Jmar Gets Grant to Make IED-Detecting Laser
San Diego-based Jmar Technologies Inc., a developer of laser-based technology and x-ray processes for imaging, analysis and fabrication at the nanoscale, announced that it has received a Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant of approximately $750,000 from the US Army to develop a compact, double-pulse laser system capable of real-time spectrochemical hazard analysis in the field. This new detection approach is based on Jmar's BriteLight technology and offers an improved method of detecting hazardous materials, such as improvised explosive devices (IEDs), from remote locations. The new laser will be designed for adjustable, double-pulse mode operation to support laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). LIBS techniques are well suited to field analysis because only the laser beam must reach the sample, allowing remote monitoring of hazardous materials or materials situated in difficult to reach locations, the company said. Phase I of the Department of Defense SBIR program involved feasibility studies and proof of concept; Phase II will result in two prototypes -- a small man-portable LIBS unit and a larger vehicle-portable version.