$10.3M for Bright Onyx Chemical Sensors

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Akamai Physics Inc. in Las Cruces, NM received a $10.3 million cost-plus fixed-fee contract modification for Bright Onyx. This is a compact, active multi-spectral chemical sensor operating in the 5-micrometer region; it enables the remote chemical detection of chemicals associated with weapons of mass destruction that may be transported on ships inbound to United States ports. The Bright Onyx sensor must operate at UAV airspeeds and ranges with detection sensitivities of 10 ppm*m and meet UAV power, weight, and size requirements. Solicitations began March 2006, negotiations were complete June 2006, and work will be complete June 2008. The Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (FS8650-04-C-1714/P00004). UAVs are becoming increasingly popular for WMD-related detection missions, in additional to their ‘traditional’ roles in battlefield reconnaissance and light precision attack. Very recently for example, a $8.2 million contract was aimed at modifying Boeing’s ScanEagle UAV to detect biological agents.

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