Compact, Lightweight Chemical Sensor for Underwater Explosive Ordnance (EOD) Application

Period of Performance: 06/16/2009 - 12/23/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Subchem Systems, Inc.
65 Pier Road
Narragansett, RI 02882
Principal Investigator


SubChem Systems Inc. has been involved in the further development, deployment and commercialization of autonomous in-situ chemical analyzers and custom engineered payloads since 1996. SubChem Analyzers have been deployed on commercial AUVs, coastal gliders, autonomous moored vertical profilers, fixed moored structures and other ocean observation platforms. The overall objective of this funding will be to provide a conceptual design of a Diver held chemical sensor capable of sensing chemical/explosive signatures focusing on nitro-based explosives. The requirements needed of the sensor for integration to the DHINS, HULS and BULS systems will also be documented. SubChem Systems maintains the expertise to provide an assessment of several chemical sensing techniques which may be applicable to the sensing of explosives underwater to be applied to the conceptual design. SubChem is currently developing a Miniature Chemical Sensor, ChemFIN, for the detection of trace levels of explosives and other target chemicals. This sensor couples a unique micro-fluidic technology providing a low cost, low power, and platform independent architecture. Funding from this Phase 1 effort will produce a conceptual adaptation to a Diver Held ChemFIN. This variant will incorporate an applicable sensing technology for localization and classification of nitrate-based (TNT,DNT) and potentially peroxide-based (TATP,HMTD) chemical/explosive mixtures.