Stand-Off Detection of Explosives and Hazardous Chemicals

NRL has developed a Photo-Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectroscopy (PT-IRIS) technology for standoff detection of explosives, illicit drugs, chemical warfare agents, and biological warfare agents. PT-IRIS has been demonstrated for standoff or proximity detection of explosives. This approach employs quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) to illuminate a sample surface with one or more wavelengths, which are selectively absorbed by analytes of interest.

Chemical Sensing with Silicon Nanowires in a Vertical Array with a Porous Electrode

NRL has developed through research funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a gas sensor composed of an array of vertical nanowires topped by a porous electrode. The sensor responds when a substance of interest absorbs on the nanowires, changing their electrical conductivity. The combination of a vertical orientation and a porous top electrode allows for simultaneous exposure and response from huge numbers of individual nanowires. Because of these attributes, the sensor provides a very high signal/noise and short response time.

Microfabricated Preconcentrator for Enhanced Detection of Hazardous Chemicals

NRL has developed a microfabricated preconcentrator called the Cascade Avalanche Sorbent Plate ARray, or CASPAR, to augment trace detection of hazardous chemicals including explosives, chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, and narcotics. The device may be integrated with a detector to enhance sensitivity and selectivity in near real-time or used as a stand-alone device that can be connected to a detector for analysis later.

Catalytic Self-Decontaminating Materials

NRL has developed self-decontaminating structures based on porphyrin-embedded, target imprinted, porous, organosilicate sorbents. The materials rapidly sequester targets as a result of the affinity of the sorbent structures. Catalysis proceeds upon stimulation of the porphyrin moieties through illumination or by an applied current. This potential for dual stimulation provides the opportunity for utilization of the materials in sunlit or low light environments.

Stop-Rotor Rotary Wing Aircraft

NRL has developed a patented system and method of transitioning an aircraft between helicopter and fixed wing flight modes. The stop rotor aircraft is capable of both a helicopter mode vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and efficient high speed fixed wing flight by flipping the left wing/rotor blade 180 degrees between flight modes. Conversion between flight modes will take about 1-2 seconds and simulations indicate altitude deviations of less than 50 feet.

Reactive and Catalytic Air Purification Materials

NRL has developed sorbents for the removal of toxic industrial gases such as ammonia and phosgene. The materials offer reactive and/or catalytic sites within a high surface area, hierarchical pore structure. The reactive/catalytic nature of the materials offers extended lifetimes to typical purification applications.

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