KCF Technologies Awarded SBIR Funds to Improve Longevity of WMD-Detection Tools

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This advanced R&D program will identify and prototype novel energy-harvesting technologies that can supply power to Tag, Track and Locate systems in order to extend their operational lifespan.

KCF Technologies has received funding for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to improve tools to find and follow Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) before they can be used.

A key role of the DTRA, tasked by the U.S. Department of Defense with countering WMDs, is to develop systems to Tag, Track and Locate (TTL) observable signatures of personnel and objects involved in developing, producing, storing or deploying WMDs. This SBIR will advance the state of the art for energy scavenging from the environment and high-energy density storage, to increase the lifetime and utility of these systems.

TTL subsystems include sensors to detect WMDs or their precursors and radio transmitters to send data, including sensor detections and tag locations to monitoring centers. While it is desirable for TTL systems to continuously operate for weeks or months, the data transmissions can very rapidly exhaust the batteries that are currently used to power TTL devices. The lifespan of these systems can be increased with active power management and harvesting the energy from the system’s environment, including solar and mechanical vibration energy. These technologies have the potential to power a TTL device virtually indefinitely.

Phase I of the SBIR will identify novel energy-harvesting technologies to support TTL systems, including pros and cons, operational feasibility and cost performance/benefits analyses, as well as prototype designs that show meaningful improvements in the existing state-of-the-art. Phase II will develop complete engineering designs and demonstrate a prototype energy-harvesting technology with a representative TTL system. The projected Phase III will be low-rate production of this technology in quantities for military and commercial markets. Commercial markets might include agricultural use of sensor to track soil moisture.

KCF Technologies develops and commercializes a wide range of products and solutions for industry and defense, capably and efficiently bridging the gap between initial concept and successfully completed product by establishing strategic partnerships.

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David Shannon

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