Smuggled currency detectors, helmet-mounted displays, and emergency-responder cell phone apps are part of DHS SBIR solicitation

WASHINGTON, 27 April 2010. Developing a detector for smuggled currency, a helmet with embedded active display for emergency responders, a handheld multisensor wand to detect illicit objects, and a personal situational-awareness cell phone application are among the small business innovation research (SBIR) solicitations released Monday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Washington.

Posted by John Keller

WASHINGTON, 27 April 2010. Developing a detector for smuggled currency, a helmet with embedded active display for emergency responders, a handheld multisensor wand to detect illicit objects, and a personal situational-awareness cell phone application are among the small business innovation research (SBIR) solicitations released Monday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Washington.

Officials of the DHS Science and Technology Directorate listed these projects as part of their 2010 SBIR list (solicitation number DHSSBIR-2010-2 , which also includes solicitations for next generation vacuum systems for hand-held mass spectrometers; large-scale network survivability, rapid recovery, and reconstitution; non-detonable, non-hazardous, low-cost, hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD) training aids for canines; automated tool for assessing usability; and accelerating the deployment of DHS center of excellence research through advanced business practices.

The smuggled currency detector project calls for a technology prototype able to search for and identify bulk quantities of currency -- principally U.S. and Canadian -- secreted on persons, in hand baggage and luggage, and/or in privately owned vehicles. This device should be operated without the knowledge of the persons being screened.

DHS researchers want a device able to screen people carrying luggage traveling at walking speed, and vehicles being driven slowly through an inspection area. Such a device has potential applications in homeland security, as well as in commercial security of banks, casinos, or other facilities that routinely handle large quantities of money.

The Helmet with Embedded Active Display for Emergency Responders project -- otherwise known as HEADER -- seeks to use flexible displays, integrated circuit technology, mobile wireless intelligent computing, and human machine interfaces to develop a helmet for emergency responders with an embedded heads-up display for personal situational awareness.

Similar to how astronauts are equipped with a set of integrated sensors and a visor, the HEADER project seeks to develop an embedded active heads-up display that will integrate with current or next-generation face masks and helmets.

The HEADER device is to provide localized situational awareness by displaying read-outs and alerts of several sensors indicating location, physiological status, air status, internal and external temperature, and range finding. The HEADER system has significant commercial applications, as well as indirect related applications such as medical, sports, telecom, and many other applications.

The handheld multisensor wand for the detection of threat or illicit objects on persons project seeks to use analytical chemistry, molecular physics, nuclear magnetic resonance, nuclear quadrupole resonance, eddy currents, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and electric impedance tomography sensor technology to develop a handheld system to detect weapons, explosives, and narcotics hidden on a person's body, under clothing, or in body cavities.

The Personal situational awareness adp project will capitalize on mobile computing, information sharing, and collaboration technologies to develop a downloadable commercial cell phone application that provides situational awareness to people like first responders based on their location that would enable people to monitor events happening around them.

DHS wants to develop a commercial information push service that condenses and possibly qualifies information that responders believe are useful for public consumption. For example, a subscriber could be interested in knowing if a sex offender has moved into his neighborhood, or if a fire has been reported on the block, or that an accident has occurred within 10 miles of his travel location. Each of these alert services could be enabled through a software application that uses publicly available information and the user's current location.

Companies interested in bidding must respond to DHS no later than 10 June 2010. Submit technical questions or concerns by e-mail to STSBIR.PROGRAM@dhs.gov/ For questions related to the electronic proposal submissions, contact the SBIR Help Desk by e-mail at sbirhd@sainc.com, or by phone at 800-754-3043.

More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/DHS/OCPO/DHS-OCPO/DHSSBIR-2010-2/listing.html.

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