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Tech Beat - September 24, 2014

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Editor: Michael Baum
Date created: June 23, 2010
Date Modified: September 24, 2014 
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NIST Awards Contract to MITRE to Support Cybersecurity Center of Excellence

Initial Tasks under IDIQ Contract Total $29 Million to Operate Newly Established Federally Funded Research and Development Center

The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded a contract to operate its first Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), which will support the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE). The Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract was awarded to The MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates six other FFRDCs. It includes three initial tasks totaling about $29 million. This FFRDC is the first solely dedicated to enhancing the security of the nation's information systems.

NCCoE logo and computer tablet
credit: ©peshkova/Fotolia

The award marks a new phase for the NCCoE, which was established in partnership with the state of Maryland and Montgomery County, Md., in February 2012. The center helps businesses secure their data and digital infrastructure by bringing together experts from industry, government and academia to provide real-world cybersecurity solutions based on commercially available technologies.

“As the principal champion of the digital economy in the federal government, the Commerce Department is committed to defending our nation’s digital infrastructure from cyberattacks and helping American companies strengthen cybersecurity,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “The NIST award announced today will enable the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence to expand and accelerate its public-private collaborations through the Department’s first Federally Funded Research and Development Center focused on boosting the security of U.S. information systems.”

The contract to operate the FFRDC is a single award IDIQ contract with a maximum amount of $5 billion over 25 years, beginning with a base performance period of five years, followed by four option periods of five years each.

The center engages public and private partners through long- and short-term collaboration efforts and has been working with members of industry sectors such as health care and energy to identify common concerns and develop model cybersecurity examples and practice guides. It also works with small groups of vendors to develop “building blocks,” which address technical cybersecurity challenges that are common across multiple industry sectors.

In 2013, NIST announced it would establish an FFRDC to support the NCCoE’s goals and ensure a productive collaboration environment for the center’s partners. FFRDCs operate in the public interest and are required to be free from organizational conflicts of interest as well as bias toward any particular company, technology or product—key attributes given the NCCoE's collaborative nature. They also provide a highly efficient way to leverage and rapidly assemble physical resources and scientific and engineering talent, both public and private.

Federal staff will provide overall management of the NCCoE, and MITRE will operate the FFRDC to support the center’s mission through three major task areas: research, development, engineering and technical support; operations management; and facilities management.

The first three task orders under the contract will allow the NCCoE to expand its efforts in developing use cases and building blocks and provide operations management and facilities planning.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. To learn more about NIST, visit www.nist.gov. To learn more about the NCCoE, visit http://nccoe.nist.gov.

Media Contact: Jennifer Huergo, jennifer.huergo@nist.gov, 301-975-6343

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World’s Smallest Reference Material is Big Plus for Nanotechnology

If it's true that good things come in small packages, then the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) can now make anyone working with nanoparticles very happy. NIST recently issued Reference Material (RM) 8027, the smallest known reference material ever created for validating measurements of these man-made, ultrafine particles between 1 and 100 nanometers (billionths of a meter) in size.

nanoparticle tunneling electron microscope image
At left, a structural model of a typical silicon nanocrystal (yellow) stabilized within an organic shell of cyclohexane (blue). At right, a high-resolution transmission electron microscope photograph of a single silicon nanoparticle.
Credit: NIST
View hi-resolution left image | View hi-resolution right image

RM 8027 consists of five hermetically sealed ampoules containing one milliliter of silicon nanoparticles—all certified to be close to 2 nanometers in diameter—suspended in toluene. To yield the appropriate sizes for the new RM, the nanocrystals are etched from a silicon wafer, separated using ultrasound and then stabilized within an organic shell. Particle size and chemical composition are determined by dynamic light scattering, analytical centrifugation, electron microscopy and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), a powerful technique that can measure elements at concentrations as low as several parts per billion.

"For anyone working with nanomaterials at dimensions 5 nanometers or less, our well-characterized nanoparticles can ensure confidence that their measurements are accurate," says NIST research chemist Vytas Reipa, leader of the team that developed and qualified RM 8027.

Silicon nanoparticles such as those in RM 8027 are being studied as alternative semiconductor materials for next-generation photovoltaic solar cells and solid-state lighting, and as a replacement for carbon in the cathodes of lithium batteries. Another potential application comes from the fact that silicon crystals at dimensions of 5 nanometers or less fluoresce under ultraviolet light. Because of this property, silicon nanoparticles may one day serve as easily detectable "tags" for tracking nanosized substances in biological, environmental or other dynamic systems.

RM 8027 maybe ordered from the NIST Standard Reference Materials Program by phone, (301) 975-2200; by fax, (301) 948-3730; or online at http://www.nist.gov/srm.

Media Contact: Michael E. Newman, michael.newman@nist.gov, 301-975-3025

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NIST Scientists Improve Microscopic Batteries with Homebuilt Imaging Analysis

In a rare case of having their cake and eating it too, scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other institutions have developed* a toolset that allows them to explore the complex interior of tiny, multi-layered batteries they devised. It provides insight into the batteries’ performance without destroying them—resulting in both a useful probe for scientists and a potential power source for micromachines.

nanowire lithium-ion batteries STEM image of an individual battery colorized 3d side view of same battery
Images show, from left to right, a "nanoforest" of nanowire lithium-ion batteries, a STEM image of an individual battery, and a colorized 3D side view of the same battery showing the metallized silicon core and its outer layers.
Credit: Oleshko/NIST
View hi-resolution left image

The microscopic lithium-ion batteries are created by taking a silicon wire a few micrometers long and covering it in successive layers of different materials. Instead of a cake, however, each finished battery looks more like a tiny tree.

The analogy becomes obvious when you see the batteries attached by their roots to silicon wafers and clustered together by the million into “nanoforests,” as the team dubs them.

But it’s the cake-like layers that enable the batteries to store and discharge electricity, and even be recharged. These talents could make them valuable for powering autonomous MEMS – microelectromechanical machines – which have potentially revolutionary applications in many fields.

With so many layers that can vary in thickness, morphology and other parameters, it’s crucial to know the best way to build each layer to enhance the battery’s performance, as the team found in previous research.** But conventional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) couldn’t provide all the details needed, so the team created a new technique that involved multimode scanning TEM (STEM) imaging. With STEM, electrons illuminate the battery, which scatters them at a wide range of angles. To see as much detail as possible, the team decided to use a set of electron detectors to collect electrons in a wide range of scattering angles, an arrangement that gave them plenty of structural information to assemble a clear picture of the battery’s interior, down to the nanoscale level.

The promising toolset of electron microscopy techniques helped the researchers to home in on better ways to build the tiny batteries. “We had a lot of choices in what materials to deposit and in what thicknesses, and a lot of theories about what to do,” team member Vladimir Oleshko says. “But now, as a result of our analyses, we have direct evidence of the best approach.

”MEMS manufacturers could make use of the batteries themselves, a million of which can be fabricated on a square centimeter of a silicon wafer. But the same manufacturers also could benefit from the team’s analytical toolset. Oleshko points out that the young, rapidly emerging field of additive manufacturing, which creates devices by building up component materials layer by layer, often needs to analyze its creations in a noninvasive way. For that job, the team’s approach might take the cake.

*V.P. Oleshko, T. Lam, D. Ruzmetov, P. Haney, H.J. Lezec, A.V. Davydov, S.Krylyuk, J.Cumings and A.A. Talin. Miniature all-solid-state heterostructure nanowire Li-ion batteries as a tool for engineering and structural diagnostics of nanoscale electrochemical processes. Nanoscale, DOI: 0.1039/c4nr01666a, Aug. 15, 2014.
**See http://www.nist.gov/cnst/battery-032012.cfm

Media Contact: Chad Boutin, chad.boutin@nist.gov, 301-975-4261

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NIST Megacities Carbon Project Named 'Project to Watch' by United Nations

A greenhouse gas field measurement research program developed by scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and several collaborating institutions has been named a “Project to Watch” by a United Nations organization that focuses on harnessing big data for worldwide benefit.

megacities concept art
Sensors located around Los Angeles provide measurements of greenhouse gas mixing ratios of carbon dioxide, methane and carbon monoxide. Aircraft, mobile laboratories and satellites contribute remote-sensing measurement.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
View hi-resolution image

The Megacities Carbon Project was launched in 2012 to solve a pressing scientific problem: how to measure the greenhouse gases that cities produce. Urban areas generate at least 70 percent of the world’s fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions, but gauging a city’s carbon footprint remains difficult due to the lack of effective measurement methods. The project aims to change that by developing and testing techniques for both monitoring urban areas’ emissions and determining their sources.

The large sensor networks that each city in the Megacities Carbon Project employs generate huge amounts of data that could reveal the details of the cities’ emissions patterns. It is the project’s use of this so-called “big data” that drew accolades in the Big Data Climate Challenge, hosted by U.N. Global Pulse and the U.N. Secretary General’s Climate Change Support Team. The ability to analyze big data—vast quantities of electronic information generated by many sources—has the potential to provide new insights into the workings of society, and Global Pulse is working to promote awareness of the opportunities big data presents across the U.N. system.

Launched in May 2014, the competition attracted submissions from organizations in 40 countries. The applicants ran from academia to private companies to government initiatives like the Megacities Carbon Project. Two projects earned top honors, while a total of seven were dubbed Projects to Watch.

The Megacities project began with a pilot observing system for Los Angeles supported by NIST, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the California Air Resources Board and the Keck Institute for Space Studies. It has since expanded to include an observing system in Paris, France, and has drawn upon the expertise of additional participating institutions.

The project is one of several NIST efforts to improve the accuracy of greenhouse gas measurements in urban areas. These efforts focus largely on the development of urban test beds, where methods for measuring and verifying greenhouse gas data can be explored and improved. In addition to Los Angeles, U.S. test beds are located in Indianapolis, Ind., (the Indianapolis Flux Experiment, INFLUX) and the northeast corridor, with initial development in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., region.

More information on NIST’s work on the Megacities project is available at www.nist.gov/greenhouse-gas/research/lamegacities.cfm.

Edited first paragraph on Sept. 16, 2014, to clarify the research nature of the project.

Media Contact: Chad Boutin, boutin@nist.gov, 301-975-4261

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Three's a Charm: NIST Detectors Reveal Entangled Photon Triplets

Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada have directly entangled three photons in the most technologically useful state for the first time, thanks in part to superfast, super-efficient single-photon detectors developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

single photon detector
NIST chip containing a single-photon detector made of superconducting nanowires. Four chips like this were used in the experiment that entangled three photons.
Credit: Verma/NIST
View hi-resolution image
University of Waterloo laboratory
University of Waterloo laboratory where scientists entangled three photons. NIST's single-photon detectors were chilled to near absolute zero in the refrigerator (large blue cylinder). The experiment had to be performed in the dark because of the need to detect very low light levels.
Credit: Shalm/NIST
View hi-resolution image

Entanglement is a special feature of the quantum world in which certain properties of individual particles become linked such that knowledge of the quantum state of any one particle dictates that of the others. Entanglement plays a critical role in quantum information systems. Prior to this work it was impossible to entangle more than two photons without also destroying their fragile quantum states.

Entangled photon triplets could be useful in quantum computing and quantum communications—technologies with potentially vast power based on storing and manipulating information in quantum states—as well as achieving elusive goals in physics dating back to Einstein. The team went on to use the entangled triplets to perform a key test of quantum mechanics.

The Waterloo/NIST experiment, described in Nature Photonics,* generated three photons with entangled polarization—vertical or horizontal orientation—at a rate of 660 triplets per hour. (The same research group previously entangled the timing and energy of three photons, a state that is more difficult to use in quantum information systems.)

“The NIST detectors enabled us to take data almost 100 times faster,” says NIST physicist Krister Shalm, who was a postdoctoral researcher at Waterloo. “The detectors enabled us to do things we just couldn’t do before. They allowed us to speed everything up so the experiment could be much more stable, which greatly improved the quality of our results.”

The experiments started with a blue photon that was polarized both vertically and horizontally—such a superposition of two states is another unique feature of the quantum world. The photon was sent through a special crystal that converted it to two entangled red daughter photons, each with half the original energy. Researchers engineered the system to ensure that this pair had identical polarization. Then one daughter photon was sent through another crystal to generate two near-infrared granddaughter photons entangled with the second daughter photon.

The result was three entangled photons with the same polarization, either horizontal or vertical—which could represent 0 and 1 in a quantum computer or quantum communications system. As an added benefit, the granddaughter photons had a wavelength commonly used in telecommunications, so they can be transmitted through fiber, an advantage for practical applications.

Triplets are rare. In this process, called cascaded down-conversion, the first stage works only about 1 in a billion times, and the second is not much better: 1 in a million. To measure experimental polarization results against 27 possible states of a set of three photons, researchers performed forensic reconstructions by taking snapshot measurements of the quantum states of thousands of triplets. The NIST detectors were up to these tasks, able to detect and measure individual photons at telecom wavelengths more than 90 percent of the time.

The superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors incorporated key recent improvements made at NIST, chiefly the use of tungsten silicide, which among other benefits greatly boosted efficiency.**

To demonstrate the quality and value of the triplets, researchers tested local realism—finding evidence that, as quantum theory predicts, entangled particles do not have specific values before being measured.*** Researchers also measured one of each of a succession of triplets to show they could herald or announce the presence of the remaining entangled pairs. An on-demand system like this would be useful in quantum repeaters, which could extend the range of quantum communications systems, or sharing of secret data encryption keys.

With improvements in conversion efficiency through use of novel materials or other means, it may be possible to add more stages to the down-conversion process to generate four or more entangled photons.

The work was supported in part by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation Early Researcher Award, Quantum Works, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Ontario Centres of Excellence, Industry Canada, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Canada Research Chairs and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

*D.R. Hamel, L.K. Shalm, H.H. Hubel, A.J. Miller, F. Marsili, V.B. Verma, R.P. Mirin, S.W. Nam, K.J. Resch and T. Jennewein. Direct generation of three-photon polarization entanglement. Nature Photonics. Published online Sept. 14.
**For more about the detectors, see the 2011 NIST Tech Beat article, “Key Ingredient: Change in Material Boosts Prospects of Ultrafast Single-photon
Detector,” 
and updates “High Efficiency in the Fastest Single-Photon Detector System” (Feb. 2013) and “Closing the Last Bell-test Loophole for Photons” (June, 2013).
***Specifically, the researchers calculated Mermin and Svetlichny inequalities, two tests of local realism. One result was the strongest-ever measured violation of the three-particle Svetlichny inequality, according to the paper.

Media Contact: Laura Ost, laura.ost@nist.gov, 303-497-4880

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NCCoE Seeks Comments on Mobile Device Security Building Block

NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) has posted a revised draft of a building block to help enterprises address security issues that result from the use of mobile devices to access company resources. The NCCoE invites the public to comment on the draft. The comment period is open until October 17, 2014. 

The NCCoE addresses businesses' most pressing cybersecurity problems with practical, standards-based solutions using commercially available technologies. The NCCoE collaborates with industry, academic and government experts to build modular, open, end-to-end reference designs that are broadly applicable and repeatable. 

Building blocks are example cybersecurity implementations that apply to multiple industry sectors and are expected to be incorporated into many of the center's sector-specific use cases. The NCCoE's work to develop building blocks results in practice guides, publicly available descriptions of the practical steps needed to implement a cybersecurity reference design. 

In February 2014, the NCCoE posted a draft building block addressing mobile device security and invited comments from the public. The center received and responded to 24 comments and revised the draft accordingly. 

The NCCoE now seeks feedback on the revised document. Once that feedback is incorporated into the draft, the center will publish a notice in the Federal Register to invite participation from the technology community.  

The draft Mobile Device Security for Enterprises Building Block proposes a system of commercially available technologies that provide enterprise-class protection for mobile platforms that access corporate resources. This building block will examine an array of security technologies that can enable enterprise risk management for users to work inside and outside the corporate network with a securely configured mobile device. This building block will incorporate a layered approach that allows enterprises to tailor solutions to their business needs. The draft Mobile Device Security for Enterprises Building Block document can be viewed at http://nccoe.nist.gov/?q=content/mobile-device-security. Comments should be submitted to mobile-nccoe@nist.gov by October 17, 2014.

Media Contact: Leah Kauffman, leah.kauffman@nist.gov, 240-314-6817

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Three Pilot Projects Receive Grants to Improve Online Security and Privacy

The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today announced nearly $3 million in grants that will support projects for online identity protection to improve privacy, security and convenience. The three recipients of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) grants will pilot solutions that make it easier to use mobile devices instead of passwords for online authentication, minimize loss from fraud and improve access to state services.

This is the third round of grants awarded through NSTIC, which was launched by the Obama administration in 2011 and is managed by NIST. The initiative supports collaboration between the private sector, advocacy groups and public-sector agencies to encourage the adoption of secure, efficient, easy-to-use and interoperable identity credentials to access online services in a way that promotes confidence, privacy, choice and innovation.

“The Commerce Department is committed to protecting a free and open Internet, while also working with the private sector to ensure consumers’ security and privacy,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews. “The grants announced will help spur development of new initiatives that aim to protect people and businesses from online identity theft and fraud.”

The NSTIC pilots have made progress both in advancing the strategy and fostering collaborations that would not otherwise have happened. One consortium of firms that are normally rivals wrote in its proposal, “Even if individual vendors in the identity space could develop a framework, it would be very difficult to get buy-in from other vendors who are competitors. With the recognition and funding from NSTIC, the pilot activities gain the vendor neutrality, visibility and credibility needed to get the various identity vendors to work together to develop a common framework that they can adopt.”

“The pilots take the vision and principles embodied in NSTIC and translate them into real solutions,” said NIST's Jeremy Grant, senior executive advisor for identity management and head of the NSTIC National Program Office. “At a time when concerns about data breaches and identity theft are growing, these new NSTIC pilots can play an important role in fostering a marketplace of online identity solutions.”

The pilots will also inform the work of the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group (IDESG), a private sector-led organization created to help coordinate development of standards that enable more secure, user-friendly ways to give individuals and organizations confidence in their online interactions.

The grantees announced today are:

GSMA (Atlanta, Ga.: $821,948)
GSMA has partnered with America’s four major mobile network operators to pilot a common approach—interoperable across all four operators—that will enable consumers and businesses to use mobile devices for secure, privacy-enhancing identity and access management. GSMA’s global Mobile Connect Initiative is the foundation for the pilot; the initiative will be augmented in the United States to align with NSTIC. By allowing any organization to easily accept identity solutions from any of the four operators, the solution would reduce a significant barrier to online service providers accepting mobile-based credentials. GSMA also will tackle user interface, user experience, security and privacy challenges, with a focus on creating an easy-to-use solution for consumers.

Confyrm (San Francisco, Calif.: $1,235,376)
The Confyrm pilot will demonstrate ways to minimize loss when criminals create fake accounts or take over online accounts. A key barrier to federated identity (in which the identity provider of your choice “vouches” for you at other sites) is the concern that accounts used in identity solutions may not be legitimate, or in the control of their rightful owner. Account compromises and the subsequent misuse of identity result in destruction of personal information, damage to individual reputations and financial loss. Confyrm will demonstrate how a “shared signals” model can mitigate the impact of account takeovers and fake accounts through early fraud detection and notification, with special emphasis on consumer privacy. Aligning with the NSTIC guiding principles, this solution enables individuals and organizations to experience improved trust and confidence in identities online. Pilot partners include a major Internet email provider, a major mobile operator and multiple e-commerce sites.

MorphoTrust USA (Billerica, Mass. $736,185)
MorphoTrust, in partnership with the North Carolina Departments of Transportation (DOT) and Health and Human Services (DHHS), will demonstrate how existing state-issued credentials such as driver’s licenses can be extended into the online world to enable new types of online citizen services. The pilot will leverage North Carolina’s state driver’s license solution to create a digital credential for those applying for the North Carolina (DHHS) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) Program online. This solution will eliminate the need for people to appear in person to apply for FNS benefits, reducing costs to the state while providing applicants with faster, easier access to benefits.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. To learn more about NIST, visit www.nist.gov.

Media Contact: Jennifer Huergo, jennifer.huergo@nist.gov, 301-975-6343

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NIST Announces FY 2014 Small Business Innovation Research Awards

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded more than $2.2 million in Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards to 15 companies. The recipients conduct research in cyber-physical systems, cybersecurity, health care, manufacturing and technology transfer.

“We congratulate the awardees, who were selected from numerous technically excellent applications,” said Phillip Singerman, NIST associate director for Innovation and Industry Services. “They represent eight different states and range in size from one to more than 200 employees. Their innovative research helps keep America competitive.”

NIST SBIR awards are funded through a competitive process. In Phase I, small businesses can receive up to $90,000 to establish merit, feasibility and commercial potential of the proposed research and development. Phase I awardees can vie for Phase II funding of up to $300,000 that enables them to continue their efforts. In Phase III, non-SBIR funds are used for commercialization of the technology.

The Phase I awardees are:

Cyber-Physical Systems
Management Sciences, Inc. (Albuquerque, N.M.) $89,988
Cognitive Residential Heat Pump Fault Detection and Diagnostic Datalogger—a technology that would improve the efficiency of home heat pumps and reduce maintenance costs through a combination of advanced computer control technologies to optimize performance and detect equipment wear or failure.

Cybersecurity
Antara Teknik LLC (Granite Bay, Calif.) $89,972
Cryptographic Acceleration for Border Gateway Protocol Security (CaBGPSEC)—a low-power, low-cost, efficient and highly secure router that could secure a key component of the Internet infrastructure.

Grier Forensics (Lakewood, N.J.) $90,000
Secure Email Agent Using the Domain Name System (DNS) as a Trust Infrastructure—a technology to distribute certificates and keys, making email secure, authenticated and confidential.

Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (Watertown, Mass.) $89,997
Low-Noise, High-Efficiency Geiger Photodiode for Quantum Cryptography—a highly efficient photodiode that can be used in advanced photodetectors for various low-light applications such as quantum cryptography, in which single photons must be detected.

Health Care
En’Urga Inc. (West Lafayette, Ind.) $90,000
Combined Extinction/Fluorescence Absorption Diagnostics for Pharmaceutical Sprays—a method to audit the quality of sprays used to deliver medicine, such as from inhalers and machines that coat tablets, to help pharmaceutical manufacturers meet quality audit protocols.

High Precision Devices (Boulder, Colo.) $89,996
Optimization of the NIST/UCSF Breast Phantom for Quantitative MRI—a manufacturing process to provide cost-effective and shelf-stable NIST-designed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) phantoms, which are devices used to calibrate MRI systems used in breast cancer research studies and clinical settings.

Physical Optics Corporation (Torrance, Calif.) $89,957
Aerosolized Vaccine Dose Analysis (AVIDA) System—a new system that can identify droplet/particle size and the concentration of the active pharmaceutical ingredients in each droplet of inhaled vaccines.

The Phantom Laboratory (Greenwich, N.Y.) $90,000
Production of NIST/UCSF Breast Phantom for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)—the proposed phantom is one of several recently developed to address the needs for reliable test tools for quality control in quantitative imaging work.

Manufacturing
Luminit, LLC (Torrance, Calif.) $89,493
Tunable Electro-Optic Laser Scanner (TEOLS)—for a rapid 3D LADAR imager for machine vision and monitoring of manufacturing processes, as well as applications in health care, telecommunications and defense.

Luminit, LLC (Torrance, Calif.) $89,623
Spectrally Pure Eye-Safe Laser (SPESL)—a rugged and easy-to-use laser for the detection of carbon dioxide, methane and other gaseous pollutants for applications in fields including manufacturing, spectrometry and computing.

SouthWest NanoTechnologies (Norman, Okla.) $89,957
Scale-Up of ATPE Technology to Produce Highly Enriched Semiconducting SWCNTs—this technology would demonstrate the ability to separate semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) to achieve the quantities required for commercial applications in integrated circuits, optical switches, chemical transistors and more.

Technology Transfer
Seacoast Science, Inc. (Carlsbad, Calif.) $90,000
Thermo-focusing Chromatography­–High Sensitivity Chromatography for Chemical Analysis—a NIST-patented technology, “Recirculating Temperature Wave Focusing Chromatography,” will be licensed by Seacoast with the goal of using the method in a unique, low-cost gas chromatograph for environmental pollution monitoring.

The Phase II awardees are:

Cybersecurity
Gener8 (Sunnyvale, Calif.) $299,967
Bragg Grating Enhanced Narrowband Single Photon SPDC Source—an innovative fabrication method for a NIST-designed Bragg Grating that would allow production of entangled single photon sources for the study of advanced quantum communications applications.

Manufacturing
High Precision Devices, Inc. (Boulder, Colo.) $299,650
Flowing Water Optical Power Meter for Laser Measurements—a power meter for continuous wave higher power lasers traceable to a NIST primary standard.

RadiaBeam Technologies, LLC (Santa Monica, Calif.) $300,000
Digital Micromirror Device Detection Scheme for Transmission Scanning Electron Microscopy—a prototype detector for effective nanoscale material characterization for manufacturing.

SynTouch LLC (Los Angeles, Calif.) $299,760
Advanced Tactile Sensing for Dexterous Robot Hands in Industrial Automation and Assembly—new ways to measure robotic grasper dexterity and to evaluate new tactile sensory technology to allow greater dexterity for advanced applications in industrial automation and assembly.

The SBIR program was established by Congress in 1982 under the Small Business Innovation Development Act and has been extended through Sept. 30, 2017. Visit NIST's SBIR program homepage for more information.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. To learn more about NIST, visit www.nist.gov.

Media Contact: Jennifer Huergo, jennifer.huergo@nist.gov, 301-975-6343

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