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Army awards up to $1.9 million for low-cost laser sensors

Published: 08/18/2023
SBIR Low Cost SWIR Sensor

By Daniel Smoot, Office of Army Prize Competitions and Army SBIR Program

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army’s latest solicitation for low-cost, short-wave infrared laser sensors seeks essential capabilities to effectively sense and accurately assess threats across combat environments.

Starting Aug. 24, the Army Small Business Innovation Research Program requests small and nontraditional businesses to submit proposals for low-cost SWIR laser sensors. These technologies will enhance Soldier effectiveness via imaging equipment capable of marking and detecting short laser pulses across operational settings. The technologies’ low manufacturing and material costs can also help integrate these advanced sensing solutions more broadly into Next-Generation Combat Vehicle platforms.

“The solicitation supports the U.S. Army’s ongoing NGCV and Soldier Lethality efforts,” said Paul Reid, the Army SBIR Program’s portfolio manager for immersive and wearables, and sensors. “At the same time, it can help overcome current implementation challenges typically seen from labor and material costs by utilizing industry’s innovation and creativity.”

To select eligible firms for the solicitation, the Army will assess technology proposals with low-cost, asynchronous laser-pulse and short-wave infrared detecting capabilities for integration across the U.S. Army.

Direct to Phase II Contract awards up to $1.9 million

The Army Small Business Innovation Research program will select businesses to receive an Army SBIR Direct to Phase II contract worth up to $1.9 million each. The Army will offer selected firms the opportunity to collaborate with Army subject matter experts for technical feedback and prototyping guidance over an 24-month performance period.

The solicitation enters pre-release on Aug. 8 and ends on Aug. 23. Qualified small businesses can submit proposals between Aug. 24 and Sept. 26, noon Eastern time. Applicants must submit proposal packages through the Defense SBIR|STTR Innovation Portal.

The Army SBIR Program offers Phase I contracts to small businesses and nontraditional vendors whose solutions offer technical merit, feasibility and commercial potential. The program provides Phase II and Direct to Phase II contracts to firms that can address Army needs and garner increased federal support to mature demonstration-ready solutions.

Small business selectees gain valuable access to technical, acquisition and operational subject matter experts. These specialists guide and inform businesses of the Army’s technological needs as the firms enter the Army research and development ecosystem. Companies can capitalize on collaborating with technical points of contact, who serve as a resource for businesses, while they mature their technologies for eventual insertion into Army acquisition programs.

The Army SBIR Program releases contract opportunities ad hoc to respond to current and anticipated warfighting technology needs. For eligibility information and a list of open topics, please visit the Army SBIR|STTR website.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology leverages technologies and capabilities to provide U.S. Soldiers a decisive advantage in any environment by developing, acquiring, fielding and sustaining the world’s finest equipment and services. For more information, visit the ASA(ALT) web page and follow @ArmyASAALT.

SBIR Low Cost SWIR Sensor

Army awards up to $1.9 million for low-cost laser sensors

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