PASADENA, CA /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- VIASPACE Inc. (BULLETIN BOARD: VSPC) subsidiary Ionfinity has been awarded a $750,000 Phase II contract for its proposal entitled "Advanced Robotic Detection of Chemical Agents, Toxic Industrial Gases, and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED)s for Force Health Protection" submitted to the Army Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. This competitively selected two year contract will result in a field demonstration of high sensitivity detection and analysis capability for chemical agents and explosives that threaten US forces. In addition to developing products for the $55 Billion security industry, the new sensor technology is expected to have commercial applications in environmental monitoring, agriculture and medicine.
Ionfinity's contract is to develop a novel chemical agent sensor through a joint collaboration with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech, General Dynamics, Sionex, and Imaginative Technologies. This chemical sensor system consists of a new and powerful detector called a Differential Mobility Spectrometer, a novel "soft-ionization" method that does not fragment or multiply-ionize sampled species, and a micro-gas chromatograph for confirmation and enhanced detection capability. The goal of the effort is to demonstrate a commercialized prototype of an enhanced version of the General Dynamics JUNO system that is inexpensive, compact, totally integrated and very rugged. The new detection and analysis system can be used to identify chemical & bio-warfare agents, industrial toxic gases, and chemical components of Improvised Explosive Devices in air, water or solids. It is designed to be integrated with unmanned ground vehicles for medical force health protection and combat casualty care missions. This device is targeted to detect chemicals at parts per trillion (ppt) to low parts per billion (ppb) levels within 6 seconds.
Ionfinity Chairman, Chief Operating Officer, and Principal Investigator for this effort, James Weiss, reports, "This new sensor will change the paradigm used for future chemical detection and analysis, making it much more convenient, sensitive, selective and timely."
Founded in 1998 with the objective of transforming proven space and defense technologies from NASA and the Department of Defense into hardware and software solutions that solve today's complex problems, VIASPACE benefits from important patent and software licenses from Caltech, which manages NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. VIASPACE is located in Pasadena, CA. For more information, please see the VIASPACE Web site or contact Dr. Jan Vandersande, Director of Communications at 800-517-8050, or [email protected].