Navy searches for explosives-detecting hyperspectral imaging for tests next summer

INDIAN HEAD, Md., 5 Dec. 2013. U.S. Navy bomb-disposal experts are asking industry to submit candidate ground-based multispectral and hyperspectral imaging systems for comparative tests and evaluations scheduled for next summer.

Officials of the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division in Indian Head, Md., have issued a sources-sought notice (N0017414SS002) for the Ground-Based Hyperspectral Imaging program.

The initiative is surveying industry for multispectral and hyperspectral imaging systems able to detect explosives at standoff distances. These ground-based systems should help experts detect trace and bulk explosive materials at safe distances at checkpoints or with portable handheld systems, Navy researchers say.

Hyperspectral imaging sensors look at many spectra of light in closely spaced bandwidths. It differs from infrared thermal imaging, which only looks at one light spectrum, and from multispectral sensors, which look at several different light spectra spaced widely apart.

The big advantage of hyperspectral imaging is in the detail it can provide. An infrared sensor or multispectral sensor, for example, might indicate the presence of a target of interest. A hyperspectral sensor, however, might indicate not only the presence of a target, but also the kind of metal it's made from, the color and type of paint it has, or the amount of moisture it contains.

Candidate systems should be mature technology that is ready for deployment. Companies interested should email white papers no longer than 15 pages to the Navy's Robin Moore at no later than 6 Jan 2014.

White papers should include the candidate system name and model; system photos and diagrams; brief descriptions of the candidate technology; specifics such as modes of operation, standoff distances, spectral ranges, explosives detected, limits of detection, sources of illumination, size, weight, and power requirements.

Papers also should describe any special limitations, hazards, and special requirements such as laser hazards or cryogenic cooling; any special features that improve capability; certifications and test results; and costs estimates for a five-day field evaluation.

For technical questions or concerns contact the Navy's Stephen Cockey by phone at 301-744-5161, or by email at For business questions contact Robyn Moore by phone at 301-744-6885, or by email at

More information is online at

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