IARPA Picks 5 Firms for Laser-Based Chemical Detection Tech Project

IARPA_logo_EMThe Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity has chosen five companies to help the agency develop portable laser-based technology for the detection of biological agents, chemical weapons, narcotics and explosives at a range of up to 100 feet, Nextgov reported Friday.

Frank Konkel writes IARPA will award funds to Leidos, LGS Innovations, Block Engineering, Physical Sciences and Photonics through the U.S. Air Force as part of the Standoff Illuminator for Measuring Absorbance and Reflectance Infrared Light Signatures initiative.

The SILMARILS program aims to develop an eye-safe tool with an unobservable illumination beam and can operate in various types of environments such as different substrates, humidity, outdoor and indoor background light, gas phase and temperature, IARPA said in a FedBizOpps notice.

IARPA also expects the program to result in the development of a hand-held system designed to facilitate screening with a high chemical specificity and sensitivity across various target classes using infrared spectroscopy.

The project will have a base performance period of 18 months and two 18-month options, according to the agency.

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