Chemical and Explosive Vapor Detection in Shipping Containers with Remotely Accessed Microcantilever Array Sensors

Period of Performance: 03/10/2010 - 02/15/2011


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nevada Nanotech Systems, Inc.
1315 Greg Street #103 Array
Sparks, NV 89431
Principal Investigator


The remarkable sensitivity, compactness, low cost, low power-consumption, scalability, and versatility of microcantilever sensors make this technology possibly the best solution for container screening. In Phase I, Nevada Nanotech Systems (NNTS) successfully demonstrated all components of a prototype sensor system for measuring the concentrations of unlawful or hazardous materials in shipping containers. The 20-month Phase II program will be an iterative development effort whereby successive versions of a field prototype are built, tested, modified and optimized. The effort will be split into two, 10-month programs, A and B. The Phase II A program is structured as a concentrated design cycle, followed by the building of a field prototype and initial laboratory testing of this instrument. The Phase II B program begins with a focused period of field prototype testing in a lab environment, emphasizing key performance metrics. The sensor will be tested using varying analyte concentrations and varying mixtures. During two field tests, the sensor system will be installed in a shipping container and exposed to controlled traces of chemical and/or explosive vapors. The objective of this program is a robust, rigorously characterized field prototype sensor system ready for development into a commercial product.