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Viaspace Acquires Stake in Infrared Sensor Co.

Photonics.com
Jun 2006
PASADENA, Calif., June 19, 2006 -- Viaspace Inc., a provider of hardware and software solutions involving energy/fuel cells, microelectronics, sensors, homeland security and public safety, announced today that it has acquired a 15 percent share in QWIP Systems Inc., a developer of quantum-well infrared photodetectors (QWIP), through a stock conversion.

QWIP sensors are similar to the electronic sensors in digital cameras and camcorders, except they detect heat emissions rather than light. QWIP sensors are used in military and security applications because they can see in total darkness. Long-wavelength infrared sensors are used for surveillance -- a person or vehicle can be detected in total darkness from distances of many miles. Defense applications include missile and aircraft tracking, night vision, tank warfare and surveillance. Viaspace said it has a patent pending on the use of infrared technology to detect suicide bombers and other improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The QWIP technology being pursued by QWIP Systems Inc. was originally developed at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) with funding from US Missile Defense Agency, NASA and DARPA, Viaspace said. The QWIP technology was licensed from Caltech, which manages JPL for NASA.

QWIP Systems conducts its infrared business through a US subsidiary, QWIP Technologies Inc., which was incubated by Viaspace's predecessor organization, ViaSpace Technologies LLC, Viaspace said.

Viaspace owned common shares in the subsidiary that were converted into 2.1 million common shares of QWIP Systems. Viaspace now owns 2.3 million shares of QWIP Systems, a 15 percent interest in the company. Viaspace said it has more shares in the subsidiary that it could later convert into an additional eight percent interest in QWIP Systems based on its current shares. Viaspace has two representatives on the QWIP Systems board of directors and has other rights, including approving any sale or licensing of the assets of QWIP Technologies Inc., Viaspace said.

For more information, visit: www.viaspace.com


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