

Under the terms of the contract, LGS will be responsible for developing a real-time, standoff solution capable of detecting trace chemical residues on surfaces from up to 30 meters using active infrared spectroscopy. LGS will develop the physical hardware as well as the detection and discrimination algorithms for a field-testable prototype for the U.S. federal government.

“LGS has been focused on developing the most advanced laser and photonic-based solutions for decades,” said Kevin Kelly, CEO of LGS Innovations. “We are excited to leverage our proven experience to field a state-of-the-art prototype that will help our armed forces detect an incredible range of substances safely and discretely.”

The ability to quickly and accurately detect residual chemicals will assist in identifying potential threats in a variety of environments such as security checkpoints, military installations, and forensic crime scenes as current systems have limited portability, proximity, and/or sensitivity. Once completed, the system will have broad application both in the physical security space as well as the fight against the manufacture and trafficking of illicit drugs.

“This program has the potential to be extremely influential in the future of laser technology and threat prevention,” said Dr. Linda Braun, Director of LGS Innovations Photonics Applications & Development. “LGS is looking forward to applying our expertise in laser systems to this important and challenging project.”

For this project, the University of Illinois will be the subcontractor contributing detection algorithm expertise.

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