NIITEK awarded $2.13 million DARPA contract to help detect hidden explosives
An IED detector
NIITEK, Inc., part of the Chemring Sensors and Electronics business unit and a subsidiary of the Chemring Group PLC, and its academic and small business partners, have received a $2.13 million dollar contract from DARPA for the development of a new method for detection of hidden explosives.
This program, part of DARPA’s Methods of Explosive Detection at Standoff (MEDS) program, is targeting the development of novel sensors designed to detect unique signatures of explosives. The contract is for an 18-month period of performance.
In October 2012, a DARPA broad agency announcement described its research goal for the MEDS program. “The vision of this program is to develop methods that permit rapid detection of bulk explosives embedded within an opaque medium with high water content,” explained the BAA. “This will preclude the use of trace detection methods and bulk methods where significant penetration into the medium is not possible. In addition, the use of ionizing radiation, other than possible employment of backscatter technology must be excluded because of health concerns to military personnel and civilians in proximity to the area of concern.
“We are pleased to have been given the opportunity by DARPA to continue the development of this unique detection capability,” said Juan Navarro, president of Chemring Sensor and Electronics. “Although the work in this program is intended to be proof-of-principle experimentation, NIITEK and its partners are confident that, with proper development, the technology can be transitioned into a system that could prove useful to both the Department of Defense as well as domestic security and law enforcement.”